Early childhood education

Finnish Early Childhood Education - Learning Math at the Lunch Table?


By Laura Lahin

June 9th, 2021

2 minutes read


This week we continue to shed light on the Finnish Early Childhood Education (ECE) and the everyday pedagogy in Finnish kindergartens!

Every child has an individual plan

As discussed in the previous article, the National Core Curriculum for Early Childhood Education and Care steers the work of teachers in ECE. In addition, municipalities have local curriculums, which emphasize local needs and special characteristics of the area. However, next to these general curriculums, equally important are childrens’ individual ECE plans. Every child has an individual plan for learning and care, and these plans are made in cooperation with the teacher, guardians/parents, and the child.

Only after every child in the group has an individual plan, the teacher will combine those together to make a pedagogical plan for the whole group. This means that not only the national curriculum defines the learning activities, but also parents and the children themselves affect the activities.

children playing

The child’s individual ECE plan always contains examples of the child’s strengths, interests, and individual needs. The aim of the pedagogy is to build on children’s interests and strengths, and put them to use to keep on learning! This means that if there are many sports-loving kids in the group, the teacher might think of ways to learn for example maths and language through physical exercise. If some children just love playing with cars, it’s natural to use this interest to also learn other things.

Combining children’s strengths and interests with new and sometimes difficult things to learn is the core of Finnish ECE. There is no point in doing things boringly if it’s possible to do them in funny, exciting, and child-led ways.

So there is no need for books and pencils all the time (although they are super useful on many occasions!).

Learn math during lunch?

How can we learn math simply during our lunch? Subscribe to our newsletter and you will receive free Yuyu Club activities. In our next newsletter, we will be sharing tips that will help you see math in everyday situations!

Family time cooking together