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Stepping Stumps (set of 4)

Prices below


Brand: Natural Playgrounds Company
Toxicity: child friendly wood preservative
Age Appropriateness: all ages

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These stumps are cut from real, live, northern hardwoods growing on a sustainable farm in New Hampshire, and are beautiful specimens that will enhance your play environment and the experiences of your children.

These can obviously be used as more roomy Sitting Stumps and can be placed 6’ apart for a safe outdoor classroom, and arranged in front of a chalkboard and/or demonstration table (see elsewhere in the store).

In addition, your kids will be making up games and challenges, and negotiating with each other as they decide what to do with these beautiful, natural stumps each day. Sometimes they'll sit on them and just chat, sometimes they'll challenge themselves by stepping from one to the other, sometimes they'll make up games involving the stumps - sitting, standing, jumping, and sometimes they'll even roll the stumps to new locations, and set up an entirely different play scene.

Children will learn balance and agility skills, learn how to handle their bodies to maintain equilibrium as they move from one to the other, and grow stronger as they roll and maneuver the stumps from place to place. They will also learn what tree rings are all about, practice math skills as they count those rings to determine the age of the tree when it was cut for them, observe how the stumps change over time, and watch tiny insects make the stump their own play and living area.

These stumps present constant learning moments.

Stepping stumps are meant to be moved as loose parts, so we don't recommend fastening them to the ground. We also don't "treat" them with any preservative for several reasons:

They'll last a long, long time (years and years!) without much sign of wear anyway; we want children to know what real wood smells like (and not smell some kind of oil or mineral smell that gives off a weird odor
when the stumps are in the hot sun); and we want the children to see and observe the inevitable changes that will occur over a long period of time!

Because bark clings to the trunk differently depending on the seasons throughout the year, sometime being loose, and sometime being tight, we have never been able to guarantee that any of our tree products will come with bark. Unfortunately, sometimes it looks great leaving our shop, but when it gets to the customer, some of the bark has fallen off, which then doesn’t look great, then some people complain....

...so you do have the option of peeling and treating these stumps with child-friendly preservative for a long lasting product!

We cut these beautiful, very affordable, REAL log stumps around 16”+/- diameter and 8” to 18” high (10", 12", 15", 18").

The picture below shows stumps arrayed as a mountain that encourages kids to climb up and down different heights, sit on them for a meeting, use them for dramatic play, and so on. The possibilities are unlimited!