The Play Sanctuary

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Western North Carolina


The Play Sanctuary supports Western North Carolina’s capacity for health, wellbeing and connection by nurturing play.

We believe:

  • Child-led play has value.
  • Children are capable and worthy of respect.
  • Welcoming people creates community.
  • People need to move their bodies.
  • Nature and simplicity inspire imaginative play.We know that self-directed play, moving our bodies, being outside, being together and playing with simple objects results in loads of positive physical, emotional and social benefits.
    We host fun pop-up adventure play events in Sylva, North Carolina and connecting locals with all the kid-friendly events in the area.Long term, our goal is to create a community play space that embodies these philosophies.

    Long, long term we will research what happens to our community after this space joins the landscape – prove once again the impact of a safe, nurturing play space, and create a replicable model for folks across the country. We want all people to have opportunities to connect in nurturing spaces where we can thrive physically, emotionally and socially.

    Join us in changing the world through play.

We operate in partnership with the Jackson County Family Resource Center, which allows us 501(c)(3) status and a connection with the families in most need in our area.
The Family Resource Center’s mission is to provide a framework through which community and family members may access comprehensive services in an impartial and empowering environment. The primary focus of the Family Resource Center is to support and enhance the presence of healthy children and strong families in a caring community while fostering personal development.
The Family Resource Center opened its doors September of 1996 featuring a conference room for small group activities and meetings, a large multipurpose room, a children’s play area, a family resource library, an outside patio area, a teaching and demonstration kitchen, a breastfeeding area, and an office which well be utilized on a part-time or floating basis by a human service agency and organization representative.
The Play Sanctuary was added into the Family Resource Center’s offerings in January of 2017. We believe that by bringing diverse people together in a welcoming space focused on fun, we’ll help expand folks’ circle of care to include more of their neighbors. Our mission aligned well with the Family Resource Center and their goal of expanding their services to more of the county; thus a partnership was born.

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Children and the people who interact with them
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Jeff is an early learning speaker, toymaker, podcaster, content creator, author, and founder of Playvolution HQ who is really bad at getting his picture taken.

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