Children need to play outside every day, even in Winter. Going outside to run, jump, yell, and wiggle allows children to use and improve their gross motor skills and work off extra energy they may have. Playing in the fresh air is healthier than keeping students in a closed building where germs can easily spread.
National and state health and wellness best practice standards recommend daily outdoor play for young children. New York State Office of Child & Family Services Regulation 418.7(k) states:
“Daily supervised outdoor play is required for all children in care, except during inclement or extreme weather or unless otherwise ordered by a health care provider.”
There may be days that your child plays outdoors at Harmony when you would normally keep them indoors at home. We understand that each parent may have a different threshold for what they consider “inclement weather.” That is why we use these state guidelines to determine appropriate weather for outdoor play. Please note that students are kept inside if we feel the conditions are unsafe.Also, extra precaution is taken with the infant class.
The amount of time spent outside varies by day and temperature. In very cold weather, students are outside for no longer than 10 minutes. Because we must maintain teacher/student ratios at all times, it is not always possible to keep a single child inside when a parent feels it is too cold.
Dress for the Weather
Because NYS Regulations require us to take the children outside to play every day, be sure to send your child with proper clothes for winter outdoor play — winter coat, hats, scarves, mittens, as well as snow pants, boots, and a change of clothes on snowy days. Feel free to leave an extra pair of mittens and hat to be kept at school throughout the winter in case you think you might forget to bring them back daily.
Please note: We have some spare winter clothing items on hand in case a child forgets. However, due to limited staff and the need to stay in ratio, we are not always able to hold a child inside because they do not have a hat or mittens. If we notice a child does not have appropriate winter clothing we will double check their backpack/cubby and sibling’s backpack/cubby for missing items before going outside. We will also send a reminder to send those items for the next day.
** All clothing items must be labeled with child’s name**