Viral Video on Play Areas on Public Transportation In Finland is Impressive

Viral Video on Play Areas on Public Transportation In Finland is Impressive

If you’re a parent—especially to young children—chances are you would not prefer to use public transportation if you can help it. You have to wrangle your children onto the bus or subway train; keep them seated and occupied during the drive; make sure they’re safe; make sure they don’t pick up any weird trash or who-knows-what that could be laying around. It’s stressful, to say the least. And one word that definitely does not describe the experience is fun. That is, unless you’re in Finland.

CN Traveler recently named Finland the happiest country in the world in 2024, and listed factors such as generosity, income, freedom of choice and life expectancy as reasons for crowning it with the prestigious title for the seventh year in a row. They should’ve also mentioned the pristine, kid-friendly public transportation.

Instagrammer Josh Levine (@joshlevine485) recently went viral when he shared a reel showing what public transportation in Finland looks like, and simply put: it’s amazing. The front of the train car is equipped with a built-in play area that features a play structure, slide, bead maze table, and book nook filled with picture books. The space is clean and the train is not full.

While most of the comments were awestruck parents vocalizing their disbelief that something like this exists, one Finnish user wrote: “As a Finn, I didn’t know this was amazing. It’s just normal to me.” OF COURSE IT IS!

Levine is a native New Yorker who moved to Helsinki with his wife and twin toddlers. After that reel went viral, he decided to showcase more reasons why Finnish public transportation is something every country should strive for. 

“Riding the subway in NYC with a double stroller is practically impossible, but in Helsinki it’s a breeze. The cherry on top—if you’re riding with a stroller it’s free!” he wrote in the caption of a reel that shows just how easy it is to navigate Finnish public transportation with a stroller. “As new parents of twins, access to public transportation is one of the reasons Kirsti and I decided to live in Helsinki rather than NYC.”

There’s another reason why Finns are thought to be so happy, too. They embrace the concept that play is the work of children and adhere to a play-based kindergarten curriculum. “There’s an old Finnish saying,” Arja-Sisko Holappa, a counselor for the Finnish National Board of Education, told Motherly in a 2019 interview, “those things you learn without joy you will forget easily.” And it seems there’s no shortage of joy in Finland.

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