QCC's Children's School Blog

Jill C. Arrell - QCC's Children's School Lead Teacher
I have been in the field of early childhood education for 25 years. I received my associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education at Quinsigamond Community College after high school and began working in a preschool classroom as a lead teacher. A few years later I took a job as a lead teacher with infants and toddlers. This was a wonderful experience for me watching and supporting the growth of these tiny individuals. Eventually I went back to teaching preschool. I stayed working at the same center for 14 years until a job at the QCC Children’s School. While working full time and raising a family I returned to school at night and received my Bachelor’s degree and shortly after my Master’s degree in early childhood education. I continue to teach full time as a lead teacher in the children’s school as well as mentoring the student teachers in my classroom and working as an adjunct professor teaching future educators!

Erin Vickstrom - QCC's Children's School Teacher
I graduated from Westfield State University with a B.A. in English in 2005. I then pursued an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Quinsigamond Community College. After obtaining an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Lead teacher certification, I began working at Quinsigamond Children’s School. I have been teaching preschool children for 7 years. Through recent coursework, I have completed a certificate in Leadership in Early Childhood Education and have become Director certified. I am currently two courses away from completing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.

Publication Date: 
December 10, 2017

December 2017 Blog
Parent Question:

Winter is coming and I’m dreading it! I end up being stuck inside in the cold weather with all of the kids and we go nuts. I run out of ideas and end up buying more things to keep us all sane! What can I do with them?

Educator Response:

I hear you! Winter is tough for a lot of us. Daylight feels minimal, weather can be harsh, and schedules can get busy. These are stresses felt by adults and children alike! I’m sure you are looking for a bunch of fun, indoor activities to keep you and your children busy on those cold winter days. I’m going to suggest, however, that you rethink the notion that you are “stuck inside” and get outside to play!

The benefits of outdoor play are plentiful, but often we think of these benefits as being present only in nice weather. The advantage for children of getting outside to play does not disappear in the winter! In fact, they might even increase! Cold and flu season is often associated with the cold weather, but rather unfairly. It is not exposure to the cold that necessarily brings on the illness. It is, rather increased exposure to bacteria and viruses that live indoors. Getting outside to get fresh air will cut exposure to these germs. It will also increase vitamin D levels with exposure to sunlight. Playing outdoors in the winter also fights childhood obesity, and improves physical development as children use large muscles to run and play. In addition to all of these physical benefits, children are able to freely explore and play outside which is a huge emotional gain for them. They are also learning about the world around them and problem solving as the environment presents challenges. In short, outside is the place to be!

SO how can you safely let your children outside? Bundle up! Stop investing in video games or indoor activities that get boring after a time. If you are going to spend, let it be on outdoor gear! Boots, snow pants, warm socks, coats, hats and mittens will provide endless opportunities for play! Allow your children to explore on their own, or gear up yourself and go play!

Below are some wonderful resources on ideas for outdoor play in the winter