Frequently Asked Questions
What are your safety procedures with respect to COVID-19?
We understand that proper hand hygiene is important to reduce illness in young children. We carry soap and warm water and we routinely wash hands before snack, after bathroom breaks. We have hand sanitizer as well.
What should be in the backpack?
- An extra set of clothes (top, pants, underwear, socks) in a ziplock bag
- Diapers and wipes if needed
- Water bottle
- A large snack preferably in a container that the child can open and close
- A small cup for tea
- Hand towel (preferably easily accessible – i.e. placed in the side pocket of pack)
What is a day at Room to Roam like?
We are outside the whole class rain or shine. Each day is different depending on the environment and the interests of the children. See “A Day at Room to Roam”.
How old does my child have to be to attend?
Our program is for 2.5 to 5 year olds.
What is a sit spot?
The sit spot is a time we ask each child to sit in their own space away from friends and to listen to their surroundings. It is a lovely way to really observe the surroundings and to be calm and relaxed with oneself. We will do this for a few minutes at a time gradually holding longer sit spots. We do sit spots to help children connect with nature through observation and reflection.
What is a Gratitude Circle?
Our gratitude circle happens at the end of each day. We ask the children to think about the things they did during the morning and to share their favourite moment with us. It’s a nice way to recap the day’s activities and to be thankful.
What kind of tea is served to the children?
We may provide herbal teas such a mint or chamomile. We may also brew a tea with the needles of the Douglas Fir or Hemlock trees in our parks. If you have any concerns about this with respect to allergies please let us know.
How will I know which location to go to?
We will provide a monthly email with all the location details. Generally we will stay at the same location for 2 weeks.
Are nuts allowed?
Yes, we are a nut friendly program.
Do you ever cancel class due to weather?
Although rare, we do have to cancel classes if the weather is extreme for example a strong wind storm is forecast. In that case, it would be unsafe to be in a park with tall tree cover. We generally follow the local school districts as well. For example if a snow day is called by the Coquitlam school district we will usually follow that guidance.
Is this a licensed program?
No, as we are an outdoor program without an indoor location we cannot be licensed. There is work happening among the outdoor education community to bring in licensing for outdoor programs but currently outdoor programs without a building are not licensed.
How do you deal with bathroom breaks and handwashing?
Often the locations we visit do not have convenient bathrooms so we will have the children go outside. We will assist children that need it. We also carry a portable potting. After each bathroom break we have water and soap to wash hands.
Does my child have to be potty trained?
No. Sometimes being outdoors offers a special motivation for some children to begin potty training if they are not already. It can be fun to pee outside! We just ask that you provide an extra diaper and wipes necessary.
How do I know the parks are safe for my child?
We do site risk assessments for each park we are in. As well, every morning we will conduct a site risk assessment to ensure there are no hazards.
Can my child attend one day a week?
Generally, no. We aim to build a trusting relationship with your child right from the beginning. The fastest way to do that is by attending our program a much as possible. The more time spent in our program the faster the educators can connect with your child and the faster the children will learn our daily routines, and how to stay safe while outdoors and have awesome adventures! However, we recognize that not everyone can fit in all the activities so we may have a one day a week option available if our schedule permits. It is a great option for children that are accustomed to attending other child care programs and who are looking for an outdoor program for more adventurous play.
What is a kindness week?
While we talk about kindness on a daily basis, throughout the year we will go out into the community and offer a kindness card to receptive folks we come across or give out a treat in an effort to make others smile. We do this to teach the children about giving, kindness and social responsibility and as a way to connect with our community. Generally we do this the week of Halloween, the last week before Christmas break and before Spring Break.
What is the forest school approach?
This is what Forest and Nature School in Canada says about the Forest School Approach, “Forest and Nature School programs adhere to the following: regular and repeated access to the same natural space, as well as emergent, experiential, inquiry-based, play-based, and place-based learning (MacEachren, 2013). The defining feature of this type of nature-based education program is that children are provided with opportunities to build an on-going relationship with the land, to a dedicated educator, to one another, and to themselves through this educational approach.”
Forest and Nature School in Canada:
A Head, Heart and Hands Approach to Outdoor Learning
At Room to Roam we follow this place-based approach in that we revisit the same parks throughout the year so that the children can connect with the space and take note of the changes through the seasons. We also adhere to a play-based, inquiry-led, emergent experience.