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.


The Wild Child’s Sanctuary is the first outdoor adventure playground for children in Poland open from spring to autumn. Children aged seven or older can use the space to create houses, huts and other structures made of wood, using real tools. The Wild Child’s Sanctuary project is a response to a decline in the quality of childhood over the last decade, resulting from reduced play and freedom, less time spent in nature, more time spent studying, social anxieties, and more time using new media.


Parents are not allowed inside the playground, though trained play workers are always present to ensure the safety of the children. For younger children and their parents or guardians, there is a separate space with a mud kitchen and a DIY work- shop. 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, a place where they can function together and connect with their peers. The sanctuary is governed by principles of respect for individuals and their freedom as well as community and equal treatment.


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

Project owner
Krzysztof Żuk
Mayor of the City of Lublin