Children's town

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Children's play city Simsalon

A children's city or children's play city is an educationally supervised large-scale game project for the participation of children .



These holiday projects are usually organized and hosted by local youth leisure facilities , youth welfare offices or district and children's offices , from Spielmobil work or by their own sponsoring associations. Children's play cities are often prepared and carried out by over 100 voluntary helpers. In some children's cities, the educational supervisors receive an allowance for their efforts.


In addition to participant contributions, the financing of such a large-scale project is mostly provided by the acquisition of third-party funds and donations. In addition, some projects receive funding from the federal states' budget funds. Partnerships with companies that equip the work areas in the children's city are also possible. Participation is often subject to a fee, this is especially true for smaller gaming cities, in which the support is more personal.

to form

A children's city offers an alternative to well-known childcare offers such as holiday games, tent camps or summer camps. There are different shapes and sizes of children's cities with from under 100 to well over 1000 participating children aged around 7 to 14 years. The way the children's cities run depends to a large extent on their size.

One of the first children's cities, Mini-Munich , takes place every two years. Children can freely enter and leave the city at any time. 12,800 children took up the offer in 2012. Parents need a visitor visa to enter the city. In the conceptually similar Mini-Salzburg, up to 1500 children play the city for one to six weeks a day .

The “Kinderstadt-Rostock” pursues a similar concept: Every Wednesday is “work day”, on which every child can “work” as long as they want (e.g. in the hobby workshop as a carpenter). It is different with the citizenship meetings. Children who have been elected to the panel cannot simply leave the meetings.

In the children's holiday town of Ratzgiwatz in Hechingen , the participating children are looked after from 9 a.m. to around 5 p.m. The 600 or so children are free to choose from over 40 work projects, but they cannot leave the Children's City during this time. During the lunch break, the supervisors have lunch with the children. With this concept, parents are happy to be seen as guests, but expressly not desired as constant accompaniment of the children. Parents are looked after by children in the “parents' garden” (cf. kindergarten ) and provided with coffee and cake.

Other concepts also offer the children an evening life in the children's town (e.g. cinema, theater, circus, disco) and possibly also the opportunity to stay overnight.


In a children's town, the children can choose from various work projects where they can earn play money in their own currency . The play money can be spent on the consumption of food, drinks, leisure activities or the purchase of self-made objects. The payment is made through a bank . The employment office helps to find vacancies in the areas

It is also customary to have an elected city ​​council and a mayor who, among other things, can make decisions about the use of tax revenue.

Educational goals

The children are enabled to experience the daily life processes of adults in a playful way. Thanks to the comprehensive and convincing play world , children can have their first experiences with social processes that are otherwise difficult to understand or communicate (e.g. municipal council , elections , democracy ), economic relationships (e.g. inflation , unemployment , supply and demand ) and adult life Gather up-close experiences.

Another important approach is to encourage children to participate in public processes and to take on responsibility. The aim here is to bring children closer to political processes and to ensure that the children exercise or can exercise their rights. In children's play cities, children are encouraged and enabled to look after other children in particular at events. In particular, children of different ages play and learn together.

Some children's cities offer children the opportunity to participate in the planning within certain limits, to express project requests and to influence individual decisions (e.g. the design of the game money or lunch).

Related topics


  • Burgstaller, Petra: Future: Game . Using the example of the children's city “Mini-Salzburg”. Vienna: Lit Verlag 2005
  • Grüneisl, Gerd; Zacharias, Wolfgang: The children's city. A school of life . Handbook for play, culture, environment. Reinbek: Rowohlt 1989 (about the Munich holiday children's play city ​​MiniMünchen ).
  • Zimmermann, Frank: The Children's Play City Heidel-York . On the conception and pedagogical relevance of a large-scale cultural-pedagogical project (Kulturfenster Heidelberg eV). Unna: Federal Association of Youth Art Schools and Cultural Education Institutions, no year [1989] [at the same time master's thesis].
  • Graves, Martina; Neubauer, Bettina: Karamempel & Co. - Play city projects for children . Documentation and organizational help. Esslingen: Stadtjugendring Esslingen eV 2000.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Such a model, for example, follows the children's town of Dessopolis. Archived copy ( Memento of the original from May 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  3. Mini-Salzburg ( PDF )
  5. z. B. the children's town of the KjG Diocesan Association Cologne