“Little Bird” by Germano Zullo is the launching point for this fabulous flight into the world of loose parts play. In these activities you will find unexpected treasures and build a collection of precious tiny parts to play with again and again.

Tiny Loose Parts Play

Two girls looking through tray of loose parts


  • 1 sectioned tray such as a muffin tin, jewelry box, ice cube tray or egg carton
  • A small tray/cookie sheet to play on
  • Create a collection of tiny loose parts. Here are some suggestions:
Bits of ribbonButtonsStraws cut into bitsPost-it notes
ShellsLittle stonesPompomsBottle caps
Glass gemsString or woolNuts and boltsCoins
BeadsFabric scrapsWashers
Paper clips
Muffin tin filled with loose parts. wires pompons scrabble tiles


  • Organize your tiny parts into each section of your tray.
  • Set your organized collection on the floor or the table.
  • Place your 2nd, empty tray, nearby.
Little girl playing with loose parts pebbles pink sticky notes and pompons on a cookie tray


Explore and create with your tiny loose parts:

  • Will you build with your items?
  • Can you sort them into categories?
  • What if you line them up and count them?
  • Will you make a unique collage or sculpture with your loose parts?

Play your way! What can you do with these open-ended materials?

Why Play This Way?

Loose parts are the best! They can be found in a junk drawer, at the bottom of your bag, in your recycling bin, etc. These everyday treasures can be found just about anywhere! As natural explorers, children will love to arrange, line up and experiment with their loose parts. Not only that but as they play, they will get to exercise their fine motor, social, mathematical and problem-solving skills. When used with a friend, children will also enjoy an open-ended social adventure rife with possibilities. Best of all, your tiny loose parts collection can be re-sorted and packed up to be used again on another day for a whole new adventure.

Discover the book that
inspired this play

Read While You Play & Play While You Read

“Little Bird” by Germano Zullo

Book Summary

A man drives his truck up to a cliff’s edge. Unable to go any further, he opens the back door and a flock of birds flies out. Soon, the man discovers that a small timid bird remains. He shows the bird that he should fly off and join his friends. The man’s comic attempt at flight deepens the encounter between these two very different creatures. Soon, the bird flies off and the man drives away, but read on because there is a surprise twist at the end!

Why We Love It

Where do we start?! This super simple book is a delight to read and a brilliant reminder not only of the power of kindness but also that it is often the little things in life that matter most.

Learn & Play with

“Little Bird” by Germano Zullo

Extension Activities

Choose your own adventure! Select any of the extension activities or resources below and see where your play takes you next. They are all inspired by the featured book to invite deeper connections to stories through play. 

Don’t have the book? No worries! All of our activities can be enjoyed with or without a book in hand.

There is so much more to explore inside the PLAYROOM membership! Consider it your hangout for easy-peasy play-based learning at home.

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