The Wild Child’s Sanctuary

© photo by Bartek Nowakowski

An outdoor adventure playground gives children the opportunity to explore nature with their peers, under the supervision of specially-trained play workers.

CONCERN OVER THE QUALITY OF CHILDHOOD

The Wild Child's Sanctuary is the first, and so far the only, outdoor adventure playground for children in Poland open from spring to autumn. Children from the age of seven can use the space to create houses, huts and structures made of wood, using real tools. The Wild Child's Sanctuary project resulted from a social diagnosis concerning the last decade's transformations in the quality of childhood: restricting children's play and freedom, spending less time in nature, increasing time studying, social fears and more time spent using new media.

A SPACE FOR HEALTHY, OUTDOOR FUN

Parents are not allowed and trained play-workers ensure safety. For younger children and their guardians, there is a separate space with a mud kitchen and a place for DIY. A garden, a Mongolian yurt and a relaxation area are also available. The Wild Child's Sanctuary also organises cultural events, meetings and nature walks. It is a space which provides children from different social and financial backgrounds with access to healthy, outdoor fun, where they can function together and establish peer relations. The Sanctuary is governed by principles of respect for individuals and their freedom, community and equal treatment.

EMPOWERING CHILDREN AND INSPIRING CREATIVITY

The project is carried out in the church garden, in direct contact with nature, and has been running for five years. The Sanctuary fills a gap in free outdoor education and culture for children aged 7-13, who have already grown out of traditional playgrounds but are not yet old enough to engage in youth activities. The project empowers and inspires creative action through unobtrusive care, creating space for building social relations. The project's innovative nature has also led to the introduction of a new profession of play-worker to the labour market, offering relevant training courses.

Project owner
Krzysztof ┼╗uk
Mayor of the City of Lublin