The Istria Model Forest has published its long-awaited handbook "Forest Pedagogy - for children of the new age" with activities for parents, teachers and educators.
The authors of the publication are kindergarten educator Marinela Suvalic and Ana Fornazar, master engineer of forestry and president of the Istria MF. All photos and activities in the manual are original and tested through programs that the association implements, namely "Stories from the forest - workshops for children" and "Forest pedagogy in Istria".
The manual writing went on for two years and was constantly updated with new ideas and activities for working with children in forest environments. The final version is supported by numerous professional and scientific references and provides a substantial list of literature sources and websites dealing with forest pedagogy.
The handbook is very practical and intended for those who work with children, to provide the necessary content for creating their own activities and workshops. It brings more than 90 activities for children from 3 to 9 years old and examples of workshops for children from 7 to 12. The activities are also grouped into research-cognitive activities, movement activities, sensory activities, creative expression activities. In addition, the publication also shows activities that can be done indoors using didactic materials with instructions on how to make them. The introductory part explains the concept of forest pedagogy, its principles and goals.
Forest pedagogy represents a modern, holistic approach that supports the integral growth of the child, encouraging abilities and creativity through experiential learning. In addition to new knowledge, children acquire practical skills and competences in a stimulating forest environment. The benefits of forest pedagogy are also physical, emotional, social, mental and cognitive.
"It is desirable for children to get out of the ‘artificial worlds’ as much as possible and to experience the world that surrounds them through their senses; to climb a tree, touch a snail or a frog, smell a flower, walk barefoot on the grass or jump in puddles, to observe the changes that occur in certain seasons - to marvel at what nature creates" says Ana Fornazar, one of the authors.
The handbook was created with the support of the County of Istria - Administrative Department for Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting, Fisheries and Water Management.
The handbook (in Croatian) is available for download on the Istria MF website.