Metal Loose Parts! If there’s one Loose Part that really engages every child through building, creating, inventing, exploring, and more, it’s metal!

From magnet exploration to big tin cans that clink to make music, to keys and door knobs that become a unique story in children’s pretend play, to so much more, metal is that awe-inspiring material that calls us to tinker and explore.

Let’s explore some captivating Metal Loose Parts examples.

If you’re just beginning to explore loose parts, consider diving into our extensive guide How to Get Started with Loose Parts.

Metal Loose Parts

Loose Parts reggio metal jars

Can lids! Love these! Versatile for any area and FREE!

Loose Parts reggio metal washers

Washers saved and collected from a family toolbox.

Loose Parts reggio metal bottle caps

Bottle caps are another great recyclable item. (Good idea to wash these before use and be mindful of very sharp edges)

Loose Parts reggio metal nuts

Nuts and bolts! Add a strong magnet to these and let them explore and tinker!

Loose Parts reggio metal candle holders

Candle Holders found at local thrift store.

Loose Parts reggio metal license plates 1

License Plates! Who would have thought? Great Loose Part!

Loose Parts reggio metal springs 1

Metal Springs! My boys created some creative robots with these!

Loose Parts reggio metal doorknobs 1

Old Door Knobs donated from locksmith!

Loose Parts reggio metal keys 1

Add some Metal Keys and let the exploring and storytelling begin.

Loose Parts reggio metal plates 1

Metal Plates found at a local thrift store.

List of Metal Loose Parts

  • Nuts and Bolts
  • Washers
  • Tin Foil
  • Old Gadgets
  • Bangles
  • Curtain Rings
  • Muffin Tins
  • Potato Mashers
  • Gutters
  • Magnets
  • Keys
  • Bottle Tabs
  • License Plates
  • Forks and Spoons
  • Links
  • Metal Lids
  • Thimbles
  • Silver Beads
  • Soda Can Tabs
  • Thread Spools
  • Door Knobs
  • Discs
  • Hair Clips
  • Candle Sticks
  • Tubing
  • Cans

Examples of Metal Loose Parts in the Classroom

metal based loose parts for the Reggio inspired classroom

Metal cans used in self-portrait creations! Love the metal elements!

metal based loose parts for the Reggio inspired classroom

A chandelier made from old kitchen utensils! I bet the children had fun attaching!

metal based loose parts for the Reggio inspired classroom

Metal mixed with other Loose Parts for a castle building provocation.

metal based loose parts for the Reggio inspired classroom

Woodworking!! Yes! With guidance, this becomes such a powerful exploration for children.

metal based loose parts for the Reggio inspired classroom

Creating vehicles with metal Loose Parts.

Loose Parts! So many inspiring, recyclable, and unique parts that can aid in children’s creativity and discovery!

For more information on this topic, don’t miss our in-depth guide How to Get Started with Loose Parts.

BONUS! Download our Loose Parts Wish List and start collecting!

In case you missed the other 6 Types of Loose Parts blog posts, no worries. I included that all right here for you!

What Loose Parts are YOU playing with?

What have your children inevstigate through metal loose parts?


Daly, Lisa; Beloglovsky, Miriam (2014). Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children. Redleaf Press.

Daly, Lisa; Beloglovsky, Miriam (2016). Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers. Redleaf Press.

Sheridan, Mary; Howard, Justine; Alderson, Dawn (2011). Play in Early Childhood: From Birth to Six Years. Routledge.