Theory of Loose Parts

Loose parts are the flexible elements within a play environment.  They are the fuel which feeds the fire of children’s imaginations and playful intentions. The greater the diversity of loose parts offered to children, the greater the range of play interactions.  These interactions enable open ended exploration through play leading to learning by doing.


The Scrapstore PlayPod is underpinned by the theory of loose parts which states that:

“In any given environment both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it”

Here is the whole paper:  Nicholson, S. (1971) How Not to Cheat Children:

The Theory of Loose Parts. Landscape Architecture, v62, p 30-35