This Is How They Harden Kindergarten Children in Siberia

The kids at the No. 317 kindergarten in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia are making themselves immune to flu viruses and winter colds by walking outside naked at temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius and pouring buckets of freezing cold water over their bodies.

Ever since photos and videos of the extreme hardening process were exposed in the media, the Siberian kindergarten has come under fire from parents worried about the children’s well-being. But caretakers like Margarita Filimonova insist the practice is totally safe, as the children are only allowed to go outside in the freezing weather after three years of slow training and medical testing. It might seem extreme, but the staff insist the practice makes the children fitter and improves their health significantly. Kindergarten No. 317 has been hardening its children for the last 13 years, and some of the kids who went here went on to become Olympic champions in various sports. It’s the only institution of its kind in the region which uses this kind of extreme exercises.

Photo: Anatoly Belonogov / SmartNews

To prepare the children for the freezing weather outside, the staff at the Krasnoyarsk kindergarten pour cold water over them in the shower. The temperature of the water gradually drops to about -20 degrees, and only then the kids are allowed outside. Wearing only their underwear they walk barefooted in the snowy courtyard and pour buckets of freezing water over their little bodies. The procedure lasts only a few seconds, after which it’s off to the hot sauna. After they get warmed up, it’s time for another outing and another bucket of cold water, which releases clouds of steam, leaving passers-by baffled. All this takes place at 7:30 in the morning, right before breakfast, as the cold improves the kids appetite.

Photo: Anatoly Belonogov / SmartNews

Not all the parents let their kids take part in this hardening exercise, but the 70% of the children who attend the No. 317 kindergarten love their morning ritual, and ask to go outside in the freezing cold. One of the parents interviewed by SmartNews said her daughter hasn’t gotten sick once in the last two years, so she’s delighted by the results of the extreme practice.


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