Trolls are at home with nature! For many years now we have been proving our expertise and acting on a love for adventure: in Spring 2000, three Zurich couples founded the “Verein Troll” in order to provide their own children with nursery and kindergarten education in the forest. It was a pioneering effort; there was no such forest schooling in Zurich at that time.
Our infant carers and kindergarten teachers are passionate about their work and enthusiastically support your child in their play and learning. The forest as a play area motivates your child to learn through direct, sensory experience. At the same time, their fantasy is stimulated and dexterity improved. Troll forest children learn through play in and with nature to better evaluate their own capabilities and those of others in the group, and to help each other.
We look forward to taking your child with us on this exciting voyage of discovery!
Today, Troll runs two private kindergarten classes (registered with the Zurich Education Authority) on the Chäferberg (8037 Zurich) and the Uetliberg (8055 Zurich), as well as two private nursery groups on the Uetliberg (8055 Zurich) and the Züriberg (8057 Zurich). In small groups, we are therefore able to support children in their individual development from age 2 up to entry in School Grade 1.
Troll is a German-speaking institution.
The children are our focus.
Children want to learn. Their openness and curious nature allow them to actively explore their surroundings and quickly come to terms with new as well as familiar situations. They plan what they want to do with a great deal of fantasy and according to their own impulses. In acting on these, they demonstrate both great joy and perseverance. They need time and experience in order to develop, step by step.
Children have their own personal temperament and live each according to their own personal rhythm. Their desires and preferences are varied and often subject to change. They take decisions according to their individual interests but also on the spur of the moment. Sometimes they hop around and play within the group; other times they seek solitude and relaxation.
Children are social creatures. They look for contact and sustainable relationships with those around them. They enjoy being together. Children encourage and copy each other in their creativity. Together, they develop their communication, understanding of feelings and emotions, and their social skills. They learn to communicate their own needs, to be considerate of others and to find constructive solutions in times of conflict.
Children need adults who provide a suitable framework and have time to listen actively to them, and to openly consider and experience the world with them. They need adults who accept and value them and offer them encouragement and security.
CHILDHOOD AT TROLL
Through the daily forest experience, Troll offers children an abundance of natural stimuli and experiences in and with their natural environment.
Troll facilitates a wide variety of sensory experiences. They listen intently to the noises of the forest. They pick everything up and turn things over curiously in their hands. They watch with fascination and astounding persistence a particularly interesting natural scene.
Our carers offer an attentive presence, transmitting security and assistance where needed, empowering the children to explore and take action independently. A multitude of tiny achievements and the joy of their own experiences reinforce the children’s self-esteem.
Our small groups allow our staff to take each child individually into consideration, to take account of their emotional state on any particular day, and to encourage and support them through changing situations.
In groups of varying ages the children are able to practice and improve their social and emotional skills. They develop valuable and lasting friendships. Troll is an invaluable early step in preparing children for their journey in life.
THE FOREST, SPACE WITHOUT WALLS AND DOORS
The forest opens up a limitless land of play and fantasy: the children turn the upturned roots of a tree into a pirate ship, the fallen branch into a bakery, or fill a hollow with pine branches to make a nest for squirrels.
The forest encourages the children to give anything a go: they use mud for playdough, pick up a snail with the upmost care and attention, relax by rolling about joyfully in the damp, fallen leaves, look carefully and with great fascination at the colourful flowers, or climb about daringly on twisted old trees.
The forest offers a space in which many and varied interests can be catered for: a muddy slope on which to slide about noisily with the group, a cave under the pine branches to retreat to, a tree to climb and explore one’s own limits, or a bed of moss to dream and find quiet in the still forest.
In the forest, the children are able to act on their natural desire for movement according to their age: they slide, jump, climb, balance and run, learning as they go to coordinate and control their movements, to feel their own bodies and develop their sense of balance.
In the forest, the children experience and understand natural events directly: they accompany the wood anemone as it sprouts, flowers and fruits, and eventually dies away. In the Autumn, they wave goodbye to the migratory birds, and welcome them back to the forest in Spring.
The feeling of hot fire, rain, wind and the warming rays of the sun on the skin, as well as the active consideration of all four seasons of the year are an astounding source of learning which comes naturally in the forest environment.
WORKING TOGETHER WITH PARENTS
Troll aims for constructive cooperation with Mums and Dads. Regular and open discussion on dropping off and picking up children on the edge of the forest helps develop mutual understanding and trust, enabling parents to allow their child to gather their own experiences outside the family. Parents know their child is in the best possible hands, accompanied and supported on this journey.
The children on the other hand experience how staff and parents discuss concerns and show mutual respect for each other’s views. This experience strengthens the child’s trust and sense of security, helping them to connect the two worlds and to feel happy in both places.