Active play has become a critical focus in terms of physical activity participation in young children. Unstructured or child-led play offers children the opportunity to interact with the environment in a range of different ways. Unstructured materials, often called loose parts, encourage child-led play, and therefore may also promote physical activity. The purpose of this scoping review was to determine what is currently known about how loose parts may influence physical activity participation. Following a systematic literature search, a total of 16 articles were retrieved, reviewed and categorized according to: (1) types of loose parts; (2) types of play; and (3) types of thinking. We found that there are currently a range of loose parts being used to support play, but the way in which they are implemented varies and there is a lack of clarity around how they might support the development of active outdoor play and physical literacy skills.
Natalie E. Houser, Lindsay Roach, Michelle R. Stone, Joan Turner, Sara F.L. Kirk. Let the Children Play: Scoping Review on the Implementation and Use of Loose Parts for Promoting Physical Activity Participation[J]. AIMS Public Health, 2016, 3(4): 781-799. doi: 10.3934/publichealth.2016.4.781