Losing The Front Yard June 23, 2017 05:00
People everywhere scour real estate listings to find the prefect neighborhood. The right spot to raise their kids and enjoy their free time. These days the trend seems to be to private gates, bigger houses, more time indoors, and maybe some unforeseen circumstances?
We've seen more and more articles recently about the effects of screen time and inactive kids. Now people are also starting to think about what else changes for our kids when they're locked behind those gates? The days of running through the beautiful green front yard between neighbors houses disappear. The natural groups of neighborhood friends don't materialize. The dusk adventures and tree climbing just don't happen.
Kids benefit from being outdoors and roughhousing. The open front yards without gates allow for lots of green space to play with the other kids in your neighborhood. You walk outside and just see who's there. These varied groups of kids and organic, un-choreographed activities are critical to developing an understanding of safe risks and boundaries. They help young minds learn to self-manage and encourage imagination. Being able to walk outside and find someone to play with also encourages kids to want to play outside and be active instead of being locked behind a screen.
So next time you're thinking about the right neighborhood for your kids, think about how many open yards there are. How many neighbors to play with until dusk? There may be more magic to an open front yard than you thought.