or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Do you (or would you) let your kids play in the woods?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you (or would you) let your kids play in the woods? - Page 3

post #41 of 64

having grown up playing in the woods very unsupervised most of the time I'm sure I'll be flexible with DD playing in the woods, if we hopefully live near some...I spent a lot of time bushwhacking with my cousins and following streams to see where they went. We had so much fun, something about exploring outside without adults is just so...wonderful..

Hell as a Senior in high school I was regularly skipping school (I wasn't exactly a model student, although I got great grades) and driving up to the National Forest (this is NH) and going for hikes for hours completely alone. Looking back now I find that doing what I did in high school was WAY more dangerous than playing in the woods as a kid. Hiking alone, without telling anyone where I was, without any real gear to speak of was not the smartest of ideas, but somehow I survived I suppose and I loved my solitary hiking.

 

I'm not overly concerned about DD playing in the woods when she is old enough, hopefully she'll have a sibling by then and 2 is always better than one when you are outside in the "wilderness"


Edited by Ldavis24 - 5/18/11 at 7:56am
post #42 of 64

I'm in the 'it depends on the woods and the kid" camp, but in your circumstance, I wouldn't hesitate. Let them have fun!

 

We have access to 2 wooded areas - one set of grandparents live in some woods. I played there as a child, and would love for my kids to, but a neighbor's doberman frequently wanders into the yard. I do let them out alone there sometimes, but I tend to keep a pretty close eye from nearby.

 

The other is a large wooded property my family has that is in the middle of a larger forested area. I know some said they wouldn't do it if it were a large forest for fear that the child would get lost, but I think that is underestimating the kids. I think most kids are pretty careful, and devise rather clever ways to find their way through the woods. I don't remember ever getting really lost - I remember thinking I might be lost a few times, but then reorienting myself and realizing I knew how to get home. If we had ever really gotten lost, I suspect we could have walked in circles for days without finding a road or a house, but that never even came close to happening. Unfortunately for my kids, we don't go to our land very often, and now cougars have returned and we've seen some evidence of poachers recently, so we'd have to see.

 

post #43 of 64

If my DS was older (he's 5 now) I might say yes if he was with a friend but definitely not in any of the wooded areas by me.  TBH, the woods described in posts on this thread sound wonderful but nothing like the ones in my area.  While walking my dog I have found abandonded party sites with broken beer bottles, used condoms, underwear (really, who forgets their underwear?) and used needles.  As well, a lot of the wooded areas are used for hook-ups for sexual encounters, even in the daytime.   Not my idea of an environment for kids to play and explore.

post #44 of 64

Yes, quite often, as the woods are in my backyard.  BUT we only have 2.5 acres that are totally wooded, w/a run off creek running thru, and they take our 2 labs w/them.  And never alone, and they can hear me if I yell from the back door.  And they know they must answer me....Behind our property is more woods, but ours is fenced, so the boundaries are obvious.  Next door is empty and there's 6 acres, mostly wooded there, and we explore that too, but the kids don't alone right now because we are having LOTS of coyotes and I saw another (or the same) cougar last week and the dogs won't go past our property (they are still trained to their radio fencing we had for years).  The coyotes and cougars will come up in our yard, though (well, right behind the fencing, although a cat will certainly jump it if they really want something).  They are much more interested in my chickens and ducks and guineas.  Anywhoo, yes, but w/our dogs, and that's only because of the big cats/coyotes/stray dogs.  They LOVE to explore, and I wouldn't take that away from them.  Oh, and if there's water in the creek the 4 yo can't go w/out me or dh or the oldest dd (22). 

 

They all know what poison ivy looks like, and love snakes.  They know the difference between poison and not poison, and will come running up to find dh or the oldest dd to show them a snake they caught. 

post #45 of 64
I wish I could let DD play in the woods behind our house, but a) she would be trespassing (there are signs posted) and b) there is a history of homeless camps there. There are homeless camps in almost any sizeable patch of woods in our Southern city. Not that I think all homeless people are murderers or something, but I don't like the idea of it. I don't know how common this issue is...I was not aware of it in the woods near me when I was a kid.

In a different area, I would definitely allow it. Wildlife don't concern me at all, though if I lived someplace with grizzlies, okay. Poisonous snakes...well, we do have them here, but I guess I'd just give her some safety pointers on that and let it go. She's probably just as likely to get a snakebite out hiking with me.
post #46 of 64
Oh, also. I recently bought a pair of safety whistles for when we were camping, because I wanted to let DD explore. One with me, one with her. If she blows the whistle, she needs help; if I blow it, she's to come back.
post #47 of 64

Yes. We live on 80 acres of forest that abuts another thousand acres of woods. DD doesn't play in there alone, but she spends a lot of time with us in the woods right around our house and along our driveway. She is confident in finding her way on our most commonly used trails. Usually she leads the way when we all hike together. I'm looking forward to when she's old enough (I don't know when that will be) to walk through the woods to her friend's house. My biggest concern is getting lost, so we are teaching her about where it is ok to be and what trails are the ones we use and where they go. It will be years before she can apply that independently, but she will someday. I like the whistle idea, loraxc!

post #48 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by marianne723 View Post

I hope you never regret it. Kids are being abducted everywhere...even out of their own yards. Most of them found dead. I would never let my kids play in the woods these days. It is just too dangerous.


THIS!!!!

My kids play in the backyard, which is a walk-out from my kitchen. When they are older they can play a couple houses down our street, but always within my eyesight if I step into my yard.

My kids do many many fun activities, but yes I do avoid things that are dangerous. I'm sure everyone who ever had a child kidnapped from there neighborhood or even yard thought it would never happen to them. I bet after it happened their kids were never again out of their eyesight. I'm not quite that protective, but the risk just is not worth it to me. My kids can still have an awesome childhood while staying close fairly safe:)

 


Edited by Aliyahsmommy - 5/21/11 at 4:29pm
post #49 of 64

Definitely! Not alone at 4 (she would freak out anyway, wouldn't want to be alone) but like, 9-10? Sure. I'm specifically thinking in the context of the wooded area that *I* had access to as a child. Its small enough to not get lost in, and completely surrounded on all sides by suburban residential areas. Its far enough into residential-land for animals to not be a concern. Its possible there could be some harmless, non-venomous snakes but I've never seen any there. We don't have venomous snakes in the region. Never seen poison ivy. I have seen stinging nettles, and have touched it many times as a child. My brothers taught me a certain fern that has these little green/brown bumps on the bottoms of the leaves. If you rub that on the nettle rash, it gets better quickly! The fern was more plentiful than the nettles :) I was in those woods a few weeks ago, finding a geocache, and it was exactly the same in there! It made me almost giddy. I loved hanging out in there. If we lived in that neighborhood, I would definitely let my kids play there. Heck, I might pack them a picnic and shoo them out the door myself! But thats way in the future. We have an acre and 1/4 at our house and..well, I wouldn't say we have woods, but there's enough trees on the property that a few corners of it feel that way, enough that you have to take "trails".. but its SMALL. dd won't go out there alone..lol. we've only lived here a couple weeks. Maybe later in the summer she'd feel more comfy. There's this little path you can take that leads right into whats almost a clearing, but with trees covering it so that its like a domed roof. I just found that spot a couple days ago. It sorta feels like being in the woods but you're like, no more than like, 15-20 feet from the main yard, clearly visible from the deck. 

post #50 of 64

I do let my children play in the woods. We have fenced acres with woodland, streams and ponds. It's a wonderful place for them to explore! They are ages 7 and 5. My only rules are that they don't leave the fences without asking and that they not go close to the edge of deep water (over 2 ft) alone, either have me, sibling, or a friend. And don't go near certain ill-tempered livestock.

 

This is one of the big reasons I abandoned big city life. I wanted my children to grow up in the forest, not the concrete jungle :) Weekend visits are enough for us!

post #51 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Mama! View Post



The thing I worry about most there is ticks. 

 


This is why DD will likely never get to run wild in the woods like my brothers & I did as kids (and, FTR, by the time I was 5 or 6 - so my brothers would have been 2 or 3 - we were allowed to go out together in the woods on our property, and when they were closer to 4 or 5, that area expended). When I was 9 we moved to a much larger property surrounded by woods and didn't really have limits, just safety precautions. Generally, we didn't go that far off our property, though. Sadly, while my parents still live at the same place, it is now completely infested with ticks. We used to see maybe one or two over an entire year between all of us, now my dad will find a couple every day. I can't even let DD walk with him up to the back field to feed the horses unless it's the dead of winter, and that is entirely over shortly mown grass.
post #52 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aliyahsmommy View Post




THIS!!!!

My kids play in the backyard, which is a walk-out from my kitchen. When they are older they can play a couple houses down our street, but always within my eyesight if I step into my yard.

My kids do many many fun activities, but yes I do avoid things that are dangerous. I'm sure everyone who ever had a child kidnapped from there neighborhood or even yard thought it would never happen to them. I bet after it happened their kids were never again out of their eyesight. I'm not quite that protective, but the risk just is not worth it to me. My kids can still have an awesome childhood while staying close fairly safe:)

 


Out of curiosity, how old are your kids? I mean the 2-year-old doesn't go out in the woods LOL. It's a 9-year-old.
post #53 of 64

This thread makes me happy. smile.gif  I'm glad so many kids still get to play in the woods.  It was definitely my favorite place as a kid.  There is a lot of wild nature in my neighborhood, and about a dozen kids on our street that all pretty much have free run of the neighborhood.  While we don't have a 'proper' woods, there are patches of brushy areas with trees that work well enough for exploring, and a shallow river out back.  We're in a small town with really no concern about dangerous animals or street people.  All the parents keep their eyes out for the roaming pack of kids. 

post #54 of 64

My kids are at their dad's this weekend, but the neighborhood kids just knocked on my door anyway to ask me to 'rescue' a toad their own parents wouldn't touch.  LOL  Everyone knows I'm the one to go to for help with nature and animals.  smile.gif

post #55 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthRootsStarSoul View Post

My kids are at their dad's this weekend, but the neighborhood kids just knocked on my door anyway to ask me to 'rescue' a toad their own parents wouldn't touch.  LOL  Everyone knows I'm the one to go to for help with nature and animals.  smile.gif


That's so cute! redface.gif

 

post #56 of 64

Some of my favorite childhood memories are playing in the woods... in my backyard AND in my best friends, who had a relatively shorter strip of woods bordered by a lake! :)  (I dont remember NOT being allowed down there...  and we were friends from K on...)

post #57 of 64

Ther is a small patch of woods a couple houses down from our home. I allow my 10 and 8 year olds to play in it without an adult but I periodically wak up to check on them. (Its a small patch of woods so i can hear her voices no matter where they are. I know our neighbors well and there is no huntig there or anything. May of the neighborhood kids tromp around there. We spent a couple yrs living in an apartmnt with NO YARD so I am thankful  they can play and explore and burn off energy instead of sitting in front of cartoons all day like some kids.

post #58 of 64

Absolutely! Playing in the woods was one of my favorite things to do when I was a kid. I will encourage my son to do the same. I don't think playing outside is any more dangerous than playing inside. In fact I was just thinking about that the other day. I would like to see statistics on that actually. What percentage of accidents that kids have are outside playing and which are inside.

post #59 of 64

I ran around in the woods as a kid. If We had a similar set up to what I had growing up (a few acres backing a neighborhood, in an area with very few dangerous animals) then I would do it at 8-10ish depending on the kid no problem. Now we live in suburban TX... no woods here to let the kids play in. We do take them out to a nature preserve often, but they are 2 and 4 so they don't run around by themselves. 

post #60 of 64

I loved playing in the woods as a kid. It wasn't huge or deep, but there was a property line fence. If the woods your kids use doesn't have a 'fence' or property marker that 'keeps them in' so to say, then definately find out who else has property in the woods, and discuss with them their use and the kids use of the woods. If they do hunt, then set up some strict rules. If not, it probably is still nice to ask permission to run around in their woods.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Do you (or would you) let your kids play in the woods?