Outside Play Policies

Outside Play Policies

Our children go outside into our well-equipped play yards every morning and afternoon, in a variety of weather conditions. If individual children become uncomfortable, they may be taken inside, but the rest of the group will remain outside for their full play period.

We keep cups and bottled water outside and encourage the children to drink frequently.

Outside time is an opportunity for active, noisy, rowdy play. It may include water play, sand play, snow play, art and nature activities, as well as imaginative play and opportunities to run, climb, and shout. We have quiet areas with soft surfaces for infants to explore and for new walkers to test out their skills. Preschoolers will sometimes take walks or field trips into the community. Preschoolers will sometimes take walks or field trips into the community.


Water Play

We use water play to help keep the children comfortable on hot days. We use water tables, sprinklers, spray bottles, and water pans, whenever the temperature is over 80 degrees. Teachers invent games involving water play, allowing children to splash freely at the water tables & pans, but not allowing them to climb inside.

Air Quality

Regardless of temperature, the children will continue to play outside every morning and afternoon, on their regular schedule – UNLESS the air quality index for that day is CODE RED. That is the only time (except for rain) that the children are to be kept inside. When the index is CODE ORANGE, the outside time should be limited to one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. Staff reapply sun block every 2 hours that a child remains outside. From May through September, staff are notified each day of the air quality forecast from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Air Quality Hot Line, which determines how much outside time will be allowed that day. On code red days (unhealthy) the children remain indoors. On code orange days (moderately unhealthy) 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:

The Air Quality Index Codes are:
Red – Unhealthy
Orange – Moderately Unhealthy
Yellow – moderate
Green – good

When the temperature is over 90 degrees, children are to be kept inside between the hours of 12 noon-2pm (the hours of most intense heat). This is nap time for most of the children..