“I was just bowled over and frightened by some of the things that I saw: children high-up in trees, children using sharp knives.”
Jane Williams-Siegfredsen, director of an outdoor learning consultancy Inside-Out Nature, recalled her shock when she visited a “Forest School” in Denmark for the very first time in 1993.
Since then, the country has seen its number of Forest Schools nearly double, with around one in ten Danish preschools now held outdoors. The movement has been gathering steam elsewhere, with early years professionals visiting from all over the world to see how Denmark does it.
Playing and learning outside is not just a new fad for urban dwellers desperate to reengage their children with the great outdoors. It’s been found to boost children’s development in various ways.
“With many kindergartens all around the world, you’re just in a classroom all day with books, focussing on academic skills,” Søren Emily Markepramd, the Director …