Timber – An undervalued playground material
Timber is a fantastic medium for playground equipment. Aside from the aesthetic and tactile advantages (see below), the timbers used by Andrew Smith Timber Creations are hardwearing, long-lasting and resistant to fire and pests.
A common misconception is that timbers do not last as long as plastic and metal play equipment. All playground materials do eventually break down, and while plastic will split and metal will rust, creating laceration risks, timber will deteriorate softly and gradually, meaning the equipment is still safe to use while repairs are organised. With an annual check-up, timber play equipment is extremely long lasting.
Andrew Smith Timber Creations Pty Ltd use sustainably sourced and recycled Australian timbers.
Over time, we have been able to source more Red Ironbark and White Cypress to improve the quality and the longevity of our elements.
Benefits of Timber Elements
Dore, B. (2010, September 13). Nature helps children learn faster. Hindustan Times. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.
Driessnack, M. (2009), Children and Nature-Deficit Disorder. Journal for Specialists in Pediatric Nursing, 14: 73–75.
Pelo, A. (2008). Rethinking Early Childhood Education. Rethinking Schools, Ltd. Milwaukee, WI.
Teach students a valuable lesson about reusing and recycling.
All NSW public schools have been directed by the DEC to perform more rigourous checks on the safety conditions of trees on school grounds.
This is important for safety reasons, but may result in taking away the only small connection students have to nature and natural materials!
Trees are also decorative play elements within the school, and students develop attachments to particular trees that they would be sad to see take away with no replacement.Many schools are now in a situation in which they have to remove multiple trees from their grounds.
So keep the trees, but make them safe!
Often, the work can be completed on-site, and the trees never has to leave the grounds. If this is not practical (such as during school terms when students need to use the area or when specialised workshop equipment must be used), the trees can be delivered to the Timber Creations workshop and are returned as fun, safe play equipment that retains the natural shape and beauty of the tree the students and staff loved.
Turn the departmental directive for the removal of trees into a positive and creative venture by:
- Keeping durable, quality timber on the site of growth
- Using the cutting down of trees as an educational programme on-site
- Creating the “cradle to grave” story of sustainability with trees
- Less cost than removal from site
- Having a positive and creative message for parents
- Community acceptance in lieu of criticism
- Less use of fuel and transport in removal
- On-site storage of carbon in lieu of landfill or smoke emissions, less greenhouse gasses
- But, best of all, the opportunity of your school achieving beautiful assets in your school grounds