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Scrapstore Playpods, Early Years

July 2, 2012

Today I had the amazing opportunity to visit with Kirsty at Scrapstore Playpods in Bristol. Scrapstore Playpods is a brilliant program that provides schoolchildren the opportunity to play at recess periods with a wide variety of recycled, loose-parts materials, such as tires, plastic crates, rope netting, dress-up clothes and costumes, pipes, cardboard boxes and tubes, pieces of foam, etc.

There are several different ways in which schools utilize Scrapstore Playpods, the most common being to have a large shed erected on the recess yard. In the shed are stored all the loose parts materials, which are sourced from the actual Scrapstore itself and delivered to the school. For younger, preschool age children, the shed is often much smaller and less imposing, scaled down to the smaller size of the children. The Scrapstore itself is quite amazing- it is a combination arts-crafts materials supply store/ recycled materials warehouse. The recycled materials in the warehouse come largely from area businesses and corporations, which are able to save money in that by donating materials to the Scrapstore they do not have to pay taxes and fees to have the material hauled away as trash.

The philosophy behind the Scrapstore Playpods comes from two important sources. The Playwork Principles, and The Theory of Loose Parts. One of the key Playwork Principles states that “play is a process that is freely chosen, personally directed and intrinsically motivated. That is, children and young people determine and control the content and intent of their play, by following their own instincts, ideas and interests, in their own way for their own reasons.”
The Theory of Loose Parts was developed by Simon Nicholson, and it states: “In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”

Please enjoy the attached video, which shows preschool and kindergarten aged children using a Scrapstore Playpod at their school.


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One Comment
  1. Marina permalink

    just love the inspirational quotes and I wonder why is it that in the UK they have these approach toward creating outside spaces for children? where does that come from historically???


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