At Kids Planet we recognise that outdoor learning is a vital part of a child’s development and wellbeing. Our Outdoor Learning Lead Rhiannon Scott sat down with Teach Early Years magazine to reveal all about how a Danish nursery in the forest inspired a whole new way of life for Kids Planet…
When Rhiannon visited Denmark to visit nurseries and outdoor settings there, she took inspiration from the Danish way of doing things (and with it being one of the happiest countries in the world), there is a unique culture when it comes to childcare. “When the parents arrived, they didn’t just pick up their kids and leave; they would sit around the campfire and get involved; the children would take them into the forest, they’d play”, said Rhiannon.
The Danish word ‘Udeskole’ translates as ‘outdoor school’ and we wanted to make this concept an integral part of our day-to-day practice – an authentic culture shift within the company, so that when you walk into a Kids Planet nursery, you know this is a part of everyday life for the children.
Rhiannon hopes that each Kids Planet nursery will eventually complete the accreditation, which is a practical course where the teams are required to show their collaboration – how they’ve worked with parents, families and the local community.
Rhiannon said: “For me, Udeskole is about taking children back outdoors and doing those things that we loved doing when we were younger.
I always start my training by asking, ‘What did you enjoy doing when you were young?’ People say the same things every time: making perfume from petals, mud pies, building dens. We need to give this gift back to today’s children so they can have these lovely memories.
The health and wellbeing benefits of being outside are just huge. Cortisol levels drop by 40 per cent; you produce more serotonin; then there’s all the good stuff you get for your immune system from mud.”
The full article looks closer at the importance of risk, challenge and freedom for children when it comes to having opportunities outdoors, as well as how we tailor outdoor learning at Kids Planet nurseries, and our ambitions going forward.