Mrs. Farber and I were dissatisfied with the play opportunities for our students outside and while searching for better ones three years ago, we saw a video that used large loose parts outside and we were thrilled- "How come we didn't think of that?!" We started scheming how we could bring loose parts to all the children at BEST out on the playground. We wrote a proposal and submitted it to the school board, where it was stalled for the better part of a year. In the meantime, we made presentations to the other staff and the PAC selling them on the idea of loose parts outside. While waiting for our proposal to get the nod to go ahead, we wrote another proposal for a Creativity and Innovation grant through the school district to get some funding for a storage unit and it was accepted. YAY! And the loose parts proposal was as well- double YAY!
I would like to say that after that it was as easy as buying a bin and throwing some junk into it but, unfortunately, there are always bumps in the road. No matter. The Bin has been here for more than a year, it has loose parts in it, the children are being trained how to use it appropriately, and we have a timeline to re-open the Bin at lunch hours in the next few weeks. And this year there will be some Grade 6 leadership students to help supervise. Will all go smoothly? Probably not. But the learning opportunities for the children are rich and engaging and exciting and we can't wait!!