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Old Jul 9th, 2018, 15:00 PM   11
Mum (Mom)
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Canada
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My concern with forcing the outside time is that they might start to see it as a punishment rather than fun play time. My kids are outside pretty much all day long, they have free access to the deck that wraps around the entire house, but don't go down into the yard unless we are with them (we live in the country and have lots of cougars/bears/foxes/wolves/coyotes/etc). Half the deck is covered so even when it's raining they are out there playing and we sometimes turn the propane heaters on if it's really cold. They usually play on the deck by themselves in the morning while we clean up the kitchen after breakfast and do other chores in the house, and then we go out into the yard with them in the afternoon after their naps, but honestly we don't really play with them all that much. They entertain each other and we are more just supervising unless they include us in their games (which isn't often!). On the odd occasion when DD is playing inside and the weather is beautiful we will suggest that she go outside and suggest games or something and then she'll usually go out, but if she doesn't we wouldn't force her to go outside.

What about going out and having your morning coffee in the yard or eating lunch outside or something so the whole family is outside? You can still encourage them to come up with their own games, but it might feel less like they are being forced if the whole family is out there.

What about encouraging them to take their toys outside, so whatever they would be playing with inside they just take it outside to play with it? We have a little kid sized picnic table where my DD looks at books and colours if that's what she's in the mood for. It's maybe not the imaginative/nature play you are looking for, but at least they are outside.

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Old Jul 14th, 2018, 08:02 AM   12
Mum (Mom)
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 17,930
I’m very lucky in the sense that I’ve always had a secure garden for my kids to play in and they do, but at their own free will.

My doors are open all day for them to wander as they please. It gets shut half an hour or so before bedtime so they know it’s wind down time (plus their both not scared to get their hands dirty and being outside after having their evening bath would just result in needing another bath ) but I’d never force them to be out if they didn’t want to be.

As an adult I wouldn’t want to be forced into a situation I’m not happy with for the sake of someone else’s benefit so they come in and out as they please.

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aka , house , kicking , kids , time

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