“First the snow pants… then the snow boots… then the jacket… then the hat. And, then last we put on mittens… so we can go outside and play.”
This little ditty, sung to the tune of Oh My Darlin’ Clementine, is a stalwart CCNS favorite. The process of gearing up to go outside on cold, New England winter days can be daunting for a preschooler, but this catchy tune is a helpful prompt that exemplifies a few things about the CCNS approach:
Independence… Zipping coats, buckling boots, and sliding all five fingers into a glove correctly can be challenging tasks, especially for eager three year olds itching to get outside and play. This musical mnemonic is easy to remember and guides the children in the most logical order of how to put on their outdoor clothes. We work on being able to independently suit up to go outside, which gives CCNS kids a sense of accomplishment and, as any parent who’s taken children skiing will tell you, is absolutely priceless.
‘Be prepared’... Like the Boy Scout motto, these children are prepared for whatever their outdoor time may bring. They know that, with the proper outdoor gear, they will be able to take another sledding run, shovel a bigger pile of snow, or be able to ‘frost’ their messy, mud pie masterpiece. When your fingers are warm and your clothes are dry, you can keep going. CCNS kids wear snow pants in winter, rubber pants for wet and muddy days, and always have a few changes of clothes in their cubby, just in case fun = really messy that day.
We (always) go outside. Neither snow nor sleet nor rain nor mud nor ice nor slush will deter these kids from the freedom and imagination they gain from outside play. As long as the temperature is 22° or above, we play outside. Some days, we tweak the schedule to catch the sun or avoid a rain shower and that change in plans is entirely worth it – seeing the children exploring their environment, developing an appreciation for nature, and using their muscles to run, swing, jump, pedal, and hop is a key component of the CCNS experience.
And on days when it’s -22°? We simply bring the snow inside!