Once the weather turns nice, Alyssa is outside from morning to night. She starts by riding her bike up and down the sidewalk and slowly the kids start coming out. There is usually about 5 of them that play all the time but often the head count reaches upwards of 9 or 10.
They play out front or the run into each others backyards and play for a bit in the back. They ride bikes, race races, ride scooters, play hide-and-seek, play tag, run through sprinklers, play doctor or spies or family. Actually today, they were playing safety school???? They have such imaginations and keep themselves entertained for hours upon hours upon hours.
They are doing what kids are supposed to do.....PLAY. I am so grateful that we have all of these kids on our street. Because not far from us is a friend who lives just a few blocks away and there is only one other kid on their street. You just never know when buying a house what the neighborhood dynamics are. So I have been praying and praying hard that if we do end up moving that we will be blessed with a bounty of kids for Alyssa and Lucas to play with .
Here is a picture of the core group of kids that Alyssa plays with.....
Note that Alyssa is wearing her helmet. That is what she looks like on most summer days as she is forever riding her bike and then playing and then back on the bike again. So she usually just doesn't take it off.
We do have some rules about Alyssa playing outside. She is allowed to go out on her own (after asking of course) but she has to stay within her boundries. The other moms and I have discussed the boundries and each year it extends a little. So last year Alyssa wasn't allowed to cross the street unless an adult gave her the go ahead. So you would hear alot of "mom...mom...mom...MOM, can I cross now." She, like her friends, would wait patiently or sometimes not so patiently for us to say okay. This year we have allowed her the privlidge of crossing the street unsupervised (just our street not the busy street that is at a T from us). But if I ever see her crossing the street without stopping and looking both ways then she will be pulled inside for a consequence. We have also extended her boundries. So last year she was only allowed between certain lampposts. This year she is allowed to ride her bike to the end of the street and even around the block if Kaiya (who is almost 8) is with her. All of the kids do really well staying within the boundries. And although we aren't directly outside you can be sure that all the parents windows and screen doors are open and that we are all watching closely from inside. Oh and the other rule we have is that if she is going into anyone else's backkyard, except for Kaiya and Kaden's, that she has to ask first to go in the backyard. This way I am not hunting all over the neighborhood when I have to go find her.
So the only downside of Alyssa being outside from morning to night all summer is that when we do call her in for supper or bedtime etc. she is grumpy. All of the fresh air has caught up with her and she comes inside just miserable. Usually though, some food and a drink will get her right back to her cheerful self (she is just like her mama....when she gets hungry...watch out).