“IN ANY ENVIRONMENT, BOTH THE DEGREE OF INVENTIVENESS AND CREATIVITY, AND THE POSSIBILITY OF DISCOVERY, ARE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE NUMBER AND KIND OF VARIABLES IN IT.”

Simon Nicholson 

Theory of Loose Parts

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why loose parts play?

Across New Zealand and around the world, a generation of children are missing out on opportunities to play. Sitting inside on devices, disconnected from nature, and spending the bulk of their time in adult-structured environments, our kids are exhibiting a lack of resilience and increasingly suffering from anxiety and depression.

Meanwhile, the future of humanity and our planet is under threat from mass consumerism. Our landfills are overflowing with discarded plastic goods, because a ‘throw-away’ culture has us believing it’s better to buy something new than repurpose something old.

Junky Monkeys exists to counter these trends, repurposing junk (a.k.a. Loose parts) into resources for creative play and promoting a cultural shift towards reduce, reuse, recycle.

Through our programmes in schools and communities, we aim to: 

  • Activate play in public spaces and educational settings,
  • Engage tamariki, kaiako, and whānau in meaningful waste education, and 
  • Empower schools and communities to deliver loose parts play experiences.

Together, we can turn trash into taonga, and protect children’s right to play!

What people say about us

We really loved the programme. All of the children were engaged and had a wonderful time. It became very apparent to us as teachers how important play is. I loved the opportunity it gave me as a teacher to support those children who struggle socially.

Thank you so much for yesterday. It was just wonderful to see the children so engaged, following all our values and persevering to problem solve and extend their ideas. Your discussion afterwards is fantastic too. You helped the children to make some amazing connections to the great learning that was happening. It was so inspiring.

We have had such lovely feedback from the Junky Monkey day from both the students and particularly from the parents who helped on the day.  Very well led and facilitated- wish we had it permanently in the playground.