Swiss Forest School

The concept of Forest School is very common in Switzerland and Germany. It’s a part of growing up in these countries. Kids have school in the forest. It’s as simple as that. They spend the day learning about and playing in nature. They get filthy, accumulate bruises and scratches, and mostly play, unstructured, in nature. NO MATTER WHAT THE WEATHER IS LIKE. That’s right, they are outside all day even in rain and snow. The Swiss have a great philosophy about being outside: “There’s no bad weather, only bad clothing.” With the right gear, it’s fun to be outside in any weather!

Juliana attends Baumfux (translated, it means tree fox), which is a forest school here in our town. She leaves early in the morning, excited about the day, and returns late in the day, filthy, tired, and happy. They hike, make fire, cook their own food, carve with their Swiss army knives (or just knives, as they’re known here!), swing from trees, hunt for foxes, build forts, find mushrooms and wild garlic to eat, explore caves, and dig in the mud. She loves it and has made some great friends at forest school. I can’t think of a better place to learn than the forest.

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