A while ago I was inspired by a post on Instagram from Jess at Tinker Tots where she shared her little box of loose parts that she takes along in her purse for her son. It took a while but I finally put together our own little container of take along loose parts and it’s debut with my boys was a huge success.
I discovered a small cardboard shipping tube that I’d been saving for a long time and knew it was the perfect size and it could also be used as a loose part, itself. I walked around the house grabbing random items to fill it; a ribbon from an unwrapped birthday gift, the ladder from a broken fire truck, coffee stirrers and more. The only things I sought out were the two vehicles, a motorcycle and a helicopter.
After we ordered our food, I told the boys I’d brought something for them to play with and they were instantly curious. I put the tube on the table and they did not stop twisting, tying, stacking, creating or imagining until the pancakes arrived at the table and we had to quickly stuff everything back in it’s holder.
I’m excited to keep this tool in my bag going forward. This isn’t simply about something to keep them occupied or out of trouble but rather the ability to provide them with open ended materials that encourage creativity, conversation, storytelling, and more while we are on the go and in any situation.
I plan on adding and taking away materials as needed based on how they engage each time we take them out.