Loose Parts Play Creating Opportunities for Outdoor Education and Sustainability in Early Childhood

  • Jackie Neill
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Gender and Education book series (GED)


Written by Australian mother of two, early childhood teacher, and ex-Outward Bound instructor Jackie Neill, this chapter explains the role of loose parts play in an early childhood school setting in Australia. By exploring aspects of the potential of loose parts play, the aim of sharing this story is to equip readers with the interest and motivation to consider how this type of play might work in their own setting, be that a school, outdoor centre, childcare facility, or backyard. This chapter has been a way for this outdoor educator to integrate her love of outdoor instructing with the realities of being a mother and deciding to settle in a city location. Loose parts play in the outdoors also stretches the perceived boundaries around what constitutes environmental education, as the subtle message of playing with junk offers an alternative perspective to the dominant message of consumerism that pervades our current society.


Loose parts play Outdoor learning Play Environmental education Sustainability Early childhood 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jackie Neill
    • 1
  1. 1.CanberraAustralia

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