Tag Archives: loose parts

Creative Clay Creations

Today in the Studio we continued our experiment with clay. We have been learning about the difference in textures between clay and playdough, as well as the difference between wet and dry clay. So, today we took our learning one step further to investigate what we can make, by adding loose parts to our clay station.

We added some buttons, wooden sticks, paper straws, corks and our clay tools and markers as a invitation to spark the creative minds of our early learners.

We used our gross motor skills to roll out the clay, using the large rolling pins. We even tried using the other end of the rolling pin to make marks and indents into the clay.

Some of us used the clay hammers to create marks or flatten the clay to make it more malleable.

We each selected the loose parts we wanted and got to work creating our model, and look what we created! A hedgehog using the wooden sticks.

Others used the wooden sticks to make candles for a birthday cake.

We also created a robot, adding detail with paper straws.

We used the corks and wooden letters to make clay people.

We worked together to share our ideas and inspire each other.

We used our fine manipulative skills to select and place buttons onto our clay as part of our design process.

We even used the clay tools and loose parts to extend our mark making skills.
We learn best when we are having fun through play.
I wonder what will be at our clay station tomorrow?

Loose Parts Play

This week in the Discovery room we have had lots of fun exploring loose parts.

We have collected lots of different items to create our loose part trays. Using our excellent fine motor skills, we sorted our loose parts into groups of similar items.

Filling and emptying lots of different sized containers using tweezers and tongs helped us develop our fine motor skills, and develop our understanding of volume and measurement.

“This one has lots of big and small pieces”.

”It’s full. I’m emptying it out”.

It was lots of fun choosing which loose parts we would use to create our transient artwork. We have such wonderful imaginations!

“It’s a volcano with lava coming out”.

”I made a caterpillar with pom poms”.

”I made a maze. The board is the way in. That one is the way out”.

Some of us decided to choose our own loose parts to create the letters of our name.  We each drew our letter then carefully placed our loose parts along the lines.  Don’t they look fabulous!

To challenge ourselves further, we decided to make our names from our favourite loose parts.  We decided we like the pom poms, colourful matchsticks and gems the best!

There are so many fabulous things activities we can do with loose parts that help us develop a wide range of skills, our imaginations and creativity.
Loose parts can be anything from cardboard boxes, yoghurt pots, cotton reels and shells or sticks we can collect on holiday!
Why not have some fun with loose parts at home and see what you can create!


Balancing skills

This morning in the garden we have been working on our balancing skills. We used loose parts to create our Muddy Movers course which helps us strengthen and improve our gross motor skills. We are becoming very confident in our balancing skills, so we decided it was time to make the course a little more challenging! We had a look in our cupboard and found some bean bags and some egg and spoons! We decided to challenge ourselves and see if we could balance the beanbags on our heads and the egg on the spoon as we walked around the course.

We started by discussing what it means to be balanced;

“It means you don’t wobble.”

“You need to practice.”

”You put your hands out to help.”

The course is designed in a way that helps us to assess our own risk and abilities.

We like to use our loose parts to make changes to our course every day. We can choose to walk along the plank on the ground or if we are feeling confident, we can step up and walk along the bridge.

By keeping a beanbag on our heads, this encourages us to keep our heads up, or the beanbag will fall off! This helps us improve our balancing skills.

We had to walk really carefully to make sure the egg didn’t fall off the spoon!

We demonstrated excellent balancing today! We were getting faster and more confident each time we competed the course.

We had so much fun!

3D number fun!

Today we had lots of fun exploring the loose parts and creating our own 3D numbers. The children loved using resources throughout the room to help them write our number board out, and help with numbers that were a little tricky.


The children were very creative, using different loose parts to express their own interpretation of numbers. We spoke about the different shapes in numbers, and how we could display it on our board.

“I need two lines for number 11”

”I need a circle shape for number 10”

Some of the children then extended their learning even further by suggesting finding the corresponding  numbers to match their 3D creations. What a fabulous idea 💡

Have a look at some of our creations we made. Well done everyone!!

The children loved using their imagination and being creative with the loose parts, I wonder what we can create next?

Inspiring creations with playdough

Today in the Home room we have enjoyed spending time at the playdough station.  We have learned lots of different skills while we manipulate the dough into wonderful creations. We used a variety of loose parts to inspire our creative thought and design processes.

First we made the playdough. The children asked for purple playdough. We decided to use our colour mixing skills to make purple by mixing red and blue paint together.

“First we need blue”

“Then red”

“Look what’s happened when we mixed them together. It’s purple”

After we had made our playdough, we began to let out our imaginations flow, creating our playdough masterpieces.

“I made a sun”

”Look it’s a unicorn”

“It’s a star wars alien space ship with lasers that are flying”

“It’s a face and the dark purple is the hair”

“I’m using the stones to make a happy face”.

We have been engaging fully with our learning today, building new skills are proud to show everyone what we created.

I wonder what we will make tomorrow with the playdough?

Maths Week Scotland in the Discovery

This week is Maths Week Scotland. The children in the Discovery room are showing off their number recognition skills.

“We can match the pebbles with the numbers”

They decided to use our loose parts box to match the parts with the numbers eg. “It’s number 7, we can use 7 pebbles”

”what about sea shells, 1,2…6,7”

Loose parts are not just shells and pebbles, they are open ended resources meaning they can be used for anything, counting, sorting, making patterns, transient art. The list goes on.

The children then decided to sort the numbers in order from 1-9, they worked together to swap them round until in the right order.

“Put the 5 next to 4 and 7”

”Number 3 is upside down”

Exploring with shells…..paint, sand and water😁

Gail was at the beach over the weekend and collected some shells for the toddlers to explore 👁

We printed with the shells investigating the different sizes and textures of the shells.

We used a variety of resources to create designs

We listened very hard to try and hear the ocean

We transferred the shells into the water to play with, also to clean our shells

We made sandcastles and decorated them with shells….how pretty

What a lot of fun we had today 🥰






Making shapes in the garden!

Today in the garden the children have been developing their knowledge of 2D shapes.  We were discussing the number of sides and corners each shape has. We were focussing on squares, rectangles, triangles and circles. The children then made the shapes out of stones and correctly counted the number of sides for each shape.

Some of the children were playing with elastic bands which is very good for developing their fine motor skills and great fun too! They realised they could make different shapes using the bands!

”I made a triangle with 3 sides!”

”Look, a rectangle!”

”I made a house shape!”

We are super at making shapes at Cart Mill!

Welcome back to the Discovery Room.

Welcome back everyone it’s good to see everyone back again,  We have all been busy exploring the toys in the discovery room and reconnecting with our friends.

We have been investigating the technology toys, working out how to make them move.

We used our creative skills to work side by side with our friends to discuss our feelings and use or writing skills to record how we feel.

We used the interactive board as another way to mark make and record our feelings today.

We were busy using our curiosity to make different objects using different shapes and sized  loose parts in our construction area.

We also took our learning outdoors, to use our muddy movers skills.
It has been so much fun being back and can’t wait to come back again tomorrow.


Feeling Festive…

Welcome to December!  The children have been telling us all about their Christmas trees at home, this has sparked quite an interest in recreating their own whilst at Cartmill.

Some children have enjoyed using their ICT skills to decorate a virtual tree.

“It goes down the bottom”

This helped to develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills whilst it provided opportunities for use of mathematical language.

“I’m putting a big star at the top”

The children also made use of loose parts to decorate their own paper trees.  The conversations the children had during this activty were very excitable as they discussed their trees at home.

“It’s like the tree at my house”
“I want a star on top”
“red and purple”
“I need a bit for down the bottom”

I’m sure you will agree their creative skills are outstanding!