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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Tough Situation - How Do You Handle It?
Unregistered 10:52 AM 12-01-2015
We are getting to that time of year (in MN) with the weather getting colder and snowier. I currently have a 2 month old, 5 month old, 3 two year olds, a 3 yo and 5 yo. With my group being so young this year, I am struggling to think of ways to be able to get them outside every day. Licensing requires outside time every day except for the obvious situations (rain, too cold, too warm, etc). I am not sure how I would handle having two non-mobile infants outside in this weather other than holding them or putting them in a stroller in the snow. Then of course, if they fall asleep, I would either have to hold them or come inside to lay them down in a PNP. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
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getnsmart 11:02 AM 12-01-2015
We do not do a lot of outside play in the winter and not much in the fall if the weather is not pleasing. My parents prefer for their children to stay inside instead of getting sick. Having said that I would bring out the indoor slides and make inside enjoyable. You know if you are making sure your dck's are getting enough outdoor play but I would not feel guilty staying in.
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Josiegirl 11:07 AM 12-01-2015
I am not looking forward to it at all. Most of mine aren't quite to the independent getting ready by themselves stage yet. And I have twins that are pretty mobile but I think snow will make it tricky. I'm not sure about your 2 little ones, that's very young. For my youngest I'll be using toddler sleds but yours can't sit up yet so not sure....?
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Play Care 11:09 AM 12-01-2015
This is what I did last winter when I had babies and preschoolers. We would play in the front of the house where the driveway was plowed (you can always use cones to have a visual for the kids on where they can play) babies in stroller, and we would chase the big kids around (they loved this!) or big kids would climb the snow banks while I strolled babies. Really after about 20-25 minutes they were ready to come in. We were able to get out twice a day usually, but not always. But we were at least out for one 25-30 minute time frame. In addition I brought out a lot of indoor large motor toys (little tikes slide, mini trampoline, hopping toys, etc)
HTH!
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Ariana 11:11 AM 12-01-2015
You could set up a pack and play outside or just inside your door so you can still see them if need be. Everyone needs outdoor time, especially the older kiddos in your care. We all need vitamin D from the sun each day and being outside is the best way to get it.

Another idea would be to go outside right after the morning or afternoon naps for the babies to ensure they don't fall asleep. While outside you could pull them in a sled or set them in an exersaucer or do what you would do inside
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Indoorvoice 11:12 AM 12-01-2015
I have a young group this year too. I depend on the 2 year olds to do a lot of it themselves. I have all the kids sit in a big circle and put all their clothes next to each child. Then I sit in the middle and we do everything at the same time. "ok first we're going to put snow pants on! Find your pants!" So they start with their pants while I dress the baby. After I finish with the baby, I go around the circle and help any stragglers with their pants. Then once everyone has pants on, we go on to the next item. It sounds time consuming, but it forces then to practice putting on their clothes and eliminates having one kid all dressed and sweating while the rest have nothing on. It takes me 10 minutes for 6 kids.

Once Outside, I've been putting the baby in a dry kiddie pool with toys. That way he's not sitting directly on the snow.
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daycarediva 11:21 AM 12-01-2015
Originally Posted by getnsmart:
We do not do a lot of outside play in the winter and not much in the fall if the weather is not pleasing. My parents prefer for their children to stay inside instead of getting sick. Having said that I would bring out the indoor slides and make inside enjoyable. You know if you are making sure your dck's are getting enough outdoor play but I would not feel guilty staying in.
Being outside does NOT make children sick.

Originally Posted by Play Care:
This is what I did last winter when I had babies and preschoolers. We would play in the front of the house where the driveway was plowed (you can always use cones to have a visual for the kids on where they can play) babies in stroller, and we would chase the big kids around (they loved this!) or big kids would climb the snow banks while I strolled babies. Really after about 20-25 minutes they were ready to come in. We were able to get out twice a day usually, but not always. But we were at least out for one 25-30 minute time frame. In addition I brought out a lot of indoor large motor toys (little tikes slide, mini trampoline, hopping toys, etc)
HTH!
Great ideas, I even put my bounce house on my driveway a few days last winter when the snow was so deep even the 4-5's were struggling.

Get outside!
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Blackcat31 11:41 AM 12-01-2015
Originally Posted by Unregistered:
We are getting to that time of year (in MN) with the weather getting colder and snowier. I currently have a 2 month old, 5 month old, 3 two year olds, a 3 yo and 5 yo. With my group being so young this year, I am struggling to think of ways to be able to get them outside every day. Licensing requires outside time every day except for the obvious situations (rain, too cold, too warm, etc). I am not sure how I would handle having two non-mobile infants outside in this weather other than holding them or putting them in a stroller in the snow. Then of course, if they fall asleep, I would either have to hold them or come inside to lay them down in a PNP. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!
I am also in MN. I take my little ones outside and either put them in a stroller or I put them in a sling or carrier of some kind (I do that if I KNOW the baby will fall asleep). We ARE allowed to hold sleeping babies but they can not sleep in a stroller.

As for licensing requirements, we are only required to provide activities that include BOTH indoor and outdoor play but it does NOT say daily. I would think if you got outside 2 days this week and 3 the next and maybe only once the following week, you would still be meeting licensing requirements.

I would do as PP mentioned and plan outside time for times in which you know at least one baby isn't going to fall asleep (since you can only hold/wear one at a time safely).

Also, I don't mean this rudely at all but it's important to remember that even though we CAN have that many infants, sometimes we simply cannot manage it on our own and if you really can't take 2 babies outside with the other kids, then maybe only taking one infant would be more manageable during the winter months. I am NOT saying you aren't capable...I am only referring to being capable of taking them BOTH outside as required.

Hiring a helper or assistant is another option. If not full time, then for part time help on those days in which you have planned for outside play.

I currently have a 5 and 10 month old as well as 10 other kids between 2-5 and we go out daily. I usually hold the 5 month old but put the 10 month old on the ground in the snow (which they seem to have taken a liking too! ). If I couldn't take them both out and keep them both happy, I'd have to let one go...I refuse to allow one child's needs to over ride the needs of others and/or licensing regulations.

HTH
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Snowmom 11:57 AM 12-01-2015
I'm in MN too and agree with blackcat.
We go outside at least 2-3 days a week and I have 12 kids including my own.
However, I don't enroll infants, so I can see how that would be more challenging when you have 2.

I can usually get all kids into snow gear within 5-10 minutes. We have it down to a science here! It helps that the older ones want to help the younger ones with their winter gear too.
Typically, we only go out for 15-30 minutes December-February, right before nap. My school agers go longer, but since they are within my sight and hearing in my backyard (luckily, that's just how my house is set up), I'm ok with them being out longer while the young ones go in and get ready for nap.
I think it's a matter of being organized, have a good video/sound monitor if you need to bring a baby inside and only do what you can handle!
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Controlled Chaos 12:28 PM 12-01-2015
It has been well below freezing here this week. When its too cold to go outside I make a point to do lots of gross motor games and play inside.

I wear the 4m old (I have an Ergo, Bjorn and Moby...I take my baby wearing seriously ) and put a snow suit on the not quite walking 12m old so he can comfortably explore and play. I am for an hour in nice weather, lately 30 min is all their red little noses can handle

Little science fact - kids who spend MORE time outside get sick LESS! Love it! Magical nature!
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