to ask what age you would allow your child to 'play out' on their own?(39 Posts)
Just curious really... My child is 9 and would like to walk to school and play at the park with friends... I've not agreed to it yet.
Just would like to know what age you allowed/will allow it!
Depends entirely on the child. I have memories of doing it at 11 but not before.
Mine is 7', she can go as far as each corner so that she is still in earshot.
I'm more reluctant because she isn't fully independent, she uses a walking frame so more likely to fall etc. But were it not for that I'd probably be happier for her to go a bit further.
I'd love it if she could walk to school herself!
I see quite a few of her age doing that.
Depends how far away it is and how many roads they have to cross. My 5yo plays out in front of the house but doesn't go to the park because he'd have to cross a road. I imagine I'd let him from 8ish though.
my son plays out hes nine hes allowed on the estate and the park we back on to a large park schools to far for him to walk .
Depends on where you live surely? My DC have played out (and gone to school solo) from age 9 but with very strict boundaries at that age which have increased as they've got older.
Would depend on the journey to school for me. For my dd almost 11, school is 25 minute walk, lots of roads and secluded spots so I wouldn't agree to that. Our park is 5mins away and if I knew who she was going with I'd prob be ok with it. I let her and ds 14 walk to grandparent's together (10mins, couple of roads) but I'm quite protective so probably not a very fair answer.
DC would need to cross a main road, but that's it... I'm not sure about the main road. I small boy was hit a few months ago, so it has put me off. The park is again, across the main road. I'm not keen... I know he'll want to take his bike too.
DD has been playing out since 4.5. Its the norm where I live. She's allowed to travel the length of our street, cross the road to the park, and visit friends. By 7 she'll be allowed further afield (to the shops, to the big park down town, all within a few minutes bike ride from home) and by 10 she'll certainly have the run of the town.
It's a how long is a piece of string question.
We don't know your area, what the roads like, what your child is like...
My dd is a sensible sort and we'd no main roads between home and school/park so from around 7 she was allowed to walk to school/park with friends.
I lived in a safe area but was a total scatterbrain and easily distracted/tendency to wander so I wasn't allowed till a bit older.
there are lots children that live near me we live on a council estate so ikts fullof families i might be a bit more reluctant if there wasent so many children around .
My DD is 7, she's allowed out to play in the street with her friends and there are a couple of parks she can go to. She can go to friends house to play (few doors down). She can't walk to school as we live too far away, there's a lane which is too secluded and quiet that she'd have to walk down and 2 main roads as well as several other side roads. I do try to encourage a degree of independence, I remember walking to school with friends in p1 (we did a walking bus before it was called a walking bus!) and being able to go to friends who lived at the other end of large estate- about half a mile away- when I was about 6. My main issue these days is that other parents don't give their kids freedom so they can't buddy up with friends to go places like I did when I was young.
My oldest ds (now 11) has been playing out with friends for the last two years but only locally on the estate and park where we live (approx 5 min walk away) although now he's older I would be happier about letting him go further (so far he hasn't wanted to).
He's been getting himself to school since year 5. Sometimes on the school bus and sometimes he walks with a group of friends.
We started off small, close places with some strict rules re where he could go and what time to be back. We also got him a cheap PAYG mobile.
He now has more freedom and can go pretty much where he likes on the estate but still has to be home on time.
I would allow my dc to walk to school by age 9, it is fairly safe route and about 10-15mins for little legs and Lots of kids and adults around for school time.
She is turning 6 now and I've just gave permission for her to play on the street but only two doors down either side of the house, over the holidays I imagine she will do it a lot.
When I was 8/9yrs old I was walking a dog at 5/6am to a park 5 min away,walked to and from school and easily travelled up to 20 miles from home without a care.
Sometimes wonder if it was freedom/independence or benign neglect.
Mines is 5 (6 in September) and has been allowed to play in the culdisac since 4.5, and in the street for the past year or so. Around 6m ago she got to cross (quiet, residential) road at the end of the street to the field. Shes now allowed to the bottom of the field to the play park with friends.. Has to come back over and shout at the window every 15 mins.
I remember being allowed to just roam by about 10ish.. And by roam I mean we'd be on and off buses and only home when we were hungry.
How would we know? Talk to his friends' parents. Talk to the local police.
We don't know the area, the children, the circumstances.
Did you honestly expect to be told an age when it would be OK?
Mine are 7 and 8 and I don't allow them to play in our street due to the state of it, but we we are moving soon to a more normal street so I think I will probably let them play on their scooters up and down our side (it's not a very long street), but not go anywhere else. We are in a city and they still don't have brilliant road sense so there would be the real risk of them being run over. We do live quite near a park and I think probably at about 10 and 11 we'll build up to them being able to go there alone - oldest also has slight special needs so not quite at the stage most children his age are. At the new house we will be a 25 minute walk from school so I will probably always go with them part of the way, then let them cross the last few roads themselves. But not until they're at least 10.
Varies so much from child to child, location etc. I I've in a very safe village the park and a big cycle path network are just up the back road. At 5 my oldest was allowed in the park and the area of grass next to the park. As he got older and showed he could be trusted his area expanded. He is 9 now and can roam over a wide area. Dd followed and at 7 she has a bit more of a restricted area. She is away with the fairies most of the time and while I am confident she won't do anything stupid I need her where I can shout for her because she would lose herself in imagination and not come home for hours. Smallest is 4 and not yet allowed I'm at the park and I need to nip home for a wee or to stir dinner etc then I do leave him and he knows not to leave. They are all well trained, they know not to ever go anywhere with anyone, if ds1 gets invited into someone's house he runs home and checks with me first. I love the independence they have living somewhere like this.
DD is 11.5 and started going to the park about 3 weeks ago, but it's a 10 minute walk away. She has a school friend nearby who will call for her en route & if she's not going we drop her off at another friends further away (but nearer the park) and they walk to & from together.
She sometimes walks back from school to my work, which is halfway between school & home, if her club isn't on and I'm finishing a bit later. She's been doing this since she was 10.
In September she'll have to bus/walk to secondary school 3.5 miles away so we had to bite the bullet, although DH wasn't keen.
Seriously, I think possibly between eight and ten is about right. It isn't just potential danger but also how well they can manage their friendships - I think it's as well to have an adult keeping an eye out in most situations.
DS1 started walking to and from school on his own at 10. But then, we're about 2 minutes walk away from the school and I leave shortly after to drop the others off anyway. He also started biking to his friends' houses and playing in the park (about five minutes away) around the same time. I think it depends very much on the child and where you live, though. There are no busy roads to cross between here and the school or the park.
DD1 (11) has just started walking back and forward to school on her own in preparation for secondary school in Sept.
It's traffic that concerns me far more than stranger danger. A good 70% of motorists seem to regard pedestrians as nuisances to be chased off the road these days. It frightens me tbh but they have to go out on their own sooner or later.
DD doesn't walk to school by herself simply because of the speeding wankers that use the village as a rat run and the inconsiderate wankers who don't trim their holly hedges that force you to walk in the road for half the journey
She's been playing out since we moved here (age 8) and if we had been here before I'd have let her out there from 5/6. It's a very safe playing areas though; a huge green, footie pitch and play park directly across the street from the house. There are generally kids out there at all times, from about 3/4 to about 14/15.
With mine, they were about 5. We live in a small estate with loads of kids and we all look out for each other, IFSWIM. I still check on them every 5-10 mins and my older kids have to 'check in' at set times. Also, they're not allowed past certain areas, ie the lamppost on one side and the White House on the other, until they are older.
My 3 yr old twins play in the back garden when I'm in the kitchen but not out front unless I'm with them
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.