Is There No Kid-Friendly Infrastructure Outside Anymore? People Shared Their Thoughts.

What about the children?!?!

Well, right now I’m specifically talking about what kids can and can’t do when they go outside these days.

Are all the good times gone?


A person argued on AskReddit that adults shouldn’t complain about kids not playing outside these days because there’s no kid-friendly infrastructure.

Let’s see how other readers reacted.

1. Stop complaining.

“Adults shouldn’t complain about kids not wanting to play outside, because the outside we build for them often lacks children-friendly infrastructure.

Think about it. Half of America’s residential areas lack sidewalks. Most of our towns and cities don’t have safe biking areas. We have huge intersections that children need to cross in order to get to the local mall.

Our parks are miles and miles away from our homes and not to mention– even when we do have parks close to our homes, some of them don’t even have good equipment for children.

And most importantly, we’ve perpetuated a d**n culture where adults freak out if any child of any age is left alone for any amounts of time outside.

We HAVE to always have an adult supervising them now– which frankly, k**ls the fun for some of them, but also limits them to the amount of free time their parents have. (Now obviously, don’t go leaving toddlers outside, but why do you need to follow 12-year-old Timmy around the neighborhood?)

Adults really should not complain when kids don’t want to play outside. We make it so difficult for them to do it safely and in peace.”

2. And there’s this…

“In addition to your point, god forbid you’re past a certain age as a kid to go to a public park.

The parents have a fit because “you’re too old to be there” like teens don’t deserve to have fun too.”

3. Getting worse.

“I feel like it’s gotten worse.

When I was young I was able to go into fenced backyards to play by myself. Now any kids under like 10 aren’t even able to go into backyards by themself lol. I feel kinda bad for them.

Like that’s helicopter parenting to the extreme. Being in the backyard unsupervised were some of my favorite moments. Doing dangerous stunts with my bros when nobody is watching. Now a lot of the younger kids of today won’t even get that.”

4. Suburbia.

“There are apartments down the road from my neighborhood and I see kids playing outside when it’s nice, or sledding by themselves when it snows.

The schools are all within walking distance and I see kids returning to the apartments in big groups. That’s what I imagine when I think back about being a kid.

Then you pull into my stereotypical suburban neighborhood with single family homes and it’s like radio silence. There are no kids outside, no one riding bikes or walking around except older couples.

It seems like there will be a serious divide as these kids get older.”

5. Too much.

“It’s not just helicopter parents not letting kids play outside.

A friend of mine takes lunch every day to go walk his 9 year old from school to the daycare/latchkey place….across from the school. Literally across one street that has a crossing guard.

But he has to walk his kid across the street every day because the school had a screaming s**tfit when he suggested the nine year old walk by himself. Threatened to get CPS involved for “abandonment” if he didn’t have an adult walk him.”

6. What happened?

“For me, as an adult, I’ve noticed that playground structures have reeaally dumbed down. No more monkey bars or those spinny things anymore.

The small town I grew up in had the best setup I have ever seen. ladders, tubes, all kinds of slides. There were 20 foot high swings. 20 kids at a time could easily play tag on this thing.

After I left town about 30 years ago they took it down and replaced it with something 1/4 the size and way shorter swings. F**kin’ shame.”

7. Part of growing up.

“Kids should be allowed to hurt themselves honestly.

Playing on giant structures and getting hurt taught you lessons, and more importantly it taught you about your body. What hurts, what doesn’t.

It taught limits that I think are lacking in current times.”

8. Nowhere to play.

“I live in a neighborhood where most homes requires at least one child for people to be allowed to move in YET recently the playground at my “street” (which half of the houses faced, so many parents could see their kids play while being home) was taken down because it was “unsafe” (it was, they had neglected to renovating it or keeping it nice for decades so it had deteriorated quite a bit).

But instead of building a new playground up to codes they instead changed our “every house has their own trashcan” to “huge containers are placed on the lawn where the playground was and now every household must put their trash there for collecting”.

So this neighborhood where kids are almost a mandatory requirement to live, now no longer has outdoor areas for kids.

And then there’s the signs. ONE lady was tired of balls ending in her garden (lawn, she had no furniture or flowers or anything, so it didn’t actually ruin anything she had, she just didn’t like random balls in her garden and would pop them if possible).

So she complained loud and long enough so eventually sign were put up on house walls facing ANY type of grassy field saying “no ball playing allowed”.

YEARS LATER as now NO KID plays outside and people has noticed and talked about it, they SUDDENLY decide to say “those signs? Oh, it means don’t play ball ON the wall, do it on the grass happily!” except all the kids who DID do that and were yelled at, so now no one does it.

Now the kids are exactly where they were told they could be. Somewhere else.”

9. Too much hovering.

“My neighborhood is not child friendly. There are no sidewalks, and kids are constantly being hovered over.

There are a number of parks in easy walking/biking distance, but children are never left to their own devices. It probably wouldn’t be safe for them, because in order to get out of the neighborhood, there are 2 main multi lane thoroughfares to cross, where most people are going 50+ mph.

I remember summers in the 1980s where we’d be shoved out the door in the morning. Come back for lunch, out again till supper, then again until dark. Some parent would occasionally stick their head out the door, just to check on us. But there was no constant supervision. We weren’t hovered over.”

10. Jam packed.

“More and more areas jam as much housing, plazas, industrial complexes and paved areas into as many areas as possible and all you see is the occasional lame dumbed down tiny little kids park area jammed into one little area.

A lot of the more green spaces and open park areas in most urban/suburban areas in North America are becoming less accessible and fewer and further in-between. Add to this the issue you bring up of it being more and more taboo to allow your kids any freedom to explore and have fun and they end up with pretty limited options.

In the greater Toronto area where I am from there used to be plenty of tracks soccer fields and basketball courts. A lot of them now are fenced in with trespassing warnings reserved for teams and groups that pay to use them. They sit empty majority of the time with kids peering over the fence wondering if its worth getting in trouble to have some fun playing around.

If we are going to complain about rising obesity and kids(or even adults) sitting inside all day maybe we shouldn’t be making it progressively more difficult and less accessible for people to enjoy the outdoors without worrying they are trespassing or about to have a search party sent out for them.”

11. Bad design.

“I went on my schools US exchange when I was 12. My twin brother was paired with another family.

He wasn’t that far away but the lack of any way for me to walk to him was strange to me. I was so used to European cities just being walkable.

Even our suburbs are always near a play park, or shops and schools. US cities are really terribly designed.”

12. The last ones…

“My kids are now in their 20s and I’d say they were the last generation to enjoy really fun playgrounds before they were replaced with “safe” (boring) equipment. We even had adventure playgrounds in the area with flying foxes and huge climbing towers!

Not every piece of playground equipment has to be solely for toddlers, parents of toddlers should be supervising them and making sure they’re safely on the little kids’ area, leaving the big swings towers etc for the older kids.”

Do you think kids lack places to play outside these days?

Talk to us in the comments and let us know.

We look forward to it!