MicroBlog Monday: Real Playing

Growing up, I was outside nearly constantly. My memories of childhood are full of bike rides, sword fights, hide and seek in the dark, mulberry trees, camping, frogs and bugs, snow forts, swimming, and lots of made up games and stories. I don’t think I, and my brother or friends, had much supervision while we played outside. If we did, I didn’t notice. We knew the rules, we knew what wasn’t acceptable even if it wasn’t explicitly stated every time. I remember coming inside after a summer’s day playing in the yard to wash the dirt and grass and smooshed mulberries off my feet before bed.

I want that freedom for Wallace. I want him to know he can play, invent, create, get messy without me standing over his shoulder. At two, he still needs a lot of supervision but I try to keep myself at a distance. I let him run around the back yard, get out of my sight at the playground, and he definitely gets dirty.

I’d love to hear how others remember their childhoods and how they let their kids play how they want and need to!


He played in the rain with bucket and the down spout for probably 30 minutes.


Only thing we stopped them from doing was drinking the water.


I suggested this idea and he loved it.


He found some dirt beyween the flowers and the fence. Stripped down and straight into the tub after!

About JennP

Single mom by choice, lesbian, natural living, parenting, car free, Chicago.Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment!
This entry was posted in background, Microblog Monday, Parenting, pictures and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to MicroBlog Monday: Real Playing

  1. kayrosey says:

    Ali has a lot of independent and free play as well. I have to keep a close eye on her in public because she’s overconfident in her abilities and will fall out of the top of play structures in parks. At home, I’m often two floors away from her while she’s doing her own thing. We have a pool so I’m vigilant outside, but as long as she has her puddle jumper on I let her screw around on her own while I hang back.

  2. Lindsay says:

    Like you, I spent my childhood outside, with minimal supervision (at age appropriate levels). I want the same for Evelyn. I give her the space to play on her own inside & out. And now that the weather is nicer, we are really only indoors for meals and naps. As a city kid, she won’t get the same experience I had growing up in a small town. But I do hope to help her find her ‘wings’ early on in life and feel confident enough to explore this world as she wishes, without me hovering.

  3. Wallace doesn’t get height and falling yet, so I try to keep him in my line of vision at one of the parks we go to. The driveway is a bit steep and he is prone to falling on it. I think a lot of this is knowing what your kid’s strengths and weaknesses are and showing them you trust them to make good choices as they get older.

  4. I grew up in a smallish town too and we currently live in one that has an even less busy main road. It wasn’t to the point that everyone knew us but we knew our way around and how to behave in public. I hope Wallace will be able to navigate wherever we live in age appropriate levels!

  5. All of my best childhood memories are outdoors – in fact, there was quite a lot of overlap with the things you listed, right down to the mulberry tree! I remember, even in the winter, heading outside for hours of play, and being so fascinated by all of the world available outside – the snow seemed so deep, and the trees, so tall, so many opportunities to build and discover. I can’t imagine our kiddo growing up without the freedom to explore the outdoors; I look forward to her being big enough to plonk down in the yard and watching her play – though she’s currently in utero, ha ha 😉

  6. When Wallace was tiny and screaming all the time, there would be times I would just go step outside with him and he would immediately calm down. Find the little opportunities and get your baby outside from the beginning! Staring up at the trees, feeling the grass, swinging and relaxing are all great!

  7. Yeah, I’m really glad that she’s due in August, so that we’ll have plenty of time when we can easily get outdoors before the cold Canadian winter comes! We’ve got a porch swing that looks out at our garden, and I can’t wait to use it 🙂

  8. We are so blessed to live on a beautiful lake in the countryside. I grew up spending every spring and summer weekend there with my grandma, lived there as a teen, and now my daughter will be calling the same beautiful place home. From spring until fall, we are barefoot, dirty, and grassy, looking for frogs, turtles, birds, butterflies, and fish from dawn til dusk. We save cheerios for the ducks and spend hours splashing and wading in the water, collecting rocks and shells. I built a sand pit with a slide that goes into the (very shallow) water, and we will be hanging some swings from the tree limb next to it.

    M is perfectly happy running up and down the dock, and the neighbors adore her so she goes into their houses and on their boats at will. Often they will tell me to just go ahead and do garden work or whatever, cause she is just part of their family, too. She pees in the grass, the way I taught her when we’re out in the gardens, and visiting the cows, horses, and donkey across the street has become a daily thing. She has mini 4 wheeler she can ride around, she blows bubbles forever outside, and she picks flowers (even the ones I don’t want her to) nonstop, putting them in her hair behind her ear. Her favorite time is night, because she is an avid moon and star watcher. We fall asleep each night with the window open, even if we need blankets, so we can be serenaded by the pond’s cacophony of crickets, frogs, and bullfrogs.

    This year we are also doing the vegetable garden ourselves, so we have a huge patch where we are going to grow a little of everything! I’m excited to see M get to pluck her first tomatoes and pick her first lettuce.

  9. Sounds idyllic! I love that the neighbors know and enjoy her. We have two camping trips coming up and I look forward to showing Wallace the stars and he loves the moon.

  10. Mel says:

    I was much more an indoor kid. I liked to read — not run around outside. Though we used to have neighbourhood games of tag. I know the parents sort of traded off, and someone was always outside. It wasn’t just about keeping us safe. It was more about the fact that if the parents weren’t around, there was no parenting going on, and that could affect another child. We didn’t always know we were doing something hurtful unless there was someone older who was listening in, pointing out what we needed to fix, etc. I mean, that is part of parenting, too. Guiding the kids. Teaching them what they need to know socially as they navigate those relationships in real time.

  11. I agree. It has a lot to do with where the child is at developmentally and maturity level. I also would take into consideration the other kids he might be out of my sight with. The only one I was ever in danger from was my brother and my parents still won’t take me seriously on that. There is lots of indoor self directed play too. Wallace will just sit and look at books or come up with little games with things around him.

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