And who came up with it? The forest children did!

Whether there will be a lion or an outhouse on the roof of the forest module, and what will go “plump” in which direction, is not entirely clear yet, but one thing is for sure – the children’s ideas are reflected in the construction plans.

Being outdoors in nature is an everyday experience for the forest children. However, when it gets too uncomfortable or cold, they need a place to seek shelter from the wind and weather – a safe haven. In Herrieden, that place is officially the hut of the Alpine Club. It serves as a place for cooking, playing, and team meetings. But of course, the forest children wouldn’t be true forest children if there wasn’t a forest to explore.

Their favorite place to go on adventures is the forest clearing, about a kilometer away from the shelter. The daily adventure usually starts at the meeting point on the edge of the forest, where the children have to decide whether to take the easy path or the adventurous one. More often than not, the unpaved and steep adventure path wins, especially when the wagon is not needed at the top.

Once they reach the clearing, they are greeted by the “forest sofa” – a construction made by the forest children, where they have made themselves comfortable with branches and sticks. There’s plenty to discover, experience, and room to unfold their imagination. When the children heard about the possibility of having a forest module at their favorite spot, they became curious. A forest module? What is that? Together with Aline, they researched on the internet to find out what it could be. It turned out to be a mix of a tiny house and a trailer – and now what? The children were inspired and started drawing their first building plans. A cozy corner, a wardrobe, an outhouse on the roof, a pee tree, and a whittling corner in the outdoor area – of course, with a fence to maintain the necessary safety distance. Their imagination was ignited. How should the forest module be heated, and “can we have a lion on the roof?”

Wow, that’s a big idea and challenge! It was about time that our architect, Jessica, examined the children’s plans with her expertise. We brought together the children’s perspective and our professional competence to the table. Meeting agenda: “March 6th: Visit of the forest children in Herrieden for coordination on the forest module.”

Sitting in a circle, the little experts presented their ideas for the forest module based on their drawings. In an exchange with Jessica, the ideas were discussed – what is feasible? What fails due to DIN standards, and what are the next steps until the forest children can move into their new safe haven? In the end, the children were allowed to add their improvement suggestions on the light table.

It was an exciting change of perspective, and the children were thrilled to be involved even in projects of this size. Even afterward, the topic was very present in their minds: “Will there be a crane?” or “Will the truck even fit through here?”. These questions show that the spark has been ignited, and the motivation for the “forest module” project is ignited.

Whether we will soon welcome a lion in Herrieden and what happens next, you can find out here on the littlebigFuture blog and on social media, as we will definitely continue to follow the process.

In the following image gallery, you will find our YouTube video on the topic, the children’s drafts, and the forest sofa in the forest clearing.

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