We are an all outdoor program and in the true nature of a forest school, we plan to experience and learn from all types of weather. We will hold class in the sun, snow, and rain. We make sure that each child is safe, engaged, and supported during our play and explorations. Please read the information and guidelines below to help your child be as prepared as possible to enjoy our program.
Families will receive a weekly email each Sunday detailing the weather forecast, our plans and activities, and the names and phone numbers for teachers at each drop-off and pickup location.
Please note the teachers at your child’s location in case you need to contact them.
Please check out our blog to see what's been happening during our outside adventures.
Our blog will be updated weekly with photos, discoveries from our time in nature earlier that day, and articles that pertain to nature as a learning environment. Please be sure to follow us on instagram @brooklynnaturedays for more updates!
Families will not receive any other emails during the week unless inclement weather changes our drop off/pick up location. Please check the forecast regularly to make sure children come dressed and prepared for our days together.
Families should feel free to reach out to Sarah & Lilly directly with pertinent information or questions at any time.
Our standard day runs from 9am until 1pm. For those who registered in advanced for additional times, they are as follows:
8am - 9am - early drop off
1pm-4pm - extended day
4pm - 6pm - aftercare
Please be incredibly prompt for both drop off and pick up.
Drop off (8am & 9am) and pickup (1pm) will be at your assigned location: Grand Army Plaza (inside the park at Endale Arch), 3rd St/PPW (just inside the park,) 9th St/PPW (just past the monument, inside the park,) or 10th avenue & PPSW (just down the path at the entrance to the park.)
If you are participating in our extended day option (4pm or 6pm pick up) please take note that pickup will be at 9th St/PPW & Grand Army Plaza only. (PPSW & 9th street kids will be picked up at 9th street, 3rd Street & GA kids will be picked up at GA.)
Teachers will be identifiable by the Brooklyn Nature Days logo on their apparel. You can find photos and bios for your child's teachers posted on our teachers page.
Please reach out to the teachers designated to your drop-off spot via our brightwheel app if you are running behind and they will advise where’s best to meet. This is the most efficient way to communicate with teachers during class, as we can read the message and respond quickly.
Each drop off spot will have a lock if you wish to leave strollers, bikes, or scooters.
Both our Childhood and Early Childhood programs will have separate designated meeting places at each drop off location. More details will be sent in our weekly Sunday email with specifics to locate your child's group.
Parents and caregivers must sign their child in and out each day electronically with our teachers via our brightwheel app. Children will be given a BND tag to pin on clothing each day to class to identify them as part of our group. It is the parent/caregiver's responsibility to make sure each child arrives wearing this tag each morning.
Once you have said goodbye each day, please leave promptly as it helps the children to settle and begin the day. Teachers are available to help children say goodbye and comfort them if needed. At the beginning of the semester, as new children are going through separation, parents/caregivers are welcome to stay if their child needs them. Please never “sneak away” in lieu of saying goodbye to your child. They need to know you are leaving, even if it causes tears. We are here to help them through it.
For pickup: Children will only be released to adults who are listed on the brightwheel app. If you need to make a last-minute change about who is picking up your child, and are unable to update the info on brightwheel, you need to send a message to Sarah, Lilly, and a teacher at your location to let them know in writing of the change. All changes must be in writing. Verbal changes will not be honored. We take this very seriously in order to keep the children safe.
If your child will not be attending class any particular day they are scheduled, please message Sarah as early as possible.
It is imperative children come dressed appropriately for class in order for them to fully enjoy our outdoor learning environment.
Please send children in comfortable clothing that can get wet and dirty and allows them to move and play.
Rain gear - Lightweight rain jackets are recommended on rainy, muddy, and damp days. (Muddy buddy's or rain pants should always be included in your child's bag.)
Footwear - Please take note that it's important for the kids to have proper footwear with rubber soles that protect toes and has good grip for running and climbing. Examples include Keen Newport H2 hiking boots, Keen closed toed sandals, or athletic sneakers. Rain boots are necessary on rainy days. A change of shoes is necessary on rainy days. NO open-toed sandals, flip flops, Natives, or Crocs at any time.
Sun Hats - Sun hats are necessary for hot, sunny summer days. They provide some SPF and can keep a child from overheating.
Please note that children are encouraged to immerse themselves in our natural surroundings and activities. While we choose washable art materials, please be advised that children’s clothing will become dirty and possibly stained during class.
We have had success with the following children's outdoor gear companies:
Please note: Polarn O. Pyret offers a 20% discount to families that are enrolled in outdoor classes. To register, please fill out the form found here:
Please include Brooklyn Nature Days's address and location on the form:
Address: Brooklyn Nature Days, LLC, 22 Caton Pl, #5K, Brooklyn, NY 11218
Class Location: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY
Our goal is to travel through the park as lightly as possible. We bring our wagons to hold our supplies as well as the children’s belongings. Each child may bring one bag which holds all they need for the day, clearly labeled with his/her name.
We are asking families to purchase a dry bag for their child’s belongings this year. A dry bag ensures items stay clean and dry outside in all weather. A 20L or 30L bag should fit all that is needed for the day. Examples can be found here: Earthpak Waterproof Dry Bags on Amazon
-A FULL water bottle (We will be carrying plenty of extra water, but they will need something of their own to drink from. We have water bottles accessible all day to stay hydrated).
-Diapers/wipes and an individual travel mat for changing your child (if necessary)
-Extra set of clothes (seasonally appropriate top, bottom, underwear, and socks)
-Muddy buddy's or a rain coat and rain pants should always be included in your child's bag.
-A packed lunch (must be tree nut and peanut free)
-Sunscreen & Bug Spray: your child MUST arrive already wearing sunscreen and bug spray. For reapplication later in the day, please send both sunscreen and bug spray, each individually labeled with your child's name, in a small, waterproof bag/pouch, also clearly labeled with your child's name. This makes it much easier for teachers to reapply sunscreen quickly without interrupting the kids’ playtime.
**Please do not let your child bring anything else from home, as we want to travel as lightly as possible. Our vision is to explore and interact with nature during these hours and toys or additional belongings from home are disruptive.**
***Please make sure all items - bags, water bottles, lunch boxes, hats, and outerwear - are clearly labeled with your child's name. While we strive to keep each child’s belongings organized with their bags at all times, items do sometimes become lost or left behind and it is much easier to return them to you when they are labeled clearly.***
Please ensure your children come prepared to enjoy their days with us. We are diligent in making sure the children are safe and as comfortable as possible at all times.
Remember that Prospect Park is a not a manicured environment and contains hazards like bees, poison ivy, and other irritants. We will do our best to avoid these hazards, but if your child is particularly susceptible to them, please let us know.
Please be aware that NYC posts a tick advisory for the public parks. We generally avoid areas where they are most likely to be found, but ticks do live in the park and nature can be unpredictable. Please read the advisory below and check your child after class each day.
If you do find a tick, please let us know as soon as possible.
NYC's tick advisory is posted here:http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/ticks.page
***If your child has any allergies, any other medical conditions, or is taking any medication, please make sure to let us know in writing via the Child Information and Release Form and on the brightwheel app. Once we receive this information, we will send an additional permission form to parents of children who need to carry an allergy action plan, epipen, or other medication at all times in case of emergency.***
We are a tree nut and peanut-free program. We will provide a nutritious morning and extended day afternoon snack that includes at least one fresh fruit/vegetable each session, as well as something packed with energy to help keep us exploring.
Children must bring their own lunch daily -- it is imperative that it is peanut/ tree nut free.
If your child has any dietary restrictions, please let us know in writing.
The only time our class location will change is when severe or inclement weather is forecast—most likely thunderstorms this time of year. We are an all-weather program and plan to learn in the sun, snow, and rain but when official weather advisories are put into place, we plan accordingly. Families will receive a message by 6am the day of class if we are moving class drop-off to an indoor location—most likely the Grand Army Central Brooklyn Public Library as it will give us an opportunity to head into the park if/when the weather shifts. This ensures that all of the children and our staff are safe and sheltered during inclement weather.
Lastly, thank you for choosing our program and for entrusting your children to us. We take your child’s safety and well-being, both physical and emotional, very seriously. We are deeply committed to a philosophy of outdoor, play-based learning where children lead the way and in which we foster their social and emotional growth with kindness, warmth, inquiry, and silliness. We are looking forward to playing & exploring with your child!