Summer Outdoors Day Care Playground Tips

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Summer is coming at last and the sun is starting to shine on our day care playgrounds. Time to dust them off and prepare for long, safe days outdoors. Every year I find that I need to do a walkabout in the playground and assess what needs to be updated, tidied or added to. I call it my ‘ playground springclean’ and every child care facility should do this as often as possible.

I give all my fencing the beady eye making sure there are no weak points or sharp edges. Obviously I include all play equipment in this examination to be sure all is in working order and totally safe. It’s always amazing how many twigs and sticks are lurking sneakily in places where small hands will find them and turn them into offensive weapons. Despite ongoing cleaning and tidying throughout the year various cloths escape detection and can be found looking the worse for the wear. We are lucky to be in the country and surrounded by plants and greens which means I also need to be vigilant for ivy sneaking over the wall or through the fence.

We have our outdoor kit (I suggest a basket or one of those cleaning supplies carriers you see hotel cleaning staff using) containing tissues, handtowels, cloths, sanitiser, latex gloves, first aid kid and phone. So, we are fully prepared for every eventuality in the great outdoors with this kit which is returned to the building and restocked every day.

We ask parents to apply sunscreen to the children in the morning and to provide sun hats (but we also have a stock of spares just in case). We are very fortunate to have a huge tree protecting our play area which provides fantastic natural shade (worth thinking about when planning a playground). We obviously avoid the outdoors between noon and two (fortunately coincides with dinner and nap/quiet time). The rest of the day, where possible is spent outside and the children go home dirty, tired and happy.

 

 

 

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