At Sunset Park Public School 169, we believe that children need to get outside and play because outdoor play is crucial to the academic success of our students. And the American Academy of Pediatrics agrees! A recently published study shows that outdoor, creative play is essential to children’s intellectual, social, and emotional development. (See here for the study)
This year, through creative programming by our wonderful Cafeteria Committee, we have been able to provide recess at least twice a week to every class. To supplement this regular outdoor play, our Imagination Playground on the roof is also available for classes to visit, where they can build their own structures with special blocks, allowing them to explore basic principles of engineering. Many classes have also scheduled outdoor field trips, neighborhood walks, and visits to the park across the street.
Now that the cold weather is upon us, it’s important that children have warm coats, mittens, hats, and scarves while they are learning and playing outside. Before heading outside, children are asked to put on all of their cold weather apparel. When you drop off your children at school, please be sure to leave all of these items -- hats, scarves, mittens/gloves -- with them. Do not take them back home with you. Here are some tips to help make dressing and undressing easier for your children and for the adults who help care for them at school:
- We recommend mittens rather than gloves. They are easier to put on and off. They are warmer. The hands are interchangeable. They are inexpensive (about $3 a pair). You can buy them from street vendors. We recommend purchasing 2 or 3 pairs that are exactly the same, this way if a mitten gets lost, you can easily replace it without needing to buy a completely new pair. If mittens don't fit in your children's jacket pockets, they can get dropped and lost. We recommend tying them to a string that goes through your children's jackets.
- Children should wear something to keep their necks warm. All-in-one hat and neck warmers and infinity scarves work better than regular scarves. Regular scarves easily get undone, as well as sometimes turn into throwing and pulling and tossing objects.
- Hats are important! Any kind of hat is better than no hat. Please help us teach your children to put their hats on before going outside.
Finally, we have been teaching the students to keep their mittens in their pockets and their hats and scarves in their jacket arm holes before hanging up theirs jackets on their hooks. Please remind them of the same at drop off in the mornings. If your child has lost something, please come check our lost and found in the small gym. After 30 days, items are cleaned out. Be sure to write your child's first and last name and class number on all of their winter apparel with a permanent marker.
If you have any concerns about your child participating in outdoor play, please do not hesitate to provide guidance on when your child should not go outside. You can speak or write a letter to your teacher, to me, or our Family Support Team. We will absolutely respect your choice and decision for your child.
The staff and PTA are also organizing a hat, glove, and coat drive. If your child is in need of outerwear, please reach out to our Family Support Team.