Most church ministries include being welcoming and accommodating to children as an important function. It’s one reason we’ve been devoting our recent posts to discussing kids’ spaces in church design, including nurseries and preschools, classrooms, activity spaces, security considerations, and more. Our focus on children’s spaces in church buildings now moves away from the more technical factors to look at creative elements.
Creating a fun dedicated children’s space demonstrates that children are important. Parents will know that you value them because you value their children. Here are some best practices that will help church leaders to create effective children’s spaces in their church design.
Identity and Design
Children’s spaces should have their own identity. It’s common that the design of a church building or any other building, for that matter, has all the spaces and elements flow into each other and complement one another.
When it comes to children’s spaces, however, you want them to stand out. You want them to clearly look like spaces for children, and to be noticeably different from other areas in the church building. This demonstrates to children (and their parents) that the space is just for them.
Even though the children’s spaces should stand out from the rest of the church building, they should be consistent with each other. That’s why you may want to consider developing a master plan for all the elements in your children’s space. These elements can include finishes, a theme—if you’re going to include some sort of theme—furnishings, signage, and play equipment. As you’re planning your project, you really want to think through all of these things upfront, so you can make sure that you are covered in your budget at the end.
Quality of Materials
Another best practice is the use of quality materials. Church leaders will try to be good stewards of the dollars their members have contributed, and this sometimes means searching out the least expensive products and materials in a church design. But the least expensive is often not the longest lasting.
Sometimes good stewardship is spending a little more money for a superior quality product that can stand the test of time and usage. This could come into play with furniture and flooring, especially. And, of course, you want to ensure that the play equipment is of good quality for safety reasons, as well as durability and longevity.
As you’re designing your children’s area, don’t be afraid to use color. Especially for younger children, color plays an important role in developing cognitive and motor skills. But aside from that, it’s another good way to enhance the identity and design of the children’s spaces. Plus, colors are fun and inviting.
Color can be added in a lot of ways. You can add it through flooring, walls, furniture, or accessories, or what could be a combination of all these elements. We will go into more detail about using color in our next post, including some examples of how we use color in children’s spaces for various ages.
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