Kari Svenneby is the founder and CEO of ActiveKidsClub.com, a grass roots community helping connect children and adults to the outdoors by providing simple and creative ways to get outside through play, cooking and lifestyle. A chef, librarian and mother of two, she has an unique blend of education and experiences .
Chef and librarian
Kari is classically trained in Culinary Arts with a decade of experience in restaurants, catering and cooking at the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway. In addition she became a librarian with a degree in Library and Information Science from the Faculty of Journalism, Oslo University College. Little did she know that cooking for presidents and kings would combine with a Norwegian academic degree as a researcher to become a leader in reconnecting children to Nature.
Activekidsclub.com is more than a blog; it is a website that connects parents and inspires them to start an outdoor playgroup in their neighborhood. With members in the US, Canada and worldwide Activekidsclub.com hosts online meetings and provides materials and guidance to encourage children and adults to get outside. In 2011 they launched their own line of safety reflectors as a way to get families outside safely in their communities.
It all began with Kari handing out flyers in the Canadian winter of 2006. She wanted her daughter to have a childhood similar to her own in Norway with lots of friends to play outside with in all kinds of weather. Kari and her daughter spent some lonely days that first winter. Finding herself all alone in an empty frozen city park, Kari resorted to bribey; families passing by were encouraged to stop for hot chocolate, coffee and homemade Norwegian waffles.
She was surprised over the lack of urgency about the need to get kids outside (especially in the winter) both from parents and educators in early childhood daycare programs. Being from Norway her viewpoint was immersed in a different culture where most educators and parents look at outdoor play as one of the most important gifts given to children.
Using her digital skills to champion her message of ‘go outside and play’, she began developing original content and used social media to broadcast her message empowering other parents to get their children outside. For the last 6 years she has created content that has a different and unique way of connecting families/educators to the outdoors through art, movement, games, and learning. Her love of food always plays an important role with cooking and enjoying food with friends and family outside in all kinds of weather.
Kari’s mantra is an old Norwegian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” A mantra that she is now popularizing outside of her homeland.
Kari has a unique cultural perspective that energizes her as a parenting/lifestyle expert. She not only speaks English but also Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and conversational German. These countries are all leading the world in outdoor learning and outdoor family life where much of her outdoor play content finds its inspiration.
Creative interactive workshops
Kari Svenneby offers creative and interactive workshops and speaking engagements for parents and educators on how to connect children with nature through play, outdoor living and cooking.
Being a champion for outdoor play means sometimes featuring content that creates debate about parenting styles, society and education. Kari is an important voice for outdoor play and change in Canada and the US. She and ActiveKidsclub.com have been featured for her work on getting kids and adults outside in many publications. The list includes the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Wildlife Federation, Norwegian Public Radio, Backpacker Magazine, Kaboom, and as an early collaborator with Children and Nature Network. Most recently ActiveKidsClub.com was mentioned in Richard Louv’s latest book “The Nature Principle”.
A proud “Polar Bear Mom” of two, Kari is a recognized voice for outdoor play in Canada and the US. She passionately uses her love for the outdoors to inspire others to follow her footsteps where her urban perspectives meet her thirst for appreciating nature in her backyard, local park or hundred acre forest. Her vision of “Fresh Air Life” is a lifestyle choice for her; it inspires her audience on how to live outside daily in their everyday lives.
Consulting/speaking click here