Saturday 8 June 2013

Wood Logs and Lumps in Schools

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Kierna C said...

Love to see so many different uses for logs. We are lucky to have the head of the NI foresty service as a parent in the school & another parent with a forest so for once logs are in plentiful supply. I hope you'll add this to the latest Outdoor Play party too. xx

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi Kierna

Thanks for your comment. It sounds like you have an amazing bunch of parents! In Aberdeen City the council is supportive of schools and distribute wood via the Ranger Service and Parks.

Best wishes

Janet Mackey said...

I love this idea and the wonderful play that goes with incorporating natural structures. However, a few questions. Can the children move the logs and thus squish a finger? Have there been any moderate to serious accidents re falling while jumping? Have there been any incidence of vandalism with regards to the logs (I.e., at night while the school is empty - setting fire)? I've got the feeling our school district and Superintendents will quash any move in this direction, however, I may just go for it!
Kinderplay in Canada

Juliet Robertson said...

Hi - Great questions!

The logs are different sizes and weights. The ones in the stump circle are too heavy for children to move. This was deliberate and when children tried, we discouraged them. Also they were cut very flat so there's little wobble

With the others, they are as light as many other objects a child may move as they are that bit smaller so squished fingers would not happen due to the logs per se.

Re jumping and falling - this is a risk but generally children take calculated risks. None of the stumps are high e.g. more than 60cm as far as I remember that have been sunk into the ground and it's grass and sand underneath, so really it's an OK surface. With the stump circle, this is in an enclosed space so the play is supervised. If the wood is slippery because of rain then an adult will be nearby to provide support should it be required.

If you are really concerned, I'm sure a playground equipment company could advise and provide suitable logs, etc. It may be worth doing this, to reassure your superintendents, etc.

There's been no vandalism/fire with the logs in any of the schools. One is locked up out of hours. The other is open access but out of hours visitors seem to leave the wooden disks alone. It's perfectly possible to move them and lock them up somewhere if needed. A lot of this is about developing positive relations with the local community.

Quite a few schools now have them in Scotland which have been involved in the Grounds for Learning Natural Playground projects - have a look at their YouTube clip.