Sunday 11 December 2011

Reflections on Ropes

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Beansprouts said...

Well, we did pay homage to our Mulberry tree in one of our blog posts with particular emphasis on its rope donning ability : )

I still get this weird paranoia about children choking from ropes but the more I read about rope play (and the more I see how badly the children want to use ropes), the more willing I am to allow them to do so. I guess wrapping around the body can be one of the safety restrictions.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

Juliet Robertson said...


Everyone should visit the Beansprouts Preschool blog post - it's super.

I don't think your paranoia is weird - it's about having a healthy respect for rope.

We always supervise rope play and remove the ropes at the end of each session. The rule I have is no ropes around necks (obviously) and also I request that hands and arms are not tied up - simply to avoid a child running, tripping and not being able to catch themselves.

However using bright ropes actually helps children develop a spatial awareness as they learn to look out for themselves and others around the rope.

There's a handy guide on the London Play website about tree swings which is worth downloading

Debbie Greene said...

Great Job! I manage a Nature Center and have a preschool called Little Sprouts Early Learning Center. We also have an after-school program called Kids n Nature Adventure where 150 kids come out weekly. Visit us on facebook. Pilcher Park , Pilcher Park Nature Center AND my blog

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi Debbie

Thanks for leaving information about your nature center and preschool - it all sounds really interesting. I've already checked out your Facebook page.

I really appreciate anyone telling me about their blog, website or organisation that's about getting children outside. Together we are all stronger!

Best wishes

Tom Bedard said...

Thanks Juliet for bringing up ropes again. They disappeared from my radar. I have made a mental note to try them---inside---either in my large muscle area or around the sensory table. They should work inside , too, right? Tom

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi Tom

I think ropes would work fine inside too. A couple of things spring to mind

- Ropes up high for pulley systems (this will really dovetail with your trays and transporting pellets etc)
- Perhaps keep the ropes shorter. Outside I'm less fussed about length but in the confines of a classroom it might help
- Use a variety of ropes. Every material has a value because of their different thicknesses and properties. I actively seek different types of rope for the impact on the experience.
- Remember ropes work well as part of any big weaving project, e.g. through nets
- Washing lines are a form of rope work too.

Tom Bedard said...

Wow, lots of great ideas. Thanks.