Incorporating themed environments and wall murals continue to be popular for kid’s church rooms. They’re great ways to hold a child’s attention, perfect tools for teaching stories and concepts, and they almost always guarantee a child will come back to the church for multiple, long-term attendance. It’s no wonder children’s ministries continue to use theming companies to transform their kids’ church rooms.
Over the years, we’ve seen certain church themes rise and fall in popularity. Some themes hang around for awhile, and some fade away fast. If you’re searching for a theme for your kids’ church, here is our list of what we believe are the most popular themes for kids’ church rooms in 2019.
- Main Street
The Main Street theme continues to be the most popular themed environment for the church rooms and hallways we’ve designed…and for very good reasons. From a practical standpoint, it’s a very flexible theme that is also highly customizable to each venue it is designed for. This theme allows each church building to undergo a complete redesign, while still retaining its own distinct personality, just like Main Streets in the real world.
The Main Street theme is solidly married to an iconic Americana ideal, which also adds to its popularity. It reminds us all of places where we grew up, whether small town or large city, so we connect with this environment, no matter what our age. It reminds us of our history but still grounds us in our present. At the Disney theme parks, the Main Street area is the central location where people gather to connect. It’s where the parades happen, just like those in our own Main Street experience.
As a church theme, the Main Street theme gives children the opportunity to visit an exciting location while still being at home. Like Sesame Street or Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, kids can imagine all of the shops and shop owners and shop visitors and get the feeling that, in spite of our differences, we are all one community.
- Bible Village/Stories
I consider the Bible Village theme to be another type of Main Street theme, but it’s one that can be utilized more as a teaching environment for children’s ministries that decide to use it. While it is possible to make the Bible Village theme exactly like a Main Street theme, with biblical storefronts replacing contemporary ones, it’s also popular to use this theme simply as a way to showcase well-known stories from the Bible.
The themed environment, which may incorporate an entire kids church hallway, would be a gradual unfolding of story after story from the Bible. The beginning of the theme may show stories from Genesis, leading to other Old Testament stories and then ending with stories of Jesus’ life, including the crucifixion and resurrection. This type of environment can allow the children’s ministry’s curriculum to come alive right before the eyes of the kids.
We’ve created themes and murals for kids from both approaches of this theme. Whether you envision an atmosphere with cartoon Jerusalem storefronts that tell Bible stories in a more indirect way or one that tells specific stories through props and murals, a themed environment of Bible Stories or a Bible Village may be the perfect theme for your kids’ church.
One of the best ways to get a child to relate to his or her environment is to incorporate animals into it, and there are fewer themes that do it better than the Jungle themed environment. What kid wouldn’t want to go to church around swinging monkeys, tall giraffes and hungry hippos? It’s like going to school at the zoo! Over the years, the Jungle theme has held up as one of the most popular church themes we create, and it shows no sign of slowing down.
Not only do you get to experience the wonderful animals, but the surrounding elements of the jungle canopy are also exciting to see come alive. 3-D trees, stone ruins, plants, rope bridges, bamboo huts, and caves full of adventure are also elements that keep kids coming back to visit this exciting themed environment. It’s why movies like The Jungle Book or themed restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe continue to be popular attractions for kids.
If you want to provide an environment for your kids that also inspires adventure, you can’t do much better than a Jungle theme. For churches, the focus on the wonders of the Creator is obvious, but incorporating a sense of discovery, adventure and even treasure hunting can add a spiritual dimension that will make your Jungle theme unique and alive.
If you like the outdoorsy feel of the Jungle theme but feel tigers and lions may be a bit too intimidating for your kids, a Woodland Theme may be perfect for you. Like the Jungle Theme, the Woodland Theme is focused heavily on animals, but, of course, these are animals of the forest: deer, raccoons, beavers, skunks and maybe even a bear or two. There are plenty of opportunities for greenery as well with 3-D trees and plants, flowers, tree stumps and mossy stones.
The Woodland theme brings with it its own multitude of structures as well, whether it be beaver dams, bear caves or the human-built log cabin (which, by the way, makes a great stage setting for a worship area). It’s the perfect way to give kids the experience of nature while still being in a safe, indoor environment.
Children’s ministries can use the Woodland theme to teach children about the wonders of nature and creation. There is no better way to learn than to find yourself sitting in the middle of your lesson!
A theme new on our list for 2019 is the Beach Theme. Beach themes, of course, are hardly new, but we’re seeing a rise in the popularity of this theme as a kids’ environment in churches. It makes perfect sense. Who doesn’t like to go to the beach and why wouldn’t anyone want to go hang out on the beach every week? While a lucky few get to live and visit a real beach on a regular basis, most of us can’t, so you can create the excitement of a beach vacation by building a Beach Theme right in your own kids’ church!
One of the best things about a Beach Theme is you can have specific areas that focus above water and underwater, significantly enhancing your kids’ experience with nature and aquatic wildlife. 3-D elements for a beach theme could include palm trees, tiki huts, coral reefs ships (either intact or as underwater wreckage) and buried treasure chests.
A Beach theme is a perfect theme for kids’ areas that need a more calm environment with less distractions. While it can be subdued and pastoral, it can also be full of activity and personality. It may be surprising to you how much customization can go into a Beach theme to make it a very unique themed environment.
While we see these themes as being the top five themes for churches in 2019, who can predict what other unique themed environments will start a popular surge for 2020? Themes such as Space, Medieval, Technology, Industrial and Sports continue to be popular options.
Whatever theme you choose for your kids’ church rooms, always look for ways it can be customized for your own space and young audience. Even standard, popular themes can look fresh and unique with the help of a good themed environment company’s design team.
Keep creativity as your main focus in your church environment and your kids will keep returning time and time again!
This information is courtesy of Imagination Atmospheres, which has been creating custom themed room designs for kids since 2004, www.imaginationatmospheres.com. Their kid’s spaces can be found throughout several locations across the United States in pediatric offices, daycares, preschools, assisted living centers, church children’s ministries, and amusement areas.