Outside Play

We believe that children, even babies, should spend time outside each day in most weather. Our children go outside into our well-equipped play yards every morning and afternoon. Of course, how long they stay out depends on how comfortable the weather is, and we take our cues from the children. They become adaptable to a variety of weather conditions, and are, we believe, healthier for it.

Outside time is an opportunity for active, noisy, rowdy play. and may include water play, sand play, snow play, art and nature activities, as well as imaginative play and opportunities to run, climb, and shout. Quilts may be spread on the ground for the babies. Preschoolers sometimes take field trips into the community.

In summer, we are very aware that exposure to sun can be harmful to our children. We have stringent sun protection policies, which are distributed to parents and staff in early April. From May through September, staff are notified each day of the air quality forecasted by theMetropolitan Washington Council of Governments Air Quality Hot Line, which determines how much outside time will be allowed that day. On code red days (unhealthful) the children remain indoors. On code orange days (moderately unhealthful) outside time is limited to an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. On code yellow (moderate) and code green (good) ozone days, outside time is unlimited. We also apply sunblock to all children over six months old whose parents give us written permission to do so. Babies wear sun hats and are kept in the shade. We encourage the use of hats and lip balm for further protection, and all of our playgrounds have shaded areas. We use water play to help keep the children comfortable on hot days.