Is Your Children’s Ministry Area Sending The Right Message?
April 12, 2022

Is Your Children’s Ministry Area Sending The Right Message?

Elevate your children’s ministry area with these simple improvements.

Churches might be able to get away with a slower coffee machine or a snowy parking lot, but one area that has to be ironclad in its approach and message is the children’s ministry area.

When parents approach a kidsmin environment, they are on full alert. They are about to hand over their most prized possession and they will immediately sense comfort or anxiety. As a leader in a portable or permanent church, ask yourself: 

Is our children’s area sending the right message? 

After working with portable churches for almost three decades, we’ve seen some common opportunities for improvement in kidsmin environments. 

In this article, we will explore the most important areas and share exactly how to make simple improvements. Are you ready?

To quickly navigate to any of the improvement areas, use the links below in the Table of Contents:

  1. Safety
  2. Numbers
  3. Design for Kids
  4. Utilizing the Unique Space
  5. Kid-Themed Decor

5 Simple Improvements for Your Children’s Ministry Area

1. Safety

Look through the lens of a visiting family and ask if your children's ministry area is sending the right message. Elevate the space with these 5 reachable improvements.

Safety is a constant checkpoint for kidsmin leaders and something you would certainly never overlook at this point, right? 

Except we do, and it’s something to consistently keep at the top of our checklist. 

There are two ways to look at safety — from the perspective of the staff and volunteers, and the perspective of the kids and parents. It doesn’t matter how locked down you are if a visiting parent doesn’t feel a sense of security.

Here are a few simple things you can do to communicate your level of commitment to safety:

  • Require each teacher, helper, and caregiver to wear a visible nametag. Parents will feel secure knowing they’re talking to a legitimate, approved helper.  
  • Upon entering the room, check the child’s name tag and ensure they’ve been properly checked in at the designated station. In addition, read aloud, in front of the parents, any allergies or warnings listed. 
  • Hang hooks or prepare bins outside the door for families to leave their child’s coat or bag, minimizing trip hazards in the classroom. 

Of course, a convenient and intuitive check-in unit is one of the first things a parent will notice. If you need ideas, check out our Portable Kids Check In Gallery. And if you’re considering an upgrade or a change, check out Children’s Registration Case options in our store. 

2. Numbers

Look through the lens of a visiting family and ask if your children's ministry area is sending the right message. Elevate the space with these 5 reachable improvements.

Think about the feeling of being in a mostly-empty room. Now consider a hot, crowded space. Neither is comfortable. 

Now think about an area that has enough people to create critical mass, and yet enough space to let the imagination flow and the arms stretch. 

That’s all about ratio. 

Read a previous article for details on figuring out recommended square foot area per child and number of adults per child, but when determining the number of kids per space, our recommendation is a maximum of 15 children per acoustic space. This is the ideal number and not always possible, but we’ve found it to be a good rule of thumb. 

Sticking to your ratios will not only give parents the right message about your level of safety, comfort, and commitment, but it will be easier on your volunteer team

Are your rooms overcrowded? Consider setting up stations for students, rotating smaller groups through each room. 

Want to learn more about elevating your kidsmin space? Book a call with one of our experts. 

3. Design for Kids

Look through the lens of a visiting family and ask if your children's ministry area is sending the right message. Elevate the space with these 5 reachable improvements.

Kids are sponges for their environments. Whether it’s a dimly-lit room to calm an energetic bunch or a visual experience that sparks their imagination, the climate of the room has a direct impact on this experience. 

Consider whether or not the design of your kids’ area is conducive to your audience — kids! For example, imagine the message you’re sending if there are tables and desks set up versus comfortable, casual, child-friendly seating. Kids are in school all week and you want to differentiate between a school setting and a church gathering. 

Are there inviting activities available that elevate the space from a room to a playful area? At a glance, make it clear that you’ve prepared with kids in mind. 

Struggling in this area? The changes can be simple:

  • If you’re meeting in a school environment, add your classroom to the volunteer checklist. A small team can move desks and chairs and replace them with alternative seating. 
  • Purchase rugs, carpet squares, or bean bags for seating.
  • Designate an area for age-appropriate games or activities to occupy kids before and after teaching times. 

Launch planning? Church Launch Must-Haves | A Safe and Fun Children’s Area

4. Utilizing the Unique Space

Look through the lens of a visiting family and ask if your children's ministry area is sending the right message. Elevate the space with these 5 reachable improvements.

Is your children’s ministry area utilizing its space? 

Portable environments, are you making the most of your non-traditional space?

For a movie theater church like Valley Christian Church in Poughkeepsie, New York, they needed only to re-envision the existing space. 

“We found the theater is actually very clean, modern, and fresh,” said Karen Johnson, head of Valley Christian’s children’s ministry. “The additional things that we bring in simply enhance what’s already there.”

One thing that surprised Johnson when she evaluated the theater as a ministry space was how much room they had to work with.

“I don’t ever recall going down to the front of a theater and realizing how much space is actually down there on the floor,” Johnson shared.

Karen and her team got creative, using mats and play panels to divide the space safely, sending a clear message of innovation and commitment to kids ministry. 

Similarly, theater churches mean that you have access to the desks, chairs, and projectors and a unique asset: the screen. These big screens double as impactful teaching tools. 

Theater church tips: 23 Lessons from 12 Thriving Movie Theater Churches

5. Kid-Themed Decor

Look through the lens of a visiting family and ask if your children's ministry area is sending the right message. Elevate the space with these 5 reachable improvements.

Now that you’ve covered the stale areas and set it up for kids, it’s time to focus on sending a clear message: “This is where the fun happens!” 

LARGE-SCALE IMPRESSION

The possibilities are endless in this department, but most experts will recommend you begin by covering as many walls as possible. Here are two items that we’ve seen transform children’s areas for years, and they’re both available in our store.

  1.  Custom Printed Scuba Walls make quick work of transforming spaces, especially portable spaces over which you have little control. They’re fully customizable and are easily hung from a ceiling grid or pipe and drape.
  2. Another option we’ve seen used successfully is the MediaFabric Pop Up Wall. Used at the kidsmin entrance or within the children’s area, it is visible and serves as a landmark for your ministry — and takes only one minute to set up!

Pro Tip: Make sure to design your pop-up wall with social media in mind. Parents will be posting pictures of their kids in front of it so be sure to add your kidsmin name or church’s name in the frame.

Ordering a pop-up wall or banner for your children’s ministry, lobby, or special service? Consider the photos that will be taken and then posted of that setting and make sure your branding is within the frame.  Click To Tweet

BANNERS, FLAGS, AND MORE

Now that you’ve covered the bland walls and announced your space, it’s time to turn up the volume. Kidsmin environments should not be chaotic and cluttered, but they do need to communicate joy and energy. 

An easy way to make that happen? Flags and banners. 

From the parking lot to the children’s area, flags and banners inject energy into the space. They also serve a purpose as wayfinding tools and traffic directors, but when they’re being designed for kidsmin, they need to be fun, too. 

In our signage gallery, you’ll find ways other churches have levelled up their children’s areas with these resources. 

INCORPORATE THESE CHILDREN’S AREA IMPROVEMENTS

Whether you decide to change your classroom ratios, add some fun fabric walls, or level up your safety procedures, no effort will return void. Not only do you want to provide a safe, kid-friendly space, you also want to make sure the parents feel comfortable sending their kids there. 

When you focus on these 5 areas and make the simple improvements, you will make your dedication to families clear. And as we all know, when a child is comfortable and happy, parents are much more likely to be relaxed and ready for whatever God has for them while they attend your worship experience. 

Get more setup tips for your portable children’s ministry areas with 12 Tips to Transform Your Portable Church Venue Into the Perfect Children’s Ministry Setup.