Re: Kids play area & structure
From: Berrins (
Date: Wed, 24 Jan 2001 21:30:44 -0700 (MST)
In a message dated 1/24/01 7:26:08 PM, cjsheehan [at] writes:

<< Here at Sonora Cohousing in Tucson, Arizona we are in the final stages of
construction.  We have a small (25' X 50') space adjacent to the kid's
room in the common house that has been designated for the outside play
space and location for a play structure.  The structure will probably be
used by all kids but mostly the under 10 set, down to 2 years old (or
younger); I have a few questions:

1.  What kind of structure does your community have?
    a.  Is it successful (kid's have lasting interest in it)?
    b.  If no, what would you have done differently?

2.  What types of outside play do the kid's of varying ages tend to do
3..  What is your kid's room like and how is it used?

Jenny Sheehan
Sonora Cohousing where we are sold out and all but one family have moved
in.  We do have two homes for rent (1- one bedroom, 650 sq. ft; 2- two
bedroom, two bath, 1100 sq. ft. with a 550 sq. ft. basement). >>

At Pathways we don't have a permanent spot yet, but last summer we put up a 
donated back yard-sized swingset in the middle of one of the three small 
commons.  It was an instant kid magnet and a de facto hang out spot, 
especially when we put a picnic table nearby.

1) The swingset was one of those commercial wooden ones, with three spots to 
hang swings (interchangable swings; we have two plastic slings for older 
kids, two small children swings and a hanging bar with rings), a small tower 
with two slides off of it, a climbing rope ladder and monkey bars on top 
(swings hung from it, so it isn't usable when anyone is swinging).

Kids up to 7 or so years old used it a lot, older kids not so much.  LIttle 
ones are drawn to it like magic.

2) Other outdoor activites:  If it rolls, a kid is on it.  Expect any flat 
surface, especially if paved (or even better, if it has a little hill), to 
get used a lot for bike riding, roller blading, scooters, little kid trikes, 
whatever.  We hope our playing field gets used a lot, but it wasn't ready 
until after it got cold (we all moved in just last year).  The older boys 
(8-12 years old) did use it for soccer a few times.  Oh, and dirt piles.  
Expect to see little yellow tractors and steam shovels on them.

3) The children's room was set up by some experienced day care folks and it 
shows.  Its a great spot and is used a lot.  Kids up to 7 or 8 years old use 
it during any Common House event and young families with little kids can be 
seen there pretty much every day during the day.  It's set up to be usable as 
a legal day care center, although the parents of the younger kids haven't put 
together one yet.  Meanwhile, we have a place for all those outgrown kids 
books and toys.

    Roger Berman
    Pathways Cohousing
    Northampton, MA

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