Here’s more information on providing dedicated spaces for children in a church design; these spaces are primarily for use during church activities like Sunday school. While our last post focused on the needs of the youngest children, from newborns to preschoolers, here will delve into the needs of grade school kids from kindergarten through 5th grade. We’ll also present some examples of children’s spaces in use at various church buildings.

Differing Space Requirements

When designing spaces for grade school children, the spatial requirements differ slightly from those of younger children. Typically, the square footage per child decreases a bit, ranging from 20 to 25 square feet per child, compared to the 25 to 30 square feet needed for younger kids. This is because older children tend to require less individual play space and more communal areas for activities and learning.

Cabinets, Sinks, and Facilities

For grade school children, especially those in kindergarten through 2nd grade, having sinks in the classroom is beneficial, but can add cost to a church design. It’s also more practical to have group restrooms nearby rather than shared restrooms located in a classroom. Cabinets are essential for storage, allowing easy access to supplies and maintaining an organized environment. Closets can serve a similar purpose but aren’t as cost- effective.

A Simplified Design

The first image exemplifies a recent trend towards simplified designs in church classrooms where wall graphics aren’t a focal point. This space features a clean and organized layout with blue chairs and tables that are appropriately sized for young children. The room includes a playhouse and various organized toys, providing a welcoming and engaging environment for kids. The entire area is carpeted, which is suitable for both the safety and comfort of young children. This minimalist approach not only reduces visual clutter but also creates a calm and focused atmosphere for learning and play.

Some Graphics and a Functional Design

In this second image, the design makes use of limited graphics. The look is restrained and used on a single wall to add visual interest without overwhelming the space. The room features cabinets and a centrally- located sink, with tile flooring in front of the sink to create a designated wet area. This approach balances aesthetics with functionality, ensuring that the room remains visually appealing while also being practical. The use of tile in wet areas also prevents water damage to the carpet and makes cleaning easier.

Designing effective spaces for children of any age in church buildings requires thoughtful consideration of the unique needs of various age groups. This is a concept that we discussed in one of our free i3 webinars. To learn more about optimizing church spaces for children, and other aspects of church design and building, we invite you to join in on these webinars. Visit our website for a list of upcoming sessions and to sign up.