Once Upon a Time has two playgrounds: one that infants and toddlers share and another that 2-year olds through school-age children share. Both playgrounds are very spacious and house developmentally appropriate and safe equipment. All children will go outside year-round at least once a day often in the morning (for a walk, a learning activity outside or playground time), and, a second time each afternoon (for a walk, a learning activity outside or playground time).
Children will be given a choice of activities to engage in while on the playground, however, teachers will be moving through the groups guiding and assisting children where needed. Organized group activities will also be arranged during outdoor play periods. Children will be encouraged to play with new friends each day (to avoid the cliques which can develop) and to play with new equipment or to think of new activities while outside (to avoid boredom). Whenever possible, new activities and equipment will be brought out throughout the year to keep the play areas fresh and interesting.
Children (all ages) must go outside every day unless there is inclement weather such as the heat index is too high, temperatures and/or wind chill is too cold, it is raining, etc. If the wind chill is below 0 degrees, children will not be taken outdoors. Children under 2 years old will not be taken outdoors in weather below 20 degrees. If the temperature is above 90 degrees, children will not be taken outside.
Children’s rules for outside activities: Children must wear shoes outside—preferably a sturdy shoe such as a tennis shoe.
Wood chips, stones and sand must stay on the ground or in the sensory table, etc. They cannot be thrown in the air or at other children or staff.
All violent, aggressive or negative behavior such as pushing, pinching, hitting, biting, kicking, tackling, throwing balls or objects at other children is not allowed. This hurts our friends and is not allowed. Teachers must assist children in eliminating this type of behavior.
Spitting inside or outside is not allowed.
Children must take turns and go one at a time on the monkey bars, slides and ladders to ensure safety.
Only one child on a swing at a time. Pushing an empty swing is dangerous and is not allowed. Under-ducks and twirls are dangerous and are not allowed.