|RE: questions about kids' space in common house||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Rob Sandelin (Exchange) (RobsanExchange.MICROSOFT.com)|
|Date: Mon, 29 Jul 1996 18:46:22 -0500|
Our kids room is small, 14X14, there is a basement room attached which is 12x12 which will someday belong to the kids as well. Our kids space is directly adjacent to the kitchen, and there is a window where you can look down into the kids room from the kitchen. I say down, because our kids space is four feet below the main floor level. We did this to reduce the noise. We did not put any plumbing in the kids space, it did not seem appropriate. There are grandiose plans for a climbing, reading loft, but thats in the future. As it is now, there is very little in the kids room beyond books and some dress up clothes and blocks. There is a kids committee which has all sorts of plans but has accomplished not much yet about fixing up the kids space. The kids segragate themselves by age when they want to, play together when they want to. Our playground is being moved someday to be right outside the playroom and this will be a nice addition as there is an outside door on the kids room. We do not have a dedicated teen space at this time, and I doubt we ever will. Kids use the playroom by themselves, with no adult supervision (The bigger little kids tend to shepard the smaller little kids) although parents of toddlers tend to stay clued in to their toddlers whereabouts. Once kids get to be about 3, they roam pretty freely. In general our kids are active and noisy and this is a source of irritation for a few folks, although in general they get herded to the kids area or outside if they are being rowdy in the eating area. From my perspective, if I were to do it differently I would set it up so one adult each night is on kid patrol, and that task is to engage the kids in some interesting activity. The kids are pretty much totally ignored and left to their own devices during dinners, as the adults, including all the parents, hang out and want to eat and socialize. If the kids just had someone to read them a story or engage them in an art project, they would be MUCH quieter and I think somewhat happier too. As a parent I find the competition for my kids attention at dinners to be frustrating at times. The kids have little interest in eating, they want to go play, and so they eat two bites, and want to be excused. Its a battle to get a plate of food eaten, and of course, the minute dinner is over and all the other kids have gone home, they come back....But I didn't get any Dinner.... and so it goes. Rob Sandelin Sharingwood >-----Original Message----- Sent: Monday, July 29, 1996 3:50 PM Subject: questions about kids' space in common house Hi all, I'm another voice from Cambridge Cohousing, only a lurker to date, but I'm looking for some information and advice today. We're working on the design of our common house and I'd love to hear from folks about the kinds of children's space you have in your common house, and how it's worked. Do you have a space designed primarily for toddlers and preschoolers, school-age kids, or teenagers? Do you have separate spaces for different age groups? Do the different aged kids mingle much? Do you use the space(s) for formal childcare arrangements, playgroups, or just casual play while in the common house? Can/do kids go the area by themselves, or only when accompanied by parents? Is the space adjacent to the dining room and/or kitchen or farther away? If it's near, do parents find closeness to the dining room/kitchen useful when eating or cooking? Does the community as a whole find the children's area disruptive during meals? What features (sink, reading area, indoor climber, etc.) in your children's area are most used/most unused? If you had it to do again, what would you do the same? differently? We will probably end up with about 20 - 25 kids, from 40 households. The kids currently range from 1 - 12 years old. As you can see, we have lots of households that *don't* have children, typically older singles or couples. We need to create a design that families with children will find attractive and useful, while ensuring that households without children don't feel that that the common house is dominated by children. Thanks in advance for your input. I know we'll find it very valuable! - Cindy Carpenter ccarpent [at] aol.com
questions about kids' space in common house Ccarpent, July 29 1996
- RE: questions about kids' space in common house Rob Sandelin (Exchange), July 29 1996
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