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  • Writer's pictureOur Playful Learning Journey

Loose Parts Play Ideas Using Gems and Jewels

Beautiful and sparkly loose parts that have so much potential for play and learning! See how we like to use them ...

Pretend gems and jewels with plastic jars for children's play idea. Loose parts play idea for kids.
Gems, jewels and jars! So simple, yet so fun!

Pretty little gems and jewels make the perfect play item as they can be used in a range of ways for not only play, but playful learning too!

These beautiful loose parts have been a fantastic addition to our resource collection for play and learning. They are so inviting to play with and add fun to anything they are added to!

We have grown our sparkly little collection of little loose parts over time. Here is where some of our gems and jewels are from:

  • Gems - mini squares and coloured gems bought mostly from Pickwick and Sprout (online)

  • Big blue stones - a discount store. Keep your eye out at your local shops for some great loose parts!

  • Buttons - Officeworks

  • Plastic candy jars -Kmart Australia

  • Glass gemstones (not pictured here) - Bunnings in the craft aisle

*Important - All play ideas in this post are for ages 3+ as they include small parts which are a choking hazard. Always supervise all play.

Here are some fun ideas loose parts play ideas

using gems and jewels:

Gems and Jewels Playdough Invitation to Play

Smaller loose parts such as gems and jewels pair perfectly with playdough! Here we used them in a little tray as a decoration for playdough cupcakes and muffins. The magic of an invitation like this is that your child may play a completely different way than you think that they might! My kids ended up making playdough hair on a wooden spoon and cutting playdough snakes after playing cupcakes!

Playdough play idea for kids with playdough, silicone cupcake cases and muffin trays. Pretend gems and jewels in a tray for loose parts play.
Gems and jewels pair perfectly with playdough

Gems and jewels with playdough kids loose parts play idea
Making playdough cupcakes.

Gems and Jewels + Hundreds board

Gems and jewels pair perfectly with a hundreds board. This can invite colour sorting, counting, patterning and more.

Our hundreds board is Treasures from Jennifer brand with the colour gradient tiles shown here for colour sorting.

Colour matching play idea for kids using coloured gems and jewels and a wooden hundreds board
The gems and jewels work well with a hundreds board

Gems and Jewels + Jars Simple Play Idea

This is such a simple, yet fun way to play! We used some plastic candy jars from Kmart Australia and a wooden tray.

Children may explore filling and emptying the jars or find others ways to play!

Through this simple invitation they can:

  • Colour sort

  • Work on eye hand coordination

  • Develop their fine motor skills picking up the little pieces

  • Explore capacity - full, empty, half full etc.

  • Learn new vocabulary

  • + many other

Kids play idea for loose parts. pretend Gems and jewels into plastic jars.
A simple play idea using jars

Gems and Jewels Sensory Play Tray

Scoop, pour, collect the gems ... enjoy playing! The chickpeas make a lovely sound too!

We used:

  • Plain chickpeas

  • Gems, jewels and buttons

  • Scoops and spoons

  • Jars

Tip: Put your sensory tray near the play kitchen to invite some extra play - think filling the cups, tea pot, trays, pretend cooking etc. Lots of fun!

loose parts Play idea for kids using chickpeas , gems and jewels in a  white play tray.
Scoop and fill sensory tray

Sensory play tray for kids using chickpeas, gems and jewels in a white tray. Loose parts play idea for kids.
A photo after the tray was played with.

Kids imaginative play using chickpeas and jewels for pretend cooking in a kids play kitchen oven.
Pretending to cook cakes in the play kitchen oven.

Gems and Jewels + Coloured Bowls

Tipping, filling pouring, emptying, colour sorting ... so many ways to play! Here we used our Grapat nest bowls, but this invitation to play could be set up with any kind of bowls. This is another great fine motor workout for little hands! Also great for hand eye coordination and imaginative play.

Grapat coloured nest bowls with gems and jewels in a basket for loose parts play for kids
Bowls & loose parts in a basket played with by Miss 4.

Gems and Jewels + Small World Play

Loose parts, such as gems and jewels are the perfect addition to small world play. Add in your child's imagination and the sky is the limit to what they might become!

Polar Themed Small World

Clear and blue coloured gems and jewels were ice and snow in this arctic small world. Other loose parts became the food for the animals.

Small world play tray for kids polar/arctic scene.
Loose parts are great in small world play!

Unicorn Themed Small World Tray

Gems and jewels became sparkly unicorn treasure to hide in the rainbow cave.

Unicorn small world play tray for kids using loose parts - gem and jewels and chickpeas
Unicorn land was made extra sparkly with the jewels!


Thank you for reading this blog post!

There are so many play and learning possibilities when using loose parts such as gems and jewels! There were just a few ideas.

I hope you found some inspiration and are excited to use these fun materials with your child too!

Make sure you sign up to the email list below to find out about the latest blog posts and printables.

Until next time, have fun learning in a playful way!

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