Once I got home from school and finished my homework, I was unceremoniously kicked outside until supper, then again until bathtime. Until age six, I stayed on our property, but after could roam e neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, the obsessively overprotective norms of modern parenting mean that today's kids don't experience that and the parents who DO let their kids play outside unsupervised fear authorities cracking down on them for neglect, just for letting their kids enjoy themselves. Crime agast kids is far lower now than it once was. The irrationally obsessive restriction of children's' freedom has meant that my kids' peers have no idea how to entertain themselves without an adult directing the action.
At the moment, both of my kids are outside playing. I am in the kitchen. I can hear them, if I stand up I can see them, but I am not with them. I do not know what they are doing at any particular moment. But they know if they dare to leave the property, they will lose this little bit of freedom they have, much as I understood where the restrictions on my wandering were.
We do not have a fence. There is nothing stopping them from going except that they don't want to risk losing what they now enjoy.
My daughter, who is nearly four, has run inside every few minutes just to make sure we're still here. My son, more accustomed to this freedom, just yells towards the house if he needs help.
It's funny, we spent most of the past two summers trying to teach him how to ride his bike without training wheels. There was a lot of frustration and screaming. But now that we've left him to his own devices, with the understanding that his bike will be his vehicle to freedom when we move to a place with more neighbours, he figured out quickly how to ride and now zooms around.
The best teaching moments I can give my kids involve freeing them to make their own mistakes, because then they learn to fix them.