My children’s health and activity matters to me not only when they are at home with me but when I am at work all day too. When my husband and I were searching for a pre-school for our son one thing that we looked for was how much outdoor play and activities were going to be a part of his day at school.
I believe we hit the jack pot with the pre-school that we chose and here is why. Firstly, the outside ‘yard’ space of the school is set up exactly like a back yard, so it has a real homey feel to it. The space is totally fenced and large enough for the children to run around but not so large that they would get lost or could sneak off, be unsafe or unwatched.
There is small rock section on the right hand side where the plastic play set and a swing set reside and along the side of the building is a large patio area. The teachers put out things such as water, chairs, snacks, and sunscreen so it’s easy for the children to access. Having a large water container outside with little cups, I thought, was an excellent idea. It promotes healthy hydration and when a child sees another kid getting a drink I think they are more inclined to go get one for them self.
On the left hand side is another small rock space with an interesting, but not high, climbing apparatus – my son constantly raves about it and although I have never seen one before it seems to be a popular piece of equipment! Next to this is a large sand pit with various sand related toys. When we toured in the summer the sand pit had been dug out and a large tarp was put down and they were filling it with water to imitate a pool. Genius I thought! Bring the water/pool feel to the school. Kids love cooling down in the water during a hot summer’s day.
The rest of the space is a large green grass area with a huge old tree in the center which provides shade – an important factor J Aside from the great set up and use of space the most attractive thing to me is that during our tour the Director of the school made a point of pointing out that they had had a concrete path poured around the perimeter of the large grass area specifically so that the children could run, walk, or ride bikes around as they chose. Another genius idea!
I am so impressed with our son’s school and the way they have maximized their space for different outdoor playing activities, more importantly they have made it a kid-friendly and non-threatening environment. There are so many different things to do outside that no one is cramped or fighting over a toy, bike or swing etc. I feel very fortunate that our son’s school takes healthy living into consideration during each school day. Living in Colorado we get to take advantage of such beautiful weather, what a better way to do it than by being outside!