Adding Small Parts in the Preschool Block Center

The How and Why of adding small parts to the preschool block center.
The How and Why of adding small parts to the preschool block center.

Small parts, loose parts, a trinket box- there are lots of names revolving around this idea.  But, whatever you choose to call them, they are a great addition to the preschool block center.

What are small parts?

Small parts are basically materials that children can manipulate freely, with no set instructions.  Small parts can be found everywhere!  Some ideas you see in the above photo include: rings from gallon milk jugs, empty spools, old puzzle pieces, nuts, bolts, buttons, babies and a few random things that were donated to our preschool.

Why use small parts in the block center?

Small parts are a wonderful way to enhance block play.  Simple little parts can become so many different things when building structures.  For instance, in the photo below, you can see students pretending that the small parts are cookies.  I love the creativity that is sparked by adding these small pieces to the block center.  Not to mention the fine motor skill that my students are practicing!

The How and Why of adding small parts to the preschool block center.
The How and Why of adding small parts to the preschool block center.

Small parts are such an easy open-ended tool to add to your preschool room!  Just remember to be cautious with student who still like to place items in their mouths.

Do you use small parts in your classroom?  Tell me about it in the comments!