One repurposed resource which withstands a lot of wear and tear is the cable reel or drum that is used to store electrical wires. They are very flexible pieces of outdoor “furniture” which are worth seeking out in your local area. With sanding and painting, they can end up looking rather smart. Certainly a quick search on Pinterest or on the Cosy website will reveal all sorts of uses. I saw the rather lovely layout of painted reels above when visiting Christchurch, New Zealand last year.
In this post I want to flag up the creative ways that the Stramash Fort William Outdoor Nursery has been using cable reels. Whilst rustic in their look, the play and learning value is high when their use is carefully considered. In the words of the Team Leader, Cameron Sprague, “I do have a fondness for the industrial look. In my head I want objects to appear ‘real world’. I want the children to come across objects and not take them just for what they are, but rather what they can be. The process of creating spaces is some of the most valuable learning I feel we have at Stramash for the children and staff. From creating the design through mainly a trial and error process, constructing the feature, risk assessing, and finally playing with!”