We just didnt have a choice. We would play or just sulk around out there, but stayed out till she called us in. It was probably for about 1hr every day.
I ask my kids 5 and 7 if they want to play outside every day. Sometimes they do, but other times they just say they dont want to. I kind of like the idea of it not being a choice, but feel like it would cause a power struggle and I'd have to yell or force them.
Does anyone have a strict outdoor time rule?
My mom said when she was a kid (born in 1950), my grandma would send them outside all day long - only coming in to eat and use the bathroom. That way they were in her hair and she could cook and clean.
Right now, after nap and snack, we go outside to the park every day unless we have a "field trip" planned (they are one and three, LOL, so really it's just an excursion, but you get the point). I do not plan on spending that time minding them when they are five and seven!
My oldest two are the only ones outside by themselves though. We don't have a fence and the other three would wander the streets with no care. Usually they go next door and play in the fenced area at mils with the older two at least a few times a week and we go out to playgrounds and such.
We homeschool and limit tv and computer and they have no game consoles.
|The world is getting more dangerous by the minute|
The younger two are too little to go out without me being *right* there with them- they are only 1 and 2, but by the time they are 4/5 they will be allowed out in a fenced yard, and since they are rambunctious/boisterous sorts, I will ABSOLUTELY tell them to take it outside. In fact, I look forward to that time with great longing as I will then be able to have a cup of tea without excessive interruption.
I am well aware of the dangers, but I am also a realist. I worry more about my oldest being abducted at this point than I do the younger kids. She is very naive, so I do keep close track of her, but she needs to learn how to keep herself safe as she's getting old enough that I can not be there every moment.
Angie(25) Birth Doula and wife to Army man Bob(25), mommy to...Meadow Shae(6),Lily Rain(4), and Sage Ashlyn(3). Andrew Houston(9/3/11)
I also let him go out on our deck to play with his little basketball hoop or whatever he wants to do...on the deck only! It is a low deck (2 feet up) and I can hear him from the kitchen/family room and see him very easily if I want to. He'll choose to go out there alone every other day or so, in addition to our hour+ outside together (our neighborhood or a park).
We'll be homeschooling and I plan for us to be out 1+ hour a day forever! Most of the day on some days when we're doing homeschool stuff outside!
But no, there will never be a rule. DS is screen free and doesn't have leapfrog or electronic (even battery) toys. Sticks outside are pretty darn cool to him. When he's older and we introduce/allow some screen time, I hope he'll have developed such a connection/interest in nature that he won't be pulled inside (too much) by electronics!
Have you read "Last Child in the Woods?" I saw the author speak a few years ago (but still haven't read the book! ).
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Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
Not in my neighborhood... regardless, I am still not comfortable just sending my 4 and 7 year old out without plenty of supervision. I am sorry but I see too many children around my neighborhood that DO... might explain why a 4 year old was hit and killed on the busy street that runs adjacent to our neighborhood. I think there a lot of factors that go into this subject, including the safety of your neighborhood. If I lived in a quiet neighborhood with fenced in backyards, little dogs in backyards and very few cars, my tune might be a little different... but I don't. I live in an apartment complex with high traffic, large, aggressive dogs and some rather idiotic individuals that I don't trust around my children. Maybe it's over-protective but I would much rather be overly protective then ask myself why when something bad happens...
That makes me sad.
However, you know the situation where you are and of course there's no way I could judge every single individual situation. I am just speaking in general.
Jen, former attorney and now SAHM to 11 yo ds and 8 yo ds
We'll be moving early next year and having a decent backyard, even small, is a priority. When I was a kid, my brother and I were outside all the time, but we lived on 2 acres in a very safe neighborhood and other kids were always outside too. We don't even know any neighbors here! If I had the kind of yard that I grew up with, we'd spend all day outside. But we do get out a lot - it's just usually after a short car ride to a park or beach!
The world is getting more dangerous by the minute and I will not just allow my children to run the neighborhood and hope they don't get hurt/kidnapped/molested/etc...
I see it as more safe because of cell phones, amber alerts, my ability to get email notifications if a sex offender moves into my neighborhood (if in compliance with the law, but if not at least they risk getting re-incarcerated), cell phones, cell phones, and cell phones. And gps and cell phones.
I truly don't believe that there has been any increase in crimes against children.
When they're older and can be trusted not to run into the road or drown themselves in the stream, I have dreams of telling them to get outside for an hour or two a day and I don't want to see them until dinner. I think it's good for them. I'm just not sure how old that would be. 7? 8? So long as they're together? In a way, the stream will ALWAYS pose a risk (I mean, it has slippery rocks in it... I could easily fall and hit my head and drown if I weren't careful), but if they're all playing together then I think one would be able to come get me if there's an emergency.
I hope someday we'll have a little outdoor space where I can make my kids go, because I totally will make them if I have to. Until then I have to take them to the park to get any play time but I still try to do some good outside time every day.
Making a home for our big girl 3/06 and our new boy 2/10
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
I'm not terribly concerned about adults messing with her. I think she would kick & scream like anything if a stranger approached her, and there are enough people around (neighbors) that I'm confident that someone would intervene. I'm not 100% unconcerned about it (especially since someone tried to abduct me as a young child), but I'm not crazy worried about it either.
What I am concerned about is the bullying that some of the older kids in the neighborhood engage in. They've done some of it in front of me, and I figure that what they'd do without adults around is probably far worse than what they'd do right in front of me (which is bad enough IMO). Seriously, it's a bit like Lord of the Flies out there sometimes. So, until I know that DD can hold her own and knows what to do if someone tries to push her around into doing something she doesn't want to do (e.g., kissing a neighbor boy), I'll go out with her. Also, I figure that some of the kids can use another adult in their lives they can talk to, and when I'm out there they all know they can talk to me.
My son is 3.5 and is only allowed in the fenced backyard without an adult. And only if I can see him. If I need to nurse the baby, I ask him to come in.
I'm not sure at what age I'll be comfortable letting him in the front yard without an adult. We live on a cul-de-sac and he doesn't go in the road or anything. I just don't feel safe with that yet, or even that that is around the corner. But, I do have memories of playing around that age alone outside.
Attached2Elijah - our kids have the same names! And mine are 3 years and 1 month apart too.
My 8 year old can go out on his own but he knows where he has to stay. My 4 year old will stay out by himself if I'm going in and out and he knows where he has to stay as well. I'm not worried so much about someone nabbing them (we have an enormous, very protective dog) as I am about stray dogs. We've had several and it's always been an awful incident so I do worry about that. My kids know they have to come in if they see any dog other than ours.
We do live in the country on an acreage, but we have lots of neighbors that usually, but not always, drive slow and watch for the kids. But we also have a cow with a baby that's very protective so there's alot of area that they can't explore on their own right now.
But typically, we're outside every day. Unless it's really bad out. If it's hot, we play in the water. If it's cold and snowy, we make snowmen.
sometimes we all go around to the backyard, where the kids have a swingset, sand box and additonal ride on toys (all were either garage saled or trash picked -- i have spent very few dollars on any of our outside play stuff).
the other day it was just our family, both kids, both dogs. i batted balls for the dogs to chase across the yard while the kids played together in the little sandbox. when the dogs got so tired they quit bringing the balls back, i spent a little time in the garden, picking the last of the season's vegetables in anticipation of a coming frost.
the baby is walking now and it was so much fun to see him just toddling around. when i said, "i think we have raspberries!" he was so excited and walked over to the raspberry bush as fast as he could, then stuffed them in his mouth, his shirt all dirty from the sandbox, etc.
it was a great way to spend an afternoon for ALL of us, myself included. finally it was time to go in, as it was starting to get dark and the kids really needed their bath.
i can't imagine that the kids will "grow out of" enjoying this kind of casual, outdoor "play". it's all play to them, of course. and in a lot of ways, it is play for me, too.