Helena: I’m a Swedish mother who started Wildflowers Kindergartens six years ago in 2005. The pre-school is located in mid-Hampshire, between Winchester and Petersfield. It is based on the Scandinavian outdoor nursery model for early childhood education where children learn through exploration, movement, relationships, activities and out door play all year around.
Independent studies have shown that children educated in natural environments are healthier, have better balance and co-ordination, are more attentive and concentrate better, demonstrate more creativity and co-operation in their play, and develop more sophisticated uses of language, than children spending most of the time indoors and in the outdoor spaces of conventional early years settings.
In addition to the kindergarten Wildflowers also arrange playgroups, parent & child groups and holiday camps.
© Wildflowers Kindergartens
Both Little B and Little A went to a lovely nursery in Oslo for children 1 – 6 years. Most nurseries in Norway are non academic in the sense that the children do not learn how to read and write. What’s most important is to learn social skill and general awareness and to grow confidence and independence, so the children would be ready to start big school when they turn 6 years. In Scandinavia we think that being outdoors is an essential way to learn the most important skills for children.
Moving to the UK have in many ways been wonderful. However moving children from outdoor nurseries to indoor nurseries and schools with wet play have made me miss the Scandinavian way of doing it -learning by nature.
© Little Scandinavian