Play. Explore. Create. Love. Discover. Run. Learn. Sing. Be Messy. Laugh. Be Free.
Details on where to go, what to bring, and what to wear...
Hello Brooklyn Nature Days families! Looking forward to having your kids join us! 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.
Spring Semester Guide
Our Spring semester begins on March 19, 2018 and runs through June 15, 2018. There will be no class April 2, 2018 through April 6, 2018, as well as Monday, May 28, 2018. For more details, please see the 'Calendar' page on our website.
Communication & Updates
Families will receive a weekly email on the Sunday before classes detailing the weather forecast, our plans and activities, and the names and phone numbers for teachers for each drop-off and pickup location.
Our blog will be updated each weekday with photos, discoveries from our time in nature earlier that day and articles that pertain to nature as a learning environment. In addition you can follow us on Instagram @brooklynnaturedays and on Facebook for more pictures and information.
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 directly with pertinent information or questions at any time.
Pick up and Drop off
Our days begin at 9am and run until 12pm.
Our extended day program runs until 1pm or 3pm.
**Please be prompt for both drop off and pick up.**
Drop off and pickup will be at either Grand Army Plaza, 3rd St/PPW, or 9th St/PPW.
Further information, including bio’s and pictures of each teacher, is posted the 'Our Teachers' page of our website. (Teachers will be identifiable by the BND's shirts they will be wearing.)
Please reach out to the teacher(s) via a phone call or text if you are running behind, and they will advise where’s best to meet. Text 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.
Parents and caregivers must sign their child in and out each day. Children will be given a BND's tag to pin to on wear 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.
** Children will only be released to adults who are listed on the 'authorized adults for pickup form.'**
If your child will not be attending class any particular day they are scheduled, please notify Sarah via text or email as early as possible.
What To Wear
It is imperative children come dressed appropriately for class, especially in the early spring, which can still feel very much like winter, as our goal is to spend multiple hours outside.
Please send children in comfortable clothing that allows them to move and play, and that can get wet and dirty. As the weather warms, less layers are necessary, but when in doubt, it is best to send along extra gear or clothing to have, as opposed to not. It is much easier to help a child who is too warm take off layers, than scramble to find extra clothes to keep he/she warm.
Rain gear - Each child will be provided with a Muddy Buddy rain suit, which must always be brought and worn to class on rainy or damp days. Rain boots must be worn on rainy, muddy, and damp days.
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 sandal or athletic sneakers. Rain boots are necessary on rainy days. Insulated snow boots are necessary on cold or snowy days. (As snow boots are not actually waterproof, both rain boots and snow boots should be sent on cold and rainy days to ensure we have options to keep your child's feet warm and dry.) NO open-toed sandals, flip flops, Natives or Crocs at any time.
Cold weather gear -
On colder days, the following gear is necessary:
-Top and bottom thermal base layers made of wool, silk, or ‘Heat tech’.
-Warm pants and top
-Sweater or fleece
-Snow suit (even on days where there isn’t snow, to keep bodies warm)
-Insulated, waterproof footwear with rubber soles for gripping when running and climbing
-Scarf or neck gaiter
-Waterproof mittens/gloves (We recommend two pairs of gloves to be worn- a thin stretchy knit pair that allows the kids to use their hands for work, as well as a waterproof, zippered “sleeping bag style’ heavier pair on top. Please clip these to their sleeves so that can take them on and off as needed.)
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.
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.
We build shelters to shield us from the rain and wind, have water bottles accessible all day to stay hydrated, and have water for refills. **During the winter months, we often will eat snack inside the picnic house to warm up in between our periods of outside play.
Gear Company Recommendations
We have had success with the following children's outdoor gear companies:
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 10L or 20L bag should fit all that is needed for the day. Examples can be found here:
-a full water bottle (We will be carrying plenty of extra water, but they will need something of their own to drink from.)
-diapers/wipes and an individual travel mat for changing your child (if necessary)
-extra set of clothes (seasonally appropriate top, bottom, underwear, and socks)
-**if your child is staying for extended day, send a packed lunch- (please remember it must be tree nut and peanut free)
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 could be disruptive.
***Please make sure all items your child brings - bags, water bottles, lunch boxes, hats, and outerwear - are clearly labeled with his/her name.***
Things We Need To Know
Remember that Prospect Park is a not a manicured environment and contains hazards like bees and 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 well as soon as possible.
***Also, if your child has any allergies, any other medical conditions or is taking any medication, please make sure to let us know in writing.
What We Will Eat
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 organic fresh fruit or vegetable each session, as well as something packed with energy to help keep us exploring.
Children in our extended day program must bring their own lunch daily (peanut/ tree nut free.)
If your child has any dietary restrictions, please let us know.
Inclement Weather Plans
The only time our class location will change is when severe or inclement weather is forecast- most likely thunderstorms, high winds, or extreme cold. 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 an email by 6am the day of class if we are moving class drop off to an indoor location- most likely the Grand Army Central 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.
Sunscreen & Bug Spray
As the weather warms in early spring, children need to arrive wearing sunscreen, sun hats, and bug spray each day.
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.