By Grant Davies
Increasingly, vibrant children’s ministries have shown to play a significant role in the maintenance and growth of worshipers within a church congregation.
Both feedback and experience indicate the importance of creating a space within a church for children to learn, move and grow which in turn creates a sense of excitement and belonging.
Including a children’s play structure within a children’s ministry area can greatly enhance the overall experience of families with children and help create opportunities for revenue generating programs to be added and developed, as well.
One great recreation idea is to add a soft indoor playground structure to serve as a feature to your church. Its purpose is to attract families and children to your ministry, enabling children to play with others and have fun. Play is critical to a child’s development.
Many churches build participation into their youth programs and attract adult volunteers to manage team play. Churches with active programs are often led to install play structures and play areas.
Kids love to play! Give them the opportunity with a well-organized, well-equipped children’s ministry. A play structure is a natural selection to let children be kids and make the church a place where kids get excited to go.
At iPlayCO, we offer a unique approach in providing exciting, imaginative and interactive play areas to churches. Whether you’re looking to educate, entertain, promote exercise or transform a space with innovative visual appeal, our skilled team of professionals will provide you with the best solution for your specific need.
The overall concept of our play structure design is to engage as many children as possible in
a variety of play-on and unique attractions.
The playground structure designs we offer are highly interactive with a number of challenging events for children while encouraging self-esteem and healthy development in specified age groups. Usage consideration with regards to these groups focuses on encompassing both their physical and social abilities.
There are four major factors that we consider in each design we produce:
1. Physical Development
During play, children develop critical gross (physical mobility and muscle control) and fine motor skills (eye-hand coordination). Play helps to individually improve agility, balance, flexibility and overall strength.
2. Cognitive Development
Play provides beneficial input for a child’s brain; it helps lead to discovery, verbal judgment and reasoning as well as the development of manipulative skills, creativity and thought processes.
3. Emotional Development
Research continues to show that play is essential to healthy, emotional development. Benefits of play include a greater sense of happiness, feelings of power over the environment, emotional awareness and increased sensitivity to others.
4. Cultural Development
Play is vital in helping children learn social and cultural rules of interaction, while developing appropriate cooperation skills. These social life skills are advanced through play and give children a solid foundation to build upon as they mature.
Visitors, new parents and first-time families are drawn to colorful, child-friendly spaces that communicate that the church cares about children. This can be as simple as playful vinyl murals and as elaborate as three-dimensional themed features, such as a treehouse.
Before investing in play equipment, it is a good idea to speak with other ministries to find out which pieces worked for them and what they would do differently. Sometimes the approach to a play space can be quite simple, while other times, it can be fairly complex. The right solution suits the available space while addressing the theme preference, participant age range and budget.
Grant Davies is senior sales executive at iPlayCO, a worldwide leader in the custom design and manufacturing of indoor play structures, as well as theming for toddlers, school age children and young adults, www.iplayco.com.