Hey there, KidMin Friends!
I hope everyone has had a wonderful week...and that you're all ready to bring your kiddos to Jesus on Sunday! :D
I was thinking about what makes our "spaces" kid-friendly, exciting, and a place to which they want to return. Of course, there's lots and lots of things to help with this, but here I want to discuss 6 that I believe are very important. Now, you may have a different set of ideas for what you like your space to have...if so, I'd love to hear about them! :D I always enjoying hearing from people to learn what is working for you.
Before I jump into this, I wanted to mention that I am working on something VERY exciting...and of course, it has to do with KidMin. If you'd like to be the first to know when it's ready, make sure to subscribe to my site. :D You'll also get a fun, free download from me, when you subscribe. So don't forget!
OK, let's jump in...
The very first, and most important element is.....
Cleanliness! Of course we ALL know this! But just keep it in mind, and check those little things. We want to make sure that our parents feel secure in sending their children to our spaces. Wash down chairs and light switches; make sure bathrooms are pristine; if you have plastic names tags and lanyards, make sure to wash those as well. Go the extra mile, so your parents don't have any second thoughts.
Signature Scents I know, this may be something new to you...and to be honest, we haven't implemented it yet! But I plan to. Remember a time when you went somewhere and had a great time? Now, everytime you smell that "apple pie" (or whatever it was), you remember that place. Yep, that's what I mean. Use plug in scents and even room sprays that all match and have a calming, but not too strong scent. If all your children's areas smell like this one scent, and your children have a blast...what will they remember years down the road when they smell that again? YOUR MINISTRY!
Safety Check your surroundings and make sure that all your areas are safe. Depending on the age group you work with, you may need to have outlet covers. Make sure that scissors, staplers, any nails, etc. are all well out of reach of little fingers. Check for areas that could cause an accident, like tripping on power cords, or falling down steps. Look at your area as if you have a toddler just beginning to walk...make it safe enough for that situation!
Kid-Friendly Size This is important to make them feel welcome. Don't simply settle for the regular sized folding chairs. Purchase the small, elementary sized plastic chairs. (See my blog post on fund raising ideas, if money is an issue.) Also, we try to stay away from folding chairs, since it's easy for little fingers to get pinched in them. Speaking of "kid-sized"...we lowered our soap and paper towel dispensers in the bathrooms in our children's area. And we also have a step stool at the sink. Look around and make sure that all your play areas and usable areas are "kid-sized"...make them feel that this is THEIR area.
Fun...and "Usable" By this I mean...don't implement so many props and special stage sets, etc. that the kids feel they can't touch anything. Of course, our stage is off limits, because that's how a church stage should be. But don't make the kids feel that they can't touch props and decor, so much so that they feel they can't even move around. Lay your boundaries and set guidelines, but within reason. Again, your area needs to feel like it's "Their" area.
Attractiveness Lastly, remember that you want to have the "wow" factor when your kids walk in. This can be accomplished in many different ways. Creative Environments, special painting, props, lighting....create an area that is exciting and makes them want to come back. Special lighting can be used if you can't paint walls. There are strobe lights, star showers, and lots of special effects options right on Amazon for a decent price. Hang things from the ceiling; string lights around the walls...do a search for Children's Church areas and see what others are doing. You'll come away with more ideas than you can use! :D
Most of all...be creative...think outside the box...make it exciting!
Don't forget to head over to the home page to subscribe....and get your free gift. :D Fun things coming this summer!
I hope you guys have a blessed weekend...and we'll talk to you again soon.
Sara Vojtasek & Joel's Vision Ministries