Not sure whether to move - do your kids play out??(28 Posts)
We currently live in a beautiful four bed Victorian terrace in a major city. I love this house and we have decorated it throughout to a high standard. The area we live in is 'cool'. Lots of nice cafes, bars and city parks. My issues with this house are that we are on a busy main road so it's noisy and the kids will not be able to play out front till they are teens. The area doesn't have any houses to move up to or any quieter roads with similar size properties . Our children are 5 and 6 months. We've been to see some new houses which are on estates and in cul de sac locations but are lacking in style and area. Wwyd? Do you live in an area where the kids can play out and do they? Is this that important? We are just worried about making compromises for the kids and finding they don't actually do it anyway.
I live in a terrace on a main road and the kids play out the back of the house's. Is there enough space at the back of yours for kids to play?
No, it's another road, not quite as busy as ours but it's used as a 'rat run' to cut out traffic. I'd worry as the area is so busy (we are by a train station and lots of HMOs). The house we looked at was on a private drive with three other houses, looked out onto trees with a big patch of grass between and had a gulley to a play park outside. Wonderful really but we would be giving up our area (it's another 5 miles away semi rural).
One of ours played out all the time in our cul de sac. The other didn't as there were no friends her age to play with.
Do you not have a back garden or yard?. We live in a mid terrace with a small paved garden. So my kids play there. For more space or a good run around we go to the local park. None or the houses around me have much frontage or drives. Local children all seem to do what we do. We live in London. I don't feel their missing out on anything. I don't think I'd want them playing out the front anyway even in a quieter rural setting. Other kids are always over for play dates or meet ups at the park.
I loved playing out as a kid but I wouldnt compromise on house and location just for this reason. Plenty of kids arent able to play out on the road as and it doesn't do them any harm, it's just a nice bonus if you can.
My kids played out all the time between the ages of about 5 and 11 - it really was idyllic (still is for the youngest though variations in birth rate in the village mean there are fewer children his age and unlike his older siblings he usually phones a friend from the other end of the village to come and meet him, as he's the only really compatible playmate - there was a big group for the older ones and there's another big group of tinies in the village again now).
Sadly it drops off around 12 as other children suddenly start staying in on screens all the time. My eldest is returning to more outdoor time as there are a group who play football on the little pitch in the village on summer evenings, and she Longboards with a friend and they go out on walks and Longboarding to take a lot of stylised photos, which seems to be a teenage girl thing locally...
Living in a city is more practical and appealing for a lot of teens though.
We're properly rural and it's lovely for under 11s but tbh not that great once they're older. I don't know whether suburbs would give you the best of both or the worst of all possible locations... I'd be a risk which might not pay off as you'd need not only to know whether children play out there now but also what the population turn over is and how many children the same age as yours live very locally obviously...
It only works if there are lots of local children who play out, which is hard to predict. It can be lovely for a few years...
It seems odd for a 4 bed terrace to have no space out the back? Not even a small paved garden area? The back door doesn't open out on to a busy road surely!
5 miles isn't much.
I live in a quiet semi rural area with nothing cool nearby at all, but my kid can ride his bike to friend's within a 2 mile radius and it's great. Once your kids get a bit older you won't be going to galleries and cool cafes much anyway!
I know someone who moved to a modern cul de sac for just that reason, only to find the other residents were old people (well, people whose children had grown up).
If you did move there is no guarantee that your children would get on with the other children in the road.
We live on a new build development and it's brilliant for our young DCs, they love playing outside with the neighbours. There's a big green in the middle and houses from both sides look onto it. The adults love it too, there are three other families who we are really good friends with, we're always having BBQs and dinner parties together. Everyone helps each other out, it's great.
Agree with what Glad said though, there's no guarantee it will be like that so you'd need to do some research.
I never really played out. We played in the garden or (supervised) at the park. We live in a residential suburban street but I can't imagine DCs playing out here. What I imagine will happen is they will take it in turns to go to other's gardens.
In your situation I wouldn't move. What your kids lose out on in playing out, they will gain from secondary age in having lots more to do and a train station etc. If it is only a few houses, any other children might be completely different ages anyway.
Thanks for your replies everyone. We do have a back garden but I meant with other children. I grew up raring to go outside in the morning and meet all my friends on our bikes and cycle up and down our road. We knocked on for each other and played out nearly every day. I suppose I just feel sad that my kids probably won't do this but wondered if they do in the right setting? My husband had similar when he was young too. You're right though, we could move and not be around any kids 😂 we have plenty of time outside but I just think it's nice when they can have a bit of freedom
@anothernotherone your daughter sounds very cool - it sounds idyllic
We live on a main road. My DCs are older teens now, but they never played out. They played together in our back garden. We sometimes met up with friends at hte local park. They went to play at other friends houses, but no-one was really close enough to just pop round - it had to be organised. They both did quite a few activities out of school - guiding/scouting etc.
Doesn't seemed to have harmed them.
We never played out the front when I was a kid in the 80s. We had big gardens and our neighbours all had kids so we just went from garden to garden. We also had allotments behind us which we roamed around in. I would base my choice of house more on schools than anything else. I dont think playing out is that big a deal as long as they have a decent garden.
My kids have had a similar experience to another. We are semi rural but only 18 mins fast train to central London. There are many families where we live and children have always played outdoors together - building dens in the woods, cycling, football and cricket on the green, tennis court. Also the houses all have large gardens so they are often together there as well. We have a strong village community with loads of facilities, activities and events. Boring, dark, wet, winter Sunday’s we just drive (30mins) into central London to a market, gallery, exhibition.
My teenage boys are also into mountain biking and do loads of that in the woods together. My teenage girls are more into walking their friends dogs over the hills/by the river. They also have a train station within walking distance so take themselves into London frequently - my oldest is really into skate boarding and from 12 he has been to every legal (and illegal) skate park across London.
I think it has kept them more physically active and childlike for just a bit longer and they love and respect nature and know all of their neighbours. The oldest is at uni now (big Northern city) and has been to visit his new uni mates at their homes and has said why didn’t we live somewhere “cool”?
I think your memories of your child hood are the same as mine, and I grew up in a cul-de-sac doing all of those things - but if I went back to the same cul-de-sac now there would probably be triple the amount of cars and even if there were the same amount of families with children, they probably don't play out in the same way, as it's just not as safe as it was 25-30 years ago (you may not of course be this old!!).
We live on a fairly busy road, but quite a few kids on the street and I just think we'll have lots of play in our garden or theirs. It's different, but then so is life.
As someone else says - you could more to the idyllic location - safe and quiet, but have no kids to play out with anyway!
@CIareIsland wow! Sounds amazing! I want to move where you are if you don't mind giving a rough idea if you don't want to say exactly
Same as Clareisland. I love that I live somewhere my children can play out with their friends, a lovely community and close to bigger towns and London should they choose to when they’re a bit older but with beautiful countryside to explore on their doorstep. We’ve a gate into woods which is privately owned.
OP, what use is the coolness and the cool bars to you when you have a 5yo and a baby?
Tbh, I’d hate to raise kids surrounded by HMOs and busy roads.
I think the other house sounds potentially nice as long as you don’t need to get in the car for a pint of milk + there’s public transport for kids to use when they’re teens.
I live rurally with a large garden, trees, ditches at the boundary etc. and surrounded by fields. I love it but DS (10) has zero interest in playing outside, his nearest friend lives 2 miles away and he's not interested in learning to ride a bike. Growing up in a town, I used to play outside with friends on the street but DS is very different to me. You could move house and find that your children have no interest in playing out on the street.
We live in a very quiet cul de sac and my granddaughter has payed out with her friends from the age of 5 till 11. Once she got to that age she decided to spend most of her time indoors.
I think as a PP’s have said it’s important that it is a family area with lots of other children around rather than a retirement area - that would back fire. It’s also about how you are a family eg out doors a lot in all weathers cycling, playing sport, walking dogs etc then that’s what they do.
We actually moved from a v rural area to semi rural when oldest was a few months old as there were no pavements, traffic was v fast - no way could you go for a walk on narrow lanes with a push chair - or let children out at all.
Thanks all. The new house is still in a big town on a large new estate. It's a walk to that town and a 40 minute bus ride into big city. It's surrounded by fields though so semi rural by our standards and we like the fact the house is on a dead end. we do use the cafes and bars where we live now a surprising amount, probably daily for the cafes and weekly for the bars. There is a thriving social scene of other parents and people we've met through hobbies and it's difficult to imagine having that in the new area.
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