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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET We hope that Loose Parts will awaken your creativity and enhance your ability to develop exciting play opportunities for children. Why so many photographs? They’re meant to stimulate your imagination and increase your joy in finding loose parts for use in play-based learning. The before and after photos throughout the book demonstrate loose parts in use throughout early childhood education settings (for example, dramatic play, block/ construction, art, language and literacy, math, science, outdoors, sensory, music, and movement). Besides providing challenges, pleasures, and learning opportunities for chil- dren, loose parts can also awaken your own creativity. You’ll be delighted by finding the perfect loose parts to introduce to children. As educators, we’ve certainly taken enormous pleasure in unearthing loose parts for our programs. Over the years, we’ve stumbled upon an almost limitless variety of trea- sures. In the aisles of a hardware store, we’ve found perforated pipes and vinyl gutters perfect for enhancing outdoor play. At a garage sale, we came across a box of old wooden spools that later found a place in our art and block areas. One of our favorite unexpected finds was the set of cow bones we found along a back road. Back at the center, we buried them in the sand of the play yard, where children screamed with excitement while they discovered what they called “dinosaur bones.” What’s the source of the joy we experience as we search for these items, think about incorporating our finds into children’s play areas, and imagine what the children will do with them? Perhaps we’re taken back to our own childhood. We’re certain of this: our excitement is contagious, and it’s transmitted to the children. Provisioning your setting with loose parts, even though they are humble, can be momentous. Safety Notes PVC pipe PVC pipe is a useful, inexpensive material to add to your inventory of loose parts. Make sure that the children in your care do not inhale the dust produced by cutting the pipe or lick/ mouth the pipe itself. Choking hazards for small children Children under the age of three years are likely to explore your collection of loose parts by putting them in their mouths. Please supervise young children closely to prevent choking. 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL