Today was new chapter in Willem’s life, he started a new nursery, but not just any nursery, an ‘outdoor nursery’. We are so excited that he will have this opportunity as it suits his personality so well and will give him that space he needs to develop into himself, rather than just follow his brother’s footsteps, which is a concern we have with them both being so close in age and only a school year apart.
First of all, what is an outdoor nursery?
It simply is a nursery outside, okay they do have an indoor area but around 80% of the time he will be outside, everyday, in all weathers. The indoor area is mainly for dropping off, breakfast
, pegs for bags and where the bathrooms are. Everything else is outside. They play outside, learn outside, eat snack outside, it’s all outside. The idea is taken from Scandinavian forest kindergartens, where children explore, learn and develop in the outdoors, whatever the weather and they have much colder weather than we do.
So what is the benefit?
Apart from making great memories for us, we all have them from our own childhood, the outdoors has a positive effect on children’s health. You know how great it feels to have some fresh air especially when feeling sluggish. It helps with concentration and therefore helps the children develop their thinking skills. It gives them the space and freedom to explore and learn their boundaries. With the open space children can test their abilities and develop them further. These days children are outside a lot less than when we were children. As a family we try to get out as much as we can, but it isn’t always possible and we don’t do it as much as we would like. This gives Willem that opportunity.
Willem is a natural explorer, he likes to wander off and investigate his surroundings. He enjoys his own company and spends a lot of time sitting, observing and pondering. For him this is the perfect environment. However, we have made the decision to also keep him at his old nursery a few days a week in preparation for school next September. Whether that will be full time or flexi-school is yet to be decided.