Forest kindergarden “Explora Cuvete”
Forest pedagogy activities in Croatia: project “School in the Forest and a Forest in the School”
1. November 2017
The 12th European Forest Pedagogics Congress 2017
9. November 2017

Forest kindergarden “Explora Cuvete”

Istria, Croatia, July 2017
Author: Model Forest „River Mirna Basin“ association, Croatia

T he future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.” R.T.

Althrough awareness about benefits of learning and spending time in the nature is growing public educational system in Croatia is still quite closed to the new concept. Following an experiences from Northern and Western European Countries some private initatives do exist in Croatia: Forest kindergarden Rijeka and Forest kindergarden “Explora Cuvete”.

Science Forest kindergarden “Explora Cuvete” is settled near th town of Novigrad, at the mouth of the river Mirna entering the sea. Every Saturday during the year, kindergardens’ pedagogs work with children introduciong them with a basiscs of the natural sciences since “Explora Cunvete” is open in the frame of an NGO Science Educational Center whose main activity is popularization of science with children and youth.

Science Forest kindergarden “Explora Cuvete” is settled near th town of Novigrad, at the mouth of the river Mirna entering the sea. Every Saturday during the year, kindergardens’ pedagogs work with children introduciong them with a basiscs of the natural sciences since “Explora Cunvete” is open in the frame of an NGO Science Educational Center whose main activity is popularization of science with children and youth.

Cuvete means a small owl, a night forest bird simbolising a wisdom and a knowledge. So called kindergarden (playground) is a unique example of working with children in the nature as forest pedagogy is a new term and even a new practice in Croatia.

Cuvete daily program for pre-schoolers emphasize introduction to scientific, creative and physical activities in a unique, wild ambient. All the program depends on the childs’ interests who are gathered in a groups of 10 children with 2 mentors.

Parents are invited to attend Forest kindergarden with their child.

There is a bird nesting island at the mouth of the river Mirna where Cuvete is taking place so children do begin with learning how to maneuver a boat. As team work is very important in Cuvete children work together to create a forest infrastucture and they do prepare their daily luch together.

Chidren do also participate in handling the fire so they gain skills at assessing a risks too.

In Explora Cuvete kids learn to respect nature and become more aware of the types of animals, plants and trees living around them.

In the first place, kids learn to communicate better because they are not hampered by specific toys which dictate what they should be saying but are encouraged to use their imagination and create objects to play with from leaves, sticks, etc.

For a prolonged period, it has been shown that such an approach have a positive impact on children’s development, particularly in the areas of manual dexterity, physical coordination, tactile sensitivity and depth perception.

Kids that have spent several years in Explora Cuvete, during their primary school education focus more and show greater interest in learning overall.