I've blogged about using ropes before. An old climbing rope is a wonderful resource and here it was used to good effect. I put various obstacles up along the way including...
A balloon tied at height.
A big floaty piece of material which some children enjoyed wrapping themselves up inside it!
An old Christmas hat - some children just had to try it on!
A hoop to climb through - although some preferred not to give this a go!
This plastic piping is a tube you swing round your head to make a singing noise. But it made an interesting surface to grip
Yes - an animal tube made it into the circuit too. I let this one move about rather than fix it to the rope!
This guttering attachment was also freely attached to make it move too.
I dressed this tree in an old emergency blanket - again for a different sensation
The rubber chicken was a bit of a surprise in that it squeaks when squeezed.
The big cone was a very popular object - you can see how I attached most items with a simple knot
The rope moved from high to low - here the children had to crawl behind the seat and under the blue tarp
This was a highlight of the rope trail for many children!
The nursery children were given a choice as to whether they wanted to wear blindfolds or simply keep their eyes open. Almost all of them chose the latter option which allowed them to look at anything they wanted and stopped them worrying about not being able to see anything.
However, one child kept her fleece scarf on the whole time. She completed all of the course completely without seeing where she was going.
The most moving part of the day was watching one 5-year old child complete the course almost entirely unaided. She wasn't wearing a blindfold. She didn't need to. From birth she has been completely blind and lives in a world where she has never known light or colour. Watching her slowly, delicately feel every object with the greatest care was like seeing a classical pianist perform. Her fingers told her every detail that other children in their rush had missed. Her explorations gave everyone who saw her an insight into her life. The blindfolds provided a comparative equality that had been missing.
The adults who work with this girl are building on the experience and are planning to use this as a potential method for the girl moving into primary school as a way of giving her more freedom and independence. Sometimes, it's the simplest of activities that provide the spark that can help us meet all children's needs.