How Scandinavia has Connected Children’s Education to Nature

Scandinavia has a rich history in appreciation for nature. North mythology connected Norsemen to different gods based on their natural surroundings. For example, Norsemen believed Yggdrasil was a tree that held the whole world in its branches. People in Sweden have tales of Radanda which are tree spirits, and Skogsra, a mythical female creature of the forest. 

Forest schools first developed in Denmark, established by Ella Flautau. Flautau observed neighborhood children gathering in the forest. She came up with a concept to teach children in these natural areas and also have access to a daycare. These nature centered schools by Flautau were called naturebørnehavens. Today, 10% of Danish schools are forest schools. In Sweden, a concept called “Skogsmulle school” meaning Wood Mulle was founded by Gosta Frohm (1950). Skogsmulle is a Swedish character who helps children learn how to care for nature around them. Frohm believed teaching children about nature through music, games, and hands on sensory experiences would have great educational benefits in children. Skogsmulle schools teach pre-school and kindergarten aged children. 

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Personal Story: Litzy

Nature has been a huge part of my life. My parents grew up in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range that is in their home state of Jalisco, Mexico. My dad grew up on a ranch surrounded by animals and nature. He is the one who instilled my love for the outdoors. As a family, we often spend weekends outside hiking at our local forest preserves. Venturing off to other forms of nature when on vacation. Some of our best memories as a family have been outdoors. At times when I feel anxious and need to clear my mind, walking through the woods under the breeze of the trees gives me a breathe of fresh air. Easing my mind from any worry, in return giving me motivation. I hope to keep exploring mother earth and travel to the Amazons, Rainforest’ in Congo, Denali National park in Alaska, and many more. 

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin” – William Shakespeare