Hello, this is Mika.
It's now September. There is no later summer heat like Japan in Sweden so it is already autumn and feels quite chilly.
The new school year starts in Sweden in mid-August. My son who is now 5 years old is now one of the oldest in his kindergarten.
In Sweden the Mulleskola (Mulle Natural Environment Education Program) begins when you are 5 years old. (Not all Kindergartens practices this)
The kindergarten school where my son attends incorporates Mulleskola's program, so my son can do Mulle activities this year. Every year my son was watching the activities of older kids, so he was very much looking forward to becoming a Mullebarn (Mulle kids). At last, he has now become a Mulle child, so he has been very happy participating in it every time.
The Mulleskola, was born in Sweden in 1957; I looked into it and found that in Japan there are also several classrooms in the forest called Mulles!
The Mulle children go out to the forest every week to interact with nature. By going to the same place many times, you will learn about the changes of the four seasons, the plants and animals of that season, and the importance of nature while playing.
Children work in teams, so they learn the importance of teamwork. And because you can go to the forest in any weather, you will learn how to play and spend the time according to the weather.
Living a life close to nature also makes them feel like they are a part of nature, and gives them the feeling of wanting to cherish nature, which is a part of their life.
A fairy called Skogsmulle (The Mulle of the forest) is said to live in the forest.
Once upon a time, fairies have become warriors who live in forests and protect nature even before the destruction of the environment.
In addition, the forest fairy Mulle is a friend of children and a spokesperson for the forest. Mulle tells children what animals and plants want to convey.
How we want animals and plants to live, what we need to do for that. The existence of the Mulle fairy helps tell children about the importance of protecting nature.
Not only is the program adopted by kindergartens, but there are also classrooms that go to the forest on weekends, and there are forest schools where the kindergarten itself is in the forest and they can spend every day in the forest (outdoors).
(森のムッレと先生と子供たち / The fairy Mulle with teacher and children)
(Photo credit: https://www.friluftsframjandet.se/)
I hope that through these activities, children will be able to make environmentally friendly choices.
See you next month!