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Learn more about Loose Parts Play Project!

Our main project goal is to assist schools to develop an effective environment for children's play, as well as to involve their communities in this endeavour. Through involving the community of parents and other stakeholders, the school strengthens its connections and the commitment of the community towards the school, as well as increasing the level of civic engagement.


Abundant evidence points to the benefits of play in schools. The introduction of loose parts brings even more benefit and richness to children's experience. Physical activity is increased, children enjoy playtime more with fewer accidents and arguments. Play becomes more complex, varied and creative. Children are more involved and immersed in play, with fewer barriers to children of different ages, genders, abilities and play preferences playing together. In schools with loose parts play, staff report more engagement and enthusiasm in lessons back in the class. 

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Our objectives

The project objectives are:

● to increase sustainable thinking by introducing recycled items as resources for children's play (loose parts)

● to enhance the play environment, quality of play and creativity of pupils

● to assist schools to introduce the concept of loose parts to parents and to the


The project has four outputs

Manual and Toolbox. These complementary resources are designed to help schools introduce loose parts and to guide them through all the common steps in the process. Partner schools in each of the countries were responsible for piloting these resources ahead of publication.

Training course for teachers. This modular course is based on the piloted Manual and Toolbox, with training for trainers allowing a wider reach for the whole project.

Research and policy paper. The research element of the project showcases the impact of using playwork approaches and loose parts play in schools. The research resulted in a collective research paper with policy recommendations in English, with shortened versions translated to all partner languages, as well as a set of national-level publications. These results were presented at national and international conferences.

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Our history

The Loose Parts Play Project grew from previous partnership projects including Children’s Access to Play in Schools (CAPS: Play-friendly Schools). This project established quality criteria for the Play-friendly Schools Label. Introducing loose parts play is a practical way of becoming more play-friendly and you will find reference to the quality criteria within the Manual.

The project brings the same ‘playwork’ approach to supporting play built over three previous Erasmus+ projects (VIPER2, ARTPAD3 and CAPS). 

Environment and sustainability are new areas this project is investigating through reusing materials (loose parts) for play and education in a dynamic process. We hope to support schools and school staff to work with children in a creative, empowering and sustainable way. Reusing materials is an important topic in waste reduction and environmental action, as a potent route to waste-reduction.

We work for the planet

Our project links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: 

●  responsible consumption (by reusing materials)

●  quality education (increasing engagement, motivation and enjoyment in children's experience of school)

●  gender equality (through freely chosen play children are empowered in their actions as well as playing together; loose parts play lends itself to a gender-friendly atmosphere) 

●  climate goals (by increasing reuse, waste-production decreases). 


Educational systems, cultural and policy contexts vary between countries. The Manual and Toolbox are designed to provide guidance and tools that you can adapt to the context where you work. 

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