Stump Holes for Play

19 September 2012 · 2 comments

in Early Years Outdoors, Nature Play & Learning

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting the Nature Nurture site at Camphill Aberdeen. I was with a guest, Kerrilee Hunter, who came over from New York to have a look too. Although I have been to the site several times, what struck me today was the creative use of the stump holes.

Most adults who work with children in woodlands quickly realise the play potential of a stump hole. In the photo below, the girl is mixing up a nice soup.



Mature stumps from large trees make great containers for planting up…

At the blackboard there are stumps which children can stand on to draw on the board. But look at the stump with a hole on the far left…

On closer inspection there is a tin inside! What a lovely example of clever use of enclosures to create a little bit of surprise and discovery…

And inside the tin is the chalk! How very practical! I would like this little storage system for my chalk too.

Stump holes really are ideal storage facilities that come ready made by nature. A perfect pocket for some stones…

It adds to the awe and wonder of a play space for a little child to stumble across or find useful items inside the stump holes… such as bits of bark…

And here we have a stump on a stump as storage for twigs…

Okay, so those were the vertical holes, now let’s have a look at some horizontal ones. In the photo below are two stump holes inviting passer-by’s to investigate further.

One is a perfect little shelter for wildlife…

And the other is a magnificent miniature world playscape…

… Complete with a little family just asking for a child to play with them…

The miniature world below was the proud creation of an adult on a land art course. After all, it’s not just children who like stump holes and who see their beauty.

Finally, if you want to see the mother of all stump holes, then this fine example from Mindstretchers’ Auchlone Nature Kindergarten is a “must see”….

Many thanks to Terri Harrison for giving up her time to talk with Kerrilee and myself. If you want to learn more then, visit the lively Nature Nurture Facebook page or their website. Donations to their ongoing work with vulnerable children are gratefully received.

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Kierna C September 19, 2012 at 17:22

Oh that looks so amazing, I love to see the stumps used so creatively. I find it sad that because our woodland school is no longer staffed all the little projects like this have fallen by the wayside. Thanks for sharing Juliet.

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