Playbuses come in different forms and shapes and are run by different carriers. There are over 350 playbuses in Germany. They differ widely in appearance, working conditions and financial means. There are carrier associations that were founded to run a playbus and that have committed staff taking to the city districts or villages with a bus or a trailer. More common are Playbus Departments with the Youth Welfare Offices that have several vehicles, offices, storage space and workshops and that offer playing activities with full-time and freelance staff in the city all year round. Other carriers are “Stadt- und Kreisjugendringe”, youth associations, subdivisions of “Jugendschutzbund” and “Kinderhilfswerk”, charitable associations, companies or churches. Financial support usually stems from the municipalities. Some states also provide support through state programmes. Some playbuess have to manage without public funding and some work on a commercial basis only.
- Playground on Wheels
Playground equipment is delivered to spaces without such equipment (school courtyards, street festivals) or supplement an existing structure. These playbuses are mostly large vehicles with mounted equipment like slides, climbing ropes, mobility games, etc.
- Mobile Game Arcade
Children can borrow playing and exercise equipment (stilts, balls, ropes, carts) as well as board games.
- Mobile Community Centre
The children have access to playing opportunities, handicrafts and creative activities. The offer is tailored to the quarter that the playbus visits regularly. A lot of playbuses work in a district-oriented manner and their targeted measures and regular presence can add to the social climate.
- Mobile Creative Workshop
These playbuses contain tools, materials and design elements and they work with children in groups. Alternatively, they function as a media mobile with video and photo equipment.
- Mobile Activity Workshop
Theatre, circus, fairy tale, fun fair, pirates, knights or cavemen: There is virtually no topic that playbuses don’t pick up on and turn into exciting interactive activities that last for one to several days. These playbuses are equipped with suitable materials and staff since topical activities require intricate planning and execution.
- Playbuses Representing the Interests of the Child
Playbuses give impetus on certain topics. Children’s’ opinions are documented in question and answer games, city explorations, film productions and children’s magazines. Playbuses ensure that children’s’ opinions are heard by the public, by authorities and committees and that they are followed-up by tangible construction measures.
- Playbuses as Fun Mobiles
These playbuses want to offer the maximum amount of fun with minimal staff. This includes bouncy castles, inflatable bean bags, air balloons, promotional gifts or competitions.
- Sports Mobiles
Sports mobiles focus on new and old disciplines with playing and sports equipment. It supplements the classic work of sports associations with public relations activities.
- Knowledge Imparting Mobiles
Playing is always an activity where one explores and discovers the everyday environment. Playbuses pick up on that motivation and offer room for experiencing and experimenting in order to make biological, chemical and physical phenomena tangible. Topics range from the sun to earthworms and the mobiles are named solar mobile, chemistry mobile, science mobile, forest mobile or eco mobile.
- Playbuses Don’t Stop at the School Gates
Since their inception, playbuses have been partnering with schools when it comes to the organisation of school festivals. Meanwhile, they have become a popular partner in the development and implementation of educational events at schools – for projects or year-round as partner of a school. They bring materials, ideas and staff to classes whenever the topic fits and a cooperation proves fruitful. Playbuses and schools working together is an important contribution to the educational landscapes in and out of town.
- Cross-generational Playbuses
Projects in retirement homes with children enhance links between age groups. Playing in all shapes and forms is fun and brings joy to all generations.
- Mobiles for Teenagers
Interesting offers based on trend sports, rock and pop workshops, cafés, street dance, styling workshops, internet, gaming objects and video interest teenagers, too. These mobile and modifiable objects are an attractive addition to stationary youth work.
- Company-owned Playbuses
Company-owned playbuses are equipped by playing equipment manufacturers or are used to complement advertising strategies of companies that target children and teenagers. They are also used for children’s programmes at festivals and marketing events.