Fox Book: Towards a sustainable future through exploration, adventure and play

Together with early childhood education and care professionals and children, the City of Helsinki’s Education Division has developed a Fox model. The model comprises seven foxes that help the users learn about the goals of sustainable development and ways of achieving a sustainable future. The model’s focal points include climate and environmental education, circular economy skills and futures literacy.

Fox Book (.pdf)

Each fox has its own story that introduces a sustainability-related phenomenon. For example, Outdoor Fox and Rose Chafer learn about the importance of coarse woody debris (biodiversity), Chef Fox and the juggling Desert Fox discuss food availability (climate change), and Inventor Fox studies the possibilities for reusing plastics with Lonni the Seagull (circular economy). These stories do not provide ready-made answers or solutions, but rather leave room for creativity. The idea is for children to come up with solutions through innovation, exploration and play.

In addition to the foxes’ stories, each chapter includes dozens of functional exercises, paws. The paws are used to examine, explore and build a sustainable future. The paws consist of real-world phenomena, creative thinking, futures studies and finding new solutions. They have been designed in a way that allows them to be adapted according to the age, interests, ideas and wishes of children.

  • More than 25,000 children in Helsinki participated in Fox activities in 2022
  • Model was co-created with more than 350 early childhood educators
  • More than 1100 early childhood educators and care professionals participated in a Fox trainings to learn more about sustainable development
  • The Fox Book is available in Finnish, Swedish and English
  • Model contains virtual foxes that can be searched for in different parts in Helsinki
  • University of Helsinki is making research on the effectiveness of the model
  • The Fox model was presented in TIME magazine in January 2022