Outdoor Play

February 10, 2023

For our followers who love knowing that our students are outside every day, weather permitting. Whatever the season, it’s good to know that being outside is part of the day here. Here are some stories for you, with thanks to grantors and donors who support our outdoor play supplies. 


Sledding 2.10.23

The kiddos in Room 4 played on “Snow Mountain” recently. This mountain is over our playground mulch pile, and slopes off onto a large body of lawn, so it is the perfect spot to play.

Classrooms try to get outdoors every day no matter the season, as long as the weather allows. We emphasize the importance of children having appropriate outer wear on a daily basis for this reason.


Snow Play 1.26.23

There are times we all get tired of the snow in upstate NY, yes? This week is NOT one of those times, however! This week’s snow has been absolute perfection when it comes to playing in the snow, specifically making a snowman.

Two classroom teachers sent pictures from their snowman making this week. Both snowmen are are solidly built, and represent a boatload of teamwork, patience, and perseverance.

Room 4

Room 5

Jumping in the Leaves 11.15.22

There’s nothing quite like the feeling and fun of playing in a huge pile of leaves. These leaves are wind-blown up against the playground fence, so the pile has grown gigantic! These kids from Room 5 had a blast in them!

Fresh Air and Exercise 11.13.22

Getting outside is important for everyone, not just children. But since we are here for the children, let’s focus on that. Did you know that spending time out of doors has important health benefits? According to this article from healthiersteps.com, fresh air effects the lungs, mood, digestive systems and more. And when you combine it with physical activity, the benefits are amplified.

Fresh Air Benefits

Here are some students from Room 12 enjoying one of their outside times, all with great smiles!

A Little Help From A Friend 11.8.22

Recently a Room 5 team member sent in these adorable pictures from their playground time. “K” saw that “B” was unable to pump or get going on the tire swing, and initiated going to him to give him a swirl. We love it when our students behave so generously! The class also played a running game on the field side of the fence!

We love getting the kids out of doors!

Last Chance for Water Play – 8.25.22

Now that Summer Session (ESY) is over, the water play toys are all put away until next year. We hate to see this end – it means we are approaching cold weather, with coats and jackets, boots and hats, and putting away our bathing suits for the winter.

That’s why we have one last set of pictures for you! Here we have Room 4 during one of their final days of ESY. They had some Science fun, adding garden dirt, and then watering the flowers.


Playground Moments – 8.5.22

There are so many things to do outdoors, including fun on the playground.

Here we see Rooms 1 and 7 playing together on our playground. They love to see their friends from other rooms, and this collaboration is also a way to generalize social skills to a larger environment.

We also get a sneak peak at students lining up to go back indoors. You can tell by faces that this is a serious time to pay attention.


More Water Play – 6.24.22

At the risk of being redundant, we want to share more delightful times we’ve had with water play. The weather has been super hot and dry of late, and the water play times have been so much fun for the kids. This time we have rooms 8 and 1! We added a splash pad, purchased with snack bar funds this week! Thanks to all of our Snack Bar customers!

Water Play – 7.14.22

Maybe the favorite part of the school week during Summer Session is Water Play, where the lawn is set up with a sprinkler to run through, some water tables with toys, and getting wet is the object. For those who are inclined to stay dry, bubbles and chalk are available on the sidelines.

Students change into bathing suits before hand, and back into dry clothing once done.

All classes have a couple of slots for water play during the week, and we’ll share as many as able. Here we have some pics from Rooms 12, 3 & 4 this week.

To the Moon – 7.7.22

It was hard to decide where to put this post – it could just as easily go under the category of art as outdoors. But when it comes down to it, at trip to the moon is definitely out of doors, and so here we are.

The idea of moon travel arose during snack time yesterday, when the children in DayCare this week during break unanimously decided that the moon was where they wanted to go. After some figuring, Ms. Stephanie creatively came up with a plan to meet her students’ wish.

This morning, she had them decorating this wagon, adding wings, jet engines, and flames. She gave them each a protective astronaut helmet, and then they blasted off for the moon, Stephanie running to beat the band.


What fun the children had, thanks to Stephanie’s enthusiasm and inventiveness.


5.18.22 Playground Moments

The playground has never been in such good shape as it is this spring. We’ve had volunteer groups in making it just so, and the children are very happy to have some new aspects of play to explore.

Notice the great sandpit, which is nice and big and doesn’t give splinters.

5.9.22 Ball Skills on the Lawn

Just two gals having a ball.



4.15.22 Basket-ballers

Room 11 loves that the court (aka parking lot) is now snow-free and basketball friendly. They’ve been getting out a lot recently for some hoop time.

11.19.21 Playground Moments

At Crossroads, the playground is one of the most favorite places to be. While this might be the case at many a school, since we’ve put so much sweat and hard work into our playground over the years, we are especially proud of our students when they are playing appropriately, having fun, and gaining all of the benefits of being out there.

Today’s picture story comes from Ms. Katie, the teacher in Room 2. She sent these, naming them “precious” and telling of how much fun Z was having after learning that he could look out of the tunnel window at her and make silly faces to her.

We love it! We know that YOU will too!

8.10.21 And more waterplay 🙂

Sorry to blow up the cuteness scale with so many waterplay pictures, but, well, these kiddos are just having so much fun we have to keep showing you! In Room 7, a class of 2 and 3-year-olds, there were some that were a bit unsure of the waterplay concept at the start of summer, but as you can see, all fears are far-flung by now.


7.29.21 Waterplay makes the day!

Each class has times during the week to use the hose, sprinklers, water tables, and toys and the students have a blast playing in the water. Yesterday, Room 5 was out there whooping it up. You can almost hear their shrieks of excitement and laughter!


7.23.21 Outdoor play in the Tent!

Thanks to grant support from The Schenectady Foundation, we were able to rent a tent for the summer again this year, to help us continue to keep children safe and healthy. Getting outdoors as much as possible is still recommended, and with the playground in high demand, we’re thrilled to have another outdoor destination that provides shade and cover as much as it does fresh air.

On this occasion, Room 14 is found getting into a wild game of Duck Duck Goose. This is a large class, all boys between the ages of 5 and 7, and they all love to run. Thus a more perfect game to work on names of friends, and interacting with each other can’t be found.


7.19.21 Waterplay!

Summer Session is IN! One of the favorite activities here in summer is waterplay – we have sprinklers, water tables, water toys, and a great big lawn space to enjoy. Each classroom has a regularly scheduled slot and can set up their waterplay activities the way they like.

Here we have Room 2‘s students having fun with a rotating sprinkler. You can almost hear their squeals and laughter from the pictures!


5.18.21 Swinging it!

We’ve all been enjoying the nicer days lately! Room 2 got this great shot of students on the tire swing, having a great ride!

3.1.21 A Walk Around the Lot.

We’ve been fortunate with beautiful days of late, and it’s great to see our classes having a break from the cold to get outside. Room 13‘s walks go around the lot and to the Rotterdam Library and back!

2.8.2021 Fresh air, all year round.

When the weather’s cooperating, and when everyone in the class has their outerwear, classes get outside for fresh air. Now, we’ve had some very frigid temps of late, but on Friday, it was a balmy 38 degrees! Several classes made it outdoors. Here are a few pictures of Rooms 11 and Room 5 and the fun they had!

Parents and guardians, thank you for checking with your teachers about their schedules for outside play and sending in outerwear accordingly.

10.22.2020 Pumped for the playground!

If you’re looking for someone and they’re not in their classroom, check the playground! Classrooms are making great use of it this fall; indeed the weather’s been great for outside play most days.

This is where friends slide, run, climb, balance, jump and swing. We all know how important fresh air and physical activity are for humans of all ages, children most of all. Here on the playground, children get their “wiggles” out, make their bodies stronger, and their actions more coordinated.

Catching up with Room 4 on this day was great. It was a real treat to see smiles and new moves in action.


9.9.2020 Make sure to visit these spots too, for playground-related content:



9.3.2020 Farewell to water-play (until next summer).

You can feel it, the crisper air, the cooler breezes, the fading of summer and the settling in of fall. Here’s one last peek at our water-play, a fun activity enjoyed by all of our classrooms during the summer session. Room 8 was full of energy and excitement in this final water-play of ESY 2020.

8.31.2020 While the students are away, the playground crew will…. mulch!

We were able to add height to the mulched areas under and around the equipment where the children play, last week. We have another date coming up to do more in October, so please stay tuned, or reach out if you’re interested in helping!

Thanks to Annie and Vicki for getting it done this time!

Once again, a huge thanks to all those who contributed to financing our playground expansion this year!

Thank you for improving our playground!

8.20.2020 Fast Swings, Big Slides and Cool Shade!

Kids love the playground. It’s a fact, no matter the year. Our playground gets the thumbs up from children of all ages and sizes.

Today, Room 13 is having a ball. Whether climbing, sliding, swinging or running, children benefit from the fresh air of outdoors, and the activity level of all areas of the playground. And when they’re sweaty and need a minute to cool off, the pavilion is a fantastic choice. As well, the big play unit is now covered by our beautiful shade umbrella, so it is also a great option!

7.29.2020 Water-play is a great way to stay cool!

Do you remember the feeling of running in a sprinkler? How cold it felt on a hot day? How the fun of each drop of water splashing your arms, tummy or face felt like a cool surprise? We were able to be a part of Room 3’s Water-play time today; their enthusiasm was catchy!

CLICK for a quick video

 Click for another awesome video  

Click for another cute video

Click for one last adorable video

7.21.2020 There’s lots to do outdoors at Crossroads!

As a school, we are constantly vigilant about providing ample opportunities for healthy living, such as getting outside for fresh air play, for one thing. As a school reopening with ramped up cautionary COVID-19 protocols, we are even more assertive and proactive about making the great outdoors accessible for our children.

For one, there’s our playground, which we’ve recently upgraded.

Thank you for improving our playground!

Next, we have a biking area, a basketball area, and several other sports equipment pieces that classrooms can take to play with.

There’s a new tent, which we’re renting for the summer, that classrooms can sign up for to hold classroom activities.

And, last but not least, there’s an area of our lawn to play in the sprinkler for water-play.

Attention to hand-washing between all program activities is heightened, as are routines for lining up and spreading out from others. Even getting to go with the teacher to get the playground key is very fun!


The weather has been getting progressively nicer, and finally the playground is being enjoyed again here at Crossroads. Now that we have a wonderful shade cover over the main part of the playground unit, it will be even more fun and safe outside for our youngsters. Here’s a cute picture of one of Room 3’s students, enjoying the swings for the first time in a while!

8.9.19 Field Day and Picnic builds teamwork for Room 11

The boys in Room 11 like sports. They like to get outside and participate in activities with endurance and skill. They also like to eat.

    So yesterday, their teaching team had a field day and picnic for them. There were athletics and competitions involved, and eating in the pavilion at the end.  Fun, friendly competition and food seem to be a winning combination, for everyone had a wonderful time.







8.8.19  Water-play adventures from Room 8

The students love their water-play times outside, and nothing is more fulfilling than seeing them having fun!

Love that Mrs. Susanna and one of her students matched clothing on this day!


Our playground is great fun!

See how some school-age students from Room 14 are being physically active and having a blast!


7.25.19 Water-play is the way today!

During the summer session, the classrooms add water-play as one of the activities during their week.

Every class has a turn. Pictured here are students from rooms 3,4 & 8.

While not on the playground per say, water-play is a favorite outside play time for our students in the summer. Water tables, buckets, toys, sprinklers and hose adaptations make every water-play time a fun time. Cones in the parking lot warn our driving visitors to be cautious approaching our school, and the activities are done on our “garden lawn” snugly in a contained spot.

Students bring in their own water clothing and towels from home.  They get practice donning and doffing swim wear and classroom clothing, applying – or letting a teacher apply – parent approved sunscreen, and experiencing the sensations of water in different ways. They also get practice using a towel to dry themselves, and ending a favorite activity to transition to something else.

Social skills such as taking turns, playing with the same center or activity together with peers, and waiting for others to be done, are also some of the skills that have opportunities for practice during water-play times.


This year we have bought some new water-play items from money raised from our snack bar. Thanks to everyone who purchases snacks – water, juice, chips, etc. for the help!

   June 5, ’19

    What’s your favorite playground activity?

Physical activity has plenty of benefits, and an infinite variety of ways to participate.

At Crossroads Center for Children, physical activity is integral to every classroom’s daily routine. Physical Education time and recess are intertwined and each of the eleven classrooms go out to the playground daily when the weather allows it. Sometimes classrooms take the bikes out and ride, or go for walks on the grounds, as well. Scooter races, obstacle courses, basketball and soccer are some of the other physical activities students are learning to participate in on the premises of Crossroads Center for Children. The days when the weather is too bad for outside, classrooms use their time in the gym to be active and there are many active tasks in the classrooms and hallways occurring all day long as well.

Our kids feel the playground is tops.

Active times are the favorite times for many children at our school, and if you asked them what their favorite place of all is to be active, you’d probably hear a resounding declaration of the playground. That’s what we hear.

The playground at Crossroads Center for Children is full of fun spaces and opportunities for the students to run, jump, climb, and otherwise move their bodies. Here, students share their smiles as they enjoy engaging in their favorite playground activities.


Sand-play is awesome.

Thanks to Bellevue Builders, lack of sand can’t slow us down this summer. Their donation of ten fifty pound bags this week was awesome. Thanks to our outside volunteer crew for filling up the sand boxes and to the teachers outside at the time for helping. The children were wonderful about helping to spread the sand.

We all agree that physical activity is so important and also that it’s fun! So, what’s your favorite thing to do on the playground? We’d love your comments!      

CLYNK!Crossroads Night at Chipotle