On October 18, 2018 the annual Toddler Festival will be hosted at Queen Maud University by the students. This year 650 infants and toddlers (and their teachers) have been invited with an expectation that 550 or so will attend. When children travel with their teachers on ‘tours’ they always wear a bright vest – each barnhagen (preschool) has their own color. Here is a picture from the Toddler Festival website from 2017 showing children wearing their vests.
For the Festival, the Queen Maud the entire outdoor campus becomes a venue for the Toddler Festival. Several indoor are also transformed for the infants and toddlers to explore as well. This was an example of ab indoor activity from last year.
In the Queen Maud Website it says:
“The main purpose of the annual Toddler Festival is to give the toddlers an outstanding opportunity to visualize themselves as the socially active and interesting people they are.
At DMMH, the toddlers have their own festival where they can explore things at their own pace. Large areas of the park around the college is filled with different activities.”
Marit is one of the faculty members at Queen Maud who works with the International Students and coordinates the Toddler Festival. She is pictured here with an international student from Australia and one (of the many) male teachers I have met in barneghagens (preschools) I visited with Marit. Marit is very enthusiastic about infants and toddlers so she and I have had lively conversations.
When she first described the Toddler Festival to me, I thought I surely I heard incorrectly…It began in 2001 and that year 850, one to two year olds came with their teachers. No, I did hear it correctly! HUNDREDS attend. Rain or shine. Rain does not stop activities here in Norway. No bad weather, only bad clothes.
Last week I was able to see the college students preparing for the Toddler Festival. As part of their course work, they design all of the activities. (Marit said 240 junior students are responsible for the Festival this year). On the day of the Festival (Oct. 18th) the college students will serve as hosts while the one and two year old children participate in a variety of activities with their teachers. I was able to snap a picture of the students at work on their project.
Here you can see some of the outdoor activities that were created by college students this this week. It was so exciting for me to learn about this special event just for infants and toddlers as well as see the creativity of the college students.