NaKuHel is an acronym for the Norwegian words for nature (natur), culture (kultur) and health (helse).
NaKuHel Asker is a non-profit, voluntary organization that offers the residents of Asker and the surrounding area a wide variety of group activities in a positive and uplifting environment. The basis for these activities is the interaction between nature and culture and its positive effect on public health. Connecting with nature and enjoying cultural, creative activities in fellowship with others will result in better health and improved quality of life. We believe that this concept is also relevant to children. NaKuHel International Preschool uses the natural environment outdoors and a wide range of creative activities to enhance a child’s healthy development – mentally and physically!
NaKuHel International Preschool is located near Semsvannet, a large lake in a very nature-rich area. We use nature as both a playground and a classroom.
It is in nature that we find our playthings. Apart from buckets, shovels and balls, we don’t play with manufactured things when we’re outdoors. We use our imagination instead and discover all the many different playthings that nature provides for us. A stick, for example, can be a magic wand, a rocket ship or a ladle for making “mud soup.” Nature also lets us decide for ourselves how we want to play, unlike manufactured equipment which decides for us. We play outdoors every afternoon regardless of the weather, and twice a week we go for walks in the forests and fields nearby. We occasionally come in contact with farm animals like horses, cows, sheep and dogs.
Nature gives us a wonderfully creative environment in which to teach. Children can of course learn a lot about trees, birds, flowers, etc. But they can also count rocks and use sticks to write numbers and letters in the dirt. They can solve constructive problems by building shelters. They can even set up “nature shops” where they can collect, categorize and “sell” items they find outdoors. Nature is a great and diverse classroom. Learning and teaching outdoors is active, creative, effective and fun.
In the course of the children’s theme-based work and other pedagogic activities, they will participate in a wide variety of cultural activities like music, dance, painting and handicrafts. In addition to developing an appreciation for the arts, we also take advantage of our international environment and expose the children to other cultures with celebrations, meals and stories. They learn to be proud of their own cultural heritage while becoming familiar with other cultural values. We re-enforce our cultural focus with periodic trips to museums and event centers in Asker and Oslo.
Our use of the natural environment and creative, cultural activities promotes a child’s overall health in many positive ways. Just some of the benefits include increased physical health, enhanced mental health, better social relations, reduced stress, more self-confidence and improved awareness of one’s own sense of accomplishment and well-being. We want to additionally promote the good health of our children by encouraging meals with nutritious food instead of sweet, high-caloric and overly processed food.