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Old 04-17-2011, 06:13 PM   #21
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

I can't remember with my first really, but DS is 9, DD is 5.5 and YDS is 2.5 and they play in our fully fenced, lots of windows to see from the house, backyard together without me.

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Old 04-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #22
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

oh, good read, I was curious what others do.
I'm too nervous to let DD out alone. She is 3.5. We have a very small yard, but it is only partially fenced and much of it is behind the garage. We also do not have a good view of the back, so it would not work for me to try and watch her. Also, we just bought the house last year and so far have unearthed a ridiculous amount of dangerous junk out of the back yard...literally pulled a circular saw blade out of the ground! eek.
so, it will be a while before I feel safe letting them play alone. at least 5 probably 6...i'd rather be a little over protective...and i like being outside anyway.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:22 PM   #23
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

I'm pretty sure DS was 4 when I started letting him go in our fenced in backyard alone for extended periods of time. DD can go out there with DS, but I don't let her out alone just yet. And I always make the dogs (a black lab, and a lab/st. bernard mix) go out with them.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:38 PM   #24
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

I am really glad to see this thread. In our neighborhood, there is no shortage of kids and there's a little 3 year old who sorta roams up and down the street getting in people's yards, etc without any supervision. I mean, all the adults sorta watch out for all the kids and it's a dead end street but still. . . . .she's 3. Our yard is fenced with two gates. Our side is padlocked, the other side is not. I let my girls, ages 10 1/2, 6, and 3, in the backyard by themselves all the time and I listen for them when I can't be near a window. I've recently begun letting them in the front yard alone as well with the stipulation that if I ever catch them out of our yard or in the road, their behinds are toast. I don't let the 3 year old outside alone by herself mostly because she's quiet and shy and it scares her anyway. I've begun to wonder if maybe I'm too uptight and should allow the 10 year old and 6 year old to wander on the street a few houses down to their friends' homes. The thought scares me. It's a really quiet road, we are 3 houses up from the dead end. But you never know. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who is careful about things like this. I am totally fine letting them roam the yard because I can look out a window at any time and see them but letting them out of the yard into other yards makes me panicky. I know I need to give them space to explore and grow and gain more independence but. . . . . . .this world is a scary place.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:50 PM   #25
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

I didn't let my oldest go outside on her own until she was at least 5 or 6. Any younger than that is not safe IMHO. Anything could happen, even in a fenced in yard. Now my dds are 9.5, 7.5 and almost 2. We have a partially fenced in yard but my 2 year old loves to run to the street. So if she is outside one of her sisters or me/DH have to be with her. Luckily she loves being outside with her big sisters, so usually I get a nice break! They are not allowed in the front yard with her, only if she is inside.
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:52 PM   #26
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

My DD is 2.5 and our backyard is fully fenced in (not privacy fence, just chain link) and she is allowed to play out there by herself.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:29 PM   #27
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

DS and DD freq play outside w/o me. I am nearby (in sight) but not actually out there with them. I started letting them do it last summer after DS turned 1 and just before DD turned 3. We have a fully fenced (no way for someone to see in, let alone get in, except by the locked gate), I keep the windows and back door open (screened) so I can see and hear them, the gate is on the opposite side of the yard from where the children play (so anyone would have to walk past the open windows/doors to get to the kids and then back), and there is a big slab for riding toys/chalk and a giant swingset/playstructure that the kids love to climb on. I love that they can play back there while I do dishes, prep meals, or do other work in the kitchen all while I can see and hear them.

It all depends on your comfort level. DH and I make a concerted effort to be "free-range" parents and allow our kids as much freedom and independence as we can. We do take precautions, but we give them a lot of experiences that others might wait until the children were much older. Our way works for us; other ways work better for others.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:31 PM   #28
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

DS is four and even in a quiet neighborhood w locks on both gates and a privacy fence, he still doesn't play outside by himself.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:36 PM   #29
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My 4 year old plays in the yard by himself, and has for about a year. It is not fenced, but our yard is protected on 2 sides by woods, the house on the 3rd, and then the pool on the 4th. I trust him not to run off, our street has some traffic, but we are set back a little, and he knows where he is not supposed to go. We really don't live in a traditional neighborhood.
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:38 PM   #30
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Re: How old were your kids when you let them venture out into the backyard alone?

We have a fully fenced backyard with a gate that only unlocks from the outside. My kids are 4 and 2.5 and this is the first spring/summer I let them go outside by themselves. I wouldn't be comfortable with it if I was upstairs, but as long as I'm downstairs and the back door is open so I can hear them, it's nice to be able to get stuff done while they're outside.
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