By Spring Childcare · 27 Mar 2023
How can we support children through ‘Hygge’ in our settings?
‘’Hygge is about an experience, and an atmosphere, rather than about things’’ Meik Wiking
‘Hygge’ pronounced ‘hue-guh’ is a Danish word that means comfort, contentment, and a general feeling of well-being. For the staff and children in our settings, that same feeling of calm, comfort and belonging is an important part of our Spring ethos.
As we know, when children feel calm and comfortable, they feel safe, loved, and ready to learn. By practising ‘hygge’ in our nurseries, we can increase happiness and well-being for all. Here are some top tips to help you to incorporate ‘hygge’ into your setting over the next few months.
- Review your cosy areas: do you have cosy, sheltered areas available to every group in your setting. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. A mini pop-up tent, cushions, soft blankets or a canopy across four hooks can give children quiet and comfy spaces to relax in. Think about the routines in your room, are these areas available to children throughout the day, or do you use them for sleep times, meaning some children cannot access them?
- Soft lighting: it can be hard to change something like lighting but are there times of day that you can use equipment such as sensory light resources, torches, and soft lamps to create a relaxing atmosphere within the rooms, or even in the entrance area of your setting. Fairy lights are also an effective way of creating peaceful and cosy environments where children and staff can feel relaxed.
- Shared moments: hygge isn’t just about soft cushions and snuggly blankets, it’s about that warm feeling inside when we feel like we have a place and are seen. Sharing moments of connection with children creates a sense of belonging and builds strong relationships. This could be sharing a story together in the cosy area, chasing bubbles outside, spending time warmly chatting about their weekends. All these simple things really do have a big impact.
- Appreciate nature: hygge is all about appreciating what is around us and taking time to recognise how beautiful our world is. Give children as much opportunity as possible to experience nature both indoors and outdoors. We are great at using natural resources in our settings, introducing wooden windchimes, indoor planting gardens, indoor and outdoor sensory planting beds can all help to enhance the connection to nature in your setting.
- Taking time: early years and childcare routines can be super busy and at times the day can feel like a series of events that all must happen at a certain time. Making a conscious choice to occasionally take a breath and change up your routine can allow you and the children in your care to feel calmer. For example, one day you may decide to have snack outdoors during an outdoor story time, or on another occasion you may choose to introduce a longer yoga session to the children. Reflect on how you can be ‘in each moment’ with the children, modelling being content and relaxed.
If hygge is something your setting is already capturing, please feel free to share what you do in the comments below 😊 You can also learn more about ‘hygge’ here: