Hygge – pronounced “hoo-gah” is a trendy Norwegian and Danish term, without a direct English translation – it’s the notion of cosiness and safety, with feelings of wellness and content. We were inspired by the term at our Nursery, in Stanningley Leeds, and used it to inspire our Nurseries refurbishment…here’s our take on the new BUZZ word…
Here at Little People Nurseries in Leeds, Hygge to us means lots of things. It’s the warm fuzzy feeling that you feel inside when you are somewhere that makes you feel safe, happy and secure. It’s the internal feeling of happiness, warmness that you can’t quite put your finger on. Like when you come home from a long day and walk into your home, or take a sip from a hot chocolate when out on a winter walk.
We first started our journey embracing the concept of Hygge we were coming into a cold blustery English Autumn. The evenings were drawing in and we were working with each of our playrooms to focus on a cosy, warm environment. To introduce the Hygge concept, our manager Becky asked the team; “What makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside?”
For some it’s snuggled under a blanket drinking warm milk, for others the joyful reunion hug from a missed friend, or the feeling you get when someone’s face lights up as they are genuinely happy to see you.
Many parents say they pick their children’s nursery, not because of the resources, or the wall decoration, but the feeling. We have tried to capture that feeling for our Little People, so that they feel safe, secure and warm inside – so that every day they come to us, feels a bit like coming home.
In practice for us as a setting this has meant really looking at the equipment we have, the traditional primary colours and loud signage were reconsidered and we started to think more about natural materials and neutral colours. As we’ve started to de-clutter we’ve really analysed each piece of equipment and its uses and discovered less is more. We introduced wonderful little nooks and cosy corners for the children to access. Made the most of natural and artificial lighting, from hidden fairy lights in the play areas, to a warm glow of candle light, and light boxes for the children to explore shadow. We’ve embracing natural beauty with plants and fake ivy to give children that calmer and inviting environment that they thrive in.
As the inside of our setting became established we started to spread the inspiration outside. The key to success here was really getting our parents on board so that they fully understand the concept and work with you. We’ve found our all-weather suits invaluable and the Yorkshire weather can sometimes be challenging but we’re certainly seeing the benefits for the children that feel much more at home outdoors.
What does Hygge mean to me……………..?
”Feeling warm and snug as a child cuddled up on the sofa in a big blanket next to my mum = Happiness” Becky Farrell, Little People Stanningley – Nursery Manager
“A sense of belonging, a feeling of being welcome , safe and accepted, it’s like coming home” Vicky Hallas-Fawcett – Company Director, Little People Nurseries