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Reuse Repurpose Creative Materials Project

The REUSE REPURPOSE PROJECT provides children, educators, families and artists with rich resources for exploration, creativity and educational endeavours from unwanted manufacturing by-products. This CELC initiative supports the environment through waste reduction and contributes to the education of young children.

At Compass ELC we believe in resource rich environments enhanced with many interesting materials. A wide collection of materials, with many different attributes, offers unlimited possibilities for engaging and inventing play. This type of play encourages creativity and ingenuity; skills that serve our children well today and set the foundations for success in an undetermined ever-evolving world.      

“When children interact with loose parts they enter a world of “what if” that promotes the type of thinking that leads to problem solving and theoretical reasoning. Loose parts enhance children’s ability to think imaginatively and see solutions, and they bring a sense of adventure and excitement to children’s play.”

~Lisa Daly & Marium Beloglovsky,Loose Parts: Inspiring Play in Young Children

Our Vision

At Compass Early Learning and Care, we are working to build a better future for our children. We believe that this vision includes rethinking the materials and resources that find their way to landfill as junk or to the recycle bin. We are excited by the idea that many of these materials offer excellent learning tools for children.

Our Objectives

1. To create a place for discarded materials to be used by educators, children, artists and families to explore the possibilities for scientific, artistic, mathematical, sensory and collaborative education.

2. To collect, organize and distribute materials to early learning programs for creative and educational purposes.

3. To contribute to the environmental sustainability of our communities through exploration of repurposed materials deemed appropriate for children and fostering a deep respect for materials as holders of our history.

4. To offer workshops and professional learning opportunities including seminars, exhibitions and learning institutes

Our Lending Library

Our lending library is a platform for all our childcare programs to have access to a broad range of recycled materials and loose parts. It’s a way for us to keep the pedagogical process intact, where programs can browse our website, consult with their Pedagogical Leads and borrow loose parts/ materials that will support the learning of children in our care.
Click HERE.

Imagine being in partnership with a progressive community organization that takes typically discarded materials and uses them as a rich resource for exploration, creativity and educational endeavors.  Help us shape this project for a chance to support the environment through waste reduction, contribute to the education of young children and save money in your waste disposal costs, reach out to us today!

Connect with us via email at or call 705-927-5241

About Us

Compass ELC is a progressive, non-profit organization that works collaboratively to provide excellence in early learning and care. We are seen as a leader on our Province for early learning and care with 40 child care programs as well as 50 home child care centres in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Region of Durham, Northumberland County, and the City & County of Peterborough.

For more than 30 years, with over 2500 families within our organization, we have been growing and expanding our vision of early learning and child care as well as enhancing our learning environments to truly honour our belief in children as competent and full of wonder.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are materials or loose parts?

Loose Parts are natural or synthetic, found, bought or recycled materials that children can move, manipulate, control and transform. Alluring and captivating, loose parts capture children’s curiosity, give free reign to their imagination, and motivate learning.

What materials or loose parts can I donate?

Any materials which you think could inspire re-thinking, re-inventing, or re-imagining, will excite us! But for reference of previously and commonly donated materials, click HERE.

Where can I find out more information behind this initiative?

You can go through this pdf which summarizes a list of articles and resources about the study behind this initiative. The pdf can lead you to the full versions of the articles too!
Click HERE for the pdf.

Who can I get in touch with to know more about this initiative?

You can connect with our Materials Initiative Co-Ordinator, Angela Hoar by email at or by phone 705-927-5241.

Materials Initiative featured in the Media

We spoke with Peterborough Currents about the Atelier. Click here to read the article and see the photos.

Hayden Watters from CBC visited our Materials Initiative Atelier space. Check out his visit captured here.