Media releases

«I hope that every school and curriculum includes play and learning with nature»

Interview with Marina Robb, Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, a leading outdoor learning organisation in England

The potential of forest kindergartens in Switzerland is far from exhausted

Interview with Urs Brändli, President of Bio Suisse

Firebird Media Release October 2018

Start page with all information about the conference

«I hope that every school and curriculum includes play and learning with nature»

«I hope that every school and curriculum includes play and learning with nature»

Interview with Marina Robb, Circle of Life in UK

Founder and Managing Director of Circle of Life Rediscovery CIC, a leading outdoor learning organisation in England

The potential of forest kindergartens in Switzerland is far from exhausted

The umbrella organisation Bio-Suisse, founded in 1981, represents the interests of 7000 "Knospe" agricultural and horticultural enterprises. We asked President Urs Brändli what significance the conference "Children of nature worldwide hand in hand" had for Switzerland.

Infothek Waldkinder: Why do you think it is so important to enable children to connect with nature?

Urs Brändli: If you learn to love, experience and respect nature as a child, you will cultivate this love throughout your life.

Studies also show that children who regularly spend time in nature or on farms have fewer allergies to contend with.

How do you think nature affects children's hearts?

Children approach new things impartially. Thanks to their youthful curiosity, they get to know the diversity of nature in a relaxed way and are fascinated by the smallest things. 

What emotional relationship do children build in nature to internalise a later ecological understanding and behaviour?

Only those who know and love nature are willing to commit themselves to its preservation. This understanding is the basis for responsible shopping and conscious consumption. For the good of nature and the environment. 

Why is it so important for children to experience continuity and natural cycles in the diversity of nature?

Nature teaches us to come and go with the seasons. What has once bloomed beautifully decays, offers food to microorganisms and leaves nutrients in the soil, which are used by the next plants. The wide variety of nature and its constant change mean that you can always look forward to something new.

How does playing in nature strengthen children's social skills? What does the child learn in nature?

In contrast to the playground, where the "stronger one" usually dominates the scene, we need much more sensitivity, foresight and cleverness in nature. Children learn very quickly that outside you can get on faster with "each other" than on your own.

Why does it need the exchange of countries that care that nature is the best teacher for the children?

Conferences enable the exchange of experiences and new insights. They encourage them to reflect on their own actions and have a motivating effect.

Large events also lead to greater attention. An international conference, for example, offers a chance for the awareness of forest kindergartens to increase significantly thanks to broad media interest. 

How important do you think this conference is for Switzerland?

The potential in Switzerland is far from exhausted. Hopefully, the conference will lead to the founding of many more forest kindergartens.

Nature kids worldwide hand in hand

International Conference in Zurich from 3-5 May 2019

Wald 18 October 2018 -  Since 15 October 2018, registration has been open for the International Conference in Zurich for the coming year. Experts from the field of forest and nature education from many countries will come together for three days to exchange, network and share their knowledge.

For the first time, more than 25 countries celebrated the 1st International Day of the Forest Kindergarten worldwide on 3 May 2018 under the motto "Nature kids Worldwide Hand in Hand". "The positive energy was tingling from the root caves to the tree tops! They were wonderful occasions, which were celebrated worldwide in forests!", says the initiative of this day. The 2nd Day of Action, the International Conference at the beginning of May 2019, will be an outstanding event for Switzerland. "Preparations are underway at many levels and another important step has now been taken: it is now possible to register as a participant," says Christoph Lang, President and co-founder of the cooperative.

The Feuervogel Genossenschaft is the organizer of the international conference in cooperation with the Waldkindergarten Flensburg from Germany. The conference will take place in the woods of the WaKiTa forest day-care centre in Zurich. Characteristic for the conference a nourishing journey of impulses will be after the bases of nature pedagogics by all countries. The participants will benefit from the many years of experience of the nature educators present. This weekend, the growing international community will be carrying a deep bond with nature.

A weekend for a growing worldwide nature-loving community

The conference is aimed at professionals from forest play groups, forest and nature kindergartens and forest institutions, teachers and educators from forest schools and public schools, students, adult educators, further education institutions and associations. It is addressed to people who want to celebrate the 3rd of May, the 2nd International Day of the Forest Kindergarten together with other countries. At the conference you will meet people who have sung the worldwide anthem "I am a Woodkid", which was written especially for this day by the musician Marius Tschirky. The song has now been published in 9 languages.

Program of the conference

Patron of the event is the association ERBINAT "Verband für Bildung und Erleben" of Switzerland. Important partner organisations supporting the event are the SILVIVA Foundation, the Rucksack School, IG Spielgruppen Schweiz, Waldkinder St.Gallen and the Verein natürlichjanine. The participants of the conference will have the opportunity to visit Swiss forest institutions as excursions and see how they work. The international colleagues will open their ideas backpacks and you can listen to their lectures and participate in practical workshops. The conference will be held in German and English.

Natural children all over the world hand in hand

"We are here because our future is at stake," say the children of the nature all over the world. The conference will open with a children's party on Friday afternoon. In the evening the participants of the conference together with the Feuervogel Genossenschaft and their partners will celebrate the International Day of the Forest Kindergarten with dancing and singing. Saturday and Sunday will be dedicated to the conference's specialist topics and exchanges.