One day at the forest kindergarten

The day starts for one teacher at 8:45. They open the doors of the trailer and pack up the food for breakfast and other materials for the time in the forest. From autumn to spring the trailers are heated.

At 9:00 the children arrive with the minibus at the forest clearing. Some parents also bring their children straight to the kindergarten.

Afterwards we start the morning gathering. We sing and dance to welcome the day.

Then the children decide democratically which place in the forest they want to go to. For instance, the sun area, the ladder  place, the sage garden or the meadow of poplars.
On the way to these places we discover many exciting things in the forest. Nature holds surprises for us at every season of  the year. Learning along the way is one very positive effect of forest  schooling. All the senses are used and the children learn joyfully and so remember better. It is especially important to present the beauties of nature to the children. 

Imparting knowledge will come later. Our own enthusiasm inspires the children much better.

After we have arrived at the chosen place the children prepare breakfast together with the adults. The children cut up the fruit and  vegetables with their pocket knives and put them on trays. When everything is ready a pipe call invites the children who are playing to come and join breakfast. Before starting all the children sing a song or join in a poem or nursery rhyme.

After that it is time for free play. Intensive playing means discovering, researching and trying out activities like climbing, sawing, whittling and so on. The most important activity for children aged from 3 to 7 is playing.

At 11:00 we go back to the clearing. Our midday discussion takes place around the fire or in a sunny clearing. One child lights a candle, takes a bell out of a basket and then talks about an event they liked or disliked in the morning.

At about 12:00 we have lunch. Normally all activities take place outside. The trailer serves as a shelter only if it is raining or it is very cold. After lunch we read aloud. The older children play games, paint or do crafts there.

During autumn and winter the younger children rest from 1:00 to 2:30 in the trailer. Otherwise they always rest in the tree house.

After waking up the children, we have snacks. Then we pack up our stuff. Most of the children drive back by minibus to the parents in Dessau Nord (meeting place: Wörlitzer Platz). Some parents pick up their children straight from the kindergarten.

The teaching team consists of three teachers and a person from the voluntary services who is here for one year ecological practice.
Team meetings take place once a fortnight. The leader prepares the meetings. The team plans activities, projects, talks with parents, celebrations and events together.