Hygge in a Nursery Environment

3 Feb 2024

Hygge in a Nursery Environment

This Children’s Mental Health Week, we want to shine a light on our incredible Kiddi Caru Rushden nursery and their embedded hygge approach within the nursery setting.

“When walking into the room, it feels calmer, more tranquil and the children seem so engaged”- Parent, Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Rushden.

Our brilliant Nursery Manager at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery and Preschool in Rushden, Gina Lewis has been dedicated to incorporating the hygge approach into the nursery setting over the past year.

We took the time to speak with Gina all about what the hygge approach is and the benefits of introducing it into an early years setting for both the children and the staff.

  • Why ‘Hygge’
  • What does ‘Hygge’ involve?
  • What are the benefits for the children/early years?
  • What has been the impact on the children?
  • What has been the impact on staff?

Why hygge?

“Hygge (prounounce ‘hue-gah’) is the Danish word that refers to cosy and comfortable surroundings that invoke an inner sense of contentment or wellbeing. Hygge is a quality of presence and an experience of belonging and togetherness. It is a feeling of being warm, safe, comforted and sheltered. It is a feeling that most of us know but cannot quite define.

Hygge focuses on wellbeing and happiness. It teaches people the value in enjoying the beauty in the small things and appreciating daily life. It teaches us to slow down, have gratitude and encourages a calmer way of living.

Hygge focuses closely on nature and the impact that nature has on our mental and physical wellbeing. By spending more time outside to watch the clouds, watch the movements of the trees, listen to the different types of bird song then we have a clearer mind and soul thus increasing our wellbeing. We also have oxygenating plants in the room to help purify the room air, also increasing our wellbeing levels. The younger rooms have rainforest or bird song music to help with their listening skills and noticing noises in the world around us.”

What does hygge involve?

“Everyone’s ideal hygge environment will be different, depending on their personal preference. However, essentially, it’s about taking time to find those moments of happiness that really make you feel content and actively choosing to do incorporate more of it throughout your day.”

What are the benefits for children?

“By teaching children that the simple things in life are the things that will give us the most comfort and contentment, it gives our children a great start in life to understand that their needs are the most important and that life is beautiful.

It teaches them to slow down, take joy in the now and wait for the next pocket of happiness to gently tap them on the shoulder. In the younger children, we are able to create lovely bonds with them in a more peaceful and tranquil environment. The biggest change we’ve made in the nursery setting is the environment and how that makes us feel.

By lighting the nursery only through daylight or via lamps and fairy lights, it instantly offers tranquillity and calm. Often after a busy day, we go home, close the curtains, dim the lights and settle down – this is the environment our children learn in every single day.”

What has the impact been on the children?

“The children have shown a sense of calm since we begin our hygge journey. There are moments of stillness during the day when we do our gratitude circles or meditation to music. The children’s behaviours mimic those of someone who feels safe and warm in their environment, generally having a positive impact on their wellbeing and having conversations about the simple things that bring us joy i.e. a cuddle, watching the birds out of the window, playing in the strip of sunlight as it pours through the window.”

What has the impact been on the staff?

“We have been introducing hygge to enhance staff wellbeing which promotes a caring, stress-free, calm and nurturing environment for the families and children in our care.

We believe this improves the bonds we make between our team members and the families we work with. Staff are able to look after their needs, recognising that when plans don’t always materialise from what is was in their head, that this is still a beautiful thing and to find the positives in each situation. Staff feel more valued and understood, giving them the confidence to bring in their pockets of hygge to make their day joyous and heart-warming.”

The feedback from staff and parents has been extremely positive. Overall, bringing a new sense of calm and happiness into the nursery for both staff and children. Read some of the feedback below.

“When walking into the room, it feels calmer, more tranquil and the children seem so engaged”- A parent, Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Rushden.

“It’s just so much calmer. The parents frequently tell us how cosy and calm the room is. For me, it makes me feel content and warm” – Sarah, Staff Member at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Rushden.

“People are thinking more about each other, opening up more, being more curious. It was an instantaneous change in the children just by changing the environment alone, making them calmer and more relaxed. Parents have commented on how welcoming the nursery is with comments such as ‘Wow, this is amazing!’” Karen, Room Leader at Kiddi Caru Day Nursery in Rushden.

Book a visit at your local nursery today!

Continue reading: