Bringing Hygge into the Early Years

A Step-by-Step Guide to Bring a Calm and Slow Approach to Your Teaching

Book Description

Bringing Hygge into the Early Years is a ‘how-to’ guide for every early educator who wishes to bring more calmness and balance into their day, in turn, leaving them feeling empowered to teach and live well.

Drawing from the author’s experience of embracing the Scandinavian way of living well, ‘hygge’, this book explores how this approach can have a positive impact across your early years setting, from improved mental health and wellbeing, to embracing child-led play and high quality outdoor provision. With step-by-step guidance on how to embed the approach alongside examples of hygge from early educators around the world, the book is divided into four main parts:

• Re-Balance You

• The Hygge Environment

• Slow Teaching

• Embracing Nature

Throughout each chapter, case studies and activities provide the opportunity to reflect on existing practice and support you as you make positive changes to both your wellbeing and provision. This guide will be essential reading for all early years professionals, offering further support to improve mental health and wellbeing, as well as valuable tools to lead early years practice with confidence and joy.


Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Re-balance You  Chapter 1: How hygge supports you  Chapter 2: Managing your time  Chapter 3: Becoming present Chapter 4: Core values  2. The Hygge Environment  Chapter 5: A sense of arrival and departure  Chapter 6: Lighting  Chapter 7: Colour  Chapter 8: Setting up your provision  Chapter 9: Resourcing on a budget  3. Slow Teaching  Chapter 10: Starting with an interest  Chapter 11: Provocation or Invitation to Learn?  Chapter 12: High quality interactions  Chapter 13: Documenting learning  4. Embracing Nature  Chapter 14: Benefits of nature  Chapter 15: Friluftsliv: Uncomplicated nature-based play  Chapter 16: Find the joy in each season  Chapter 17: Bringing nature inside  Summary of Book  References  Index




Kimberly Smith has a passion for child-led nature-based learning and has worked in Early Years Education for the last 17 years as an early years teacher, leader and trainer. She has worked for the local authority in the quality improvement team, guest lectured at Trinity and Leeds Universities and is a regular conference speaker. Kimberly is now the founder of KSEY Consultancy, working with tens of thousands of educators around the world, to improve their wellbeing and quality of teaching.


We desperately need teaching to join the Slow Movement, for both educators’ and children’s wellbeing, happiness and love of learning.  Kimberly’s wise, practical and supportive advice is so timely, providing great coverage of the many elements of calming things down and enjoying them more in educational settings. 

‘Slowliness’ is one of my favourite pedagogical words, and I particularly appreciate the Slow Teaching section, changing the narrative that we have grown up with about working well and achieving life satisfaction.  Overall, several other key words stand out for me: calm, care, kindness, trust and gratitude, and above all, nature and life outdoors.  These are all requisites for living well in the present, and for setting up life-ways for meaningful, fulfilling futures.

Discovering what calmness looks like for you and your children will transform the way you support learning - your children need you to read and use this book."


Professor Jan White, Educational consultant, author and advocate for an early childhood outdoors



A rich and comprehensive guide to the joyful calm of Hygge - each page seems to glow with a simple warmth and the whole book just feels like we are on a walk with Kimberly as she shares her wisdom and a treasure of practical ideas. It’s a walk that’s very much needed, both for ourselves as practitioners and the children we have the privilege to work with. We all need more Hygge in life and Kimberly shows us how just perfectly.


Greg Botrill, Author and childhood advocate

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