How, then, do you make sure they're getting plenty of fresh air and exercise with the piece of mind that they are nearby?
And what can you do to ensure 'playtime' doesn't become a problem-solving issue for you, in between cries of 'I'm bored'?
The answer may lie with the common garden shed...well, summerhouse to be more accurate...!
With so many styles, sizes, shapes and prices, there's sure to be one to suit your needs and, with a little imaginative decorating, you could have a 'play room' to last years...
Alternatively, you could turn it into your own little retreat.
If you're going to paint the exterior, keep it simple and complimentary to your existing garden style. Pale blues and greens blend well in most outdoor spaces. Otherwise, a coat of protective woodstain should suffice...very Hansel and Gretel.
The interior is best finished in a pale colour to maximise the natural light available. A simple whitewash over the walls and ceiling is an ideal backdrop to any scheme you might wish to create. Wallpaper is an option, if the walls are reasonably flat, but stick to small patterns and try using sample size pieces in a patchwork design...much easier than trying to stick up large rolls.
Hang some framed postcards for a bit of colour or paint wooden panels with blackboard paint and let the kids create their own art.
The floors in most garden structures leave a little to be desired, especially for little feet and knees, so lay a piece of carpet remnant or cover with brightly coloured cotton rugs.
A couple of squashy floor cushions will also 'soften' the space.
A simple piece of gingham cotton hung from a curtain wire looks endearing, and makes the place feel more 'homely'...and you won't need a professional to make up these curtains! Roll-up Swedish blinds are easy to make and fit and, again, only need a small amount of fabric.
Design the window treatments to suit the scheme of your summerhouse.
It's a good idea not to overfill such a small space, and child-sized furniture can be a real bonus here. A table and chairs of some sort is a must for imaginative play, crafts and general comfort, while storage is also worth thinking about. Plastic containers and tubs, wicker baskets and fabric bags are all very useful and versatile.
Whilst the idea of a little 'home' of their own is appealing to most children, there are many styles or themes you can consider when decorating your summerhouse, depending on the interests and hobbies of your kids. Some of my favourites are a shop, castle, cafe or vintage beach hut.
One word of warning...be prepared to be roped into play when going out to check on the kids...!