Nursery manager Jo Bullivant of Worksop Nursery explains about Transient Art which she introduced to her Clever Crocs and the children love it! Also, download our step by step fact sheet on how to do Transient Art at home and get creative with your little ones…

What is Transient Art?

Transient Art is art made from “loose parts” that can be changed. The picture above gives you an example.

What are loose parts?

In early education loose parts mean alluring, beautiful, found objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control and change while they play.

Children can carry, combine, redesign, line up, take apart and put loose parts back together in almost endless ways. The materials come with no specific set of directions and they can be used alone or combined with other materials. Children can turn them into whatever they need, a leaf can become an ingredient in an imaginary soup.

These objects invite conversations and interactions and they encourage collaboration and cooperation. Evidence shows that loose parts promote social competence because they support creativity and innovation. All of these are highly valued skills in adult life today.

A term strongly connected to loose parts is open ended. Open ended materials, environments and experiences encourage problem solving and are child centred.

Children involve themselves in concrete experiences using loose parts, which lead to explorations that occur naturally, as opposed to adult directed.

Studies show that children and young people prefer to play with loose parts such as water, sticks, sand, ropes and boxes than traditional toys and play equipment, because they can use their imagination, and have greater control in their play. In the saying ‘Children prefer to play with the box that the present inside’, the box is an example of a loose part, and loose parts have a very high play value for children.

What are the benefits?

  • Transient Art can incorporate many areas of learning
  • The natural materials used offer opportunities for children to explore their senses and improve cognitive ability
  • Open – ended play can help a child to develop and use their skills at their own pace
  • Provide new experiences for the children to extend their own learning

Key opportunities for learning

  • Thinking creatively, developing concepts, planning and representing ideas
  • Creating intricate patterns and designs
  • Concentrating and completing tasks
  • Expressing a sense of self and communicating own achievements

Download information on how to do Transient Art at home