Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Maya’s Saturday morning ‘forest school’. Imagine, two hours of walking, in the middle of the forest, early on a sunny Saturday morning. Truly relaxing.
In Sweden a vast majority of children are brought up with ‘Skogsmulle’ – a friendly troll who teaches children about plants and animals, and how to take care of the natural environment. You can read a little about it here.
We start with a stroll right in to the forest…
Along the way the leaders (voluntary may I add!) talk to the children about things they see on the way…
Which this week included a huge ants nest…
(you can’t see these guys, but there are hundreds of them – including winged ants)
And a baby adder…
(a lesson in wearing boots!)
After a while it’s time to meet beneath two poignant trees, stand in a circle and sing the ‘Skogsmulle’ song.
The leader tells the kids what they’re going to learn about today.
Last week they learnt how to make nettle soup, next week it’s pond dipping.
This week it’s ‘Allemansrätten’ – a direct translation is ‘all mans right’. ‘ Allemansrätten’ is exactly what it sounds like – the right to enjoy public and private land everywhere, whether going for a walk, picking berries, swimming or camping – as long as you respect the land and don’t destroy anything. It is almost unique to Sweden, and you can read about it here.
After questioning the children about ‘Allemansrätten’ and telling them all about it, it was time for a game.
The game involved hiding in the nature.
You see these trees?
There’s a child behind each one.
Can you see them?
This brings us to other things that can be well hidden in the nature.
And so the children were told to collect rubbish during their walk…
On continuing our walk through the forest we came to a sunny resting spot on top of a hill.
Time for a picnic…
And time to play…
Underneath some amazing trees…
Then the children were taken off to a secret place where they met ‘Skräp-Maja’ – a red haired lady, dressed in colourful clothes, who just throws and throws and throws her rubbish everywhere.
It didn’t take the children long to scoop up that rubbish and tell that lady off!
You can see her in full force here.
And then it was time to take the long walk home – until next time.
A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning indeed. 🙂