Although this play space has closed read all about Extreme Kids & Crew's two new special needs play spaces in this post.
As parents of children with special needs know, finding play spots can be tricky. Navigating public places like playgrounds, parks and drop-in play spaces is sometimes challenging and stressful, with families having to deal with insensitive comments while also trying to manage their child's disabilities.
That's why Fort Greene mother of three, Eliza Factor, was inspired to found Extreme Kids & Crew's Space No. 1, a nonprofit center offering classes, events and open play for kids with all kinds of special needs, from mild dyslexia to more extreme issues, like her son, Felix, who has cerebral palsy and autism.
Housed on the ground floor of the Co-op School in Clinton Hill, Space No. 1 consists of three rooms. The first is large and bright, and outfitted with wall-to-wall mats, lots of swings, therapy balls large and small, crash pads, a mini-kitchen, and a long table for art projects, workshops or just hanging out at snack time. The second contains a great big ball pit, and the third, dubbed the lava lounge, is a dark and cozy sensory experience with a tall bubble tube and a mesmerizing lineup of lava lamps.
Space No. 1 hosts a variety of programs and events for kids with special needs, like Music & Play, when diverse musicians come to interact and perform. (Factor's parent organization, Extreme Kids & Crew, also sponsors classes outside Space No. 1, such as the Fort Greene Park Gardening Program, Dance FUN-damentals at Mark Morris and Music Therapy with Brooklyn Conservancy of Music.)
There are a variety of tax-deductible membership options and all come with free playtime, the right to reserve the space for playdates and parties, and class discounts. On Sundays, Space No. 1 offers drop-in play hours from noon to 4pm for nonmembers for $10 per child, $5 per sibling. I've visited with my son and he bounced, rolled and dove his heart out. We also took part in an engaging felting workshop.
Best of all, as the name Extreme Kids & Crew implies, Space No. 1 welcomes all members of the family, regardless of ability, so non-special needs siblings feel included, too. It's also a great place to meet other families with children with special needs from Brooklyn and beyond.
Space No. 1 is located inside the Co-op School, 40 Brevoort Place between Bedford Avenue and Bedford Place.
Read our other posts for NYC families with children with special needs.