Mobile Play Hubs to bring play and inclusion to Ukrainian refugee children

Do you want to bring the joy of play and learning to children and caregivers living in remote and underserved communities? Check out ICDI’s new publication “Mobile Play Hub Operating Guidelines”.

This Toolkit is intended for organisations wishing to set up and run Mobile Play Hubs for children aged 0 to 10 years old. However, it is also useful to regular Play Hubs and other non-formal ECEC settings that want to make (outdoor) play more accessible to children of all ages.

With this Toolkit, practitioners will be able to set up a Mobile Play Hub and increase their knowledge about different forms of outdoor play. The Activity Cards provide inspiration to make outdoor play as accessible as possible.

With the help of our longstanding partners of the TOY for Inclusion programme Škola dokorán (Slovakia) and Partners Hungary Foundation (Hungary), two new Mobile Pay Hubs are opening in 2023 to welcome refugee children in Slovakia and Hungary with regular weekly activities.

Mobile Play Hubs are an alternative to regular Play Hubs – located in a physical space in a (pre)school, a community centre, a library, or a refugee camp – to create pop-up community-based inclusive non-formal educational play, learning and inclusion opportunities for children and caregivers. With these Mobile Play Hubs, we can reach small and medium remote, rural and underserved communities and provide a space where relationships between young children and families from all backgrounds are built and sustained.  As establishing a new Play Hub is not always possible in response to a humanitarian crisis such as the war in Ukraine, Mobile Play Hubs provide a perfectly flexible solution. They bring the joy of play, learning and connection to refugee children who are displaced in their own country and other countries, even if they are scattered in underserved and remote communities.

The Toolkit is divided into two parts:

– The Operating Guidelines, which contain three chapters: address the role of everybody involved in the Mobile Play Hub, especially of the LATs, and illustrate how a Mobile Play Hub can be designed and operated to function as a surprise box for children, offering guidance to choose toys that fit children’s age best. The document also explains how Mobile Play Hubs work together with regular Play Hubs and other services available in the community. Lastly, the guidelines provide a good introduction to outdoor play and its importance for children’s mental and physical well-being.

– 16 Activity Cards to be used by practitioners in the Play Hubs and any other non-formal service to promote outdoor play for young children. The Activity Cards include four activities to be implemented throughout the year and three activities per season.

The Toolkit can be downloaded for free in English at the ICDI website. Translations in Ukrainian, Slovak, and Hungarian will be available and shared with the general public soon.