Updated: December 2020

Welcome Packet for December 2020

What to do before our day begins

Eating a hearty snack:
We want to make sure your child has the energy to enjoy an afternoon outdoors. Please make sure your child has a hearty afternoon snack beforehand in order to be energized for our outdoor time together at the conclusion of their school day.  We recommend a snack that has sufficient protein. 

We’re eliminating snack time from our program this winter, because the extended stationary time with exposed hands leads to significant heat loss.

Use the bathroom:
Based on our survey results, some children will be using our outdoor bathroom option, the OXO potty with replaceable linings.  Some children will be using public rest facilities available in the park.  Ask your child to use the bathroom ahead of time to limit the number of times needed to do so during our time together. 

What to send with your child

  • A comfortable backpack 
  • A full water bottle.  
  • Comfortable shoes for walking
  • Warm suitable clothing for outdoor arts projects and nature exploration. Layering is the most effective strategy for comfort in the outdoors. For more information, check out this helpful guide from REI.
    • Outer layer: windproof shell keeps wind from blowing heat away from the body
    • Middle layer: insulating layer. We recommend down, but heavy fleece can be suitable as well. Warm winter jacket – down jackets provide the most insulation
      • Note: Your child may have both an outer shell and a middle layer in one, like in a waterproof down jacket. All waterproof shells are also windproof. However, a non-waterproof down jacket is almost always not windproof. When worn without a windproof shell, windchill can reduce the effectiveness of a down jacket significantly. Try wearing a rain jacket on top of a down jacket or fleece layer!
    • Base layer: synthetic or wool long underwear layer wicks moisture away from the body.
      • Base layers do provide insulation, but their most important job is wicking sweat away from the body that’s generated when moving outside under heat-trapping layers. This keeps children dry; moisture near the skin in a cold environment can be extremely cold and difficult to address!
      • Leave behind cotton! When wet, cotton absorbs water like a sponge, and ceases to provide heat. Instead, it can become dangerously cold. Uniqlo Heattech is a warm, inexpensive synthetic that can work well!
    • Warm socks
    • Warm gloves or mittens
    • Warm hat
    • Mask (we recommend sending an extra if your child is prone to runny noses in the cold.)

Drop-off and Pick-up

DateDrop-off timePick-up time
Nomads of Mongolia 
Tuesday, Dec. 8
3:30pm5:00pm
The Inuit Peoples of Alaska
Tuesday, Dec. 15
3:00pm4:30pm
Winter for the Lenape Peoples of the Northeast 
Thursday, Dec. 17
3:30pm5:00pm

The entirety of our program, including pickup and dropoff, will take place in Prospect Park, just south of Litchfield Villa, on Prospect Park West and 6th St. (map).

Families will receive a link for a brief safety survey, which must be answered before drop-off.  In addition, we’ll ask each child to use provided hand sanitizer and receive a contactless temperature check.

Pick-up

We will only release your child to guardians or persons authorized for pick-up on their Spark Arts Registration Form, unless notified by a guardian in advance.

Please help us maintain a safe and orderly pickup by checking in with Gigi or Angus before picking up your child. We will all wait together and dismiss your child when we see you! We want to make sure that we are aware of every instance of a child leaving our care. Thank you in advance for your support!

Rain Dates

Since all programming will be taking place outdoors, we will be monitoring weather closely. Classes will be canceled for rainy or unsafe weather conditions, like temperatures of below 12℉,  by 7:00AM the morning of class. We have scheduled rain dates for all three of our December programs:

Scheduled DateRain Date
Tuesday, December 8Tuesday, January 5
Tuesday, December 15Thursday, January 7
Thursday, December 17Thursday, January 14

Photo authorization

We will be photographing many of the activities during the session. We’ll share pictures except in an instance where they contain a child whose family has not given consent to share their photographs. We’ll never share identifying details about your child.

Safety and behavior expectations

We are looking to have a fun and adventurous program with safety as a priority. We ask that you review these safety guidelines and discuss them with your child before the program:

  • Students will need to follow Spark Arts’ COVID-19 regulations such as wearing masks and sanitizing hands on a regular basis.  Please read more about our COVID regulations here.
  • New: We are now requiring that a family member complete a brief survey about your child’s recent health and risk of COVID exposure. We will send a link to survey by email on the day of the program.
  • Students will be expected to refrain from any behaviors that will put themselves and their friends at risk of injury.  
  • Students are expected to stay with the group at all times.
  • Students will wear a tag with Spark Arts contact information at all times.
  • We practice kindness and respect to friends and teachers by listening, sharing, and including others.
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