Get the bairns oot! An outdoor kindergarten in Norway
Through a series of 10 short video clips, Norwegian Kindergarten owner and manager Turid Boholm of Bukkenspranget Natur Barnehage, shares different aspects of her setting’s outdoor learning approach. Turid discusses the rationale behind the approach and the impact this has on her children and their families.
Questions are linked to each video to encourage Early learning and childcare (ELC) practitioners and leaders to reflect on current provision in relation to these clips.
How to use this exemplar
Practitioners should view the clips and use the questions provided to promote discussion and reflection on current practice. The resource can be used as a group development activity as well as for individual reflection.
- Consider your current provision for outdoor learning. How well does it support children’s development and learning?
- How committed are leaders/practitioners to ensuring all children access quality outdoor learning experiences on a daily basis?
- Are there any perceived barriers to ensuring daily outdoor learning? How can these be overcome?
- How well do you use your local environment to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and sense of pride in their local community?
Individual questions linked to each clip can be accessed via the presentation file.
Explore this exemplar
What was done?
The clips provide information and examples of the types of experiences children have in this nature kindergarten. They include a description of the setting’s unique context for learning in Tromsø, Norway.
The clips explore issues including raising parental awareness, developing children’s skills for life, taking risks, and the importance of healthy eating and sleep.
An example of the way in which the kindergarten introduces a science topic on biological systems through first-hand experience and being in the outdoors is shared.
Turid explains how her staff know children are successfully learning from their kindergarten experience.
Why was it done?
ELC practitioners and leaders will be able to draw many comparisons to this Norwegian example and the outdoor aspiration for settings in Scotland. The films will raise discussion around perceived barriers in providing quality daily outdoor experiences and how these can be overcome.
What was the impact?
This outdoor learning focus has clear impact on children’s physical, emotional and social development.
The approach also nurtures the child’s appreciation and connection with their natural surroundings and wider community.
1. Get the bairns oot
'To take a leap into the unknown’
Turid explains the importance of a shared understanding of the ‘how and the why’ of her setting’s approach between children, staff and parents.
‘Our neighbourhood invites us to play outdoors’
Turid describes the context of her setting.
3. Norwegians and outdooring = true
‘What is your best childhood memory?’
Turid explains childhood experiences are important for later activity. In her approach pride is taken in loving nature and being outdoors. She finds that parental values make them want the same for their children.
‘They are going to inherit the earth so we have to make them capable’
Turid explains the Norwegian policy framework context of her approach.
5. You just had to explore!
‘Children need to play, with some risk involved’
What kinds of learning opportunities provide children with ways to challenge themselves and explore risk?
6. Healthy food, both in and outdoors
‘Food has been one of the most difficult things because food is so private’
Turid talks about overcoming the difficulties around ensuring children are eating healthily. ‘It’s like reading a book… you have to involve the children… we have to figure it out together.’
7. And then we rest
‘Time to think, to talk and sleep… when sleeping the learning consolidates’
Do you consider the importance of children having rest/sleep during their session?
8. Learning science through first-hand experience
‘We can’t teach children about chickens and eggs and baby lambs from indoors’
Turid discusses how the children learn biology through outdoor experiences at Bukkespranget nature kindergarten.
‘We need stuff to make it happen’
In Bukkespranget nature kindergarten children and practitioners make things from what they have. They are also taught how to use tools such as sharp knives made especially for children to enable them to develop skills.
10. Success criteria
‘How do we measure?’
In Bukkespranget nature kindergarten success is measured in two ways:
- When the child asks for more
- When the parents tell stories
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