Tree stumps for kids to use

Discuss Energy saving, Recycling ideas, Plastic use, Food waste and looking after our planet...

Moderators: jay, thecaretaker, inspector, Dragonrider

Post Reply
User avatar
Gazza
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu, 16th Oct 2014, 10:22am
Feb 2021 23 15:27

Tree stumps for kids to use

Hi guys not sure if this is the right place for this post or the health and safety thread so admins please move to where's appropriate.

BACKGROUND: one of our early years TA's has had an idea way above her station and not thought through this idea. A friend of hers has had a tree cut down in her garden and the TA has said she will take the bits of trunk to use in the school as either stepping stones or seating stools. She has gone to our HT to ask if this is ok and she has just said yes. and kinda washed her hands of it, so today i had to collect 25 bits of old tree trunk and drop them off at our playing fields with fully knowing their intended use.

My questions are simple, from a health and safety perspective what should i be worried about? who should ultimately be responsible for the RA which will no doubt be required and what potential problems can people foresee..... i have already raised the issue of prepping them for use (removing sticking out bits, splinters, treating them etc) as well as the fact that they will kill off the grass when placed but this is not deterring them or the HT whose reply was 'you (as in me) can take them down the dump when they rot'..... these things weigh a tonne.... im slightly narked about this but i know im not gonna get my own way on this one so i want to do the next best thing and establish whose responsible for them and the h and s implications.
Opinions are like Derry-airs, everyone has one, but some stink and are full of the brown stuff -Success.png-
User avatar
Vera
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri, 28th Jun 2019, 8:36am
Feb 2021 23 15:49

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

We have a number of logs and bits of stump which are being stockpiled and played with ready for OPAL.

I have to say it takes some getting used to but the kids love it.

In terms of RA. OPAL calls it a Benefit Risk Analysis. Ie are the kids getting more benefit than the risk to them of doing the activity..

Play assistants (Lunchtime assistants) are needed to ensure the items are played with appropriately.
i'm going to need a bigger bucket! -JawDropped.png-
User avatar
TheTusk
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu, 25th Nov 2010, 1:00pm
Feb 2021 23 16:07

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

As stepping stones they'll be the slipperiest things in the world after a rainy winter.
User avatar
Sparky
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 115
Joined: Tue, 12th Feb 2019, 10:49pm
Feb 2021 23 16:09

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

We had a fairly substantial tree cut down some time ago, and as you it was decided to use chunks of the trunk for stepping/balancing on the early years play area.
Iv now had them removed back in November as over time they just become a danger. Ultra slippery when wet and a fungus growing all over during the wetter months. Kids were picking it so just made sense to get rid. I personally wouldn’t recommend but sounds like your over a barrel really. Good luck -Scared.png-
User avatar
beagle
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 572
Joined: Thu, 5th Oct 2006, 1:56pm
Feb 2021 23 16:18

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

Don't have that problem here, any felled trees or logs go to feed my wood burner. Kept my house warm this winter with wood from our 300+ trees, got more than enough for next winter to. I did cut up a Cherry tree and the use some pieces of trunk as stools for story telling area in the reception classroom. but they are kept indoors.
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain".
User avatar
Jomell
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat, 9th Jun 2018, 11:09am
Feb 2021 23 19:20

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

Had something similar, but with car tyres... don't ask! The business manager at the time thought it would be a good idea for the gardening club to grow plants in them. -Shock.png-
User avatar
Vera
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 882
Joined: Fri, 28th Jun 2019, 8:36am
Feb 2021 24 07:50

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

Jomell wrote: Tue, 23rd Feb 2021, 7:20pm Had something similar, but with car tyres... don't ask! The business manager at the time thought it would be a good idea for the gardening club to grow plants in them. -Shock.png-
We again have a good supply of car tyres and larger for use with OPAL.
We also have pallets, Planks of wood, tarpaulins and a selection of pipes and tubes as well as lots of smaller objects like pots and pans, spoons tools and a canoe!
The opal concept is quite difficult to get your head around at first as it seems to go against all our training in H&S and RA's.
But the idea is that kids play with everything and learn for themselves what is risky and how to manage that, as well as just straight out creative play.
Its basically like when we were kids and went to play at the tip or a building site.

Jomell, Are you sure the TA concerned has not read about OPAL and decided it would be a good idea?
If so it is dangerous to just pick out individual bits to implement as the whole concept is based around Risk benefit analysis and a different way for parents and the whole school to look at managing risk.

https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/t ... programme/
i'm going to need a bigger bucket! -JawDropped.png-
User avatar
Dexter
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 163
Joined: Fri, 13th Sep 2019, 8:22am
Feb 2021 24 08:13

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

We have had trees felled and the larger branches and sawn logs have been used for path borders and seats. I have chiselled off any potentially dangerous branch ends but have not done a RA. In my mind, someone else has made the decision to use these for this purpose and they should have assessed the risks (and suggested suitable controls) in doing so (ie inspection before use, not to use in certain weather etc). I am taking my having to remove the potentially dangerous branch ends as an oversight on their part. I have to trust that they will only use when safe to do so and that they will ask for them to be removed when they are no longer ever safe to use.
User avatar
Jomell
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat, 9th Jun 2018, 11:09am
Feb 2021 24 10:13

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

Vera wrote: Yesterday, 7:50am Jomell, Are you sure the TA concerned has not read about OPAL and decided it would be a good idea?
If so it is dangerous to just pick out individual bits to implement as the whole concept is based around Risk benefit analysis and a different way for parents and the whole school to look at managing risk.

https://outdoorplayandlearning.org.uk/t ... programme/
Definitely not -Big grin.png-

In fact, it was someone from the admin staff whose husband worked as a mechanic, who I guess wanted to be rid of some spare tyres.

I'm looking for long-term when eventually they will want them off-site (this will then cost the school to dispose of them).
User avatar
Gazza
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu, 16th Oct 2014, 10:22am
Feb 2021 24 11:44

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

thanks so much for the feedback guys, and thanks to the person who posted the link to the OPAL website (id never heard of OPAL the anacronym until this thread.)

I think that given I'm responsible for collating the playing fields and playground risk assessments then i'll go ahead and add a new section on 'playing
with Natural/Structured and loose materials. i have done a bit of my own research and have gathered this from a Forest schools RA or Risk Benefit Analysis Form as its called.... this heading seems to cover most things from playing with logs, old tyres, dirt and twigs.

Am most things, the key will be communication and making sure the staff responsible for these bits of equipment are aware of the hazards and the control measures as well as the useful links to websites surrounding this side of learning.
Opinions are like Derry-airs, everyone has one, but some stink and are full of the brown stuff -Success.png-
User avatar
EBJ
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 5145
Joined: Sat, 1st Nov 2008, 5:38pm
Feb 2021 24 12:59

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

I would think they would need to be inspected on an annual basis for signs of rot or splitting, they are not going to last long so let the TA do the RA for it and just put your concerns in writing and file away afterwards for when something does go wrong. -Wink.png-

Sigillum Militum Xpisti
(The Seal of the Soldier of Christ)
User avatar
thecaretaker
Forum Administrator
Forum Administrator
Posts: 5030
Joined: Fri, 15th Jun 2001, 1:00pm
Feb 2021 24 13:03

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

I don't know what to say, this whole subject has got me stumped. -Big grin.png-

Vérité Sans Peur
(Truth Without Fear)
User avatar
Gazza
Registered Member
Registered Member
Posts: 489
Joined: Thu, 16th Oct 2014, 10:22am
Feb 2021 24 15:08

Re: Tree stumps for kids to use

thecaretaker wrote: Yesterday, 1:03pm I don't know what to say, this whole subject has got me stumped. -Big grin.png-
BOOM BOOM -Crazy.png-


time to 'log' off @caretaker -Wink.png-
Opinions are like Derry-airs, everyone has one, but some stink and are full of the brown stuff -Success.png-
Post Reply