Message from Kharma: Learning Outside

sunshines outside
written by Kharma Hicks, Infant and Toddler Program Coordinator
As educators who teach and care for infants and toddlers, we are passionate about bringing nature into the classroom and ensuring that the youngest child is in touch with nature. To extend upon what we do in the classroom, we take daily walks where the children are allowed to investigate, observe, and explore the neighborhood.
One of the favorite spots for our infant classrooms to go is on Locust Walk where the children explore the flowers, sticks, and walking through the small shrubs. The toddlers have visited the Bio Pond where there are lots of beautiful flowers and shrubs to investigate. The children are fascinated by the Koi and turtles!.  
With all the fun of being outdoors, we always have to keep in mind sun safety precautions. We all need sunlight to stay healthy as sun exposure helps our skin produce vitamin D, which helps us absorb calcium for healthy bones. Nonetheless, children of all skin tones need protection from the UV rays, so all children need sunscreen.
In each classroom there have been talks about what’s the best brand for the children. Please check with your child’s teacher if you have not been informed of these conversations. Also, it is recommended that you apply sunscreen to your child before coming to PIC in the morning as there are times when programming starts outside before it gets too warm. The teachers will reapply sunscreen throughout the day.  
It’s important to dress your child in lightweight clothing that covers as much as possible and swap out the winter extra clothes in his/her cubby for some summer gear. Bring in a hat with a brim for added protection. Sunglasses are welcome, too! Just be sure to label, label, label.
After taking a few precautions together, we look forward to lots of learning on many warm, sunny days ahead!