After Calgary’s sudden return to winter last week, our daycare had to delay the switch from indoor mornings to outdoor mornings. But I can happily report that as of May 1, it looks like the students will be able to begin their mornings playing outside in the yard. Here’s hoping Calgary’s weather agrees, going forward. Cross your fingers with me!
That doesn’t mean everyone agrees. Any change in routine can be a difficult one for the students. For this reason, our one-year-old class starts the day inside all year ’round, and keeps their outdoor time much more structured. Too many transitions can really ruin a day, when you’re one!
Other students take to the change with great enthusiasm. The chance to play in the sandbox or to drive a favourite tricycle is not to be missed, whether it’s early in the morning or later in the day. They are curious and excited when we tell them they get to play outside first thing.
But even for some older students, transitions are a challenge. Knowing what to expect can make a big difference when a child is two or three, and wants to ensure that the day doesn’t hold any surprises. Child care is so much easier when the students know what’s happening, and what’s coming next.
Lately my son has enjoyed reading “On The Go Time”, a book about getting ready to leave the house in the morning, and what a trip with errands looks like. He also loves stories such as “What to Expect When We Get To Daycare.” We repeat these stories over and over again, as he begins to understand how our days are structured.
Children like to hear about what they can expect, in simple language that they understand. Repeating the plan over and over again makes them feel confident and assured. Try telling your child the story of “What to Expect”! Talking about changes ahead of time can help children cope.
We hope you and your children will enjoy our transition to outside mornings!