Raising Children In The Country – 6 Reasons Why We Love It

When we made the decision to move out of the city, our children were at the forefront of our minds. What would their lives look like living rurally?

Exploring the creek behind our property
Exploring the creek behind our property

I grew up in a suburb north of Toronto and my husband in bustling London, England. Later on in life, we lived together for twelve years in the city of Toronto. I always envisioned one day living up north on a lake but it never crossed my mind to move to the country. Neither of us had any experience with country living.

What we would be leaving behind in Toronto was a desirable family-friendly neighbourhood, with great schools, parks, and endless activities. We had many concerns about moving, let alone to a completely different way of living.

Just like so many people, making the decision of where to raise our family was difficult. I know prior to making the move we had many questions and concerns.

The question “Is it better for children to grow up in the city or country?”, is an ongoing and endless debate. For those who are thinking of moving to the country, I won’t try to convince you that raising children in the country or in the city is truly better than the other. I really can’t give you a straight answer as this is very much a personal choice. What I can do is tell you a few things we’ve experienced living in the country over the past year and a half.

The Benefits

  • Space – While children don’t need a lot of space, there is something to be said about watching them roam freely on our property and getting to explore right outside our front door. On our property alone they get to explore the woods, enjoy campfires, tend to the vegetable garden, catch frogs, ride bikes, toboggan down our hills in the winter, see a variety of wildlife right on our property and the list could go on.
  • Quiet – We are loving being immersed in nature and the quiet that comes with rural living. Sitting outside listening to nothing other than the birds singing is so peaceful and enjoyed by us all. Our kids like to learn about the different birds and guess which sound belongs to each kind.
  • Nature – Our kids spend so much of their time exploring outside. They are being exposed to nature more than they ever would be in the city. They get to see, touch, and learn about nature every day and they have so much compassion and care for all creatures and living things.
  • Privacy – They can play outside without us worrying about traffic, or strangers approaching them. On the flip side, there’s some worry about potential animal encounters.
  • School – Our kids go to a great school and have the ability to participate in many of the same activities that they would have had access to in the city. Their school is on a smaller scale which we view as a positive, it has a beautiful outdoor space that’s backed by trees and is on a quiet country road.
  • Activities – We’ve yet to run out of things to do in our free time. Whether it’s a visit to the weekly markets, a sanctuary, a farm, a walk on one of the many trails, or just getting things done around our property, there are always exciting ways to spend our days.
On any given day you can find our kids out running and exploring the property
On any given day you can find our kids out running and exploring the property.

I grew up in the suburbs where it was common to meet up with other kids in the area and play on the street just outside our house. We were concerned about how our kids would be with no other kids right next door like we had in the city. This is something our kids won’t be able to do, nor will they be able to walk to meet up with friends. So this type of thing is out of the question, but even with all that, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

We knew if we were going to leave our neighbourhood in the city it would need to be for something really special and where we ended up is just that. We decided that raising our kids in the country was the best decision for our family. Now that we are here and loving it we are so excited to raise our children (aged 4 and 6) amongst nature and with ample space to run, explore, and just enjoy being kids.

I thought it would be fun to get my kid’s perspective on our move from the city to the country. This is what they had to say:

“There’s more space here to play in the garden. We have a veggie garden here, we only had rhubarb when we were at our old house. It rains more here and it waters the plants and we have beautiful days.

It’s way better outside, we get to bicycle farther and we also get to look for more eggs on easter around the property.

I like that we’re not far from the school.” 😊

What has caught our children's attention... perhaps a bug or flower? Whatever it is, they are intrigued and focused.
What has caught our kid’s attention… perhaps a bug or flower? Whatever it is, they are intrigued and focused.

So here we are, almost 1.5 years later, very much settled into our new rural life. Each day we are here, the benefits of the move become more clear. Having now lived in the suburbs, city, and country, hands down my preference is for life in the country. We ended up choosing a very different unfamiliar path for our kid’s upbringing and we feel that we have made the best choice for our family. Our kids are thriving in this new rural environment. This lifestyle has quickly become their new normal and we all have adapted so well.

Are you considering a move to the country with your children? Do you have any concerns? If so, leave a comment as I would love to hear about it.

12 thoughts on “Raising Children In The Country – 6 Reasons Why We Love It

  1. Avatar
    Jessica says:

    I grew up in the country and now live in the city! I would love something in between, close to the city but far enough out you feel like you are in the country! It definitely would be harder to make the move right now though given that our two oldest are teens. Such a great experience though to live so close to nature. Glad you and your family are enjoying it so much!

  2. Erica @ Nestled in the Trees
    Erica @ Nestled in the Trees says:

    I feel like where we moved too is just that, close enough to the city (only a 45-minute drive) but far enough that we are in the country and get to enjoy everything that comes with living rurally. I definitely can see a big move being more difficult as the kids get older. Thank you so much!

  3. Avatar
    Martha says:

    If you remember my thoughts on The Move and your children being outdoors with freedom of discovery and exploration you know I am envious.
    For young children this is a perfect setting, particularly since March 2020. We see children in our urban neighborhood that are never allowed out of doors even in their own backyard. It saddens me.
    As children grow into early adolescence (and way before) their natural inclination is to slowly learn the social and environmental signals of safe decisions. They shift focus away from parents making all their choices. Your children have this opportunity every single day. This is the start of lifelong independence.
    Having them watch the sky (because trust me your area gets way different weather than further south in the city, Brock Rd seems to be the dividing line for east and west storms!) ….knowing cloud formations, winds, how Poplar leaves twitch before a storm comes, tadpoles into frogs, different trees and their fruit/aka nuts…this is leaning that will give them lifelong confidence.
    They are so fortunate.

    Cornell University has an amazing app (if you allow such use) called Merlin. It helps identify birds, by sound,by size/colour, habit and area. I was able to ID a Black-Crowned Night Heron a few weeks ago.

    Hands on experience outdoors is invaluable!
    Our 2and-a-bit year old grandson knows owls and can find them!, he is capable of cloud observation, knows roots and seedlings.Lately composting is his #1 interest.
    It’s wonderful isn’t it?!

  4. Erica @ Nestled in the Trees
    Erica @ Nestled in the Trees says:

    Of course, I remember your comments! You mentioned your grandson and how teaching him the simple things in nature has been so wonderful. Also that you hope to one day leave the city and move rural.

    We are so happy that we made the move when we did, we actually bought our home in March 2020 (we had signed on the same day just before the pandemic was announced!). Our kids are so happy here and they’re learning at such a young age to appreciate nature.

    I completely agree with your comments.

    Thanks for letting me know about the app, I’ll definitely check it out.

    It sounds like your grandson is learning a ton and has great exposure to the outdoors at such a young age.

    So wonderful!!

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