Everstorf: Why children should go to the forest

Everstorf. Dealing with nature is far more than knowing which tree has which leaves. Maika Hoffmann and Anja Kofahl, who have run Naturschule MV for ten years, teach both children and adults what it means to get involved in the environment. Disseminating knowledge is also part of it, but there are many more things that are at the fore here.

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Maika Hoffmann from the natural school

OZ: What is behind the concept of nature school?

Maika Hoffmann: The nature school appeals to people in different areas such as day care centers and schools. We want to reach children there, but also educational staff and show how great the potential is that nature has in store when it comes to teaching. And it caters to people who are overworked, kids who have too full schedules, they like to come to us to relax and just do their thing.

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Conference in Ilow

On Saturday 24 September from 8.30 the conference will take place in the Klanghaus in Ilwo, east of Wismar, to mark the tenth anniversary of the nature school. The motto of the event is “Nature as a place of learning – outside in the middle”. The trade conference runs until 4 p.m., after which there is a celebration where, in addition to theater and music, numerous stands are set up where families can get information and deal with various topics. Registration and information on the nature school’s website www.in-naturarbeit.de.

OZ: You go into the forest with the people, what happens there?

Hoffmann: It depends on what the specific case is about. We offer different things. For example, how can you teach in the forest? We accompany, give tips and impulses. In the leisure sector, it’s about experiencing nature in a playful way. Or just relax in nature.

OZ: My subjective impression is that society in urban areas is becoming more and more distant from nature.

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Hoffmann: It is not only a subjective impression, it has also been proven by studies. The nature deficit syndrome describes the consequences of people who have distanced themselves from nature. Unfortunately, that is the case. It is not at all about knowing how to distinguish an oak from a chestnut, you learn that very quickly and that is also the second step. The first is to establish a relationship with nature. With interest, knowledge comes naturally.

OZ: But how does this relationship come about?

Hoffmann: At least not with a worksheet at school, but with all the senses, playful and technical. Then the children learn for themselves which tree it is that grows in front of them.

OZ: Now there is a symposium at the Klanghaus in Ilow for the tenth anniversary, what is happening there?

Hoffmann: First of all, of course, educators are invited, but also those interested in nature who would like to know how nature and education are connected, and what actually happens there. We have invited three presenters, we will give a lecture ourselves about early childhood education and the forest as a place of learning. The conference is also called “Nature as a place of learning”, because nature also exists in the city and not only in the forest. The “Udenforskolen” from Hamburg is there to show what is possible in this area, and there is a teacher who deals specifically with adult education.

OZ: When a family of four comes up with the idea of ​​enrolling in the nature school. what happens to them

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Hoffmann: The family can spend valuable time together in an environment that we show them in a special way. Because time together is the most valuable thing that exists today. We see every time how good it is for people when they just get away from it all. And we provide assistance with a wide range of different offers, which can be a few hours where you can experience and experience nature with all your senses, or a whole day. And the goal is for the families to develop ideas on their own for how they can enjoy themselves together in nature.

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