Re: Commonhouse Kids Rooms
From: Jim Snyder-Grant (
Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 19:18:38 -0600 (MDT)
Sharon asked about "common house kids' room and outside play area."

On the main floor, visible through a small window in the kitchen & a
largely-glass door, we have a play space for kids under 10.  It has very
little: carpeted floor, a very few toys (mostly cardboard blocks), and a
cool-o mini-loft space about 5 feet off the floor (WITH railings, thank-you
very much).  It's mostly used for very young kids to be a bit more
rambunctious than they can be in the dining room, or for the slightly older
kids for imaginative play, including relatively frequent rehearsals and
productions. (Visualize an 8 year old, standing on a chair in the dining
room near the end of dinner, clanging a spoon against a glass & announcing
"there will be a play in the kids room in 5 minutes" & many of us dutifully
and/or cheerfully go in & watch a short semi-coherent mini-epic.

The room is small. I think maybe 20 ft by 30 ft?

Downstairs in the basement is a walled in area called the 'teen room'. I
don't know much about it, since I am not welcome there. But, the parents who
have negotiated inspections rights, assure me there is no fire or health
hazard in there. It seems to be the sort of mix of posters & cast-away
furniture that I think you can imagine.

Much of the rest of the basement is also primarily for kids, or
kid-dominated activities, such as foosball & ping pong. (Basement
exceptions: walled off space for a wood-working room; and marked-off space
for exercise equipment that requires adult supervision)

Outdoor kid space is mostly a mix of various neighborhood lawns of various
sizes and slopes appropriate for different activities. Right near thecommon
house, kid magnet areas include a hammock on the porch, and a sandbox next
to the entryway. The sandbox was originally created & located by the
youngest kids finding an area in the pre-landscaped common-house area where
they liked to play in the construction sand placed around the common house
for drainage. When we saw how well it worked, we placed a few rocks to
define an edge & just didn't landscape there.

-Jim Snyder-Grant
New View Cohousing, Acton MA

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