Over 10 percent of Danish preschools are outside in natural settings

VIDEO: Danish outdoor preschools

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — In Denmark, some parents are opting to send their kids to schools in the middle of the woods for an education focused on the great outdoors.

You won't find any desks or whiteboards. The children are outside all day - rain or shine, hot or cold.

These forest schools have become quite popular in Denmark. Around one in 10 Danish preschools are now held outdoors.

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The movement has been gathering steam elsewhere, with teachers visiting from all over the world to see how Denmark does it.


To outsiders, the idea of children running around in the freezing cold, climbing trees and using sharp knives may sound dangerous.

But the director at one of the schools says he's never had any major accidents. "In 27 years we had a broken arm that's all," said Jesper Lurd.

Teachers say the nontraditional teaching style helps kids build independence.

"Here , we are using the imagination. And they are more independent. They are used to a lot of stuff on their own," said Elisabeth Kayse.

The forest school concept has spread to other countries including Germany, where there are around 2,000 outdoor kindergartens.