SpielMobil - A Place of Joy and Relief for Refugee Children

When families seek refuge, they can often only take small items or possessions with them. Thus, most of the children are unable to carry their former toys with them. Even worse, during the journey they have been confronted with distress and hav had terrible experiences. That is why, these children in particular need a place where they can experience joy and relief. A great way of facilitating this is through our mobile playground. Play can relieve tension in the day-to-day life of a child as well as help children to cope with traumatic experiences. Furthermore, playing supports their learning process and stimulates their creativity.

 

With our SpielMobil, we want to create a safe place in the Rhine-Main area where children with a refugee background can experience joy and relief through carefree playing. Our goal is to…

… support the physical, emotional and social development of refugee children through play.

… build relationships with the children and families in the refugee shelter and support them during their integration process.

… lovingly welcome people with a refugee background.

How we are realizing our goals:

Sachspenden – SpielMobil
Activities for Children
  • Providing a mobile playground for children in refugee shelters regularly
  • Facilitating different indoor and outdoor games for children of different age-groups
  • Organizing special events, such as summer parties for refugees
Anlaufstelle für Erwachsene – SpielMobil
Drop-In Center for Adults
  • Welcoming of adults with a refugee or asylum-seeking background

  • The coffee station of the SpielMobil – An opportunity to connect both volunteers and refugees and to help to build relationships
Brückenbau – SpielMobil
Bridge-Building
  • Collaboration with municipal and non-profit organizations for refugees services
  • Assisting refugees during the communication process with professional help systems, such as health care system, public offices, and other support systems

Frequently Asked Questions

Any given week, the SpielMobil is “on the road” in different accommodations in the Rhine-Main area. We facilitate activities with our volunteer teams in Darmstadt, Mainz and Frankfurt. Further activities in other cities are being planned.

Due to safety reasons, we don’t share details about the places where we go publicly. We only pass on pieces of information to our volunteers and selected people who might be interested and ask about the refugee shelter.

Refugee children often live in a low-stimulus environment, i.e. in a small apartment with their family. This space has less room for play or physical exercise. Thus, activities in refugee shelters, such as a mobile playground, can create opportunities for children and bring joy to their everyday lives.

The SpielMobil wants to offer various play activities for refugee children, which bring moments of joy and relief into the children’s everyday lives. Furthermore, we aim to positively promote integration for the long term with these activities. 

With the SpielMobil, we facilitate free play activities or guided activities. In our free play sessions, the children can choose between different outdoor or indoor games and materials that best fit their interests and preferences. Free play fosters their autonomy and empowers them to grow. On the other hand, we offer guided games, such as active or cooperation games, which promote the children’s ability to play together and strengthen mutual belonging. Our program also includes crafting and other creative activities that foster their creative expression. 

For parents and other adults, the SpielMobil helps to create meeting spaces. Especially, the coffee and tea station in the SpielMobil allows connecting and building relationships between volunteers and refugees, as well as amongst refugees themselves. With the SpielMobil, we want to create a space where volunteers and people with a refugee background can encounter and connect. Connection helps to deal with language and culture barriers, as well as to reduce stereotypes. These spaces are an effective step towards the integration of children and families with a refugee background.

Currently, our activities take place on the following days every second week:

  • Frankfurt: Wednesday from 5 till 7 pm
  • Mainz: Saturday 
  • Darmstadt: Saturday

The advantage of a fixed “SpielMobil-day” is continuity and transparency for the children because they know when the SpielMobil is going to be there. This offers security and joyful anticipation of the next playtime.

Additionally, our volunteer teams occasionally organize special events in the Rhine-Main area, such as summer parties for children and families with a refugee background.

We would like to constantly expand our collaborations with refugee shelters and refugee aid organizations. We are striving to form a solid network of volunteers to facilitate further play activities throughout the Rhine-Main area.