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To ask my children's pre-school not to let them play outside

(189 Posts)
AitchDee Sat 01-Dec-12 12:44:34

My twins attend a local preschool for three mornings a week. Since they started I have had issues with them arriving home at lunch time with soaking wet sleeves and trousers where they have done outside water play, and hands that are red raw from being cold and wet.

On Thursday upon dropping them off, we were told not to take coats/hats/gloves off as they were going o play in the school field next door. I raised my eyebrows at the time as it really was a very cold, frosty morning.

A hour later I got a phone call to say my twins needed collecting as one was very poorly and falling asleep/eyes rolling in his head, and the other 'had come out in sympathy' and was crying hysterically.

I collected them and brought them home, but I think they we're just utterly freezing. They were absolutely fine the rest of the day. All the other children were playing happily back in the warm so it was only mine.

I'm not sure if I am just being precious. They do love playing outside, even in freezing cold water and wet sand, no matter the weather, but I think their bodies use find it a bit much. They were born very early, and only weighed 1lb 3oz at birth but to look at them now they have caught up.

Would I look a twat asking preschool to keep them indoors until spring? Maybe my twins just need a bit of toughening up? They will be three in January if that makes a difference.

HalloweenNameChange Sat 01-Dec-12 16:41:38

Kids should play out all year long, but it sounds like the nursery aren't taking precautions which is a problem for me. WHy get toddlers wet when it's freezing out? No reason for it, I'd question that. i also think it would be impossible for them to leave your kids inside and have someone watch just your two when the rest are outside. Maybe have a word with them about dressing the kids appropriately and not getting them wet and then if nothing changes move them>

Rudolphstolemycarrots Sat 01-Dec-12 19:38:29

Mine used to feel the cold more so i took steps. I think you need to wrap your children up more. Look on line for feather filled body warmer on line and layer fleece on fleece underneath the coats. Buy proper skiing gloves and hats. The play group should also provide completely properly waterproof all in one suits - not those rubbish lightweight ones. I think kids should play outside all year. Even a bit of rain is good fun.

LittleMissFlustered Sat 01-Dec-12 20:05:03

The foundation stage at my school (stages 1&2 so 3 and 4 year olds) have a big stash of padded all in one snowsuit jobs that the kids wear in the winter. It's awesome seeing the little Michelin kids waddling about having fun in the rainsmile

Sokmonsta Sat 01-Dec-12 20:09:13

Yabu. Send them with two complete sets of spare clothes - socks, vest. Even a spare set of cheap plimsolls. Ds is notorious for jumping in every bloody puddle he can find. The preschool playground has a dip and a massive puddle. I'm in the process of finding waterproof trousers for him but as long as they put his wellies on him and change him as soon as they get it he has great fun.

Maybe ask if they can warm milk for them after playtime instead of cold.

NettleTea Sat 01-Dec-12 20:14:59

I am a forest school leader, and we run course year round - in fact our local school will be sending reception year to start a 6-12 week course starting in January.
In Scandanavia they say 'there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes'
The trouble with alot of the waterproof stuff that people buy (especially the fashion stuff) is that it looks nice, but just isnt practical - there are well known 'waterproof' coats with towelling linings - thats just ridiculous as the cotton inner will suck all the water straight in.
you need good quality water proofs and thermal layers, plus gloves and hats, for the winter. Waterproof stuff should have taped seams. Look for something scandanavian made, they know their stuff.

NettleTea Sat 01-Dec-12 20:16:24

My son was at an Outdoor nursey and he loved it. They spent probably 80% of the time outside, but they knew how to do it properly and he never came home cold and wet, and he used to SIT in puddles if he could.

Sirzy Sat 01-Dec-12 20:19:33

I am sure it has already been said but "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes". Do you not take them out at all over winter? DS is 3 and has bad asthma but was fine walking around the christmas market yesterday in his snow suit and hat!

Children need fresh air all year round. It does them more harm to be cooped up inside than it does for them to be running around in the cold.

DingDongKethryverilyonHigh Sat 01-Dec-12 20:30:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dikkertjedap Sat 01-Dec-12 20:33:03

It is a requirement of the EYFS that they spend a certain amount of time outside. It is a British thing, on the Continent kids tend to stay in when it is cold/raining. It is just the way it is so little point trying to change it I would think.

However, when it is very cold it seems not very clever to have them playing with water and getting soaked in the process. So I would tell the nursery staff that you are not happy for them to play with water in this cold weather. Also, as others have pointed out make sure you dress them warm (layering), including waterproofs and warm hat and gloves. Little feet get very cold in wellies so I would look for some fully lined waterproof boots/shoes rather than wellies. It is also a good idea to make sure that there is always a set of spare clothes at school.

dikkertjedap Sat 01-Dec-12 20:34:37

It may be worth looking for some clothes in shops like Cotswold Outdoors etc.

FairyChristmas Sat 01-Dec-12 20:35:58


DD has an all in one rainsuit and wellies that are kept permanently at school (she's in reception) - they go stark staring mad if they can't get outside.

JackThePumpkinKing Sat 01-Dec-12 20:36:54

Water play outside in these temps is fucking stupid tbh.

Going outside with proper warm waterproof clothing is fine (and isnt it an ofsted thing that children should be allowed free access to outside space?).

Meglet Sat 01-Dec-12 20:38:02

yabu - ish.

But do you send them with spare clothes and do the staff change the children when they are wet? DD keeps her rucksack at nursery all week and I chuck in a couple of spare changes of clothes. The staff change the children when they are wet / muddy / very painty.

BoffinMum Sat 01-Dec-12 20:42:39

Preschoolers who spend most of the day outside (albeit wearing serious outdoor kit) are known for getting practically no colds, by the way.

natation Sat 01-Dec-12 20:45:08

Greenbananas is right, it is a requirement of EYFS to provide outdoor opportunities, it is NOT a requirement that they are forced outside (no I know the OP is not saying that, but others are saying children that age MUST spend time outside and it's not true).

Where we live in continental weather, in Belgium, young children are outside every single day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, for 1 hour at lunch (unless doing sieste, that's under 4s), in almost all weathers. Every school has a sheltered part of the playground and the the children play under it if wet or particularly cold. I could count on my fingers how many times in 4 years the under 5s have been kept in because of bad weather and the temperature can stay under 0 centigrade for a month or more during the Winter months. Any child inappropriately dressed risks a dressing down from the class teacher or at least a note in the bag telling them they must send their children to school dressed properly. I find the UK schools quite wimpish in comparison, but hopefully that will change now more schools realize the benefits of outdoor play and education.

FeelingGreen Sat 01-Dec-12 22:01:31

agree with everyone who's said that with the right kit you can be outside twice a day whatever the weather. Even in torrential rain we go puddle jumping or just exploring. Today it was bitingly cold but we sorted the garden (well ds mainly 'unsorted' it as quickly as I soted it) and then went for a walk and inspected some pebbles. Ds would be climbing the walls if we didn't though!

We took DS to the alps last winter (aged 18 months) and although we were careful not to be outside for long at a time, he had great fun sledinging, jumping in the snow and watching people in the ski lifts. We did have him kitted out in proper scandinavian snow kit from head to toe though.

BoffinMum Sat 01-Dec-12 22:05:55

If you invest in walking boots, performance socks, Gore-tex outers and so on, in other words miniature versions of what seriously outdoorsy adults wear, kids are capable of impressive feats of endurance in the cold and wet.

charllie Sat 01-Dec-12 22:07:03

YABU children love playing out in all weather, they need to play out in all weather - its a great learning experience for them. I work with children and have done for 13+ years and have always taken children out in all weather. As a parent it is your responsibility to make sure your child has warm suitable clothing and also suitable spare clothes for the times they do get wet etc.

AThingInYourLife Sat 01-Dec-12 22:37:01

"If you invest in walking boots, performance socks, Gore-tex outers and so on, in other words miniature versions of what seriously outdoorsy adults wear, kids are capable of impressive feats of endurance in the cold and wet."

That stuff is very expensive.

You cannot expect people to buy that kind of gear for toddlers just so they can go to nursery.

If it's too cold or wet to be outdoors in regular seasonal clothes and a coat and hat, children should be kept indoors.

baublesandbaileys Sat 01-Dec-12 22:42:03

"You cannot expect people to buy that kind of gear for toddlers just so they can go to nursery"

I don't, but I do expect people to take their kids out somewhere other than nursery over the winter months confused, so it's not "just" for nursery is it?

Lidl/Aldi regularly do very very good cheap outdoor wear for kids (fleece lined waterproofs, fleece lined wellies, thermals etc

JackThePumpkinKing Sat 01-Dec-12 22:54:34

Rofl @ 'performance socks'

natation Sat 01-Dec-12 22:58:35

Oh come on, children are expensive, the fact that Winter gear bought brand new CAN be expensive is a weak reason for rejecting buying it and keeping your children at home.

Decathlon prices, especially if you hit sales, are not expensive. You can buy Winter gear for little children on ebay, Facebook, NCT sales etc and yes nothing wrong with Aldi stuff either. It's really not hard to source cheaper clothing for children.

baublesandbaileys Sat 01-Dec-12 23:00:09

oh and I also buy summer gear in winter on ebay and winter gear on really hot days in summer and there's never any other bidders grin

forevergreek Sat 01-Dec-12 23:00:18

We live in London. It's so wet they have been in waterproofs pretty much constantly since September. No doubt until April at this rate. That's half the year so they are definatly needed.

We spend a lot of time outside. Thermals on top and bottom, joggers/ fleeced lined jeans. Long sleeved tops, merino body warmers, thick jumpers, then a lined all in one waterproof. If is colder more layers. Also hat/ gloves/ scarf and snow boots. We spent all yesterday morning in Hyde park, played poo sticks, had hot milk from winter wonderland ( just ask, if they sell hot choc/ coffee etc they sell milk), watched squirrels, played in leaves, the walk there and back is 30 mins toddler walk each way. We also had lunch alongside the serpentine feeding ducks at the same time. When we arrived home they were perfectly toasty and dry ( adults also have thermals/ snowboots/ warm long coats)

After nap ( which was inside), they dressed again and spent the afternoon playing in the sand in the garden and sweeping leaves up with play brooms.

It's was between -1 and 4 yesterday, and they were fine and happy outside for 6 hours ( and they slept until 9.30am this morning! Perfect)

forevergreek Sat 01-Dec-12 23:01:18

Also if everyone wore better winter gear, there would soon be more to pass on to siblings/ get second hand etc so cheaper

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