Could you make this up?

Lenore Skenazy in the Free Range Kids blog alerts us to the idea of fake logs for children to play on. She – and many of the people replying – are justifiably bemused, angered or just plain gobsmacked by this, although not everyone is as super-critical as I might have imagined.   I am pondering my response – I may go and whittle a stick while I do.

Dear reader, what are your thoughts? Are plastic logs (the advert is linked here) a nifty gimmick to get children moving? Too sanitised to be of use? A depressing way of undermining natural education? Or what?

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2 Responses to Could you make this up?

  1. Avatar Katey Keeper says:

    Plastic logs! What on earth! Screams of, “Oh you have got to be joking…”….

    However, perhaps with the correct use of the resources maybe within a infant or pre-school environment, as an addition to outdoor experiences for the children (much in the same way the home corner emulates the kitchen but food is not hot, knives or implements are not sharp), the plastic logs and leaves could be set as a themed corner for children to re enact their outdoor experiences where it is not possible to access them everyday. For example (but not limited to), limited access due to extreme weather, ratios or even lack of real garden space to have the real thing.

    If however, from an extreme and perhaps outrageous standpoint, that the toy logs were to serve as a complete substitute for real life experience for children then this would of course be absurd. Perhaps I am naive but I would hope H & S has not gone that mad, that plastic is replacing nature. Of course plastic toy logs do not have the natural qualities of real logs, commented on in the replies on the Free Range Kids Blog, such as being wobbly when stood on, slippy when wet, or in my own view, offer comparable sensory experiences of smell and feel of the wooden surfaces. The plastic alternative set up in an indoor environment, of course would not compare to real logs in their natural outdoor environment where, when moved may reveal a toad hiding underneath and insects, slugs or snails inside. When explored would not have bark that could be lifted, picked apart, or give the opportunity to feel the dead weight of a log whilst trying to move or roll it. The physical and sensory experiences are minimal in the plastic variety and will never be a true substitute for the real life experiences for the children.

    Since logs, leaves, and so on are ready available for free, I am not surprised this resource is discontinued on the Lakeshore website. And since these resources are readily available for free, if it is really not possible to go outdoors, we could simply bring some of the natural resources indoors, for the children.

  2. Avatar nicktomjoe says:

    Well, it’s interesting why we should try to replicate outdoor play in such a half-hearted way, isn’t it? I think you’re right this is about an indoor substitute – but I agree: it’s a pretty poor one.

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