06 January 2019

"Forest kindergartens"

Best video of the week, especially if you have any interest in childhood education.
A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and six that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or natural environment. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead. It is also known as Waldkindergarten (in German), outdoor nursery, nature kindergarten, or nature preschool.

The daycare staff and children spend their time outdoors, typically in a forest. A distinctive feature of forest kindergartens is the emphasis on play with toys that are fashioned out of objects that can be found in nature, rather than commercial toys. Despite these differences, forest kindergartens are meant to fulfill the same basic purpose as other nurseries, namely, to care for, stimulate, and educate young children.  
Helicopter parents will go berserk watching this.

Related: Free-range parenting punished.


  1. Imagine that, kids playing outside for fun.

    But what about their SATs? What about their scouting badges? What if they get wet? Or their cell phone falls in the fjord?

    1. As I thought more about this, I figured it was important to add that kids here learn two very important things in these schools:

      1: You can enjoy being outside in (almost) any weather.
      2: Nature is not scary.

      To add to the first point. Hailing from a climate similar to Denmark's, I always have to chuckle a little when I see Americans here in the Mid-Atlantic run for cover and cower inside under an umbrella when local weather stations predict even the smallest chance of rain. People somehow seem to think they're all the Wicked Witch and will melt when rained upon. If it rains you get wet. And then you dry. That's all that happens.

      [One small caveat: Weather in North-America can change much faster and much more violent than in Northwest Europe. So it is important to keep an eye on your local forecast. However, I've found that I can ignore most weather watches and warnings. Only when my county government starts texting me handful times a year, should I really pay attention.]

  2. I would have LOVED to have gone to such a 'school' and if I'd ever had kids, I would have wanted them to attend!

  3. a lot of that looks like my normal play in summer when we stayed at the farm. during the school year, we were back in the city, but a big backyard provided plenty of space to have fun in.


  4. We have those too. https://www.friluftsframjandet.se/detta-gor-vi/forskolor-och-skolor/i-ur-och-skur/

    The kids are always super happy.

    It should be noted that this is pre-pre-school level daycare.

    Sweden (and I think rest of Scandinavia) has almost free daycare for any children if both parents are working.


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