Yes, My Kids Play Unsupervised! #GeniusofPlay

Kraus House Mom

I am working with Genius of Play in order to increase awareness about the importance of play and its social, emotional and physical benefits for kids.

Kraus House Mom

Yes, my kids are living like I did in the 80’s. They go outside (by themselves) and I’m lucky if I see them all day. There have been a couple of times one of them has missed dinner because a game was too intense.

It used to be that my my kids and all my kids friends were slaves to the play dates, so they spent most of their time playing video games or on tablets and computers. We would walk to school every day and play at the playground, but that was the extent of the outside interactions, no kids ever went outside by themselves.

That all changes once we moved. We moved to a different state and into an apartment complex, with a lot of kids, that all go to the same school. At any given time there could be twenty kids outside playing (unsupervised), and my kids are usually out there with them. I joke that my youngest has a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) because as soon as she hears anyone outside, she needs to get out there.

Kraus House Mom

They simply ask, “What time do I have to be in?” I tell them and they’re gone. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not off where they can’t be seen or off doing nefarious things. They go out to the playground, or into the courtyard and they play. When they do finally come in, man are they filthy.

The kids all make up games, with all sorts of crazy rules (who remembers Calvin Ball?). My kids have learned some of the most valuable lessons playing unsupervised, they have learned how to solve their own problems. My kids have learned how to police themselves. They have sensibility as what they should do and more importantly, what they shouldn’t do.

Kraus House Mom

They have learned that they are not going to get along with everyone, and that’s okay. Learning how to deal with those situations is a valuable life lesson. They can get along with the person for the sake of the game or they can avoid that person altogether. They didn’t have to do that before, when you only have play dates, you’re always with your friends.

One of my kids is on the spectrum and never really played with others. Now she will tell me she’s going out and she goes and plays. She doesn’t stay out nearly as long as my other two, but it’s a huge step for her. She has found kids that don’t care about her quirks and insist that she leave her electronics in the house when she goes outside to play.

Kraus House Mom

The personal growth my kids have had from being able to just go out and play on their own has done wonders for them. Their social skills have improved greatly. They introduce themselves to everyone and always try to get a huge group together to play.

When I took my kids for their annual physical I was handed a pamphlet about kids getting 60 minutes of physical activity a day. I laughed out loud. My kids far exceed that recommendation.

The best is in the winter. There is a giant hill in the courtyard that EVERYONE sleds on once it snows. My kids will spend hours outside in freezing cold weather because they’re having a grand old time playing.

Kraus House Mom

Not having parents hovering over them, correcting them, questioning them, making them feel self conscious, just letting them play and be a kid is the best thing, I feel, for a healthy childhood. I always let my kids work it out on their own.

Should kids just be let out to go where ever they please? Not necessarily. Take into consideration where you live and where you can let you kids play and not hover.

Even if you’re at a playground, let younger kids play on their own (as long as you can see them). Let them explore on their own, let them be themselves.

Genius Of Play has developed a video campaign called Play Talk covering Unsupervised Play and other topics concerning play where parents offer their opinions.

You can find out more on the Genius of Play’s channels
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Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Genius of Play, all opinions expressed are completely my own.

38 thoughts on “Yes, My Kids Play Unsupervised! #GeniusofPlay

  1. My grandchildren are playing outside from morning until night. Yes we can look out and always check on them. They are always running in and out of the house. Doesn’t stop my daughter from getting done what needs to be done or going outside to join them.
    candy recently posted…Tomato Bacon JamMy Profile

  2. I am the same way. My kids are old enough to go to the park it is in our neighborhood and play have a good time by themselves if some of their friends come and join I’m great but I encouraged him to just get out and play.

  3. It was nice to hear that there are places in this country the kids can go and play like it was the 80s again. When I was a kid I was out the entire day. Where I live now there’s no way I would let him be outside on his own, but I do give him more freedom when it comes to playing in the yard or in the house.
    Jeanette recently posted…Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken & BeansMy Profile

  4. I wish more people were like this. We allowed our kids to play unsupervised (although within earshot) and they turned out fine. We also used common sense, for example, we wouldn’t let our kids just go off to the playground alone, because it was about 1/4 mile away, and they would have to cross roads and this time of year it’s super busy in our little town with tourists and a lot of events.

  5. I believe it’s important for kids to get outside and have unsupervised play. They need to learn how to work and play well with others, and problem solve.

  6. The good old days! I used to be out on the street playing with my friends all day too. It’s a little different with nephew and niece now, their parents are little bit more wary. I can’t blame them though I know they make an effort for unsupervised play by going to places they know are safe where the kids can be independent but the parents can easily still check on them once in a while.

  7. It’s hard to let my kids play unsupervised. Sometimes they’re doing things that aren’t safe. I know they have to learn but I don’t want them to get hurt. It really depends on what they’re doing and their age.

  8. I think allowing your children earned freedom (meaning that they have shown that they are responsible enough to handle it) is so beneficial to them! It really does depend on what they are doing and where they will be hanging out though. Age is also a factor.

  9. Play is so important for kids. It really does help them developmentally when they have to figure things out on their own.

  10. I am totally over protective when it comes to my youngest. My oldest is 18. Anyway. She is allowed to play outside unsupervised, but only in the back yard, where it’s completely fenced in with a privacy fence, which is fairly large, and consists of a nice wooden swing set. However, people aren’t like they were when we were growing up. People won’t think twice about stopping alongside the road (we live on a busier road, beside a stop light) and lure a kid to the car. With headphones in while riding a bike too close to the end of the driveway, someone could snatch them up. I’m sorry, people today, well they’ve been around forever, but there seems to be more and more of them today, they are just evil.

  11. We moved to a neighborhood where our kids would be able to do this too. I grew up running around our neighborhood and coming home when it got dark and its my ideal!

  12. It is so important for our kids to get out and play. With so many screens in our kids lives we need to make sure they get outside and use their imaginations.

  13. I think it’s important to allow unsupervised play in safe environments. I’m a helicopter parent and just can’t do it. I insist that they wear helmets, life jackets, etc and I rarely let them out of my sight. I’m trying to get better about it but it’s probably the most difficult thing about parenting for me! I’ll be referring back to this post to help me!

  14. Now that we have a large yard, my kids are loving playing outside. They have been out there all day long lately!

  15. Mine are still only 2 and 5, and the oldest is a flight risk, so unsupervised play is still hard. Soon our entire yard will be fenced in so then I can let them out without having to be with them the whole time.

  16. I think their independence and sense of responsibility is learned when you allow them to play unsupervised. Play is definitely important for the kids especially since it helps them develop so many skills, from their motor skills, to their analytical, to being more imaginative and creative.

  17. When I was a kid, we had PE class for an hour twice a week at school. It was so much fun to be able to go to the supply room and choose whichever ball or equipment you would like to play with to spend your one hour of PE. When my kids were growing up, we lived in a gated community that had its own park, playground and clubhouse (actually only a covered hall and swimming pool). My kids had the time of their lives playing there. (Swimming of course was supervised.) Outdoor play is best for kids to develop social skills, to learn to be part of a team, and to also be healthy.

  18. I am the obvious on this one. My daughter is 12 and has never been out of my site other than at school where I know everyone and have put the fear into them and with my mom who I trust to make the best decisions. There are just way too many weirdos out there and lots of scary situations!
    Melissa Dixon recently posted…DIY Desk OrganizerMy Profile

  19. …And that is the main reason I do not think kids should live in apartment buildings. They need a backyard so they can play without parents having to be there all the time. I love this!

  20. I think this is a very relevant post and raises an important issue. Kids need their freedom and need to get out and play without parents micromanaging their time.

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