What is a good age to allow your children to safely play outside? How old were your children when you let them play outside mostly unattended.

By mostly unattended, I mean for about 10-15 min. at a time while the parents are either in or outside of the house, but not intently watching every move of your child.

And by outside, I mean in a safe cul-de-sac environment where the kids would mostly stay in our yard or our neighbor's yard & maybe play with the neighbor's kids.

asked 24 Jun '10, 07:28

Sabrina's gravatar image

accept rate: 21%

Our son(4) has played outside unattented since he was about 3 years. Our section is semifenced with gates, i.e if our son really wanted go off the property he could. We have taught our son that he has to stay within the boudaries if he wants to play outside.

We didn't just let him start playing outside by himself we built up to it. We started with him being able to play outside while I was outside doing jobs like hanging out washing and gardening, then moved to him being outside while I was inside but within earshot. Now I will check about every 20 minutes to see what he is upto.

So far he hasn't wander off our section and loves being outside (although at present the winter weather is reducing how often he can do this).


answered 24 Jun '10, 18:48

K%20D's gravatar image

accept rate: 13%

edited 25 Jun '10, 01:35

+1 I definitely agree with the gradual approach and the teaching of boundaries (while you were also outside doing things etc) –

(25 Jun '10, 14:18) Emi

We will probably start the process at the end of the year (summer here) with our younger one who will be two and half.

(25 Jun '10, 21:15) K D

We live in a small dead end road. Our eldest 2 are aged 10 and 7 and are both allowed to play out front un-attended for as long as they like. Our youngest is 5 and is also allowed to play out front but only if there are older kids out with her, she knows to come back in as soon as the people she is playing with have gone in.
All three of them had to wait until they were 5 before we let them out front un-attended. And all 3 started with not being allowed on the road, if they wanted to be the other side of the road they had to walk all the way round. Now they are all trusted to cross the court without hanging around in the middle of the road and the older two are allowed to walk to some of the park nearby that mean crossing a road, although not the busy one.


answered 24 Jun '10, 11:45

pipthegeek's gravatar image

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I would say if your yard is fenced in then they could start playing outside by themselves at age 3-4, depending on how well they listen. I would say the front yard when they are 5-6. We live in an apartment right now, we have a small area for her to play outside, but I could never leave her alone because it is not fenced in. At my parents, she can play outside in the backyard, but not by herself yet, she is 1 1/2. My parents have a pool, so an adult always needs to be outside with the children because of the pool. My daughter will just climb right up the deck to the pool.


answered 27 Jun '10, 19:28

Betsy%201's gravatar image

Betsy 1
accept rate: 10%

We live on an extremely small college campus (less than 500 students), right across the street from the volleyball pit. During the summer and the times of day when there are not a lot of people driving, I am letting my 4 year-old earn my trust by crossing the street and playing in the sand while I stay in the house with her brother.

Fortunately we are not the only family in the area with small kids and most of the students have met mine, so when there are drivers around, they are aware that there may be children crossing the street. During high school weekends, when there are a lot of unfamiliar people around, we keep a closer eye on the four year-old. But for the majority of the time, we just have to keep an eye out during chapel and sporting events.


answered 30 Jun '10, 17:17

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

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Asked: 24 Jun '10, 07:28

Seen: 4,121 times

Last updated: 30 Jun '10, 17:17