Vrtec (kindergarten) Vrhnika does not own any land or properties besides the buildings and playgrounds next to them. Forests and other natural spaces we visit with children are either privately owned or owned by municipality. We know that we are only guests in this spaces so we try to leave them as we found in the first place. We cannot add or alter anything permanently, but we are generally free to use them. Children in Vrtec Vrhnika usually spend a morning in nature every week. They choose different locations as there is a lot to explore, but it is safe to say that every group has a special place in the forest they visit over and over. In this places, which are usually in the forest, children are offered variety of materials, such as tools, ropes, fabric, clay, natural paints etc. Mostly free play occur (building shelters, searching for animals, climbing trees, digging…), but teachers try to introduce few guided activities also. On this nature trips we bring snacks (mostly fruit), as they last up to 3 hours.
1. Unit Želvica
Forest, marshland, rivers and streams - everything within short walking distance from Unit Želvica. Children are used to walking even longer distances (up to 5 km) and love to explore all the differnt ecosystems. Non of the groups, involved in the project, have a favourite spot in the nature, they usually pick differnt location every week. 4-5 and 5-6 year olds often go to on nature walks together.
2. Unit Žabica
This unit is located right next to the forest so there are plenty opportunities for nature play. As soon as they can walk children start spending time in the forest. Children aged 1 to 6 are involved in the Little footprints project and these and you can see some of their outdoor play moment in these photos.
3. Unit Komarček
This unit is located right in the city center so spending time in the nature is especially important for them. Children in a 4-5 year old group are involved in the project and this is their forest space.
4. Unit Rosika
Unit Rosika is located in a nearby village of Bevke. They are situated next to marshland so they have a chance to explore this delicate ecosystem. As this unit is quite small (only 3 groups) they often go for walks together. Older children help the little ones and there is also a lot of cooperation and group play during their free play.