Re: Kids room flooring....
From: Caren Albercook (calbercookyahoo.com)
Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2006 08:17:04 -0800 (PST)
Lyle,
   Here at Sunward Cohousing in Ann Arbor, MI the
issue of flooring and room use with kids of varying
ages and interests has been one of the bigger
challenges I have living here.  I am the point person
for the kids rooms and am charged with holding the
long view for those rooms.We have adapted by
repurposing the rooms ever 3 years or s
   We are lucky to have 2 pretty large rooms that the
kids use. We started out dividing them into large and
small motor activities, but with linoleum floors and
no carpet the noise was horrible and parents had to be
desperate for a change of local to spend alot of time
there with their kids. We then purchased a wool area
rug which fills up most of what has become the young
kids room and the sound problem got much better.  But
the large and small motor division did not hold.
   The problem is that as the kids age their various
needs change.  Babies and little kids up to about 3
need soft flooring, no little parts or art supplies
they can choke on and no big kids jumping on them. 
The next bigger kids (4-10) are into their imaginary
worlds and need protected space from the 'babies' and
the big kids so all those playmobil and lego builds
are not destroyed.  The preteens are alternately into
large motor rough-housing or quiet art pursuits.  And
the teens.....well it's embarassing that they even
have parents or little sisters and brothers, so they
look for space elsewhere.  You really need 5 rooms,
which of course no one has.  
   Our kids are mostly grouped in cohorts: we have the
4ish girls and the 8ish boys, and 13ish girls, with
some other ages thrown in.  We have adapted by
repurposing the rooms ever 3 years or so.  When the
young girls were babies, we had a big soft, quiet
room.  The legos went into the other room and we had
less room to rough house.  Our sole remaining baby is
now 2 and we are loosening up on small parts in the
little kids room which allowed us to move lego in
there and open our other room back up for large motor
play.
   We recently purchased about 10 used mattresses for
the kids to jump on.  That's been a big hit and it is
now the preferred room.  There have been endless
forts, stores and stairways built and its just fun
jumping on the bed. I would love to move the art area
out of that room and into what is becoming the quiet
room to protect our artists from the noise but am
hampered by the big (and heavy) wool rug (really
carpet serged around the edges,) which would not clean
up easily, is hard to move around and doesn't fit the
other room. 
   The repurposing approach to kids room use requires
adaptability and that's why I recommend sturdy, easily
cleaned hard flooring over the whole area and then
serged carpet area rugs. Hope this helps, Caren

Oh, one more thing! If you take this repurposing
approach to kids roomuse you will need space for
storing the not currently used items.  Having it in
your garage gets old after awhile. CA



 
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