Flensburg Forest Kindergarten, Germany
25th Mar 2022
In May 1993, Kerstin Jebsen and Petra Jäger opened the first publicly recognized forest kindergarten in Germany after almost two years of painstaking preparations. The basic principle "all year round, daily, in all weathers kindergarten operation in the forest, without buildings, without toys, without equipment, without sanitary facilities" was difficult to understand for the German authorities, and even impossible to communicate. But they did not give up and, despite resistance, they did not let themselves be dissuaded from the fact that what had been successfully practiced in Denmark for years at that time should also be possible in Germany. After the breakthrough in Flensburg, a boom developed throughout Germany, which has not diminished to this day. The concept of the Waldkindergarten Flensburg One concern of the Waldkindergarten Flensburg is to create optimal conditions to promote the various personality areas of a child. To stabilize the child in such a way that it later shows itself to be able to cope with the diverse social requirements. In the forest kindergarten, "holistic, sustainable education" can be realized particularly well. Every day we look after 20 children aged 2.5 – 6 years, mainly in nature, there is a small storm hut that we visit in very challenging weather, our daily routine is equipped with rituals and free play, it seems as if a research group is on the road every day, researching their own life and life in nature. Meanwhile we have forest kindergarten children in the group who are from former children from the forest group, so the next generation, also here it becomes visible how long the memory is perceived . We are a non-profit association "Waldkindergarten Flensburg e.V." and are in lively exchange with other forest kindergartens, I myself can report as a speaker with my Italian colleague Lorenzo Filippi about my experiences all over the world, soon it will hopefully go to Spain, Lithuania, Slovenia and Turkey. With our organization "Treecanopy" we encourage and educate people who also want nature as a part of our children and actually for all of us.