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Anyone else encounter a lot of "no children over 5?" - Page 2

post #21 of 53
I'm sure I'll see the other side of this in a few years, but right now I am really grateful for age-segregated play areas for my 22-month-old.

Our children's museum has a room for kids aged 0-4. When older kids come in and play there, or even if there's a critical mass of 4-year-olds, my daughter gets intimidated and clings to me. I see other toddlers in the same fix. It's not even necessarily a matter of the older kids being rough (although I have definitely seen a lot of that). She gets intimidated by big kids running close to her (even if they don't touch her), or climbing around her on a climbing structure ladder, or using loud play voices. They aren't doing anything wrong, so it's not even a matter of "enforcing appropriate behavior." Their size and energy just inhibits a lot of toddlers.

I hear what people are saying about older kids feeling left out, but I also feel like in *every other part* of the children's museum or science museum I'm grabbing my child out from underfoot of running big kids, finding another activity for her when a big group of big kids descend on the activity she was doing, and just generally making way for older children. Can't we have *one room* in the museum where she doesn't have to give way to big kids?
post #22 of 53
I think it's just crazy to divide people by age.

Becasue of sibling situations and because of developmental differences one 5 yo may not walk up stairs very fast and would do better in a smaller area with slowers paced children.

Hopefully it wouldn't actually be an issue if you were there and the big kids weren't getting too wild around little one's. I know that happens and it doesn't make them bad kids...just bigger. That's what people have to watch out for.
post #23 of 53
While I may not like it I certainly understand it. There have to be limits at some point for safety and the well-being of the kids and the setting/equipment.
The put an age because many parents/caregivers don't have common sense and need a black and white rule to follow (even though many ignore them). They can't have a rule saying "kids who are able to play nicely with toddlers are allowed" I say this in jest but I hope you get my meaning. There are times when the place is empty and you allow your older kids to play with a sibling-no big deal. But for the general use I can see a need for bounderies.
As far as older kids feelings being hurt, that's part of life. Life's not "fair." They learn to deal with it and move on. As parents we need to explain the need for rules and help them understand them.
post #24 of 53
'nother fan of having a space for the really little ones, separate from the "school age" kids. Littler ones fall more, wobble more, get shoved out of the way more, need their caregiver's more, there is a difference that is age specific, unless we get into disabled older kids. I took Emma to the toddler zones at various places when we spent a winter in an apartement, and I frequently complained when older kids took it over, because it ruined the experience for the littler ones who just aren't capable of exploring and toddling around with older louder faster bigger kids swarming a smaller enclosed area. And I also agree that the bigger kids aren't doing anything wrong, it's just that there's a definite benefit to having separate spaces created specifically to be safe for, and geared towards todlers and preschoolers.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soundhunter View Post
'nother fan of having a space for the really little ones, separate from the "school age" kids. Littler ones fall more, wobble more, get shoved out of the way more, need their caregiver's more, there is a difference that is age specific, unless we get into disabled older kids. I took Emma to the toddler zones at various places when we spent a winter in an apartement, and I frequently complained when older kids took it over, because it ruined the experience for the littler ones who just aren't capable of exploring and toddling around with older louder faster bigger kids swarming a smaller enclosed area. And I also agree that the bigger kids aren't doing anything wrong, it's just that there's a definite benefit to having separate spaces created specifically to be safe for, and geared towards todlers and preschoolers.
I'm with you -- except IMO, it's nuts not to make an exception for siblings.
post #26 of 53
I do understand wanting a safe place for little ones, but it sucks that the rules have to be hard and fast (because some people lack sense and don't supervise their kids). I do let my ds into the 3 and under section when it isn't crowded but I talk about being careful of the babies, stay close, and am prepared to remove him. He gets overwhelmed in big rowdy groups of older kids, too, but at least he is at less risk for being trampled.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
As far as older kids feelings being hurt, that's part of life. Life's not "fair." They learn to deal with it and move on. As parents we need to explain the need for rules and help them understand them.
Which is difficult when the rules don't make sense and the child is not developmentally able to understand the age difference. Maybe school kids are used to being segregated by age, but a homeschooled 5 yo is just as likely to play with a 3 yo as a 7 yo. Kids understand that they belong with their friends and that kids that are similar sizes are somehow equal. There are 3 yos bigger than my 5 yos and 7 yos smaller than him. In another year or two, I think he will be able to understand.
post #28 of 53
That is just awful. I have not seen this yet but probably will. Gosh, when I take my 2 year old out, my 5 years old son and 8 year old niece are the ones she wants to play with her on the playground. She pushes me away - she wants them!
post #29 of 53
I can see it both ways. I do think though siblings should be allowed in younger play areas though, but I have seen older kids go in and the parents haven't watched and the older ones are really boisterous which is not fun for the little ones.

My dh took ds to a toddler messy play for under 3's and dd was so upset she couldn't go, so dh took her and they let her join in (didn't even ask for payment).

It just seems we do live in an age segregated society and it sucks!

I shouldn't really be taking my ds to a toddler group any more because he is now over 2.5 and should be left in the preschool section whilst I go home and put my feet up!!! OTOH we go to sing and music class for ds and the teacher always lets me bring my dd with me if dh is working, she lets her join in.
post #30 of 53
happens here - except it is for under 6. In fact there is a lot of funding for programs for the under 6 crowd, but little for anyone over that age, because, drum roll please....they are supposed to have access to that kind of stuff at school:

Well not all children go to school, and not all schools are that great....

To be honest many time my older children are allowed into the "under 6 stuff" - but it is always made known that "they are making an exception because the centre is quiet, ect". It gets old, you do not feel welcome, and eventually you go less and your youngest child misses out...

Of course it does go the other way on occassion - there was a medieval workshop being offered, parents had to stay, no little ones allowed (due to semi-understandable safety reasons). We could not go-my older ones missed out.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbaby View Post
I've had this happen a few times now, and it's getting to be really annoying. One of our favorite places, the Discovery Center, recently turned one of the kids' favorite play areas into a "no kids over 5" space. Well, technically they do it by height, but it works out to be at about 4-5yo. So now we don't go there very often, because I can't take both kids in with me.

There is a cafe that opened that has a playspace for kids, but only 0-5. No kids over 5 are allowed in the play area. Yeah, right, so I'm going to sit there and drink my coffee while my 2yo plays in the play area and my 5yo sits at the table with me.

There is another indoor playspace that I used to take ds1 to as a toddler, and sure enough, no kids over 5yo are allowed.

I'm feeling very sad about this. Not only does it limit what we have to do, but my 6yo gets really upset that he can't play in these areas anymore, and my 2.5yo misses out on some of the cool things I used to do with ds1.

Does anyone else encounter this? It's like once you turn 5yo you are not supposed to be out and about during daylight hours.

No I don't encouter this. We don't have things like that and if we did, we can't afford those places. Can you go to a park or a friends house to play? That just sounds like discrimination to me!
post #32 of 53
It is often done because of large kids hurting smaller kids and a few inconsiderate parents who won't stop them, and ruin it for everyone else. sadly.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice View Post
It is often done because of large kids hurting smaller kids and parents who won't stop them, sadly.
Maybe they should have a "Parents discipline your children or we will" :


Na, I am just kidding...
post #34 of 53
I can see both sides of this. I guess my issue, since my kids are still rather young is we have been to the mall play area and there are kids who are very obviously over 5 who are VERY rough and trample over the little kids. A few months ago we went to a rather large mall, two boys, probably about 6-7 were playing in the under 5 area (actually it was by ht, but they were waaay too tall). They were jumping off the top of the play structures (climbing stuff that wasn't supposed to be climbed on), and saying things like, "I'm going to kill you!" My 2.5 yr old was following the older boys around (he likes older kids), and they were mean to him and when they climbed up one of the structures and he tried to follow them, the boy said to me, "he's going to climb up here and push me off!" I said, "No he isn't, he's just a toddler!" He looked like he would have tried to kick my DS down with his foot if he DID try to climb up! I was so pissed. I looked around and the boys' two dads (also wearing camo) were not even paying attn at all. Their boys were not only being terrors in general but were also causing trouble with other small kids too. You could tell the parents' of younger kids were trying to keep their children away from these older boys.

Later on my son was at home saying, "I'm going to kill you!" I was irrate! He picked up that talk from those older boys that shoudl not have been in the play area to begin with! I am not saying that your kids do this, BUT there ARE kids that act this way, and I think that is why they made that rule. Rules aside though, it seems that the parents with the rough over-5 age group kids act like they can't read the rules anyway, so it doesn't matter. If you child is gently playing with other children, I would let them play in the designated area and play dumb. I think that as long as they are gentle around the other little ones, nobody will take issue with it. If they cause trouble though, then don't be surprised if they get kicked out. I think the rule is really to avoid older children who play roughly, but what annoys me is the parents who have older children who play roughly are the ones who don't watch their kids anyway or follow the rules anyway, kwim? We have the same problems at the playground too, which is why we ended up investing in a nice wooden playset in our backyard. I was sick and tired of my little ones getting trampled on by older kids whose parents did not care to monitor how their children were acting toward other children.
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mags View Post
If you child is gently playing with other children, I would let them play in the designated area and play dumb. I think that as long as they are gentle around the other little ones, nobody will take issue with it.
I completely understand the POV of having the little, easily intimidated child. My oldest was really freaked out by loud and physical children until he was almost 5. When he was a toddler, he even disliked other toddlers his size (particularly boys) because they were unpredictable. I have had countless situations in which he was freaked out by other children or in which other children were physically aggressive towards him (with their parents right there!). I totally and completely understand wanting your very small child to have a safe place to play and explore.

Having said that, I have experienced many parents of 1 and young 2 year olds (when that child is their oldest) wanting older children to play and act like their timid toddlers and that is not developmentally feasible. I'm saying that, when the older child is within the age limit (e.g. a 4 year old in an under 5 setting), it's not fair or realistic to expect him to play as gently as a 1 year old. Obviously, he should NOT invade the 1 year old's space. But, now that my kids are a bit older and I have a second child who is not timid like my first one was, I see people get annoyed when my kids act their age in their own space.

We used to belong to Gymboree and they had open gym days that were perfect for our outrageously hot summer days when my kids were younger and prone to overheating. Most of the people had tiny toddling 1 year olds who were not used to older children. I've gotten so many hairy eyeballs from Moms just because my kids were jumping off the air-log (allowed and with no toddlers in sight) or because they were making loud noises. I've seen Moms of immaculately dressed toddlers act very disdainful because my older son went into his pirate persona which doesn't involve doing anything other than saying "Argh!" rather loudly. I feel like those Moms were the ones taking over the play area by expecting all children to act like their 1 year olds. Those kids will be 3, 4 and 5 one day and they will likely run, jump and make pirate noises.

Again, I totally understand wanting a safe place for a toddler to play. My oldest was such a timid, gentle toddler and so I have had a lot of bad experiences related to this. OTOH, when kids are within that acceptable age range, I think it's kind of unfair to expect them to play like 1 year olds, as long as they are not in that 1 year old's space.

The biggest issue I have with age segregation, however, relates to me homeschooling my two children and not being able to participate in activities due to age rules. Classes and workshops require a parent to be present but the age rules are often so tight that I could not bring my other child (and who is going to care for him?). Or in the case of our library's developmental play room, 5 year olds are not allowed but yet many 5 year olds miss the K cut-off and so would not be in school during the day. 5 seems to be the mostly left-out year in our experience. There's lots of "6 and up" and lots of "4 and under".
post #36 of 53
We encounter this occasionally, but not often. We may or may not follow the rules, depending on the situation.

We stopped attending preschool open gym when my oldest was 5 because I could see how wild my oldest was and how much the toddlers were intimidated by groups of larger older kids running around. It was a busy place, and my kids were adding to the chaos. I would never take my kids to the 4&under room at the children's museum for the same reason- I know that my older kids would be intimidating to the younger kids.

However, at places like REI, which has a climbing area for age 5 & under, I usually allow my bigger kids to play. We tend to go there during the school day when it's not crowded, and often my kids are the only ones playing. On the weekend, when it's busy and there are many little ones, I don't let my big kids play because I don't want them to trample the little kids.

Honestly, I don't really have a problem with it. When my kids were toddlers, I had enough experiences with them being terrorized by well-meaning older kids that I understand why the rules exist. I try to be very conscious of how my children are behaving, and take them out of a sitation if they are making younger children uncomfortable.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
I'm with you -- except IMO, it's nuts not to make an exception for siblings.
But this just doesn't work logistically. You let your older sibling in and then someone comes along with an older kid and thinks "hey that kid is older so I might as well let mine in", they don't know it's an older sibling and wouldn't care anyway. Next thing ya know-lots of older kids and the whole reason for limiting ages is shot.
You just can't have a list of exceptions, it just doesn't work that way in real life.
Just because the older child gets to drive doesn't mean the 13 yr old gets to. Just because the older one gets to go to daycamp for 6yr olds doesn't mean the 4 yr old can go because he's a sibling. KWIM?
There eventually has to be lines drawn somewhere.

I have a 2 yr old, 5 yr old and 7 yr old so don't think I don't know what you're talking about! My 7 yr old is rarely able to things at places with toddler or preschool play areas. And my 5 yr old is as tall as most 7 yr olds so she certainly gets "looks." But I just limit going to those places and seek out other places because it's not worth my time to get all ticked off about it, it's just life. We deal with it and move on.
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
But this just doesn't work logistically. You let your older sibling in and then someone comes along with an older kid and thinks "hey that kid is older so I might as well let mine in", they don't know it's an older sibling and wouldn't care anyway. Next thing ya know-lots of older kids and the whole reason for limiting ages is shot.
You just can't have a list of exceptions, it just doesn't work that way in real life.
Yes, it does work logistically and in real life. For example, the Children's Museum in Boston has a Playspace for kids age 0-3. It is gated off from the rest of the museum. There is a worker standing there, letting folks in. My 4 year old is always allowed to go in with my 23 month old. A family with no kids age 0-3 aren't allowed in, period.
post #39 of 53
of course someone always comes up with an exception
but what I said is still true-you don't have workers at most places "screening" siblings that can go in and MOST of the time this just wouldn't work
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnR33 View Post
of course someone always comes up with an exception
but what I said is still true-you don't have workers at most places "screening" siblings that can go in and MOST of the time this just wouldn't work
Hmm...okay. The only place -- wait ,TWO places...the Science Museum in Boston has the same type of arrangement...that have a young-kid-only policy has workers there to guard the gate. I've never seen a situation where there HASN'T been an official person around to enforce it.
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