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What's a reasonable age to let children play out?

(22 Posts)
WeeBabyBunting Sun 12-Jun-16 18:31:46

DS is 6.

His friend (same age) has just called for the fifth time today asking if DS can play out .

We live on a road which is fairly quiet but has a sharp corner where cars often come round too fast .

DS friend lives in a cul de sac and often plays there but his mother can see him from her window .

DS friend often leaves the cul de sac to walk through an alleyway to come and knock for DS.

I feel bad as DS is asking to play out and I just don't think either of us are ready !

What age did you let your DC out alone?

OSETmum Sun 12-Jun-16 18:33:02

Not yet and DS has just turned 7.

EatShitDerek Sun 12-Jun-16 18:35:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bumblefeline Sun 12-Jun-16 18:36:38

My dd1 was in year 6 and I let her scooter up the street and she made a friend round the corner.

My dd2 is 9 and not yet, she has zero road sense and a daydreamer. Though some go out an earlier age so what ever you feel comfortable doing.

FATEdestiny Sun 12-Jun-16 18:36:54

This gets done to death on Mumsnet.

The answer is there is no one answer. Depends how on the area you live in, the child and your views on risk management.

Energumene Sun 12-Jun-16 18:37:31

Probably 8 or 9, but we're in central London and until the local plod got the drug dealers to accept that the kids' playground wasn't an ideal place for them to do business with their adult customers I wasn't keen for him to play there even with me present.

Had it been where I grew up, I'd have happily let him play out at 7.

riceuten Sun 12-Jun-16 18:38:00

Why don't you say "Yes, but in the garden" ?

branofthemist Sun 12-Jun-16 18:38:18

It totally depends on the child and where you live. My ds is 5 and a few years off. We live in an estate but people drive like knobs.

We live on a corner and people come round the corner too fast. At least once a day the is an almost accident because someone has come round to fast (so taking the corner by driving in the middle of the road) and there is another car coming the other way. In 5 years there has been 6 actual accidents outside our house, 3 ended up with cats on the pavement.

Ameliablue Sun 12-Jun-16 18:38:48

As fate says, it varies but if you're worried can't they play in your garden?

calamityjam Sun 12-Jun-16 18:42:35

3, but every one of my windows overlooks a green where they all play quite safely. We also live in a rural area, so now at 8 he goes over the farmers fields.

WeeBabyBunting Sun 12-Jun-16 18:45:09

I do let his friend come in to play or they go in our yard but DS wants to be out with all the other children.

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 12-Jun-16 18:46:43

It depends where you live - traffic, green spaces, local culture (by whichI mean are all the kids playing out and parents and grandparents popping in and out and are there generally other nice local bods (retired people, dog walkers, people gardenig) pottering about and passing the time of day and chatting to you when you are outside? Do you know and talk to the other parents? etc.) Or do you live somewhere nobody talks and everyone twitches curtains and judges and complains and puts PA notes through doors and shouts at anyone who speaks above a whisper or walks too close to their property? (MN leads me to believe the later category exists).

If you aren't ready to go from no playing out to unsupervised can't you go outside too and sit and read or invent some task in the garden or cleaning your windows?

Playing out is lively and part of what makes our community an awesome place to live. If I had no kids I'd like to live somewhere more adult convenient, but it's the lovely community and all the kids in and out of each other's houses and all the public green space to play that keeps us here. My 3 are out playing most ofthe day at wweekends when it's dry, and when it started raining we had 9 kids aged from 5-12 in the house. Loud but I wouldn't have it any other way. grin

x2boys Sun 12-Jun-16 18:47:18

We moved to a council estate last yr all rhe kids play out around here its and estste set bsck frim the road and we back in to a massive park ds 1 has been playing out all yr hes nine i would have let earlier from 5or6 if we had lived here then but we didnt live anywhere suitable before .

JellyBellyKelly Sun 12-Jun-16 18:47:30

Mine were 7 and 5 when I first let them play out... But we live in a quiet cul de sac..

x2boys Sun 12-Jun-16 18:51:09

Pot green calamity? we had a discussion on another thread last week i think and i think we came from the same area alhough i now live in bolton

Schwabischeweihnachtskanne Sun 12-Jun-16 18:53:29

Oh and here 5 - though not "alone" in a literal sense, with a mixed age group of kids whom I know pretty well. When the 5 year old is out I'm either outside sitting in the front garden reading (MN scandalous) or watching from the window drinking tea, or doing chores but pottering in and out to bins and garage etc.

I don't check on nearly 9 yo or 11 yo much and the older they get the greater the allowed roaming range. 11 yo cycles to her friend 3 miles away alone (middle of the day only, excellent well used cycle path, phones when she gets there and when she sets off home - still less freedom than I had at 11 but locally typical).

DramaAlpaca Sun 12-Jun-16 18:58:14

As others have said, it depends where you live.

We live in a quiet cul-de-sac and my DC played out there from when we first moved in, when they'd have been 6 or 7. I see the neighbours' kids playing out there now and I think the youngest is about that age.

FuckOffJeffrey Sun 12-Jun-16 19:46:09

DD6 gets out to play and has done so since last summer. We live across the road from a high school and quite near a very busy main road and motorway.

The all kids play in the (open unfenced) car park of the highschool in the summer holidays and weekends. Other times of the year (when the school is open and car park in use) they go between each other's gardens. All the parents are happy the kids go out and play (7 kids all in the same year of school) and we collectively keep and eye out for them / hand out ice poles or drinks / sort out squabbles etc.

I agree with other posters that it really does depend on where you live. There is no way I would have let DD out if we still lived in our old house as the area was not safe.

calamityjam Mon 13-Jun-16 22:11:10

X2boys, no not pot green, it is a bit close to BRW. We live up near Shuttleworth, between all the farms.

calamityjam Mon 13-Jun-16 22:12:17

X2boys, I do have some cracking memories of pot green from my school days though!!

megletthesecond Mon 13-Jun-16 22:18:41

It depends where you live.

Where we are most kids are playing out from reception age, no road. Lots of parents pop their head out every few minutes and some parents go out to play basketball and football too.

MariposaUno Mon 13-Jun-16 22:28:28

There's no right age it's your judgement call really, you can set boundaries for him to adhere to and slowly gain trust that things will mostly be OK.

My dc is 6 and with having a neighbours child the same age they always want to play in each others gardens so they get to go around the front of the house onto the streer and round the back of next doors.
They have a boundary that is a Lampost.

I wouldn't have imagined letting her do this only a few month's ago but I can't hold her back either.

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