It's important to us. If we lived in a very built-up area, then it wouldn't be so important provided that the kids had some kind of shared outdoor space immediately accessible. Given that we live a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest park, some kind of outdoor space matters...although it wouldn't need to be huge.
My DD (nearly 4) would happily play inside all day every day. I've made a very concerted effort to ensure that our outdoor space is appealing to her. I'm forever adding new loose parts/tools for digging & making things, adding things to give her ideas (eg. putting a branch in the sandpit like a tree; putting out a basket of shells on the grass etc.) Even then, I sometimes have to insist that it's time to play outside, you can come back in when I've finished XYZ. I think there are so many things that children learn and practice when not directly supervised outdoors that are much harder to do inside (aside from the benefits of space and natural light).
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11-08-2016 19:37 #21
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11-08-2016 20:36 #22
We live in an apartment and e don't have a backyard but do have balcony. We do have lots of parks around and we go out a lot if we are home. I like parks actually as they can play with other kids and I can catch up with others mums
11-08-2016 20:50 #23
We have a decent sized yard, not huge but enough of a courtyard and grassed area for them to play. However they hardly ever play outside because (1) our yard is infested with mozzies and (2) it's hard to watch them from the house or from the balcony so we have to be outside with them, which gets tiring for us.
We are moving to our new house next week where the backyard area is smaller but on the same level as the living area in the house so easy to watch kids from inside or from outdoor seating area. Also, no mozzies
I think an outdoor area is really important especially if your kids are active as mine are. I have friends who's girls can stay indoors for hours drawing or doing craft things, and while my boys do love that stuff, it only occupies them for so long before the start running around and being wild.
If it wasn't for daily visits to the local playgrounds, we would all go crazy.
11-08-2016 20:50 #24
A safe backyard where my toddlers/ preschoolers can play is absolutely vital to me. I have a flat, fenced yard with a low cubby, sandpit, trampoline, swing set, bikes, balls, slide, etc. Honestly, it's better than any park we could go to 😂 I tend to invite people over to play in the yard instead of meeting them at the park. Its easy to supervise and I can cook dinner and watch the kids. I have active kids and I would really struggle without it, so I totally get how hard it must be. Honestly, I think you are so unhappy in your huge house with no yard, I think you should sell abd downsize.
11-08-2016 21:43 #25Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2014
I need a backyard for my kids, I couldn't cope without it I don't think. We have a large yard that is locked and secure so my kids can play outside independently. We do have a pool (only went in this March, can't wait for summer!) that has a safety net as well as all the other regulation safety stuff.
My kids can easily spend most of the day outside and I pack them picnic lunches/morning &arvo tea as well.
My kids would be lost without their outside space and so would I.
11-08-2016 21:54 #26
I don't think a backyard is incredibly important. The majority of the world lives without back yards.
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11-08-2016 21:56 #27-
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
Backyard isn't critical for me. In fact I hate going outside and supervising. I either want to play with DS, or be inside doing house chores. Standing around outside twiddling my thumbs when there is housework to be done is frustrating. I would rather DS play inside or go out to a kid friendly park with him.
I should note that my youngest is only 2.5 and I wouldn't leave him outside unattended for more than a couple of minutes. Maybe because his older brother wasn't trustworthy at that age.
Maybe when my youngest is older and trustworthy I will long for a backyard then.
OP: any chance this period is difficult for you because of your child's age and not the backyard?
11-08-2016 22:10 #28
My girls love the backyard and spend a lot of time out there but it's not important to me. We've lived in an apartment for 6 months whilst we were waiting on our house to be ready, I absolutely loved it. Went walking and to the park every day which meant we were always out and about, socializing and keeping busy. Could you set up the garage as a play area for your LO? We have our garage set up as a gym/gymnastics area that also has a tv, bean bags and toy area for our girls.
11-08-2016 22:20 #29
But we moved and have a huge backyard and omg the kids are out there all the time!
Having said that, if we had had it when they were younger, it wouldn't have mattered as it is only in the last year that they have been interested in being outside.
They are 10 and 8.
DD is 5 months though and I am looking forward to having swings, etc for her
12-08-2016 08:26 #30Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
How important is a backyard?
Thanks for all the replies it's really interesting hearing the different perspectives. Ds was only 2 when we bought this house 5 years ago but we didn't plan on a third. It wasn't that easy back then but he wasn't such an outdoor kid and I had less responsibilities with 1 toddler and 1 at school no after school stuff. Ms2 is such an outdoorsy type and a real explorer. I read a book recently on the value of kids having free time playing outside. I know at 2 even with a fully fenced yard I'd still need to supervise but could maybe keep some distance and in time give her some freedom. I'm always saying no not there, careful with that blah blah blah.
Tbh I think it's also the fact I've been feeling so stressed with 3 I get so demoralised when I come up with ideas and find they aren't workable and stress about all that wasted time. Dp will not even talk about this. I express any dissatisfaction or try and enlist some help with ideas and I'm accused of always complaining, no matter what house we had I would complain. Not having anyone to bounce ideas off or just say gees I had a hard day, I wish we had a garden that's me complaining, he can't empathise.
Anyways I'll do as I always do have these mental breakdowns, have a big glass of wine and a little cry and just get on with it. But I think I'll just start buying things and not worry so much about wasting money or being 100% sure. And if I need to spend more time at parks and let the washing build up for the weekend so be it!
Last edited by Freyamum; 12-08-2016 at 08:28.
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