Children's Activities

Cucumber Tunnel

I’ve been visiting family in South Africa and so it’s been a month since I’ve got my fingers dirty! 

My first class to kick off the term, was a Year 2 class. They had been down the previous year, so today’s task was away from the norm. They had the challenge of building a cucumber tunnel. 

The tunnel had its inspiration when I was planning the school’s plot. I had designed a bed for the climbers (primarily cucumbers and beans) and, to assist the children with  the harvesting, I planned to grow the climbers on X- frames. Some time during this thought process I thought of the idea of  creating a tunnel that the children could walk through. The tunnel at Babylonsforen confirmed to me that I wanted to give it a try. The children are between the ages of 5-8years, so it doesn’t need to be a big tunnel. 

My plan was simple (though the class teacher had his doubts!)- create a frame work using a series of “tori gates”, attach cross bars and add netting. 

Materials:

Per gate:

2x 16mmx180mm poles (or taller if you want adults to fit under too.)

1x 11mm x 210mm pole (or the length of the width of the bed {w})

Twine

Scissors

Unit of measure- we used a child’s trowel.

For the frame:

2x poles (the length of the bed {l}

2x diagonal poles (these will go diagonally across the top, so to work out their length{d} : d= square root(l squared + w squared) 

Netting

Directions:

Place the two shorter poles on the ground, parallel to each other. 

Place the longer pole at one end.

Use the unit measure and position the poles so that the poles meet equidistant from the top. 

Tie them together using a square lashing ( you may find the instructions on this website: Pioneering made easy ).


Repeat on the other side. 

Place the gates into position on the bed.

Attach the {l} poles into the vertex of the gates. 

Tie them into place.

Attach the diagonals across in the same way. 

Affix the netting onto the frame.

We secured the netting into the ground, creating a mound round the edge of the frame. This made out tunnel appear slightly taller as the children were now 7.5cm lower than ground level. 


Plant your climbers around the base. 

The children thoroughly enjoyed their time and were very proud of their handiwork at the end. 

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