May 13, 2014

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A Scandinavian view of the child

The Scandinavian perspective of children and childhood fascinates us at Dansk Kids. An old friend put me onto the work of Mariella Frostrup. In March 2012, Frostrup asked why Scandinavian children’s literature punched so far above its weight and why did it have such a unique voice? Think Hans Christian Andersen, and Pippy Longstocking, a hugely popular children’s literature character, from Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. The Scandinavian culture of respect for the child and childhood were offered as a major factor.

This Scandinavian perspective pops up again in the form of Danish forest kindergarten - or Bush Kinder as it’s known in Australia. A forest kindergarten is a type of preschool education for children held almost exclusively outdoors; whatever the weather, children are encouraged to take the lead in playing, exploring and learning in a forest or natural environment.[1]Forest schools have been operating successfully in Northern Europe for over 50 years.[2] In Australia, this part of the kinder program focuses on the child’s view, how they see and experience the world, understanding that children learn through play. This might have to be seen to be believed for some, but the idea that children can learn by playing in natural environments with what nature provides is refreshing and inspiring!

What we love about Scandinavian baby and children’s wear is how this respect for children is represented in fashion. We source designers that don’t want to dress children as mini-adults, but dress them with respect for what children need: freedom to move, play, express and learn. That’s what inspirational kids clothing should deliver. What better than to see these clothes on little ones you love. Knowing they were made with respect also for the people who sewed them. We reckon innovative Scandinavian design and ethically made clothes equals happy, healthy kids!



[1] http://www.wgkg.vic.edu.au/bush-kinder , accessed 12 June 2013 and [2] Fargher D., Bush Kinder in Reflections,Gowrie Australia, Winter 2012, Issue 47, pp. 18-19


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