I have learned to be more open ended in giving materials or having them accessible for children to learn and grow their brains as they learn to play with these “loose parts” materials. Learning can occur across the domains with the “loose parts”. I should think about interesting activities that will use materials that support divergent thinking skills. I will need to plan how, when to use these materials in my home, to give safety guidelines to the children, but let them explore freely to see if they can use blocks for physical development as they do fine motor skills with manipulating the small pieces to the large motor muscle skills as they build, and move about. They can use social emotional skills to work together, which promotes problem solving when they have differences of opinion if they think about solutions to the problem for themselves instead of a teacher coming up with the solution to their problem each time. This helps their cognitive thinking process as well. They can use lots of things for discovery: cookies, recycled bottles, tubes, and loose parts. The loose parts stimulates their imagination and brings adventure and excitement with what they decide to do with the loose parts. Developmental theory supports the need for children to manipulate their environment in a way to learn from it. For physical we know it will help them with fine motor, as well as large motor skills. Social emotional development helps children feel like they belong, it gives them the willingness to take risks, and helps them find what they are passionate about. It helps them collaborate, it can include all children improving relationships that are meaningful, it builds self confidence, helps them learn to negotiate, helps them learn to communicate, to problem solve. You can do this simply letting them play with dolls and a doll house, or farm playsets. Cognitive Development is how they learn, not what they learn at this stage. In cognitive development the construction of their thought process begins, including remembering, then problem solving and decision making. For exploration I could give children blocks, sand, rice, or pasta to use to learn math, science, about nature and sensory. For expression I could give the children puppets, a CD music player, scarves to dance with, dress up as this involves visual arts, dolls and play sets. Paint, markers, clay, colored pencils would all help the children to express themselves. For communication cognitive learning, I would begin with board books for infants and toddlers. As they get older I would remember to choose fiction and non fiction books, and to even do meaningful things like let them learn to write their names as it is developmentally appropriate. I would give them opportunity to talk and tell me about things that they know about. I think they could also tell their younger playmates stories for expression. Also, I learned it is important to store, and rotate materials, to plan ahead as to when I would use materials, as sometimes I might want to begin with a little bit of one item, and then bring in more things to go with that item as the children want to grow their brain with expanding on what they are exploring and learning about. I need to keep in mind what is developmentally appropriate, what is safe…in setting basic rules to begin, and think about any special needs we may have with the materials we are using.