By Dave Nolan
Churches today must compete for the attention of young families. The good news is that you can stand out and attract and retain more families to your congregation by enhancing your church with child-friendly activities and décor that can turn your location into a destination.
Creating a space that appeals to children and families is easy with the addition of features such as play areas, fun activities, colorful murals, and sculpted characters.
Read on and we’ll guide you on how you can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere for the youngest members of your congregation.
Pick a Theme and Transform Your Space
Having a well-planned theme can enhance the overall appearance and professionalism of your children’s spaces. Whether it’s an engaging palette of colors, a captivating depiction of biblical scenes such as Noah’s Ark or ancient cityscapes, or inspiration from local flora and fauna, a carefully chosen theme can add a unique touch to your environment.
Murals Add Adventure to Children’s Areas
To create a welcoming atmosphere for the children in your congregation, one of the quickest and most effective ways is to transform the bare walls into colorful murals.
Adding vibrant cartoons or illustrations depicting biblical stories to the walls of your Sunday school and play areas can bring the spaces to life and capture the imaginations of children. These murals not only serve as a visual treat, but also create an immersive learning experience for the children as they explore each scene depicted in the artwork.
You can place murals on windows, as well – these can provide extra privacy as well as show people outside the fun atmosphere that exists within your building.
Whether you choose to display murals depicting fun and colorful scenes for kids in Sunday school classrooms or more sophisticated and age-appropriate designs in the lounge areas for teens, murals can be a great way to add personality and character to any space.
Consider adorning your church walls with these captivating murals to show children that your church is a welcoming and fun-filled space made just for them!
Fun Play Areas and Activities Are Fun for All Ages
If you want to appeal to families with young children and provide them with the best experience, providing an entertaining play area can be a great way to engage kids in fun activities and create a welcoming environment.
Not only can this play area serve as a place for children to play and stay occupied during services or while adults are in Bible study, but it can also double as a daycare during the week, providing a convenient option for busy families.
By creating an environment that encourages play, you can help foster positive memories and feelings associated with your church, making children eager to return and explore more of the teachings of the Word.
Select activities that are suitable for the ages of the children who will be using the play area. For example, a toddler area could include soft play mats, hands-on playboards, sensory tables, bead maze tables, large puzzles and building blocks, while an older kids’ zone could include slides and interactive video games.
Safety first! Consider a cushioned floor for high-impact areas where young kids will jump and a run.
Theater and Presentation Areas Draw Attention
Show families that you are dedicated to educating their children. A special space to watch informative videos or listen to presenters is a great way to keep the attention of young children.
Including a theater or presentation area can provide a dedicated space where children can explore their creativity through drama, singing, dancing, and other performing arts.
By participating in productions and presentations, children can develop their public speaking skills, build confidence, and express themselves in new and exciting ways.
These skills can be invaluable as they grow and begin to share the Word with friends and family. Incorporate a theater or presentation area into your church’s design to encourage children to explore and express their love of God.
Sculptured Characters Add Delight
Incorporating sculpted characters can infuse a delightful charm into a children’s area. Be it depictions of biblical figures or friendly animal mascots inspired by the local wildlife, placing sculptures around your church will help make it more inviting for younger members of your congregation.
Moreover, these charming characters can serve as perfect photo opportunities for social media, aiding in the organic promotion of your church online. Parents will relish capturing pictures of their little ones enjoying themselves in church and share them with their acquaintances and family, amplifying your reach and boosting referrals.
To captivate the attention of a wider audience, consider the addition of a striking landmark sculpture outside your church. For decades, cities and towns have utilized colossal sculptures to attract visitors, so why not a church?
Even those who do not attend your services will navigate based on your unique sculpture, using phrases like “turn left at the giant elephant,” which will enhance your church’s sense of community and kindle curiosity among passersby.
What Do Successful Churches Have in Common?
All successful churches have something in common — they recognize that creating an atmosphere of comfort and familiarity is essential when trying to attract and retain members.
Incorporating child-friendly décor and designing spaces that cater to the needs and interests of children can make your church stand out and provide a space where children feel engaged and excited about attending church services.
By catering to children, you can help grow the families in your congregation and make a positive impact on the lives of the children in your community.
So, why not take the step and create a child-friendly atmosphere in your church today?
Dave Nolan is president and creative director of Imagination Design Studios (IDS Kids), which is celebrating 30 years of theming child-friendly spaces, www.IDSkids.com.