Researchers critical to a lot of outdoor-time during winter for the youngest children in kindergarten

kindergartenKindergarten .Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Small children in big winter clothes can easily be too passive outdoors in kindergartens. Researchers say that the smallest children in kindergartens need not be out so much of the time.


‘In the winter, these kids wear so much clothing that their clothes inhibit them from moving. Then you can ask if children need to be out so much’, said Karen Marie Eid Kaarby to NRK news. She is a professor at the Institute of Child Care Teacher Education at Oslo University College and Akershus.

Together with researchers from the University of Stavanger, the University of Tromsø, and NTNU, she is behind the research report, ‘A look at children – quality in the kindergarten for children under 3 years old’.

Norwegian kindergarten children under three years of age are outdoors between 60 and 90 minutes,, on average, every day during winter. The researchers believe the lyoungest get little benefit from the time spent outdoors. Kaarby said she wants more academic, educational work, and feared that more supervision is done outdoors than motivation toward movement.

‘They are sitting in a sandbox, and they are on the ice a lot . There is an adult who pushes a sledge on the ice, or there is an adult in the sandboxes, and they make sandcastles’, she said.

It was emphasised that she was talking only about the very smallest children, and the winter months.


Source: NRK / Norway Today