“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

loose parts plastic reggio film

Old Film Roll donated from a camera store.

loose parts plastic reggio mini cups

Plastic Cups found at the party supply store. Building towers on the light table is a must!

loose parts plastic reggio caps

Milk Caps saved from many families to be repurposed.

loose parts plastic reggio construction

Donated guttering pieces from the local hardware store.

loose parts plastic reggio tiles

Plastic shape tiles from a Math Kit (Also can be purchased online).

loose parts plastic reggio pvc

Plastic PVC piping scraps from a Home Improvement Store.

loose parts plastic reggio connectors

Plumbing connectors also found at a Home Improvement Store.

loose parts plastic reggio stirrers

Plastic Drink Stirrers found at a Party Supply Store. Love these on the light projector!

loose parts plastic reggio rings

Reused Empty Tape Rolls. Great for building in construction or on tabletops!

loose parts plastic reggio spools

Empty Thread Spools are great for building with in smaller areas.

loose parts plastic reggio pipes

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
  • Bottles
  • Gerber Food Containers
  • PVC pipes
  • Reels
  • Empty Spice Containers
  • Film Canisters
  • Curtain Rings
  • Hair Rollers
  • Straws
  • CD Cases
  • Game Pieces
  • Beads
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Cones
  • Lollipop Sticks
  • Buttons
  • Funnels
  • Marker Caps
  • Plastic Bead Necklaces
  • Golf Balls
  • Cups
  • Hula Hoops
  • Bag Clips

3 Examples of Plastic Loose Parts in the Classroom

Loose Parts Reggio Inspired Classroom Playing with Plastic

Character Creation on the Light Table with plastic cubes, beads, necklaces, and rulers.

Loose Parts Reggio Inspired Classroom Playing with Plastic

Gutters and PVC pipes for ramps in construction are a must!

Loose Parts Reggio Inspired Classroom Playing with Plastic

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!

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.