My 3 year old loves to play with my neighbor's kids. They have four boys ages ranging from about 4th grade down to 4. On most of the nice days lately my son goes out to play in the backyard while I'm getting dinner ready - even if it's cold. The other kids are usually out then too so my son calls their names until they climb up on the fence to talk to him - they are really nice kids. I'd love to be able to say yes one of these days when he comes in asking to go over to their yard or play out front with them. (He does play out front with them but only if one of us is out in the garage or in the front yard too.)
These evenings, I just can not say yes - they have a trampoline in their yard and many times I see multiple kids jumping at once and I can't expect them to look after my son. Their Mom is also preparing dinner or housework inside so she's not watching either. It just pains me that my kiddo wants so badly to play with other kids and he's surrounded by them, yet can't see or play with them, only hear them having fun. He does play well by himself but I just really want him to get to play with other kids. I'm planning on setting up a play date with my neighbor but we have nothing in our yard to entice them to come play over here...motivation to bug my hubby to build that swing set we've been talking about I guess!
Anyway, I am sticking to my gut and keeping him in our yard - plus it's funny to watch him try to pull things over to the fence to see if he can climb over. One of the other kids directs him to try different items and I chuckle my way through food prep keeping a good eye. He's a Mr. Steady though as soon as he doesn't have sure footing or good grip he stops, it makes it easy to trust him.