If children do not have space to release a tremendous amount of energy when they need to, they will drive themselves and everybody else in the family up the wall.


Start by placing the small area which will belong entirely to the children—the cluster of their beds. Place it in a separate position toward the back of the house, and in such a way that a continuous playspace can be made from this cluster to the street, almost like a wide swath inside the house, muddy, toys strewn along the way, touching those family rooms which children need—the bathroom and the kitchen most of all—passing the common area along one side (but leaving quiet sitting areas and the couple’s realm entirely separate and inviolate), reaching out to the street, either through its own door or through the entrance room, and ending in an outdoor room, connected to the street, and sheltered, and large enough so that the children can play in it when it rains, yet still be outdoors.

… in a House for a Small Family (76), there are three main areas: a Common Areas at the Heart (129), a Couple’s Realm (136) and a Children’s Realm (137) which overlaps the common area. If the common area and couple’s realm are in position, it is now possible to weave in this partly separate, partly overlapping place for children, which we call a realm, although we recognize that it is not a separate realm but more an aspect of the house, reserved for children, a mode of functioning which is physically separate only in certain parts. It is that component of Connected Play (68) which acts within the individual houses.

As you place this swath between the children’s beds and the street, place the Farmhouse Kitchen (139) and the Home Workshop (157) to one side of the path, touching it, yet not violated by it. Do the same for Bathing Room (144), and give it some connection to the children’s beds. Develop the cluster of children’s beds according to Bed Cluster (143); make the long passages which form the realm as light and warm as possible - Short Passages (132); make the Outdoor Room (163) large enough for boisterous activity …

Reference for full-text of Pattern: p. 651medium-confidence