Even though I am still home sick with back and stomach problems, I try to get out for a short walk around the neighbourhood as often as I can. It’s important to get some exercise and stretch out my sore muscles. It’s also good to get some fresh air and see something besides my own living room, and most of all; allow my thoughts to wonder to other things. Being out among people and nature always gives me new impulses and inspirations.

When I approached the local school I could hear it before I saw it. It was after normal school hours but the afterschool program was in full swing (all pics taken with my Nokia N82 – click to enlarge and enjoy!):

Children play in snow in Norway #1

In Norway all schools provide an after school program for children of working parents, or just for social activities. All children over the age of 3 also have the right to go to preschool and we have now accomplished nearly 100% coverage. This isn’t only because of working families, but also because we believe it is good for children to be socialised with others. A major part of the school and preschool program is outdoor play.
Children play in snow in Norway #2 Children play in snow in Norway #3
Children use the time to build up friendships, while building trust and confidence in nature through positive experiences, learning and mastering!
Children play in snow in Norway #4 Children play in snow in Norway #5

When I saw these children having such a good time in the snow it reminded me of my own childhood, and I just had to share it with you. Outdoor activity is so important for Norwegian children’s development. There is nothing which stimulates the imagination like building and digging in the snow with your friends:
Children play in snow in Norway #6 Children play in snow in Norway #8

Snow can be anything; it can be a cave, a ship, a house, a plane…whatever the child’s imagination wants it to be. I still remember the fortresses we used to build when we were small. They were enormous!! Or at least it seemed enormous to us.

When I came in closer to get better pictures a cute little boy came up to me in open curiosity and asked, “Whose grandfather are you?” Hahaha! I have to admit I wasn’t quite prepared for that. I answered “I don’t have any grandchildren yet, but 50 years ago I played in the snow just like you do now.” Then I really had to laugh. He was so sweet and very diplomatic; he didn’t say anything but you could see in his eyes that he thought that must have been back in the STONE AGES!!
Children play in snow in Norway #7

Well seeing these children eagerly playing in the snow makes me feel young at heart at least, and my fantasy is as healthy as it ever was! The child in me just loves it :lol:

31 Comments

  1. Those are lovely pictures of children in the innocence of childhood, Renny. But I must admit I was wondering about the pictures. You see, they have passed a law in Australia that no one is able to photograph children in public, because there have been predators and paedophiles caught and charged with doing that and putting them on porn sites on the internet. Parents can’t even photograph their kids at sporting events. I went to see my granddaughters play netball last winter and took my camera along and was told not to use it.

    I’m glad there are still places in the world where not every human right is being gradually eroded because of evil people with criminal intent.

    RennyBA
    I so much agree I think forbidding the photographs is to let the bad guys win. We should be able to enjoy a normal and natural childhood and not let the creeps out there ruin it!

  2. How fun. Some kids play outside here, but mostly they are into electronics and games and such. Such a shame. That’s why most are overweight. What a great way to bring up kids.

    My oldest granddaughter will be 18 in July. Yikes, I’m getting old.

    Oh, before I forget…

    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday Dear Diane,
    Happy Birthday to you.

    Have a terrific day and weekend. Big hug to you and Diane. :)

    RennyBA

    You are not old, you are beautiful!! And a blessing to us all. Diane sends her thanks for your birthday wishes, I sang your message for her!!!

  3. Hi Renny

    I was thinking just like Robyn and Comedy Plus when I saw those pictures. No one is allowed to take kids’ pictures in US for understandable reasons but it was so refreshing to see these pictures and the fact that you could talk to the kid. Wish the world was so nice like this!

    Oh, we are all getting older every day :) didn’t know it was your birthday Renny, so a belated Happy Birthday to you! Hope you feel better soon…

    RennyBA

    Thanks for your well wishes, I will get better as fast as I can, but the birthday wishes are for my wife, DianeCA. I think its a shame that some places you can’t take pictures of children. Nothing is more natural then children and play and I can’t understand that in those snowsuits they could be in any way dangerous.

  4. Hi Renny. Lovely to see your snow and the children enjoying it. Still no snow here but we may get some freezing rain early next week. :-(
    Happy Birthday to Diane! Hope it’s a great one.

    Sorry you’re still on leave with your back and now your stomach. Get well soon my friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

    Love and hugs, Diane

    RennyBA:
    Well freezing rain isn’t quite as much fun…unless you are driving! LOL

  5. Great pictures Renny. I know that there is some sensitivity to taking photos of children, but anybody who would find pictures of kids in snowsuits at 60 meters would be turned on by the Michelin Man. Thanks for a word of sanity on the subject.

    RennyBA
    Yes, I quite agree. I think its important that we do not let the criminals take our freedom away, or our childrens.

  6. Is you back still not getting better ? It’s such a long time it seems to me. In Belgium too children can go to “school” from 2 1/2 on, the school finishes at 4 and for children with working parents there are activities until 6 or 7.30 h and this was already so when my son was a baby. There were not a lot of stay at home moms and now even less.
    Nice snow fun pictures !

    RennyBA

    Even the stay at home mothers often use the after school activities as they are quite good and fun for the children, as well as teaching them social skills.

  7. Wonderful pictures! I love to see children in the snow, for they are the ones that seem to enjoy it the most!

    RennyBA

    Yes, kids love snow almost as much as puppies hehehe

  8. I think, my dear friend, that have the opportunity when “sick”, to walk some minutes in your vicinity and observe what you here have shared;
    Fantastic. But I also think, these kids can’t run to their parents when they feel for it, as we could when we were at their ages. That is for me an important question. Specially because we in Norway have no choices.

    btw. Your health is now #1 priority. My dear friend.

    RennyBA
    It is true that they may not have as much time with their mothers as we had, but then they have a richer life in many other ways. They have contact with many other caring people and learn to trust the society as a whole and build lasting friendships.
    I promise you I am taking care of my health now! Thanks for your support.

  9. Having worked in the Norwegian school system and the preschool system I have really learned how much fun the outdoors can be. Childhood is really quite good in Norway, and in spite of the cold climate they are really out more than any other folk I know.

    RennyBA

    Yes, I was so happy you could have this experience so you really could understand Norwegian culture from the bottom up.

  10. I’m not a fan of snow and an cold but it looks like they are having fun.

    RennyBA

    It’s not cold if you dress properly :-) I would think you got enough snow in Toronto no matter what you like best!

  11. Hope that your tummy problems are over soon! Tell Diane I said Happy Birthday…

    Have a great weekend
    Love, Jess

    RennyBA
    I hope I am better soon too!! I will give Diane your birthday greetings.

  12. Hi, Renny, It’s Chinese new Year’ eve today!

    I hope you a Happy 牛 year!

    牛年快乐,身体健康,万事如意!

    RennyBA
    What wonderful greetings – wishing you the same!

  13. I am sad to hear that you didn’t recover yet…must be very painful and annoying… get well soon… your cell phone pictures are from an amazing quality….

    RennyBA
    Thanks for the warm wishes…… Nokia has great camera you know.

  14. Sorry to hear about your illness. I’ll give an order, for once in my life: get well !!!!!!!! (I have already swinged my magic wand, but that didn’t help obviously ;-)

    Yep, kids really know how to have fun in the snow. Even I remember my own childhoods snowplaying. However, I don’t know if i imagine it or not, but to me it seems like we had more snow in Stockholm when I was a kid than we have nowadays. Global warming perhaps.

    It’s not forbidden in Sweden to take photos of kids in public places either, even though it were some minor debate about it in the evening paper Aftonbladet last spring, but it got voted down.

    I don’t believe in forbidding things really, a better method is to attack the problem in the right end – from the roots and solve the problem instead!

    I’m not a fan of preschools at all. They have some advantages and especially for some of the kids, but they’re there too many hours a day. Our preschools here in Sweden are not of the quality I’d wish and I suspect they aren’t out in the nature quite as much as in Norway either.

    There are too many children and too few in the staff, not educated enough, making the environment very rowdy and impersonal, stressing the kids to death, making them unnecessary loud. Plus spreading all the bacterias around and around.

    We’ve already seen so many examples of daycarecenter-upbrought kids here in Sweden: they have so much stress problems like depressions and anxiety attacks. They feel abandoned by their parents and no wonder, some of them have hardly met their parents. When they come home from preschool it’s time for dinner and perhaps a moment at the TV and then go to bed. Weekends they’re sent on so many other activities that they don’t see them then either.

    What’s the meaning with having kids if you hardly ever is seeing them? When it’s preschool staff who is raising them or in best case raising them, in worst case they’re totally on their own left to the wolves.

    I’ll never ever understand why you wanna leave your kids like that. I’d like to raise my kids myself, with my love and my values imprinted in them, not several strangers hastily and different work.

    When it comes to the socializing part of it, they could get that anyway if more kids were at home – playing together just like we all did when I was young. You don’t need staff to learn that kind of things when you’re in that age, you play and learn, like it always has been.

    Even 2 hours are like ages when you’re that young, so that’s max what I think they should be in preschool. Playing with other kids should be an opportunity at home instead, with a parent in reach. That creates safety, harmony and self-confidence that is much more important, creating a ground for the rest of your life.

    OK, there are some parents with special problems, but lets help them with their problems instead of institutionalize all the other kids.

    Many Swedish parents says that they can’t afford staying at home, but that’s total bullsh*t, what they’re saying is: I don’t want to sacrifice my living standards even a bit for my own kid.

    Because that’s the truth. You can stay at home, but you do have to sacrifice many things then – is your kids life quality worth it? A question for your conscience…

    I’ve very bad experiences – as you can hear I’m very anti about daycarecenter – at least the way they’re functioning over here.

    RennyBA
    Thank you for your engagement in your reply. It makes the post and comments more interesting when people like you come in and show they are interested in the subject. The preschool debate is an difficult one, and there is no one side to it. There are advantages and disadvantages to the preschool system. But thankfully the snow remains the same…and although I agree I think we had more snow when I was a child as well…at least there is some for the new generation to enjoy.

  15. I always enjoy seeing children playing outside in the snow . . . lovely pictures, Renny! I’m glad you’re able to get out every day. I’m still sending healing thoughts and prayers your way. Take care!

    I hope Diane had a lovely birthday, by the way! :-)

    RennyBA

    Keep those healing thoughts coming…I’m doing my best to get well. Diane thanks you for your kind wishes and says she had a lovely birthday.

  16. Looks like so much fun! I miss the snow!

    RennyBA
    Well we have plenty of snow…should I send some?

  17. after school programme is so nice Renny…parents nowadays are mostly busy,and the service of the school really is a big help indeed!

    outdoor activities are a lot of fun!!

    I hope you get well soon,Renny!
    happy weekend!

    ghee

    RennyBA
    Well you know I do love the outdoors, no matter what kind of shape I am in.

  18. BTW,is it free or it takes charges?

    there are after school here in Japan,too,but I think parents are paying for it…though not that expensive..I havent depended on the programme even once,but i saw their activities.they do socialize with students in different ages.

    RennyBA
    The afterschool program does cost the parents some money but it is government sponsored keeping the price reasonable.

  19. fabulous! Really fabulous! I must show all those photos to my pupils at school! I want to show them the little Norvegian pupils during their outdoor program!
    All what you say is what I think! Preschool is so important for them! but I realise we should have more time outdoor activities here in France. We have a special nice room for the sport but we should do more outdoor plays out the recreations. Tomorrow we fest the kings at school! a lot of fun in perspective. I hope you will better soon with your back. Pierre had a such problem a few years ago and now all is ok even if he must be careful still. I wasn’t on the blogsphere since Pierre’s mother lives at the residence and since we were so busy to manage all the administrativ papers and her home.

    RennyBA
    I do hope your class will enjoy seeing the Norwegian children playing in the snow!! It will be my honor to share such experience with them. Good luck with your paperwork for Pierre’s mother. You are doing the family a great service.

  20. I hope you get better! Back problems are NOT fun… thinking of you!

    Kids can have fun anywhere, anytime.

    RennyBA

    Så true, sometimes the best present a child gets for christmas is the box the gift came in hehehe!

  21. oh goodness, children are so very direct sometimes, aren’t they?

    i’m glad you are still getting out and about and i very much hope you have a good treatment soon.

    RennyBA
    Yes children are actually much more fun because they always say what they think, while adults keep you guessing. Thanks for your well wishes, I am having a fairly good week and we are talking about going out for some exercise later.

  22. Hi Renny, I’m sorry to hear that your back is still giving you problems.
    I love the pictures. I had much fun playing in the snow in the winter. Fond memories.

    RennyBA
    Even today with tv and video games and all that junk filling their heads, the little ones still can’t wait for winter and a good old fashioned snow storm! Gives me hope for the future :-)

  23. It excites me to see happy children & just how fortunate some children are to be able to be free , healthy & loved, unfortunately that is not always the case as in many area’s around the world children who have no control what so ever over their circumstances & situations are perishing.
    I have recently launched a blogg covering this exact problem and am in the process of establishing a world wide organisation & charity to turn this situation around for as many children as possible.

    The blogg is only new and will grow in the near future, to become a leading force for the betterment of underprivaleged and orphaned children around the world.
    The blogg is called “CONSIDER THE CHILDREN” and any ones support in promoting this new blogg would in the long run benefit these children, so one day they can also enjoy the freedom, joy & love that these children in the snow have.
    Thank you all so very much and we look forward to support.

    http://considerthechildren.uwcblog.com

    hey……….life is good……

    Allen Sentance
    FISHERMAN

    RennyBA
    Thank you for stopping by and showing an interest in children here and around the world. It sounds like a very good project.

  24. Your back is still hurting? It has been more than a month, that’s a long time of pain. I miss you. Hope your back recovers soon.

    I really dripped envy all over my keyboard seeing all this snow! I would love to make a snowman and throw snowballs. I’m planning for a trip to Europe …. hehe….

    RennyBA
    Well if you are coming to Europe then Norway is mandatory on your list of places to visit! You just have to let us entertain you!

  25. Well it is better than what happened to me. I went to a shoe store with my 5 year old daughter and a very young sale person asked my daughter “Is grandpa going to buy you some pretty shoes”?
    Granted I am 53 but it didn’t feel good at all.
    So it could be worse.
    Happy birth day to you!

    RennyBA

    Never trust anyone under 30 hahaha….no its not so easy being a mature father, is it. We still have children in the house as well, but they are a bit older than 5.

  26. Happy year of the Ox to you too Renny!

    I love your snow pictures. I haven’t taken any decent snow photos as of yet. Must. Do. Soon.

  27. I am so sorry to read that your back and stomach are still bothering you. Good for you for getting out; fresh air always makes me feel better.

    I love how children just assume that everyone they come upon are part of their community – someone’s parent or grandparent. When I go to pick up my son at pre-school, there is one classmate who greets me everyday as “Hew’s mommy” – my identity to him is totally wrapped around his friend. It always makes me smile.

  28. O wow, I want to be a kid in Norway! :) Long ago we had real winters like that, this winter is one since years that comes close.

  29. Oh yes, children are so imaginative, they can conjure up a thousand different things from snow (or even sand in the beach). It seems terribly cold out there…but pretty!

  30. Lovely pics, I so wish I could play in the snow with them . More than lessons in the class room, it is through these out door activities that children learn a lot :)

  31. Pingback:Snowy Frozen Paradise in Sunny Oslo Norway

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