Toulcuv Dvur Nursery in the Czech Republic

22 November 2011 · 2 comments

in Developing School Grounds & Outdoor Spaces, Early Years Outdoors, International, Nature Play & Learning

Toulcuv Dvur is best described as an urban environmental education centre. It is situated in a built up suburb of Prague.

The nursery is in the far left corner
The founder, Emilka Strejikova, was an early years teacher who strongly believed in nature “imprinting” and the need for children to have daily contact with nature.

Thus she established an on-site nursery for forty children aged 2.5-7yrs. The children have daily access to the rest of the grounds that make up Toulcuv Dvur in addition to the 15th Century restored farm buildings which can be seen in the photo above. In many ways, the location could not be more perfect for a pre-school. Have a look…

Firstly, right outside the nursery itself, are the ponies that belong to a riding charity. You can get a better sense of the urban location in the photo below.

The children help take care of this garden, where they grow vegetables. It seems so spacious compared to many nurseries!

Nearby, they also help feed the farm animals such as these cows…

This alluvial woodland was so beautiful the morning I visited, with the sunlight filtering through the trees…

Imagine being able to visit this on a regular basis! There are more diverse and interesting habitats including a wetland, agricultural land, flower meadows and an alder grove. Children from Prague schools visit Toulcuv Dvur for environmental activities. This class was learning about animals that live in woodland habitats.

There are outdoor ovens the children use within a short walking distance. I’m surprised these have never become popular in the UK. Every nursery would have so much more fun when it came to outdoors snacks! Imagine the smell of freshly baked homemade pizza!

The children are not unfamiliar with being outdoors. Parent and toddler groups meet at the environmental centre twice weekly for nature-based activities and walks. The nursery itself has a waiting list of 300. Here’s the outdoor space – this is the view children get when they step outside…

The children make dens with the large branches lying around…

Like children everywhere, the mud patch is a popular place to play. The covered square in the background is the sandpit.

This is the view of the nursery from the horse field. The children go out and about beyond the nursery outdoor space daily.

There were various structures which interested me such as this raised cubby…

This shelter was still in the process of being constructed – a big space for shade and shelter.

This climbing wall, net and platform look exciting…

The teepee is a popular gathering place…

I hope these posts about pre-schools in the Czech Republic have been interesting to read. I love hearing about practice in different places and would welcome information about outdoor play from all around the world.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

cherib November 27, 2011 at 21:43

Yes, I enjoy seeing what is being offered around the world in outdoor education also. THANK YOU for finding and posting this!

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