11-minute documentary about Denmark's "forest kindergartens"

Originally published at: 11-minute documentary about Denmark's "forest kindergartens" | Boing Boing


I’m ashamed of the feeling of jealousy & envy I feel after watching that. /s

It lifted my spirits thanks @beschizza .


I wish such things were available where I live. It would be a problem some parts of the year with dangerously cold temperatures but I definitely think it would be a good thing for kids (and parents).

Can I go outside today?


There’s a similar doc on Kanopy, called “The Land,” which documents a British “adventure playground.” It’s pretty eye-opening and interesting to see kids given autonomy rather than being treated as dangerously incompetent little goblins.


Mrs Peas works for a non profit that has been doing this as summer camps and year-round programs for about 17 years. About 6-7 years ago they partnered with two local school districts to bring this programming into the urban/rural elementaries and middle schools. An independent agency audited their work after about four years and found that referrals to the principle’s office dropped 40% (!!!) when Wild Earth was present. It’s also been a remarkable antidote to the “white savior” pitfall that many programs face since they recruit adults who grew up in those districts and reflect the kids who live here. They mentor the next generation that then become the teen leadership and eventual employees in the very programs they grew up in. It’s by far the most diverse workplace I have ever seen.

Point is, this is happening in the US (not sure exactly where you are), but in pilot programs run by ngos and some private institutions. It’s going to take a generation or two for wider adoption, but the results are remarkable and schools are clamoring for it.

Also, Mrs Peas is a real-life superhero. :heart:


I was lucky enough to grow up with “the woods” as my backyard - a mile long strip of forest, complete with 1880s bricks in the outline of a square, and a big slate hearthstone, next to a dammed-up spring. That little pond was always clear, unlike the one downstream, home to lots of leeches. I learned about the leeches when one of the grapevines we used to swing across the stream broke and dumped a kid into the water; he came out of the stream with them all over his lower legs.
Being able to be in the woods by myself was the main reason I survived childhood. It also gave me an appreciation for local history, symbiotic ecosystems, and how well trees work as a place to read books and hide from the world.


I used to have the same kind of knife and do the same kind of woodwork at roughly that age. Sure I cut myself regularly, but the strength of a 5 year old is such that you can’t really do much damage to yourself.


That is a fun video! Thanks.

My brother and I were lucky enough to grew up next to a large acreage of forest with a big creek that ran through it and I remember many hours of unsupervised play with neighborhood kids there. No adults ever came with us. After I moved away, the owners of the land developed it into apartments and condos. All of the big trees are gone and the creek is fenced off with signs that say it is under protection by an environmental group. The kids who grow up in that area now aren’t even allowed to play there! We’re reducing the amount of wild space to the point that it becomes so precious that access is restricted! Makes my blood boil.


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