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Limited outside play in hot weather

(8 Posts)
MummyNic Tue 14-Jun-11 18:55:26

I'm a little concerned at the lack of outside play time at my 2 year olds nursery. They have a gazebo and it's not a massive garden yet today (warm & sunny) they only went outside for an hour this morning and a pathetic 15 mins this afternoon.
They insist on hats and sun cream (quite rightly) but if these are applied, why aren't they out every moment they can be in the nice weather?
The room gets the sun all day and only has windows on 1 side so the room is arguably hotter than outside.
I know they are aware of the fact that boys develop better outside yet they don't seem to follow their own thinking.
There's a nursery down the road that has open door policy, even if it's raining.. Tempted to move him.
Advice please :-)
Appreciate they might limit outside time between 11 and 3, but he should be running in the garden the rest of the time (if he chooses to), not cooped up indoors!

DottyandSpottyWot Tue 14-Jun-11 19:36:49

DD nursery has them out a lot of the time, they have a garden on one side and an enclosed paved space on the other so they can come and go as they please in the better weather when the staff open up the doors. We were asked to have rainwear in her bag so that they can be outside when its light rain/damp. It was one of the things that really attracted us to the nursery, as we only have a communal garden at home so she doesn't get outside much.

I'd say move if the other nursery has space!

MummyNic Tue 14-Jun-11 22:24:26

Already have his name down, it's reinforced my thinking about moving him. It's a shame. Think a problem is "no spare staff", they seem to have just enough to get the ratio right, and because there's not loads of kids, they can't put someone in the garden for, say 2 kids, as it'd leave them short for inside. Vicious circle: not enough staff = not enough freedom = unhappy parents who remove kids = lack of income = lack of staff :-(

sammich Tue 14-Jun-11 22:29:21

Goverment guidelines are very strict on being outside between 11-3 and encourage nurseries/schools to be inside during this time and being outside for an hour and 15 minutes a day is actually a lot considering in a few years he will be at school and will barely get this

Its also a generalisation that boys develop better outside and is not the case with most boys and with the new framework coming out in a few months more of it is going to be based on the ability to have the skills required for school and adult life

Have you asked the nursery if he wanted to be in the garden he may well of been engaged in a activity inside and chosen not to go outside

TiggyD Wed 15-Jun-11 12:35:28

It's tricky to staff several areas with minimum staff. I don't think any small nursery is capable of doing it unless they exceed the minimum number of staff considerably.

MummyNic Wed 15-Jun-11 17:36:04

I appreciate the 11-3 thing, try to stick to it myself (location permitting). I would expect them to have access to outside for about an hour after breakfast, hour after snack time and then an hour or 2 after lunch / tea. Accept they do activities as well but I see 3 to 4 one hour slots, so would hope him to be outside for at least 2 hours a day.

It wasn't a choice thing, they brought them in.

What concerns me is that he's not at all tired after a day there (was shattered after previous nursery), if anything he's staying up later and later. But if I get him to be physical at home he's shattered that night.

I just want to see a good balance of indoor & outdoor time. I've had my concerns for a few weeks but yesterday seemed downright daft and confirmed my suspicions.

Appreciate it's a nightmare ratio - wise :-(

purepurple Wed 15-Jun-11 19:54:29

The weather was hot and sunny here yesterday and this is how our day went (private day nursery)
8 am -9 am children arrive
9 am -9.30 breakfast
9.30 - 10.30 indoor play
10.30- 11 wake and shake
11- 11.30 outside play
11.30-11.45 story time
11.45-12.30 dinner
12.30-1pm quiet play for all day children morning children depart and afternoon children arrive
1-2 indoor play
2-2.30 wake and shake
2.30-2.45 tidy up/toilet
2.45-3.15 outside play
3.15-3.45 snack
3.45-5 outside play
5-5.30 quiet play/hometime

We could go out more often but the garden space is shared with 3 other rooms. we can't do freeflow because of the restrictions imposed by the design of the building.
Our children are shattered by the time they go home (as are we).

Mandy21 Thu 16-Jun-11 13:22:10

If there isn't alot of space, then as others have said, it has to be shared between the various groups ie the young babies, the toddlers, the pre-schoolers etc. I also don't subscribe to the view that boys develop better outdoors, I think ALL children are better outdoors and it was definitely one of the major selling points of the nursery we chose - it was a detached house down a little lane, open countryside to one side with a little stream, a farmers field with a llama that they kind of adopted. They provided waterproof suits for each child, we had to provide wellies just for nursery and warm coats/ gloves/hats etc and they had at least 2 hours of outdoor time every day irrespective of the weather but they had 5 or 6 separate sections of outdoor space that could accommodate all the groups, plus little walks, a little (shallow) stream close by that they played in, impromtu visits to the farm for ince cream in the sunshine. When it was glorious weather, all the planned indoor activities (story time, phonics etc - obviously not meals and sleep time) would be outside. I think its really important - but thats obviously personal choice and down to what suits the child.

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