Last week we had a ute load of new stepping logs delivered from the team at 'Treewise'.
We were very excited about this delivery as stepping logs are an interactive, open ended resource which have endless uses in children's play.
When Dave turned up in his ute the first task was to help him un-pack the load. It was a big job for small people, however the challenge of hefting freshly cut wood was taken up by many helpers and with rolling, pushing, heaving and co-operation the logs were moved in.
With the job done and acknowledgements made (Dave was high fived and told he was a champ from Ryan!) it was time for some early play exploration.
After the initial first play, the logs were then set out to provide more challenging movement skills.
Stepping logs are a great co-ordination test. The un-even heights and surfaces challenge the children's balance and agility skills as they move from step to step.
By widening spaces between each log and doubling or tripling the slices for height, the stepping log course soon became a much more physical challenge.
With repetition the children's confidence and skills developed. We observed cautious actions later become fluid and one step patterns progress into two footed jumps.
Natural materials like stepping logs stimulate not only exercise, but support other aspects of play like sensory exploration and discovery. These slices were cut from three types of trees, each has a unique appearance, weight and even scent.
Stepping logs are part of a resource group called 'loose parts' in playscapes. Loose parts have infinite play possibilities, their total lack of structure and script allows children to make of them whatever their imaginations desire.
Currently our new logs are being maneuvered daily into new challenging obstacle courses. But with so many creative and imaginative thinkers in our Kindergarten we look forward to seeing further discoveries un-fold.