These are the basic loose parts books I like for educators/parents. I have all of these (except for the one coming out soon). Each has it's own focus and strength.
- Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children By Miriam Beloglovsky and Jenna Daly
This focuses on various topics such a senses, creativity, action, and inquiry, with subtopics for each of these themes. This is a very visually stimulating book.
- Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play for Infants and Toddlers By Miriam Beloglovosky and Jenna Daly
This follow up book looks specifically at the younger crowd. It focuses on different schema in children's play centered on object exploration, assembly exploration, instrumental exploration, locomotion, and action. Each schema topic has several subtopics, such as throwing, trajectory, pretending, constructing. Once again, great visual ideas throughout the book.
- Loose Parts 3: Inspiring Culturally Sustainable Environments By Miriam Beloglovosky and Jenna Daly
This is coming out in Spring 2018, looking at creating a sense of belonging, helping support a child's identity, and shows cultural sustainability. It focuses on aesthetic, authenticity, equity, dynamic, praxis, and critical reflection.
- Beautiful Stuff: Learning with Found Materials By Cathy Weisman Topal and Lella Gandini
This is a unique approach highlighting one classroom's journey in collecting "stuff" from families. Each child brought in a lunch bag of found items from their homes and went through a process of sorting, categorizing, conversing, and using the materials in art and play in the classroom. The book shares a sample letter to families and the documentation process. this is a Reggio based approach. While I find it has an older feel to the book, the information and process is solid.
- Playing It Up: With Loose Parts, Playpods, and Adventure Playgrounds by Joan Almon, as part of the Alliance for Childhood