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13

Denmark's Forest Kindergartens



Denmark has preschools for 3- to 6-year-olds that take place almost entirely outdoors, no matter the weather. Kids in these "forest kindergartens" are always supervised, but they have the freedom to explore, to play, to socialize. Along the way, they learn how to interact with the environment and each other. While they aren't yet learning to read, they are learning about biology, physics, botany, engineering, and meteorology. And they learn to have confidence in their own abilities. -via TYWKIWDBI


When I was a kid, we were always playing outside, climbing trees, and running barefoot on river rock down by the river. It's sad a lot of today's kids spend way too much time in the house playing video games or perusing their electronic devices.
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When I was teaching high school biology I had made up a program of study for the non-college bounds students utilizing the nice outdoor area we had by the school. We went outdoors for various activities, even in mid-winter. One such activity was based on survival, Jack London style. I had them team up and gave them one match to build a fire. The college bound kids were not happy that they didn't get to do such "cool" things.
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Thinking back:

1. Going down to the "tracks" and hitching rides on trains.

2. "Hitchin" in the winter (required snow covered streets). One guy distracts a driver stopped at a stop sign while 2-3 others hitch on to the car's rear bumper and get taken for a ride.

3. Tackle football and hockey in the street.

4. Garage Hopping. Houses were close together, garages were detached. You could go pretty far. We'd even play "Garage Tag." I fell through one once.

Good times.
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We have "outdoor school" here in Oregon, where middle schoolers would spend a few days in a camp. Rain or shine, they'd be out there in nature. It's been a popular feature for years.
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