There’s not much of our gorgeous fall left – and tonight’s blustery “this is practically life on an oil platform” storm will take the few handful of leaves that were left (wake me up when we get to Oz, Toto). Rightfully so, as it’s almost December – but hard to believe that at the beginning of the month, fall was still in full swing around here.I know we talk a lot about forest school around here – after all, the point of the blog is to share a bit about that – but at the same time, whenever I get questions about it, I always try to stress that while forest school is great and we adore it, at the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be a “forest school only” approach. We’re lucky, here in Denmark, in that we not only found this system, but that we also landed in a school that ended also being a great community. But I realize that in many other places, these schools might not be an option – either they’re hard to get into, or hard to pay for, or they’re just simply not around. I sincerely hope that will change, but even then, it won’t happen overnight. However, if you don’t have a forest school around, you can still get a lot of the benefits associated with it. A classic example is to get outside on the weekends – or even in the afternoons after school. It doesn’t have to be to scale Mt. Everest; it can be enough to just get to the park.
Take some time outside (even if the weather is not all that great and it will probably rain…). Give some encouragement to explore (even though you’d really rather not they pick up that ginormous pile of wet, soggy, probably dirty leaves)… Have some understanding when their good coat comes home covered in mud (even though you just dry cleaned it the week before)… It doesn’t mean there are never any rules, but it does mean, that sometimes you just have to give kids some space to…be kids. We’re pretty lucky here in Copenhagen – there are lots of parks and green spaces, and most have a playground tucked inside them somewhere. Kongens Have, or the King’s park, is right in the middle of the city. It’s beautiful and one of my favorites – we encourage all of guests to take at least a walk through there. It’s more manicured and the Rosenborg castle takes center stage. But it’s still a casual place – kids are allowed to still be kids, while the adults have something rather pretty to look at. I’m showing a few of these since I know that often times we have various adventures on the blog, where my daughter is in her full forest school gear, but even when if it is just a Saturday when we go downtown, no special gear, you can make a little bit of time for some fresh air.
As a parent, it’s really hard for me to shut off the “don’t do that, that’s…” monologue I can play on repeat. But I’ve learned over our time here, that she really needs some of that freedom, even if only for a little bit. Sometimes, it’s the little efforts that can make a big impact.