Play Structures with Jon Cree
About this outdoor learning CPD course
Learn how to construct and use play structures.
Also, how to understand the impact of play structures on a site.
At the same time, how to consider health and safety measures.
*This course is currently going ahead outside, adhering to Government guidelines and social distance rules. Please see our Covid Protocol document for full details.
Who this outdoor learning CPD course is for?
This outdoor learning CPD course is for educators who want to be more adventurous with creative play structures at their sites.
What you will learn
Body: You’ll learn how to build play structures out of wood and rope. Also, how to combine them with your site’s natural features.
- Safe tool work for making the structures
- Consolidating knot knowledge and learning new knots and lashings appropriate to the tasks and play structures
- How to build and make play structures and play features
- How to assess the safety of your play structure when building and using it
- How to examine appropriate materials: rope, chord and types of wood for different play structures
Onsite training course.
Who facilitates this course?
Jon Cree was the founding chair of the Forest School Association (FSA) UK and co-wrote The Essential Guide to Forest School & Nature Pedagogy with Circle of Life Rediscovery Director Marina Robb.
How many hours?
What it involves
This CPD course balances theory and practical application.
Day one: Introduction to the Ludic (play) Process and basics of building play structures
You’ll learn about the play process and terms such as play frames, play cues, play types. Also, the benefits of risky play and the role of the practitioner.
We’ll also look at basic skills needed for building play structures. And the woods that work with the natural world.
- Understand the characteristics of play and what you can observe in learners when ‘playing in the woods’
- Understand the nature play cycle
- How to stimulate play and the ‘affordances’ the woods offer
- Know what materials/loose parts can offer for play possibilities
- Basic knot and tool skills needed for making play structures from natural materials
- Understand the ‘ludic process’ and how you can support or adulterate play, including the types of dialogue involved
- What attributes you need when supporting play
- A more ‘playful’ outlook on learning!
Day two: Making of and playing with play structures
You’ll expand your day one learning and practice knots and working with hand tools.
- Rope swings: identify the right trees to use. Then assess them for strength and visual defects
- How to assess a site for appropriateness
- Most appropriate fixing knots
- Ways to throw ropes to attach to branches: heights of swings, rope properties and suppliers
- How to combine wood with rope to make simple rope ladders
- How to convert rope ladders into a rope bridge: how to attach rope ladders, safe siting, and most appropriate knots
- How to construct temporary rope courses, including appropriate heights, spans, tensioning knots and types of courses
- How to move rope courses on safely looking at how to mount, dismount and ‘spot’
- How to make free-standing temporary wooden structures, including a-frame ladders and a-frame stilts
- Advanced lashings, including ladder lashing
- Safe ways to play: combining a-frames, creative possibilities and different types of play this offers
Next available date
Play structures with Jon Cree outdoor learning CPD course takes place at our stunning woodland site, located at Mill Woods, near Laughton, East Sussex, BN8 6BP.
Day 1: Saturday 5th November 2022
9.00am to 4.30pm
Day 2: Sunday 6th November 2022
9.00am to 4.30pm
We will be exploring
- Safe toolwork for making the structures.
- Consolidating knot knowledge and learn new knots and lashings appropriate to the tasks and structures.
- How we enable our learners to build and make their own structures and play features and how to help them assess their safety – both when building and using.
- Examining appropriate materials – in terms of rope, chord and types of wood for the different structures.
Day 1: Introduction to the Ludic (play) Process and basics of building play structures
This day will look at play process and terms such as play frames, play cues, play types, the benefits of risky play and the role of the practitioner. We will also look at some basic skills needed for building play structures on the woods that work with the natural world.
The workshop will see participants going away with:
- An understanding of the characteristics of play and what we can observe in our learners when ‘playing in the woods’.
- An understanding of a nature play cycle.
- Ideas on how to stimulate play and the ‘affordances’ the woods offer and what materials/loose parts can offer regarding play possibilities.
- Basic knot and tool skills needed for making play structures from natural materials.
- Understanding of the ‘ludic process’ and how we as educators can support or adulterate play including the types of dialogue involved.
- What attributes educators need when supporting play
A more ‘playful’ outlook on learning!
Day 2: The making and playing with Play Structures
This day will expand on Day 1, practice with knots and handtools will be expected.
The day will cover:
- Rope swings – we will cover assessing trees for their strength and any visual defects, including types of trees that are best to use; assessment of the site and its appropriateness; most appropriate fixing knots, ways to throw ropes to attach to branches; heights of swings, rope properties and suppliers.
- Combining wood with rope including simple rope ladders and how to convert this into a rope bridge – we will cover how to attach rope ladders, safe siting, and most appropriate knots.
- Constructing temporary rope courses including appropriate heights, spans, tensioning knots and types of courses; how to move on them safely looking at how to mount, dismount and ‘spot’.
- Making free standing temporary wooden structures such as A frame ladders and A frame stilts to climb on. This covers more advanced lashings such as the ladder lashing. We cover safe ways of playing on structures that come from combining A frames and look at the creative possibilities of different types of play these offer.
Why choose Circle of Life Rediscovery?
Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC has over 25 years of experience in training professionals and inspiring thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds into the outdoors in both the UK, Ireland, Portugal and SE Asia.
We are a leading organisation in nature connection and personal development. As such,we’ve received many grants and awards for our work with groups across different ages and backgrounds.
Our team also offers bespoke training. Get in touch to discuss your requirements.