Winter at Wise Owls
In this edition of the LINC blog, LINC Graduates Michelle Donohoe and Dorothy Dempsey and the team at Wise Owls Montessori in Coolkenno, Tullow, Co Wicklow, embrace the concept of Hegge in their Montessori preschool.
Embracing the concept of Hygge in our Montessori preschool has been both magical and gratifying. The concept of living in the now and embracing the simple and natural things in life has been wonderful to see first-hand amongst the children. We embrace the sense of togetherness as well as capturing the feeling of nature, warmth and cosiness.
Throughout the year, we love to incorporate materials from our outdoor environment, for example, going on nature walks to collect branches and leaves to make our season tree which is proudly painted and created by the children and displayed in the classroom throughout the year. The children love learning about the different seasons and incorporating nature and hygge into the classroom. Providing natural objects made from wood allow us and the children to feel closer to the simplicity of nature. We have also recently gathered natural materials to make our own Winter Wreaths for our school doors. The children had great fun wrapping straw around some wire and gluing on some dried oranges, pinecones, and flowers from the garden. This creates a lovely natural sensory experience where the children gained more independence and self-confidence to master their abilities and skills. They also got to explore the natural environment and develop their sense of wonder and awe through active learning.
About Wise Owls Montessori
Wise Owls is located in the countryside boasting the natural scenery which includes farm animals/wildlife and grass fields surrounding the setting itself. The garden is made up of mostly wooden materials such as a treehouse, storytelling area, excavation site and mud kitchen to name a few. We have our very own garden patch where we attempt to grow vegetables throughout each year making soups etc. once they have fully grown and been picked. We also plant seeds, water them each day and watch the flowers grow. We have bird feeders in which we love to place food in regularly and even carry out some bird watching when we can! The sand, mud, water etc available to the children allows them to explore, learn and grow to the best of their ability and gives them the freedom to think, question and build on their knowledge.
A typical day at Wise Owls consists of outdoor play, yoga, meditation, song, dance, art and much more. The children have the freedom to make their own choices as to what activities they would prefer to do at any given moment as long as it is safe to do so we encourage it all.
With staff members who are so dedicated and have such a love of the outdoors it makes it easy to create activities and ideas for the garden. Outdoor learning has a huge impact on the child’s wellbeing and development overall encouraging happiness, a sense of calm and really it feeds each child and adult’s mind, body and soul.
Here at Wise Owls, we are currently undergoing a course to achieve Hygge Accreditation where all staff will be trained in creating a more simple, calm and happy environment for the children working on their wellbeing and contentment with the simple things in life. “Just living isn’t enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” -Hans Christian Anderson”
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