Forest kindergardens: why Danish parents send their children to learn in nature

Nov 11, 2022 10:31 am


This week's episodes was one of the more fun ones to research!

I went over to visit Rikke Rosengren, the founder of the Bonsai Institute skovbørnehave (forest kindergarden) just outside of Copenhagen.

Rikke is the author of the book Child of Nature and trains teachers around the world how to incorporate more nature into their learning institutions.

Rikke was kind enough to show me around the school and give answers to my (long list of) questions. As a new parent myself, understanding how they work is no longer an abstract concept, but something I'm considering for my own daughter…

We also get a UK perspective, speaking with Tim Evans, who’s been a forest school leader at Alton Park primary school, about how even small amounts of nature based learning can do wonders for children and adults.

Background on (Danish) forest kindergardens

In the 1950s, a Danish woman, Ella Flatau, began taking her kids on walks in the forest to teach them about the world.

Soon, other parents asked if their kids could join, and before long, they formalised the arrangement, creating the first "forest kindergarten" in the country, and possibly the world.

Fast forward to today, and most of us have a sense that it's good for young children (and ourselves!) to spend time in nature, but that it can be hard to do.

In Denmark, and increasingly around the world, there is a growing interest in the physical and mental benefits of children being in nature - whether that be learning to balance by climbing trees, or experiencing the mental calmness of wide, open, green spaces.

If you've ever wondered about the practicalities of letting children roam free in nature (with adult supervision), or need a little nudge towards spending more time in green spaces, then this is for you!

A message from our sponors...

This episode is sponsored by Talent to Denmark's "State of Denmark" campaign. 

Denmark is actively looking to attract international talent to move to the country.

If you're interested to learn more about jobs/ forest kindergardens in (one of) the happiest countries in the world, head to

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Happy Friday, I hope you're surviving the rain,


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