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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET Math Children acquire their first math skills and understanding of numerical concepts when they manipulate small loose parts, like blocks and bottle caps, by sorting and classifying and combining and separating them. They learn one-to-one correspondence when they make connections among loose parts. Once they begin integrating loose parts into their games, you commonly hear them start to count and see them arranging the parts in specific sequences, patterns, and categories by color, type, number, and class. Loose parts lend themselves to classification. The concept of measurement becomes clear when children play with tools like cups, sticks, funnels, and sifters. Measurement, equivalency, balance, spatial awareness, conserva- tion, and logical classification are precursors to higher mathematical skills that loose parts readily support. Physical Science Loose parts help children investigate and actively construct ideas and explana- tions about physical properties of the nonliving world. Children gain deeper knowledge of how things work when they can experiment with stacking boxes, tubes, and bottles. They can also test multiple hypotheses involving gravity, force, weight, distance, and height with these materials. Children learn that things move in many various ways (motion) through playing with loose parts that can be pulled and pushed to start, stop, or change their movement. Wooden boards, gutters, and balls help them investigate inclines and gravity. Prisms and open- ended materials that are transparent, translucent, or opaque on a light table or overhead projector help children experiment with color, shadows, and reflected or refracted light. Magnetic and nonmagnetic loose parts made of wood, metal, paper, or plastic help children learn that magnets attract some objects but repel others. Sound (pitch and volume) is explored as items of various shapes, sizes, and materials are played with in water, air, and sand. Metal cans, coconut shells, bamboo sticks, cardboard tubes, and stones are good examples. Using loose parts to explore bubbles assists children in learning about air. A variety of objects such as strawberry baskets, sifters, Mason jar lid rings, and funnels make interesting bubbles. 16 chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL