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No fence in backyard...toddler loves to be outside. WWYD?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My almost 15mo ds loves to be outdoors. He will pitch major fits if he'd not allowed to be outside with the other children or if outside playtime is over.

We have a large backyard and I'm looking forward to playing with him in it this summer. However, our yard runs up to one of the busier streets in our town. We have a row of apricot trees and a few large evergreens to act as a small sound and visual barrier, but it's not tight enough security for a little guy.

Now, I'm going to be out there with him always, but I'm excited about my new clothesline. He doesn't appreciate being worn when there is grass to explore. I do not want to install chainlink fencing (we host large summer parties and put up a volleyball net and even paint the grass and everything. A fence is our enemy.

Is there some kind of portable fencing that will allow him a lot of play area but is easily put away? I'm not entirely opposed to a Fisher Price type plastic thingo, I've just never seen anything like what I've got in my head.

A playpen will not work. Too small and I'd like him to still be on the ground.

Any ideas?

post #2 of 17

A little expensive, but it looks like it would work.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you! That's what I had in mind.

I'm afraid we'll be out there so much, and we'll just get comfortable and I don't want to risk it. That street is just too busy.
post #4 of 17
If you get the ex-pen from one step ahead, it was cheaper at Dr. Foster and Smith (dog store) when I got it for my dogs. Its the exact same brand and everything.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hmm. I hate to think I'm kenneling my kid. : But if it's cheaper and the same thing...might as well save some dough. Maybe buy him a new chew toy with the savings.

Thanks for the tip.
post #6 of 17
I have that playyard - you can also connect two of them together to make a bigger area. i think it will work fine for your purpose.

Another idea - you can get a large kiddie swimming pool - one with sides too tall for your DC to climb over and let him play in it, could put a sandbox and that sort of thing in it.

Or you could tie a harness to the clothesline and let him run like on a dog run - :LOL - I am only kidding, but that was the first picture to enter my mind when I read your OP.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh, I hope this thread doesn't make me wildly unpopular. It really is for his fun and safety and I'm not going to leave him in there alone, either.

SO, I'm cracking up because when we talked about trying to have another baby, we asked the older children if they wanted a baby or a puppy. They wanted both, but settled for a baby. As it turns out, the baby is very much like a puppy. He chews on things, crawls around the house with socks in his mouth, tries to drink from the toilet, tries to slip out the front door if you're not quick enough. He even crawls so fast to greet me when I get home at night, it LOOKS like he's wagging his "tail". Oh, and he growls when he doesn't get his way (or his hands on the computer mouse...which is why he's growling RIGHT NOW.)

So the leash comment is very funny. Thank you for the laugh.
post #8 of 17
I was telling my dh about this thread , to see if he had any other suggestions and he said, "what about an electric fence? Or one of those stakes with the leash attached?" He's Mr. Funny man :LOL
post #9 of 17
Originally posted by mamalisa
I was telling my dh about this thread , to see if he had any other suggestions and he said, "what about an electric fence? Or one of those stakes with the leash attached?" He's Mr. Funny man :LOL
:LOL Or one of those collars -- "shock collars" I think..

Just kidding!!!

A play-yard is a perfect solution. You need to keep him safe!!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your input and your humor! This thread has been helpful and fun.

post #11 of 17
I would get a fence-it doesn't have to be a chain-link. I know they are less expensive, but they aren't that conducive to really enjoying your yard, IMHO.

If there's anyway you can save for one, I think it's worth it. We moved into this house when DS was about 18 months and we got a fence installed about 2 months later. DS LOVES the yard. Also, I can let him out on the deck by himself, he can run in the yard, and I can run in to answer the phone and feel relatively safe.

It was $$$ well-spent for us.
post #12 of 17
Teensy - I had a friend who did exactly that: hooked her child up to the clothesline! It worked well for them: the child had lots of mobility but was safely constrained too. (You'd have to be there every moment for safety -in case of tangles, I mean).
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 
Bearsmama, I totally know where you're coming from. When we bought the house a few years ago, we said that we were going to put a fence in before we did anything else. It didn't happen right away (it was winter) and then our youngest at the time understood she couldn't go that far when Spring sprung, so we decided not to do it.

We have a great backyard for playing catch and football and volleyball. It's so big and we have great neighbors, too, so that makes "our" yard even bigger. I just can't put up something that permanent. He won't be in the play yard that much, anyway. He loves the swing and we'll have a small pool he can enjoy. I just need something for when we're grilling or I'm hanging out clothes or we have lots of people over and we're distractable.

Also, even with a fence around the yard, I couldn't step into the house at all. I have to go through the garage to get to the backyard. Someday we hope to put on a sunroom along the back of the house. I wish I had that now. Sigh. Let's hope for good lottery numbers on Saturday, eh? Well, that went off on a tangent.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
napless - Get outta town! :LOL

There was a Saturday Night Live sketch with Mike Meyers...he was wearing a helmet and he was tethered to a jungle gym talking with a "little girl" (played by Nicole Kidman). She has a chocolate bar and he says he's not supposed to have sugar but takes some of it anyway...it revved him up and made him get up and run...and he pulled the jungle gym along behind him. It was hysterical. Did anyone see this?

There is a fire station across the street from our backyard. The firefighters don't use it but the police department likes to use it to take breaks and stuff. How long could I have my kid chained to the clothesline before I had a friendly visit from the PD? :LOL

My goodness.
post #15 of 17

That was in a remote northern community where everyone pretty much made up their own rules - everyone thought the clothesline thing was a great idea! I can see that you wouldn't want to try it down here in "civilization"!
post #16 of 17
I have two of those super play yards. It makes for a big enough space that they don't feel as if they are in jail... enough room for exploring and playing with toys, and keeps them from danger. I think they're great.
post #17 of 17
I have a huge backyard, and my neighbor has a fence along his side. We have a few trees in our yard. I am going to buy a roll of that mesh deer fence that is about 3 feet high. I've ben shopping online, and I think I can get 100 feet for about $50. DH is going to attach it to the house, and we can unroll it around the trees to make a huge area for DS to play in. When we go in the house we can roll it back up.

: that it will work. We rent this house, so putting in a fence would be a waste and the yard is so big, it would cost a lot so the landlord is not interested.
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