Nov 24, 2021

Creating a Hygge Environment in an Early Years Setting

Cosy interior nursery room for babies, including a cot and grey armchair beside it 

This article explores the benefits of hygge in early years and provides practical tips for implementing a hygge environment both in early years settings and at home.

The Benefits of Hygge in Early Years

Hygge, a Danish concept, emphasises finding well-being and contentment in the simple pleasures of everyday life. Creating a hygge environment in an early years setting can foster feelings of cosiness, happiness, and familiarity, promoting a sense of security and well-being for children. By incorporating the core elements of hygge, practitioners can create a calm and nurturing atmosphere that encourages children’s engagement, self-confidence, and positive social interactions.

The Core Elements of a Hygge Environment

To create a hygge environment, practitioners can consider Meik Wiking‘s ten core elements:

  1. Atmosphere: Create a cosy and relaxing space.
  2. Presence: Focus on children’s current interests and engage in the present moment.
  3. Pleasure: Promote happiness and well-being through enjoyable experiences.
  4. Equality: Encourage respect and equality among children and adults.
  5. Togetherness: Spend quality time together as a community.
  6. Gratitude: Reflect on and express gratitude for the things we appreciate.
  7. Harmony: Emphasize collaborative and non-competitive play.
  8. Truce: Teach conflict resolution and sharing experiences.
  9. Comfort: Provide a relaxing and comfortable environment with soft furnishings.
  10. Shelter: Offer a space where children can relax and feel safe.

Implementing a Hygge Environment in Early Years Settings

Incorporating a hygge environment in early years settings can be achieved through several strategies:

  • Create a calm, relaxing, and warm environment with soft lighting, calming scents, and cozy corners for reflection or reading.
  • Design rooms with minimal clutter to promote a relaxed learning play space.
  • Focus on children’s current interests, allowing them time to explore, talk, and investigate.
  • Incorporate calming music to enhance the atmosphere.
  • Utilize rugs, cushions, and lamps to create a homely and comforting atmosphere.
  • Emphasize the process of learning rather than the end product.

Incorporating Hygge at Home

Hygge can also be incorporated at home to promote well-being and happiness:

  • Enjoy your surroundings and connect with nature by going for walks or spending time outdoors.
  • Use soft lighting and create cozy areas for relaxation and family time.
  • Incorporate calming scents through the use of essential oil diffusers.
  • Read together to reduce stress, bond, and enhance vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Take time to reflect on the day/week and appreciate each other.
  • Embrace the simple pleasures in life and surround yourself with warmth and happiness.

To conclude, creating a hygge environment in early years settings promotes well-being, togetherness, and a sense of security for children. By implementing the core elements of hygge.

Written by Christina Law, Deputy Nursery Manager at Sandhills Day Nursery Wolverhampton

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