Services to Schools and Day Care Centres

One of the main goals of the Nature House is to support schools and day care centres by providing education for a sustainable lifestyle. A good relationship with nature is a prerequisite for behaving in an environmentally responsible manner, which is why we wish to encourage educators to take children out into nature more often.

We provide services for both educators and groups of children. Some of the services are only available to customers from Espoo.

Teachers and Early Childhood Educators

Supplementary environmental education courses
The courses are mainly short sessions held in the afternoon. They are free of charge and available to all educators in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The service is available only in Finnish and in Swedish.

Support for planning an environmental programm
The staff of the Nature House can be asked to visit educators and provide advice on how to plan an environmental education programme. Nature House Villa Elfvik serves as the regional promoter of Green Flag. Only for schools and day care centres in Espoo. The service is available only in Finnish.

Utilising local nature near a school/day care centre in education
Are you tired of sitting in the classroom all day? Why not go outside with the children! There must be a forest, park or other nature near your school or day care centre that you can visit or use when teaching various subjects. After finding a suitable site, the teacher(s) of your school can plan and carry out the trip or class outdoors in cooperation with the staff of Nature House Villa Elfvik. The service is only available for schools and day care centres in Espoo and is provided on order in the environment near the school or day care centre.

Groups of Children

Nature School
Nature School Days are organised for comprehensive school classes in Espoo from grade 3 onwards. The service is available only in Finnish and in Swedish. In the spring, schools may apply for Nature School Days that take place in the upcoming term. Schools receive application instructions and forms by mail in April. The instructions and forms can also be found on our website. The theme of a Nature School Day can be chosen so that it is in line with the ongoing instruction. A Nature School Day brings a refreshing change into ordinary class time!

Nature trips in May and September
Guides lead groups of children on trips into the nature surrounding Villa Elfvik on weekdays during May and September. These interactive trips are designed for 5–10-year-old children. There are various types of trips, each lasting about 1.5 hours. Trips in September are booked in August and trips in May are booked in March. The detailed dates will be posted on our website.

Nature Trails with assignments
Assignment packages for the nature trails near Villa Elfvik have been created for children. “The Nature Sanctuary” trail starts out from the house and runs into the forest and the reeds by the shore. In the winter, the trail can be followed with an assignment package entitled “Tracing the Hare”. “Väinö the Crow” nature trail dives into the shade of the spruce forest.  Guidebooks is available only in Finnish and in Swedish.

Uikunpesä/Villa Elfvikin luontotalo Grebe’s nest as the base of a day out
“Uikunpesä” (Grebe’s nest) is a building in the yard of the Nature House that has a mud room, a toilet and a small classroom with kitchenware. Outside is a large table with benches. Grebe’s nest is available for the environmental activities of school classes and day care groups from Espoo, in addition to the city’s administrative branches and associations. 

“Long Live Espoo” is an interactive exhibition describing the special features of nature in Espoo with things to see for visitors of all ages. Temporary exhibitions examine natural and environmental themes from various perspectives and add variety to the education for sustainable development that is provided in schools and day care centres. The Nature House also loans exhibitions to schools.

Badger’s forest – playroom
The second floor of the Nature House contains “Mäyrän metsä” (Badger’s forest) with a carpeted floor as soft as moss that invites visitors to sit and read books. The shelves contain nature-themed non-fiction, poetry and fairytales for children. The large, old cupboard holds costumes and animal puppets that can be used to create your own little plays about life in the forest or dress up as woodland creatures. The room also contains a group of tables and drawing materials for children.