The Theory Of Loose Parts
The theory of loose parts first proposed by architect Simon Nicholson in the 1970’s has begun to influence child-play experts and the people who design playspaces for children in a big way. Nicholson believed that it is the ‘loose parts’ in our environment that will empower our creativity.
In a play, loose parts are materials that can be moved, carried, combined, redesigned, lined up, and taken apart and put back together in multiple ways. They are materials with no specific set of directions that can be used alone or combined with other materials.
Having “loose parts” available in a playspace allows children to use these materials as they choose. Often you will find that children would rather play with materials that they can use and adapt as they please, rather than expensive pieces of play equipment.
Here a perfect explanation of the theory in text and pictorial by Let The Children Play