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When do you let your kids play by themselves?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

My son is 2.  We live on 5 fenced acres and theres absolutely no way he could get out to the road but I worry because we have a creek going through our property and have 3 horses as well (and he doesn't understand to not run in their fields) .  I have a new baby and I cant really watch him all the time.. and he has too much energy to be inside with me. 


I understand this is different than city living because it's not as if he can run down the street or get lost, so maybe an earlier age is okay?   I was wondering what others have done. 

post #2 of 13
I would let him outside by himself. Just keep an eye out the window so you can get to him if he decides to head for the horse field.
post #3 of 13
Can you trust him to stay in a designated area? I let my DD out for short periods at 2.5, but she was really good about following my instructions and staying in her sandbox/play area.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately not, he's an active 2 year old who would never stay put in one spot, and would have no idea what I was talking about if I told him to stay somewhere.

I've been letting him go out for short periods and he's been really good, just usual toddler mischief.  I had a box of apples outside and I went out to find apples scattered everywhere.. some with bites taken out of them, LOL

post #5 of 13

What I did was to fence off a small area right outside the back door.  We had a sandbox, a couple of little tikes climbers and maybe a basketball hoop?  Don't remember.  But that way they could go outside on their own but have a CLEAR boundary!  :)

post #6 of 13

I do let my kids play in the backyard (which is about an acre, completely fenced in..) they aren't allowed to leave the yard and if they want to go down by the barn/into the field they have to ask. I may let my six year old down to the barn alone but I won't let me three year old (he tends to climb climb climb) and no one is allowed in the front (we have a sort of not-busy country road but it's just not happening) 

post #7 of 13

What kind of fencing do you have for the horses? We use electric fencing for our goats and DS "trained" himself accidentally when he didn't believe me that it shocks the animals.  He was 2.  It works for us now because the goat fences separate the areas we don't want him to go to, like the pond.  He does take the dog once in a while to the forest or up the drumlin and feels very proud that he can do it himself, he's almost 4 now.  There is another goat area fenced in with page wire, I could leave him there for a while knowing he was fenced in with a couple of friendly goats with lots of rocks and trees to play in.  City friends seem shocked when I tell them this, rural friends aren't phased one bit.

post #8 of 13
I always supervised my children outside. ALWAYS. Horses, and I have plenty, can too easily hurt a child. Fingers can get nipped, or a frightened horse kicks out out jumps away. We fenced an area, built a big sandbox and no animal can get in. THat was my comfort level. I put up electric fence to keep the horses' nose on the other side of the common fence. So my kids can look at the horses but are NOT allowed in with the horses. And not in with the sheep either. A 2 year old is too small to cope with a ewe, ram or lamb. At this age I often put aside the indoor chores, as the kids are only little once and need constant supervision-- my comfort level was that I had to be a constant shadow. Even with that my son fell face first into a stock tank-- I couldn't get there fast enough even though I was diligently watching . . . . my kids did not go outside unsupervised at that age and for many more years--- they are older now and can go any where on the farm.
post #9 of 13
We have chickens, ducks, and a horse. I have a two yo and six yo. Six yo can play outside unsupervised anytime, if two yo goes with her they are not allowed in pasture with horse. We live in bfe, with a dirt road a little ways from our house, but we know the little lady who lives at the end of it and she's always watching for my kids and chickens to run across the road lol. However, two yo gets checked on every couple minutes if he goes out alone, and if six yo goes out at the same time, she's expected to keep track of him for me, which she does, very well. But we have so many kid friendly things by the house that they're never far. There's a trampoline with net enclosure, a shallow creek with lizards, our old barn with hayloft, mud puddles, a garden, fruit trees, a swingset, sandbox, lots of bikes and toy tractors, etc.
post #10 of 13
And also my mom and dad live next door, so that helps too, since I grew up here . If we were anywhere else, I would be more concerned about needing a fenced yard.
post #11 of 13

I started to let my son go out alone when he was three, but we don't have a fenced in yard.  There is a horse pasture bordering our acre and by the time he was three he knew well enough to stay out of the pasture.  And he never went out without his faithful friend Baraboo our American Pitbull who is extremely doting on the kids.  I didn't let him go out sooner by himself because he was such a busy little boy and always doing something dangerous.

post #12 of 13
4.5 or so. He must have been a little younger than this when he snuck off to the neighbor's .25 mile or so. I was frantically looking for him. He was just strolling back saying he had been to see X. I didn't believe him. Yep X saw him and just let him walk back! I was
appalled. X said he watched him come back. Not that X could get to him fast enough on the road. His wife was pretty appalled as well. Not entirely within country comfort level.
post #13 of 13

I wouldn't let him out alone until he is about 4, unless there are older children to supervise. 2 year olds still need constant supervision, they just can't make good decisions at that age.

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