“Lovely friendly staff who bond and grow as your child moves through the classes. Still can’t believe how attached my daughter is to all the girls.”
LOOSE PARTS PLAY
Loose parts are materials that can be moved, taken apart, lined up, carried and completely re-designed to make something else. They can be natural resources like mud, straw, stones and pine cones, scrap materials such as tyres, guttering, cable drums, or just random objects that we as adults would class as junk!
To a child, these provide endless possibilities in their play. Toys with defined uses can be prescriptive and can result in repetitive play, loose parts allow the play to come from the child and become anything they want them to be – tyres can be rolled, and stacked, and balanced on, and made into a fort, and imagined as a boat, and more…
Here at Castlegate, we know that using loose parts in their play really support children to explore their naturally amazing imaginations and encourage them to develop their problem-solving skills. They think up new ways to make a garage with ramps for their cars or use old tyres, palettes and cable drums to make their own dens.
In the past, we would have provided them with a car garage for their cars or a pre-made den, but now that loose parts play is embedded in our practice we can recognise that we were potentially limiting their play skills and creativity by giving them ‘ready-made, defined use toys. The children are now more focused and are able to use their own skills and creativity to fully delve into their learning while at Castlegate, and build some brilliant team working skills with their friends at the same time.
An architect called Simon Nicolson first proposed the theory of ‘loose parts’ in the 1970s – he believed that loose parts materials that can be moved around, designed, redesigned and tinkered with create lots of opportunities for creativity. Children’s brains are naturally creative and inquisitive, and at Castlegate we believe in supporting children to flourish freely in their play, with loose parts providing the ideal basis for this to happen.
There are brilliant resources explaining more about Loose Part Play:
- Loose Parts Play, A toolkit https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Loose-Parts-Play-web.pdf
The following videos are also highlighted in the toolkit:
- Scrapstore Playpod® http://tinyurl.com/ScrapstorePod
- Imagination Playground in a Box http://tinyurl.com/PlaygroundBox
- Natural Play in Schools (Grounds for Learning) http://tinyurl.com/NaturalPlayGfL
What The Parents Say
“Outdoor play, trips to the woods looking for animals and flowers! Baking – she enjoyed a tasty pizza for tea tonight that she had made, I had a wee taste it really was delicious! Lovely meals at lunchtimes and a great choice and selection. My daughter loved the sand pit as a baby and my son too, so much we got one at home too and they enjoy almost every day.”
“Your Facebook Page is excellent! So informative and great pics etc. Great for other family and parents to see what’s going on.”
“Prize draws for money off a good idea too and switching to digital payments is fab! Like the breakdown of fees too.”
“Going back to work is always hard, and with my son at 8 months old – Castlegate was the best choice for me in terms of childcare as they could deliver what I needed in a safe and trusting environment. The girls in the baby room made me feel so relaxed about leaving my son all day. They are amazing at their jobs, he has such an adventure every day learning new things and interacting with other kids. I love that he gets to have fun outside in all weathers!”
“I am so glad we have Castlegate as somewhere where my son can go and have fun. It’s not just about childcare there, it’s about learning and enjoying themselves – he loves it. “
“I use Castlegate as I know that my children will receive the best of care from the dedicated staff. It also suits my needs in that Castlegate is only closed for the 2 weeks during the year which means I can use the services pretty much all year round. I like that I can drop my children off early in the morning and they are taken to school meaning I can start work earlier.”
“My children love being outdoors and trying new things which Castlegate offers in abundance. They find all the staff very approachable. In a nutshell, I would describe Castlegate as one big family where I can have the confidence to leave my children and know that they will be nurtured and cared for.”
“Great nursery, close to our home easy to access by walking but also great parking. Availability to wrap funded sessions into a full day to cover work and lack of family members to drop/collect if using one of the schools. Brilliant outdoor facilities, secure and safe gardens.”
“My little boy is one and has been in the baby room for about 4 months and seems to have settled in well. I pay for lunches as they get lots of different foods, also cater to kids with food allergies which is a massive help. The staff are all amazing here I never worry about leaving them.”