A couple of weeks ago, I took a short trip to Stockholm, Sweden. Polarn O. Pyret knew I was a fan, so they invited me and Jordan to visit their headquarters and get a behind-the-scenes look. I was impressed. And I want to tell you all about it. But before I do, we need to talk about Sweden.
First off: Gorgeous. The city was gorgeous. The people were gorgeous. Super model gorgeous.
Second. My impression is that the entire country is like one big Waldorf school. Very wholesome, with lots of time spent outdoors. People work hard and enjoy their leisure time. The Swedes we chatted with joked about raising their kids like Pippi Longstocking — with lots of play and independence.
Third. They do childhood differently than we do in the states. So different. Every single day, children spend hours outside. Every single day without exception. Rain, snow, below zero temperatures. This is not me exaggerating. It’s the real deal. Every. Single. Day.
There are preschools that don’t even have a building! They are held entirely out of doors. From drop-off to pick-up. Snack time, play time, learning time all happen outside. And these preschools are not for the fringe thinkers, these are one of several regular options that parents pick from. Are you dying?!
Also. Babies in Sweden nap outside. All naps are outside. The babies are bundled up, put in the stroller and rolled out to the porch where they nap for hours at a time — in every kind of weather. Now are you dying?!!!
Let’s also remember, that Sweden is super far north. Like moose north. It’s cold up there!
So how do they do it? Well, every person I talked to said it was all about the gear. In fact, they have a Swedish saying that roughly translates to: There is no bad weather, just bad clothing. They are super serious about their cold weather wear.
This is getting long, so I’ll follow up with a post about the actual visit to the Polarn O. Pyret headquarters later on. In the meantime, I’d love your thoughts. What’s your take on outdoor time every day? Would you be up for it? Would your kids?
P.S. — How can you not love a country that came up with H&M, Ikea and Hasbeens? I love the Swedish appreciation for design! I snapped these photos at stores, hotels — even the airport.