We have something against cages – for chickens and for children.
You may be wondering why we are talking about children and cages in the same sentence. But children actually have less and less space in public spaces in our society. The road and thus a large part of the public space belongs to cars. In cities, and often also in villages, the playground still belongs to the children. Which often doesn’t even really invite you to play.
“A child needs at least as much space as a car.”
Quote from Günter Beltzig – has spent decades designing playgrounds for romping and dreaming.
In Bavarian kindergartens, by the way, the guideline value in terms of space per child is 10 square meters. For playgrounds, this is at least 60 square meters of space in total, i.e. 6 children converted to kindergarten space. We offer 7,000 square meters of open space in the farm daycare center!
Why playgrounds are not places for children, but nature is.
Even in cities, there are sometimes great playgrounds with lots of space and room to run around, get muddy and dirty. And unfortunately even more playgrounds with little space and equipment that is bolted down. That cannot be changed and do not stimulate the imagination. It is therefore no wonder that playgrounds are often not used by children at all, but instead lead a lonely existence.
Because what children really need is nature!
Playing in nature encourages creativity, the joy of discovery and concentration. And empathy for and curiosity about other living beings. Children still know that there is something to discover on every tree and bush and are happy to do so if we give them the opportunity. Game expert Fred O. Donaldson put it like this:
“Young children play for the same reason that water flows and birds fly. Play is an existential need for children.”
And because we already know this, of course, we give the children in our farm daycare center what they need: space and nature. And contact with animals, for more empathy.
If we want our children to find their way in a technologized world, we have to make sure that they feel at home where they spent most of their time – outdoors
Quote from documentary filmmaker and patchwork father Malte Roeper
Photos by Jonny Cohen, Timothy Newmann and Birgit Loit via unsplash.com