Sunnyside Swap Shop has closed as of August 31, 2013.
We have re-opened as Southside Swap & Play in the Woodstock neighborhood and are accepting new member families! Please visit our new website for information about membership!
What is the Sunnyside Swap Shop and Play Space?
The Swap Shop is an inviting place for families with children 10 years old and under to play and romp year-round in the Sunnyside neighborhood. It’s also a wonderful place to exchange useful goods such as clothing, toys, books, and baby equipment as well as a comfortable place for parents to network with and support each other.
How does the Sunnyside Swap Shop and Play Space work?
Members bring in gently used items such as toys and clothing that can be used in the play space or taken home by other families. Children play in the play space are supervised by their own family and caregivers sort through “swappable” items such as clothes and books that they would like to exchange. Each co-op family takes on responsibility for a certain area or task of the co-op creating a safe, clean, creative, community space. Monthly membership fees cover the cost of rent, insurance, staff and supplies as well as occasionally hiring local artists and entertainers to provide classes for members.
Where is the Sunnyside Swap Shop and Play Space located?
For 6 years, the Swap Shop was inside the Sunnyside United Methodist Church building at the corner of SE Yamhill and SE 35th - directly across from Sunnyside Environmental School and Sunnyside’s neighborhood park (thru August 31st). Sunnyside Swap Shop closed its doors on August 31, 2013 and re-opened as Southside Swap and Play in the Woodstock neighborhood of SE Portland.
How big is the space and how is it set up?
The Swap Shop Co-op had renovated a great room with four connected smaller rooms totaling about 2,200 square feet to create a space that feels much like a small children’s museum or large daycare area. There are comfortable couches and chairs for adults to recline in and socialize and lots of gross and fine motor play opportunities for children ages 6 months to 10 years old.
- The current space includes:
- A great room for general play
- An infant/toddler room. Another picture is here.
- An arts and crafts area
- A stage for dramatic play
- Library shelves with books, videos and music for play and swap
- A big kids room with games, Legos and toys for play and swap
- A swap storage room for adult and children’s clothing
- A cheerful bathroom right in the space
- A secluded outdoor play space in the backyard
How does swapping work?
Member families only bring in items that are clean, in good condition and seasonally appropriate – no pool toys in December or snow gear in July. Every family sorts their own swap items – putting toys and books on shelves or in labeled bins and placing clothing in appropriate bins sorted by size.
Every family’s commitment to bring as much at they take and take as much as they give keeps the space full (but not too full) of useful goods to share.
It is perfectly okay to shop before you swap! If you aren’t sure you want to bring something in because you are uncertain what you would pick up for it in return, first find the item or items you want, take them home, return at a later time with the replacement item(s).
If the item you are bringing in is special to your family in some way, such as a handmade item or something from a unique country, feel free to add a label so other families can appreciate the item’s unique history.
In order to have a full assortment swap items (but without getting overstocked), we use email postings and posted signs in the space to communicate with members about current swapping needs and wants.
Certain items are meant to stay in the space for all to use. These items are denoted with a permanent marker or other sign to let members know the item is not for swapping. Examples include the Pack & Play in the nap corner, several ride-on toys, and the train table. Other items have a “Leave Behind” guideline such as making sure there are at least 6 trains on the train table if you choose to swap those items. This is simply to ensure children who enjoy the space on a regular basis can expect to be able to play with their favorite big toy items while allowing the smaller parts to be traded.