The tripod made from guttering

13 October 2011 · 4 comments

in Play Resources

Every good idea is worth sharing. When I was undertaking my Skogsmulle training course, we were shown how to make a tripod very quickly and easily, in less than a minute…



The trick is to put your three poles on the ground and loosely weave the poles together with a piece of thin rope. It’s not unlike peg loom weaving on a large scale. To create the tripod, you lift the middle peg up and over the other two. It creates the tension needed to hold the structure together. You need to wiggle the legs about to get the positioning just right.

The resulting structure was very solid and can be used for campfire cooking etc.

To help me remember what to do, I practised with some little sticks. This is worth doing until you’ve got the hang of it.

Now in my current setting, I work a lot on asphalt. So I decided that as I already had guttering, this would do nicely for poles. It’s lightweight and a lot of the children are very much into cause and effect play. They like to knock things over to see what happens. When this play happens, a child won’t get badly hurt should the whole tripod come crashing down.

I tied a bottle of water with some leftover paint I found sitting in a sink. This was used as a pendulum. A lot of children came over and had a play with it. This boy liked what he saw but had a better idea.

The sheet was wrapped around the tripod to become a parking place for his car. This made the tripod more robust.

Another child came to visit in his car too, but there was only room for one, carefully reversed car.

Undeterred, both children went off to find a more suitable place for parking at the other end of the playground. There also happened to be a car washing facility there where cars could be washed for £5 with leaves.

I love how ideas can be cross-pollinated, used, changed, adapted and turned through play into all sorts of explorations. That’s the beauty of learning through play.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Males in Early Childhood October 14, 2011 at 11:27

You’re so right, I do love this & will be ‘borrowing it for sure some time in the future.

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Kierna C October 14, 2011 at 16:58

Brilliant Juliet, wil have ot get practising with the little sticks. I was amazed when in Norway the way they would just create things form sticks – tripods, stirring implements, tongs etc. Thanks for thinking of me

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Juliet Robertson October 15, 2011 at 09:47

One little idea with a lot of potential! Oh yes! I wanted the older children to try and attach half-pipe guttering around the sides too but they weren’t up for that level of experimentation. I think this would further stabilise the structure on asphalt – no need on grass.

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