Mobile Play Hubs for Ukrainian refugee children in Hungary and Slovakia

Children and women are bearing the most adverse consequences of the war. Months of political insecurity in Ukraine has extended the disruptions to education due to the COVID-19 pandemic for children. The interruptions to education can have long-term consequences for children’s development which, if not urgently addressed, could take years to recover from. This is especially problematic for younger children who may miss the opportunity to develop foundational skills.

Play Hubs give children the opportunity to keep learning, as well as some stability, protection and a sense of belonging in a time of uncertainty. However, establishing a new Play Hub in all community where Ukrainian refugees are resettling is almost impossible: there isn’t enough time, it is very costly, refugees are moving quick to new locations and the humanitarian crisis might be over sooner than we think. 



For many small and medium communities mobile Play Hubs are a more feasible and immediate responseto offer high-quality nonformal educational support to children and families.

They can contain age-appropriate toys and materials with which to organise inclusive play activities for children of all backgrounds and abilities aged 0 to 10.

Examples of activities may include:

  • Stay and play sessions
  • Parents-child reading sessions
  • Intergenerational activities
  • Handcraft and toy making activities
  • Parent clubs
  • Workshops or info-sessions for parents in cooperation with other services in the community

In this programme, we aim to:

  • Set up 2 Mobile Play Hubs offering regular weekly activities to refugee children and families in the targeted communities (one in Hungary and one in Slovakia)
  • Deliver a training for education (local kindergarten and primary school teachers), health and social services professionals on how to create an inclusive environment and offer inclusive integration support to Ukrainian children and families.
  • Develop a toolkit for Play Hub staff and other professionals on inclusive play-based activities that promote social reintegration and healing from trauma for young refugee children.


ICDI developed resources to support the creation and running of Mobile Play Hubs for Ukrainian refugee children in Hungary and Slovakia. Resources include:

  • 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, as well as three activities per season. 

Facts and figures


Wide Open School – Skola Dokoran (Slovakia)

Partners Hungary (Hungary)


European Programme for Integration and Migration (EPIM), a collaborative initiative of the Network of European Foundations (NEF)


Project Manager

Luisa Tesch