Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Mirrored Loose Parts- Smurf Imaginary World

You may have seen playful learning experiences using loose parts around the web. Majority of these are Regio Emilia inspired based on the premises that the more loose parts of 'variable' freely available the more creative and inventive a child is able to explore. Using different materials that are smooth, rough, oblique, shiny, colourful, reflective and visually interesting enhances a childs natural curiosity to explore and create.
If this is new to you I have some awesome links at the end of this post. 
This is our take on free play using loose parts to create a imaginative scene on a mirror. 

Dimples starts with a Mirror, white board markers, craft sticks, some stones of different shape and colour, some rocks and some smurfs. He first grabs the white board markers to "design" his smurf land, tracing the craft sticks and drawing a river, instantly going into a calm and creative mood (Yes he is dressed as Batman).

Dimples uses principles of symmetry with out even realizes, he creates settings that they are even and uses the sticks and the white board markers to create dividers in the imaginary smurf land, such as this bridge/path way above, and this river separating the land of the smurfs from the human land below. 

Dimples makes a few variations of smurf lands and explores what the stones look like through the mirror. He uses a steady hand to stack things up and balance stones on top of each other. 
Starting again he gives each smurf their own special space, their own rock to balance on and lines them all up in their own corner 'hut'.

Dimples colours some craft sticks and traces them very carefully over the mirror. He balances smurfs over the craft sticks and sets up a little magic realm where all the smurfs surround a tower of jewels. 
Playing on the mirror gives an interesting element to his little pretend small world and using loose parts means there are endless opportunities to explore.

Learning Concepts:
Fine Motor
Creativity & inventiveness
Symmetry & reflection

Check out these posts for more ideas on loose parts & play using mirrors

Happy Adventures


  1. What a lovely little exploration with loose parts...he looks so engrossed!

  2. I love the Smurfs! Watched them growing up and still know the song lol. What a great small world set up. I love how he can draw to add extra features too. xo P

  3. I love loose parts and so do my children! I love that you included a mirror, double the amount of loose parts but that double doesn't end up around the house he he he

  4. I like your idea of including the white board marker with the mirror and the way Dimples used this in his imaginary smurf land. The smurf song is now playing in my mind :) Elise @ Creative Play Central.

  5. How fun to use the board marker on the mirror. Mr 5 loves The Smurfs, he'd really enjoy this. Thanks for linking to our mirror play post.

  6. Thanks for the lovely link love Nae :) This is a really nice exploration. Lots of fun :)

  7. Thank you so much for including our loose parts play post :) I love that he's dressed up as batman :P

  8. Those Smurfs are so cute!! Love your creativity with the mirror activity.

  9. I love watching kids play, they are so creative with their games. I've never actually done any official loose parts activity but we have some of those glass pebbles at home and the girls are always fitting them in to their games. I can imagine they would love the mirror set up :-)

  10. I have never used a mirror for learning like this and you have totally inspired me to. Thank you and I'll let you know how I go. :)

  11. Looks like he had a great time! So fun to watch them create with all these random bits and bobs. My kids love this type of play so much! Thanks for sharing, we're still yet to try our loose parts on the mirror but are going to have to soon!


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