Playrooms are a fun addition for your monkey if you have the space, and provide a safe place for you to spend time with your monkey. An extra bedroom, unused dining room, basement, or garage can easily be turned into your monkey’s play kingdom where he can run free without “no’s”.
The playroom is different than the room enclosure as it doesn’t have to be made as waterproof and monkey proof, though you may want to add some of the same features to make cleaning after your monkey friend easier.
You can use the existing walls and ceiling, and as long as no swings are placed near the light fixture you won’t have to modify it. You should cover any windows with plexiglass or wire to prevent breakage and possible injury. You should also cover any plugs and switches with solid plates. Baby proofing equipment can help with these areas. If you put a TV in the room secure it so your monkey doesn’t knock it over on them. Include a place for the humans to sit and all the swings, toys and climbing equipment you can fit into the space.
Add a door that can be secured from inside or outside and you and your monkey(s) are set for hours of fun and bonding in the "Monkey Zone" without all the no’s, and leave that alone that comes with a monkey loose in the main house. You will soon find yourself making monkey playroom time part of your daily routine.
The basement playroom was designed with safety glass for viewing monkeys from a seating area located outside the monkey room. The monkeys can access the large room through a floor tunnel with a fireman-style pole located in a cage in the main monkey enclosure room above the playroom.
Metzger Monkey Playroom
By Janice Metzger
In June of 2008 we purchased our new home ready-built, so we didn't have the opportunity for input into the design elements for the spaces that our two young capuchin boys would occupy. Working with what we had, we created a playroom, cage area, and outdoor enclosure for our monkeys.
Future plans for modifications include enclosing the covered patio to create a sunroom that will house the cages and allow for indoor/outdoor access to the outdoor enclosure.
Our monkey playroom is upstairs in what was designed to be a home theater. The room is about 14 x 18 feet and came equipped with a vaulted ceiling and raised platform for theater seating.
Though concerned about the carpeting at first, it has proven to be a blessing in disguise as it provides a warm, soft base for lounging with our diapered monkeys, and the dry foraging mix (made of seeds, nuts and grains) that our boys enjoy picking out of the carpet fibers vacuums up easily.
The standard door was replaced with a wire cage door that Eric built from tubular steel framing and wire and then powder coated. For security, he added a French door in the cased opening that led to the theater room, creating a locked vestibule. Both doors lock with a key.
Additional modifications for security included covering the home theater electronic hook-ups with flat switch plates and adding a Plexiglas panel over the room's small window. The electrical outlets throughout the house are safety outlets that prevent insertion of foreign objects, so no additional modifications were required for those.
The ceiling of the room was outfitted with a climbing dome (similar to the one sold by Kaybee Toys) turned upside down and affixed to the ceiling. I sewed a hammock that attaches to the bars of the climber and Eric installed a Jolly Ball hanging from a chain in the center of the upside-down dome. The result is a labyrinth of climbing surfaces high up on the ceiling that does not take up any of the valuable floor space.
The room is also equipped with Little Tike’s climbers purchased second-hand (Craig's List and E-Bay), spa hose swings made by Ron and Darlene Rucker, a "yellow submarine" made out of 5-gallon buckets, and a plastic snow saucer swing hung from plastic chain. Fire hose is stretched tightly across the room and provides a sort of "catwalk" for the monkeys to move about the room. The hose is kept flat by weaving it through cabinet door pulls (hardware store) and stretching it across the room.
Objects such as shelves, bright milk crate type boxes, and ladders are affixed to the walls throughout the room to provide vantage points and perches at different heights and levels. A favorite perch is the large, carpeted "cat tree" mounted to the wall under the window, which provides a cozy spot for the monkeys to view the outside world. The cat tree is the largest I've seen and would have been expensive if purchased through a retail store, but was very affordable on E-Bay.
A small plastic wading pool serves as a shallow toy box which provides easy access to toys that are rotated weekly. Various rings, balls, and toys are hung around the room from plastic chain and are changed out often to alleviate boredom; as if any monkey could be bored in this primate theme park!
Our playroom is a key element in our monkeys' habitat. Several hours a day are spent here as we bond, play, teach, and interact with our little monkey boys.
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