Bringing Back the Front Yard


We are a front yard family. Is that weird? Because that sounds more like a confession than a statement. Our backyard is fine and lovely, but we prefer to be in the front. It is a bit shadier and breezier, and, most important, life is happening in our front yard. Since my son was small, I have set up camp in the front yard. IMG_0340As a stay-at-home-mom I craved some interaction with humans. So, I would find myself drawn outside — to the front. Before long, I met all my surrounding neighbors, heard their stories, chatted with other moms walking by, and even gave a few staredowns to drivers going too fast. My son has spent time in the front yard since he was very small, and I know it is teaching him valuable life lessons.

We have neighbors. I know that seems obvious, but the act of getting to know your neighbors has decreased dramatically. Very few people open their houses, much less spend time in their front yards. Being out front has given us the opportunity to meet and know those around us. My son knows their names, loves on their dogs, and even asks about them when they aren’t around. He shows empathy when they are ill and misses them when they are gone for a while.

We have people who serve us daily. Mowers, garbage/recycle truck drivers, mailman, UPS man, pest control man. All these people visit us on a daily or weekly basis, and my son knows all of them. I LOVE this! He asks questions about their work and what they do. He has learned how to acknowledge them when they come around. I love watching his imagination at work when he pretends to be one of them inside the house. And, through teaching him, it has taught me to respect these service workers tremendously. They have hard jobs and deserve all the respect in the world for what they do for our neighborhoods everyday.

We have safety rules. Spending so much time in the front yard has given us ample opportunities to teach about road safety. We practice looking both ways, crossing the street, and ONLY going with a grownup. My son absolutely knows that the street is off limits unless he is with a grownup. We don’t have sidewalks in our neighborhood, so when we walk down the road he works on balancing on the curb or “babance beam.”

We should give back to our neighborhood. If we see a piece of trash, we pick it up. If we see someone who needs help, we stop and help. If we see someone walk by, we say hello. If we see a service person, we say thank you. I remind my son about being respectful, but it is also a reminder to myself. We often get SO busy and forget to do these simple acts of kindness. When the holiday season approaches, think about taking your neighbors a small gift, send them a Christmas card, show appreciation to the people around you. Pinterest can give you tons of ideas! Last year at Christmas, we made these and then wheeled around in a wagon to deliver them. Something small goes such long way in appreciating others.

ImageWe have fun. Just because we are in the front yard does not mean we hold back on the fun. We mow; we play in pools; we play in sprinklers; we Easter egg hunt; we picnic; we play golf, bubbles, and even dance around with bowls on our heads. I want our son to enjoy our yard and want to bring his friends over in the future. If you are out and about and happen to see some fun going on in our yard, come on over. We love company!

If you are able, enjoy your front yard. Meet a neighbor, say thank you to your service people. Take opportunities to teach your children life lessons in basic human kindness.


  1. For a second I swore you had to live in Fairmount. In a historic neighborhood, homes were built for front porch living! We are in our front yard all the time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here