12 Ideas for Storing Loose Parts

During the FREE Live Webinar, Loose Parts! Provocations! Oh My!, I noticed a lot of questions about how to store loose parts. Today I want to share 12 ideas with you for loose parts storage!


These ideas come from the amazing Reggio-Inspired school, Rosa Parks ECEC!

The best part? Most of these can be found either lying around your house or at your local dollar store!


#1 Muffin tins ~ Who doesn’t have a few of these lying around? They make for great loose parts storage and sorting!

#2 Relish trays ~ Did you take home Aunt Meg’s famous artichoke dip at the last family get together? Great news! That relish tray can be reused for storing loose parts!


#3 Sectioned Wood Boxes or Trays ~ These types of trays are so versatile!


#4 Wine Racks ~ Need a new idea for that wine rack that is collecting dust? How about storing fabric used as loose parts in it?


#5 Cookie Tins ~ Did you get a ton of cookie tins over the holidays or find some in the bargain bin in January? They are wonderful for storing loose parts!


#6 Baby Food Jars ~ Will they ever stop thinking of ways to reuse these little wonders?


#7 Clear Plastic Cups and Bowls ~ You can stock up on these for super cheap, so why not?


#8 Peg Boards ~ I must admit, I would have never thought of this on my own, but peg boards can store so many things!

#9 Tin Cans  ~ These are the fancy kind with handles and everything! I was never above reusing the green bean can from the night before to throw beads or buttons in!


#10 Baskets and Bins ~ This one is pretty obvious and probably the go-to storage for most people. I suggest hitting the garage sales and resale stores for these! Don’t be afraid to play the “teacher card” to get them for  a steal!


#11 Old Drawers ~ Decided to throw out that old rickety dresser, but hate to waste the drawers? Reuse them in your classroom to store loose parts!


#12 Large Tin Bins for storing outdoor loose parts finds!

For more storage ideas, follow Fairy Dust Teaching’s Pinterest Board: Reggio Elements ~ Storage

Which storage idea did you find most helpful?

What ideas would you add for storing loose parts? 

If you found this post helpful, you should check out Fairy Dust Teaching’s newest E-Course, Reggio-Inspired Academy! You can learn more here!



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  1. Joanne Jones says:

    Hi, I would like to access the free webinar but I am in the UK and can’t work out what the time will be here? Also I would like to encourage my daughters nursery to use small parts, please could you direct me to reasons why to do this kind of play that I can use to convince them!

    • Jenni Caldwell says:

      Hi Joanne, where in the UK are you located?

    • Jenni Caldwell says:

      You should check out our posts on Loose Parts and Provocations. Those will help you in justifying why these types of materials are great for any age. Just make sure to be mindful of very young children placing small things in their mouths.

    • Jenni Caldwell says:

      If you sign up for the webinar, you will be sent a link to rewatch at your convenience even if you can’t figure out the time. I looked at London’s time zone and it looks like it would be 1 a.m. there so if it ends up being super early in the morning for you, you could just watch the replay at a later time. Just make sure to sign up. 🙂

  2. Fianou says:

    Great ideas for storage! For some strange unknown reason, in my country, any sort of small storage item or divided drawer type storage is super expensive!! So it has always been the most challenging part of organising my resources. Even at dollar stores… you are looking at close to $20 each. It just ends up taking my whole budget to just get a few baskets, jars or boxes… so I ended up with a mish mash of whatever was around and recycled but nothing really suitable. Some of the chocolate box pencil holders where my husbands from when he went to school. They work to store things but not great for little kids to find their own resources and use items and have a proper atelier set up.
    But when I looked at the huge pile of scrap papers left over at the end of this year it finally dawned on me how I can address the lack of small storage, paper mache! We have been busily using recycled boxes with the kids to create divided drawers and then plan to reinforce them with layers of paper mache and let the kids paint them up. Finally have an affordable way of finding just the right size and shape storage container!

    • Jenni Caldwell says:

      Wow! Isn’t it amazing how we can be so resourceful in our times of desparation! Such creativity at work here! I would love to see pics of your creations if you have any.

  3. Paula Oldale says:

    Hi I have just discovered you brilliant web site and see you have had a loose parts webinar is it possible to watch in the UK please Thank you Paula

    • Jenni Caldwell says:

      Hi Paula, we are so glad you have found us and you are enjoying the site! Unfortunately the Webinar has expired. However, there are plans to do more in the near future. I encourage you to subscribe to our emails if you haven’t already because subscribers get updated on the Fairy Dust Teaching happenings first! Subscribers also get FDT’s E-Books for FREE! Let me know if you have any other questions!
      Managing Editor

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