RE: INterior landscaping and kids
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Mon, 13 Jan 1997 07:53:41 -0600
Marty asked about interior landscaping, and  part of her question asked about 
whether its better to have kids play in front of your house.  From watching 
our kids, all ages, from toddler to teen I would say, kids play where the 
action is at the time, and this is not relational to their house. So even if 
you make a space to play in front of a house, the kids may prefer the walkway 
because that's where the other kids are.  

Parents of toddlers tend to want their kids close by and this is not likely to 
happen without restraint. Toddlers seem to be especially attracted to the 
noise and activity of the bigger kids and simply wander over to where ever 
that is happening, sometimes to the consternation of the parents (and the 
bigger kids who now have to be more carefully not to run down the toddler). 

 When you first get moved in, there will be this trial period where parents 
will be following their kids around, tracking where they are, when they come 
home, and the kids will be exploring and testing. After awhile the parents 
will get assured that, YES, this is a safe place, and stop following their 
kids around so much, and generally loosen up on giving kids freedom.  I have 
watched this unfold several times, actually pretty much every time a new 
parent moves in here. At first they are aghast that the kids are so free, then 
after six months you ask them where their kids are and they give the classic 
answer: " Oh, around here someplace". (This is quite an amazing thing, 

 The kids tend to play EVERYWHERE and so if there are places you do NOT want 
them playing, then that's a good place to use landscaping to define a place.  
Keep in mind the issues of privacy and noise when you think about this. Kids 
are noisey and somewhat distant from adults privacy issues so keep in mind 
that some folks tolerate kids, some folks love kids and the ones that tolerate 
kids will have shorter fuses about noise and kid stuff. You might be able to 
use landscaping to mitagate some of this.

Rob Sandelin 
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