“The child, making use of all that he finds around him, shapes himself for the future.”Maria Montessori
Plastic is one of the best Loose Parts when it comes to Recycled and Repurposed Items. These are items that almost any family can help and donate as they’re taking the milk cap off their milk carton to save or going to the local recycling center for donations!
Immerse yourself in the world of Plastic Loose Parts with these inspiring examples.
Plastic Loose Parts
Old Film Roll donated from a camera store.
Plastic Cups found at the party supply store. Building towers on the light table is a must!
Milk Caps saved from many families to be repurposed.
Donated guttering pieces from the local hardware store.
Plastic shape tiles from a Math Kit (Also can be purchased online).
Plastic PVC piping scraps from a Home Improvement Store.
Plumbing connectors also found at a Home Improvement Store.
Plastic Drink Stirrers found at a Party Supply Store. Love these on the light projector!
Reused Empty Tape Rolls. Great for building in construction or on tabletops!
Empty Thread Spools are great for building with in smaller areas.
Any kind of plastic parts at hardware stores are the best. The more unique the finds, the more children use their creativity to utilize it as it captivates them.
List of Plastic Loose Parts
- Milk Caps
- Gerber Food Containers
- PVC pipes
- Empty Spice Containers
- Film Canisters
- Curtain Rings
- Hair Rollers
- CD Cases
- Game Pieces
- Bubble Wrap
- Lollipop Sticks
- Marker Caps
- Plastic Bead Necklaces
- Golf Balls
- Hula Hoops
- Bag Clips
3 Examples of Plastic Loose Parts in the Classroom
Character Creation on the Light Table with plastic cubes, beads, necklaces, and rulers.
Gutters and PVC pipes for ramps in construction are a must!
Unique plastic finds on the projector can lead to many exploration opportunities for patterning and symmetry.
Remember, ANY material can become a loose part to a child! It’s our job to create the environment to support open-ended explorations and extend their thinking and learning by adding new materials to re-engage!
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!
- Nature-Based Loose Parts
- Metal Loose Parts
- Glass & Ceramic Loose Parts
- Fabric, Fiber & Paper Loose Parts
- Wood Reuse Loose Parts
- Packaging Loose Parts
What Loose Parts are YOU playing with?
What have your children inevstigate through plastic 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.