Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Rope Tree

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Mulberry Tree.  

In the fall, it provides fallen leaves that make worms and creatures feel safe enough to come out of the ground.  That's because we rake so rarely that the leaves begin the composting process and worms just love that.

In the spring, new leaves begin to emerge in preparation for 1. feeding silkworms, and 2. providing shade in the summer.

But my favorite contribution of the mulberry tree's role as The Rope Tree.

One day, we took about ten minutes to hang some ropes and tie some knots and drill some holes and make some swings.  Later, Brianna (our student teacher from DeAnza College), brought a ski rope and hung that from the tree as well.  This has been  most popular activity area for the children.  When they climb, all of the muscles engage, including the core.

There are a few safety features of the ropes we hang on the trees.  First, the hand holds and foot holds are small enough loops that they don't fit over children's heads.  We also have a rule in place that if they want to swing the swing (which is a large, heavy piece of wood), the children must be sitting on the swing.  Otherwise it becomes a huge solid pendulum ready to knock someone out.  Brianna found a way to feed the children's interest in pendulums as well, but I'll post about that later!


  1. Thanks so much for flagging up this lovely post on my blog! I love the "busyness" of everyone playing!

    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.

  2. what a great idea & use of an established tree. I look forward to following your blog :)

  3. Rope, it is one of the most open ended resources that you can find, it can be used for so many different things fishing, tying bikes and trolley's to make trains, holding up tents, you name it! We love it at our kindergarten too:-)


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