Education practices across the world strive to create confident, intelligent and motivated little learners. However, to measure the progress of our children, standardised tests are often used which don’t take into account their emotional, social and physical skills and abilities. We have found 5 inspirational ideas from nurseries across the world that are making a difference, including community building in Japan, environmental education in Sweden and lunch time routines in France.
Young children in Japan are learning a practice called O-Soji (cleaning time) to teach children to respect the space around them. Day nursery education encourages children to pick up after themselves, to clean the nursery and to serve each other food. This practice emphasises collective responsibility and independence, showing children how to be respectful and considerate in their daily lives.
Taking the learning outdoors, forest education teaches children to appreciate nature. Going to forest kindergarten, children hear stories about the environment and use natural resources in their play (you can read the full report here). Back indoors, children can continue using these natural experiences. Dunblane Nature Kindergarten encourages their children to explore the use of real tools and natural materials.
In France, the government is creating a daily menu for nurseries with the help of leading dietitians. A typical lunch in French nurseries has a cabbage and tomato salad for a starter. Then a course of roast beef, potatoes and baked tomatoes with a side of cheese (of course). And to finish, a kiwi for dessert. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and come from local farms. At Happitots Bishopbriggs we create our menu every week with vegan and vegetarian options available to every child. We believe that meal-times should be a happy, relaxed time where children learn social skills, manners, good hygiene practice, and healthy eating habits to last them a lifetime.
Spending quality time with family is very important in Finland. The government supports families by giving flexible parental leave and work schemes designed to give parents more time with their kids. At home, families spend time talking, cooking, reading and playing outdoors together. This helps build children’s confidence, self-esteem and important life skills. Families are the best teachers in Finland.
Almost all children in the UK go to nursery. In other countries, far fewer children go to nursery. In the US less that 70% of 4 year olds go to a day nursery. They spend time socialising, learning valuable life skills and enjoying a variety of experiences. Quality experiences at a young age boost their start to life. At Happitots nurseries, we provide a play-based education to teach our children literacy, numeracy, health and well-being and much more.