Green House (Maison Verte)

Third despatch from the parallel baby world. This one is about something hard to find and worth finding.

The toys in the photograph are in a large, well-lit room. Pan out and you'd see playthings for slightly older children: china teacups, buckets and water to fill them with, plastic motorbikes made wide and squat enough for toddlers.

Look around and as well as the children and their parents/carers you'd also see three or four other adults, a mix of psychologists and other childcare professionals. They're all easy to talk to and it's interesting to see them interact with the children, letting them take the lead and shape their own play. 

They're here because of her:

Francoise Dolto was a psychoanalyst who did many things, but what she's most remembered for is setting up 'green houses', places for children to explore the world outside their homes and for parents to have a reprieve from being alone with their children. De Gaulle and Andre Malraux (culture minister & the man who saved medieval Paris) got involved and the idea spread to St Petersburg and Barcelona, Belgium and Argentina. 

And now they're here.

For children 3 and under. Open Wednesdays 9:30 to 12:30 and Fridays 12:30 to 3:30. Free, but you're also free to make a donation.

It's in the 'community rooms of Finsbury Park community hub N7 7RW'. This translates as the other side of Durham Road from Poole's Park primary school, just inside the Andover Estate. Here's the  outside:

Trust me, it's worth going in. 

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