ActiveKidsClub is a grassroots community dedicated to connecting children and adults to the outdoors through play, cooking, and lifestyle choices. Based on the Norwegian philosophy of “Friluftsliv” or Fresh Air Living, Kari Svenneby spreads this message through blogging, speaking engagements, and interactive workshops. Known as a “Polar Bear Mom,” Kari has popularized the old Norwegian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”1
Coming from a culture where outdoor play is “one of the most important gifts given to children,” Kari tried to find outdoor play mates for her daughter. She began the search in the winter of 2006 in Canada. Finding themselves alone in a frozen city park, Kari drew on her culinary skills as a trained chef and began offering hot drinks and homemade Norwegian waffles.
She also drew on her degree in Library and Information Science to create the ActiveKidsClub blog and community online. The resulting website “connects parents and inspires them to start an outdoor playgroup in their neighborhood.”2 Besides blog posts with outdoor play ideas and resources, the ActiveKidsClub hosts online meetings, monthly newsletters, guest bloggers, and a list of outdoor playgroups. They also offer online talk shows with play leaders such as Leonore Skenazy from Free-Range Kids or Beth Kimberley of Playworks3 and online webinars with KaBOOM!4
With blogs that explore outside play through “art, movement, games, and learning,” Kari supports her “go outside and play” message with concrete ideas and resources.5 She also incorporates “Cooking with Nature” ideas as well as broader conceptual discussions such as “Tiger Moms vs Polar Bear Moms.”
ActiveKidsClub's effectiveness in reconnecting children and adults to outside play has been featured in Richard Louv's The Nature Principle and publications for National Wildlife Federation and other media sources.6
In 2011 to support safe Fresh Air playing, ActiveKidsClub launched a line of safety reflectors that can be attached to outerwear, such as from a zipper pull.
- 1. “BIO Kari Svenneby.” ActiveKidsClub. < http://www.activekidsclub.com/bio-kari-svenneby.html > 21 Jan. 2013.
- 2. Ibid.
- 3. “About us.” ActiveKidsClub. < http://www.activekidsclub.com/about-us.html > 10 Feb 2013.
- 4. “Consulting/workshops/speaking.” ActiveKidsClub. < http://www.activekidsclub.com/consultingspeaking.html > 10 Feb. 2013.
- 5. Op.cit., “BIO.”
- 6. Op.cit., “About us.”