Fun Times at Zac's Childcare and Montessori School

Loose Parts

What are loose parts?

Loose parts are open to a child’s interpretation and creative thinking! A loose part can become anything! Loose parts can be thought of as the way for children of all ages to unlock the

cognitive and creative mindset that allows them to build, deconstruct, persist, create, and work together to unleash the power of creativity that we all contain.


“As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts.” Simon Nicholson, 1971 Founder of the idea of Loose Parts

What are the benefits?


Loose parts offer children infinite play opportunities influencing them in ever changing ways. The immense benefits of offering loose parts exploration is critical to development of the next

generation. Loose parts allow children to do the thinking instead of the manufactured toy that has set directions. This is beneficial because it reaches such a deep cognitive level of thinking,

problem solving, and persisting. “The wider the range of possibilities we offer children, the more intense will be their motivations and the richer their experiences.”


The seven types of loose parts are: -Nature Based -Wood Reuse -Plastic -Metal Ceramic/Glass -Fabric/Ribbon -Packaging


We would like to take these recycled loose parts and utilize them in our classrooms here at Zac’s. Getting them from families not only keeps them out of our landfills for a little bit longer but also

consistently enriches our programs at all levels.


If you are unsure if something might be safe we encourage you to please have a conversation with your child’s educators.


Here are just some of the endless results of loose parts! They can be utilized in every part of learning!


If you would like more information about loose parts and how you can get started at home please ask too!!  – All this great information is from the Loose Parts Start Up Guide

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Connecting with the Natural World

At Zac’s we understands children’s innate drive to investigate and discover. To want to feel things, real things, to see what they do and how they can be manipulated. At Zac’s you will see loose natural materials, just waiting for little people to come and explore, to imagine, to use as they wish.

By bringing natural materials into our classrooms, they will be readily accessible to your children. They are such a source of wonderment for children. Natural materials have such potential for scientific discovery, yes, but for so much more. Regular exposure allows children to have a relationship with nature; to feel connected with it. To help them to notice nature, see the trees, feel the rocks under their feet, hear the wind, notice the changing clouds, be apart of it. Not separated; we’re inside, that’s outside. Bring the outside in and make it a part of their everyday life.

Pinecones, rocks, sticks, leaves, shells, driftwood. Any treasure really that comes home with us from our walks (and then are brought into our classrooms), provides different avenues for endless amounts of discovery.

The images provided show just a few examples from Pinterest of how nature can be used in the classroom and what sorts of ways we can present nature and explore natural objects.

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Temper Tantrums

When dealing with children we understand that there are ups but also MANY downs. We found this great article that highlights some key strategies to dealing with children and their "downs."


When dealing with children we understand that thre are ups but also MANY downs. We found this great article that highlights some key strategies to dealing with children and their “downs.”

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Tips for Toilet Training

little toddler girl looking up at camera

You can never have enough tips when it comes to toilet training!

As we all know toilet training is a struggle we have at the toddler/preschool age. Here at Zac’s we believe that for toilet training we have to work together, more than ever, as a team. Whatever strategies are adapted at home need to be continued at school and visa versa. I have found a great artilce that provides strategies that can be used, however no matter what article you use or what ever works for you and your child make it your own and stick to it. Routine, routine, routine!

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Smooth Transitions in Childcare

toddler girls lined up against wall outdoors

As we all know September is the time of year that includes the most transitions, and like ourselves children struggle with this just as much. Everyone heads back to school, work and gets back into a daily routine. This article is a great resource to help support your child or children during this time of year. At Zac’s, we use similar strategies to help our children transition from one classroom to the next and thought we could pass this article on.

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