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Would you rather your kids played indoors than out?

(89 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Aug-13 16:52:22


We've been asked if MNers would rather their children played indoors than outside - and, if so, why?

Is it because it's just less faff? Or because it's safer?

And, if you do prefer your children to play outside, can you tell us why? What do they gain from outdoor play that they can't get indoors? And do you feel you're unusual in preferring to get them outside?

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 05-Aug-13 17:58:59


I was always chucking them out.

I'd like to know who wants to know this & why?? Not in a cross way, just nosey.

Sorry to be so mysterious. It's not deliberate. That's all the information we've been given.

As soon as we know more, we'll fill you in.

HepsibarCrinkletoes Mon 05-Aug-13 18:05:30

Outside, every time. Very lucky to have a decent sized London garden and live on the edge of a great common, along with 3 huge commons and Battersea Park within 10 minutes' tops.

DD3 is happiest when out in the garden/at the park by far. The other three only come out after dark, but in years gone by it was pretty much the same with them.

daisychicken Mon 05-Aug-13 18:06:27

Nope, if its dry or even dry-ish, I encourage them to be outside! I'd rather they were playing with friends or on their bikes etc than sat inside watching a DVD or on the computer. I figure that inside stuff can be done in the evenings or on wet weather days and that we need to make the most of the good weather in this country!

During school holidays, I try and arrange days where we meet friends at parks with picnics or hot drinks if cold (plus kids am/swimming/museums) but then allow other days where they can be lazy and do a mix of playing out with local pals and inside stuff. I have days when I'd just like to curl up with a book so I do watch out for those days when the dc feel the same.

stealthsquiggle Mon 05-Aug-13 18:10:48

Outside, because it's easier on my eardrums and gives them a lot more space and less chance of breaking things. Weather permitting, I would even prefer that they played "indoor" stuff on the table outside rather than inside, but when it it is really hot outside they do sometimes need to come in and cool off.

I would consider this a fairly normal attitude, but then we live in a rural area where children have the luxury of growing up with plenty of outside space, both at home and at school.

Pozzled Mon 05-Aug-13 18:10:53

Outside, definitely. More space, so they don't sound so noisy and they don't wind each other up so much. Also I do think it's better for them- fresh air, exercise and all that nature to learn about.

We have a big garden and live near a park, so they're out a lot. The only issue is that if I need to do housework they have to be inside with me- DD2 isn't old enough to play in the garden unsupervised.

stealthsquiggle Mon 05-Aug-13 18:11:52

Also, outside means that the temptation to resort to tv/other screens as soon as they get bored is lessened.

StainlessSteelCat Mon 05-Aug-13 18:18:51

out. every time. less mess, less noise (for me, sorry neighbours), they are more creative and active. being out doors is a "good thing " in my head, I'm not entirely sure why. I just wish the out doors was bigger than our back garden, but until they are old enough to take themselves to the park it will have to do most days. we also try and take them to parks and on walks.

nextphase Mon 05-Aug-13 18:20:11

Strange question.
Apart from the incident that required me to fish a half crunched snail out of DS2's mouth, outside, as they don't give me as much of a headache.
Inside they gravitate to the TV.

LadyInDisguise Mon 05-Aug-13 18:20:46

OUTSIDE wo a doubt.
There is no way they can burn all this excess energy inside the house lol.

And it is a nice way to let them have more independence, time wo constant supervision of the parents and the opportunity to try things for themselves. They go on their bikes, play football, meet other children in the neighbourhood. What is there not to like about it?

5madthings Mon 05-Aug-13 18:22:33

god outside if at all possible. they have too much energy to be inside all day!

we have a back garden with climbing frame and trampoline (trampoline can be double edge sword as they love it but it can lead to fights and needs supervision)

or we live in a small cul de sac so they can play out which is great.

i dont mind them playing inside with lego eyc but they NEED to get outside and burn off energy.

ds3 has an injury at the mo and isnt allowed outside, its a nightmare!

deleted203 Mon 05-Aug-13 18:23:00

Outside. Fresh air and exercise is far better than sitting inside, IMO. Kids should be running around getting dirty - not sitting neatly inside watching tv or playing computer games.

ThePortlyPinUp Mon 05-Aug-13 18:37:14

I prefer them to play outside, British winters are long and miserable with plenty of time for indoor play so I prefer mine to make the most of good weather and play out. Dd3 and dd4 mainly play in the back garden where I can supervise but dd1 and dd2 are allowed to roam the village in order to play with their friends.

TeWiSavesTheDay Mon 05-Aug-13 18:41:43

I don't think it's unusual to prefer outdoor play BTW, we live on a close of about 20 family homes and all of the children play outside when the weather is good.

JollyHolidayGiant Mon 05-Aug-13 18:49:18

We prefer to be outside. If it's not raining or snowing then we spend some time outside every day. We have a very large sandpit.

MooseBeTimeForSpring Mon 05-Aug-13 18:49:58

Outside, although I live in Northern Canada where it can be -30 from October to April. It's a very dry cold though, so you can have fun outside for a little while if you're suitably dressed.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 18:53:53

I prefer to get her out and about, i dont let her play out on her own as it is not a suitable road and she doesn't have friends on this road either. She is 8.


LEMisdisappointed Mon 05-Aug-13 18:56:49

But helen, you must know WHO asked?

FoxPass Mon 05-Aug-13 19:01:49

outdoor, every time! fresh air, more choice and imagination, easier to tidy up and tires them out more smile

motherinferior Mon 05-Aug-13 19:17:20

Obviously everyone is going to say 'outside'. See my first post. We know it is the Right Answer.

Equally obviously Whoeveritis who has posed the question needs people to say they do feel it is unusual. Probably for a study/feature on Cooped Up Kids.

tittytittyhanghang Mon 05-Aug-13 19:28:12

Outside. For my benefit as in the house stays tidy, i get peace and the fresh air tires them out. Win win for me.

CharlotteCollins Mon 05-Aug-13 19:31:06

Outdoors, in theory.

In practice, they often don't want to do anything active unless I'm outside running around with them. Which tires me out before them, and then I'm worn out and they're grumpy that I've stopped playing so soon!

Maybe less tidying up to do when they play in the garden (it's overgrown and not much cared for)... although I often discover things they've abandoned outside only after it's rained (toys, shoes, that kind of thing).

KnittedWaffle Mon 05-Aug-13 19:32:15

Outside, definitely. Far easier to hose the mud off the DC than spend all day tidying and cleaning up after them.

CharlotteCollins Mon 05-Aug-13 19:33:44

The question is oddly worded. A bit leading? But not in the expected direction, as others have noted.

jackandjilly Mon 05-Aug-13 19:36:02

Happy to go with the flosmile

queddu6 Mon 05-Aug-13 19:39:26

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