Unesco Green Citizens

Fuji Kindergarten

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Project begin: 01/02/2005

To preserve children’s understanding of the natural environment, the Fuji Montessori School in Tokyo designed a special building. Its roof is the only play equipment.

Leading organisation: Montessori School Fuji Kindergarten
The country where the team is based: Japan
Covered Countries: Japan
Theme: Education for Sustainable Development
Sub-themes: Cultural diversity, Knowledge sharing, Sustainable lifestyles
Tag: #Youth
Selection: 2021
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Tezuka Takaharu and Yui Tezuka, the founders of Fuji Montessori School, visited Casa Mila, a building in Spain designed by Antoni Gaudí. On this roof full of chimneys and irregular windows, children were running around and having fun, even though it was not an official playground.

A place to experiment

According to them, traditional play equipment includes tools designed by adults to give children ways to play. Playgrounds are given, and the ways to play are limited. Yet children are experts at finding their own games. The founders consider that we overprotect children with artificially created environments. They cannot grow properly and experience cannot be learned. Their precept: “Don’t spoil them too much or they will grow up the wrong way. Because the one who doesn’t break a bone now, may have a more serious injury once he or she grows up.”

This kindergarten was designed as a large oval building where all architectural spaces are at child height. The three existing trees run through the architecture. The roof is sloping and running becomes fun. Even children who don’t normally run race around the roof. It is said that some children run 30 laps in the morning, which is 5,500 meters, an unusual distance for young children.

The founders aim to enable children from different and diverse backgrounds to enrol in this kindergarten.

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