Spot’s Parking Lot teaches kids just how much space parking takes

Hi. Bridget Brown, here, author of Spot’s Parking Lot, a children’s picture book wherein a terrier considers alternative uses for parking spaces (preview available here).

Cover of Spot's Parking Lot by Bidget C. Brown artwork of a red dog's head in front of a large empty parking lot. a sofa is in one of the spots.

It’s a little weird to be writing this in the midst of a pandemic, when the concept of how much space people need is so much on our minds as we try to minimize spread of the virus.

Flipping through “Spot,” for example, there are some edits that should be made for safety. About halfway through, there are 20 people doing yoga in a parking spot, and on the next page 5 people dancing in one. For adequate social/physical distancing, the yogis would probably need at least 3 or 4 spaces (and masks if they were indoors), and the dancers might as well. 
Farther on, though there are only two people in the bus shelter, they should probably be giving each other a little more space on the bench and also masking up. 

The cafe table spacing, on the other hand, almost works, though maybe only two rather than three to a spot. And this set-up is one that we’re seeing more often in the wild these days than usual. As long as they’re not parked on with cars or trucks, these big spaces offer an opportunity to help people spread out. And maybe some of their re-uses will become permanent.

At any rate, I’ve donated copies of the book to the Parking Reform Network for new members who can use them (while supplies last): parents, grandparents, teachers, librarians, caregivers. Current members can enter a drawing for a copy when they fill out the membership survey.

Hopefully the pandemic will pass before too awfully long and we’ll be able to gather closer again. I look forward to the day, for instance, when 20-some 2nd graders can sit together cross-legged again for story time in just one space. 

Following is a  “Spot activity” to try.


  • Open floor or ground space
  • Measuring tape
  • Masking tape
  • A copy of Spot’s Parking Lot
  • Print-outs of empty spots or lots (or draw your own if you don’t have a printer)


  1. Measure out 8-1/2 by 19 feet and apply masking tape on 3 sides of the area to represent a parking space (this can pair well with a lesson plan on inches, feet, and yards).
  2. Measure a safe distance for kids to sit within the area, depending on circumstances.
  3. Story time!
  4. Have kids draw out their own ideas of what to put in a space, or even a lot.
  5. If you’d like, submit photos of your favorite drawings to be added to an online gallery.

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