Friday, March 7, 2014

The Basement Cave Playhouse

Noah's sensory playhouse built by college engineering students was delivered and built shortly before his fifth birthday.  It took several hours and a couple days of completion as it had a lot of electrical and building components.  These students put forth so much effort in the project and I am truly impressed with what they built.  Not only did the plans of this playhouse have well thought out plans for Noah's needs, desires and ability to play; but it also incorporated the needs of his little brother so the two of them could essentially play side by side.  Really the best of both worlds. 
Interior of the playhouse
Playhouse Slide

Exterior of Playhouse with Blues Clues Mailbox

These students couldn't have added anything more perfect for the boys.  A rock climbing wall and slide for Luke, a sensory cave with lights that activate with a switch that Noah hits; black out lights when it's dark that makes it look like the stars are out, wall sconce lights, a little table and chair for both children to use, it even has a mailbox like Noah's favorite show, Blues Clues, that really sings the Blues Clues theme song when you open the mailbox.  Noah loves it.  

And his little brother has a lot of fun himself, exploring in the jungle themed house.  Finding creative ways of incorporating both children into the same activity is often challenging.   And this house does exactly that.  A place where both children can actively play and engage with each other at the same time.  It's pretty big, likely the size of a large shed or bedroom, and has a high ceiling so adults can comfortably accompany Noah without having to duck or squat.  His wheelchair or any medical device would easily fit into the playhouse. 
Noah in his sensory light cave with a curious Luke

The college students didn't win any awards or achievements for building this playhouse, something I was really sad about as I think it was so deserving of recognition for all the hard work, creativity and hours of labor involved.   This is a link to an article discussing the engineering project that was completed for Noah:

They built and created something very special; a concept that really needs to be out there for children with different needs so that they can experience inclusion with children with other types of abilities.  It has provided us with a lot of indoor fun while being cooped up during these winter months.  

Play is the brain's favorite way of learning


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.