With the days not as hot as they typically are here in St. Louis we have started letting our kids go out into the backyard without much supervision from us parents. It’s one of those things that you have to start thinking about as your kids start getting older. You can’t have them coupe up in the house all of the time, but at that same time you can’t always be watching over them like a hawk. You have things you need to get done as well.
So we have a privacy fence and I think our neighborhood is pretty good so I’m not terribly worried about any wrong doing happening. When the kids are out back we open up a few of the windows towards the back of the house so we can here them if they start screaming bloody murder.
That has happened zero times so far now that I mention it. The kids play good out there by themselves. They run around and they wear themselves out. We have a playhouse, swing set, tree house, truck sandbox thing, and a few other things that they have reign over. Another thing I like to do when they go out back to play is I have a radio that I like to turn on some music for them to listen to while playing. I don’t have any research to back it up but I think they really enjoy having some tunes going while doing whatever it is they are doing out there.
There have been a few times where they go outside and then want to come back in after 10 minutes. While that kinda sucks because not much can get done in only 10 minutes, but it’s a start. The kids get that breath of freedom and over time they will want to go out back and play for longer and longer. Sometimes you have to take baby steps and sometimes those turn into leaps. Everyone has to start somewhere.
I’m not one for wanting my kids to grow up too fast, but I’m also not wanting to have to keep them entertained all of their waking hours. I think backyard freedom is a perfect opportunity for the kids to gain some independence and also give us parents a much needed break. I’m not expecting anyone to just throw their kids out into the backyard unprepared. I’m just letting you know what works for us, and so far it has worked well.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this in the front yard. At least for us, the street in front is too busy for the kids to be alone out there. They stay away but I like having the piece of mind that some wacko isn’t going to come flying through my yard with their car. So the kids stay in the backyard.
What kinds of things do you do with your kids in the backyard? Do you send them out alone or do you venture out with them? Let me know below in the comments, I’d love to hear what others are doing in their backyard!