Friday, May 21, 2010

how much fun can you have with a length of rope?

I put a long length of rope in the block corner, and waited to see what happened.

I kid you not, there wasn't one minute of the day when this one length of rope wasn't in use.

It's first incarnation was as a 'rescue machine':

The doll in the bed to the right is in need of rescuing.  They rigged it so that when the sink was pulled along, it dragged the doll out of the bed:

It's final, and most popular incarnation was as 'circus equipment'.

Three children worked together to secure the rope to three points.

They tested how many children it would safely hold and then enjoyed the fruits of their labours:

So what can a preschooler do with something as simple as a length of rope?

solve problems
express their ideas
listen to the ideas of their peers
explore concepts such as weight and measurement
jump, pull, tow, swing, balance
take risks
tie knots

How much fun can preschoolers have with a length of rope?


Here is my challenge.  Put out a length of rope or two, stand back and see what happens!


  1. Oh my! I will be on the lookout for a length of rope for our outdoor fun, for sure!

  2. I am always amazed at the creativity and ingenuity of preschoolers. They can use the simplest of items and create the most wonderful things. I think I'll get some rope now.

  3. Rope ... check ... got it! Actually our children enjoy rope too. But I should get more ... and longer lengths. You can never have enough rope!
    Donna :) :)

  4. Well quite by chance I was doing my 1/2 stint in nursery today and the children discover the string, washing line and pliers in my wee sacks. So I went micro rather than macro. And we ended up with a very "Teacher Tom" creation...the girls made a terrific "Girls only club" much to the complete bewilderment of most of the boys who simply looked on as bystanders.

    Then one spunky boy announced that they needed some lights and started fixing up a system with string and that was that! The creativity went in a new direction.

    However, saying that, I do believe every pre-school class needs a rope...! It's ideal for group cooperation.

  5. We have lots of shorter ropes, but I've never thought to have longer pieces available. Guess that's something for our summer program to get first crack at! Thanks Jenny . . . and Juliet! =)

  6. Juliet - love the girls only club :) Tom - I'm hitting the hardware shop this weekend for some longer rope as well. If they keep on building playground equipment to swing on we may save ourselves a lot of money!

  7. I love your photos! My kids were apeshit with some rope and got it so tangled we had to chuck it. You've inspired me to get some more - thank you!

  8. Just last week one of my coteachers added rope into our yard. I felt a bit nervous and envisioned all sorts of hangings....but the children did the same things yours did at first! I underestimated how important good sturdy rope is! Thanks for this.
    pamela wallberg