Providing dedicated spaces for children in a church building is crucial for attracting families to a church community. Ensuring that these spaces are well-designed will create a welcoming environment for kids and their parents alike. Here are some church design elements to include in children’s spaces that are used during church activities and worship. Future posts will delve into the more complex designs required for church buildings that also provide daycare and/or preschool options.

Spaces for Younger Children during Church Activities

These are the typical requirements for younger age groups. For nursery-aged children, typically from birth to 18 months, it’s recommended to allocate around 25 to 30 square feet per child. While this isn’t a strict requirement, it’s a practical guideline to ensure that the space is functional and comfortable. As children grow into the preschool age range (18 months to five years), this space requirement generally remains about 25 to 30 square feet per child, but closer to 25 square feet. Younger children tend to need more room, so space per child for the littlest ones should be larger.

Typical amenities included in these spaces are sinks, cabinets, shared restrooms, and closets. These features help in maintaining a clean, organized, and efficient environment. Sinks and restrooms should be easily accessible and child-friendly. Cabinets and closets provide necessary storage for supplies and personal items. Some designs include built-in closets, while others use moveable supply cabinets to keep the area tidy and functional, but also flexible.

A Schematic Floor Plan Example

To illustrate these concepts, at right is a schematic floor plan for children’s rooms in a church building primarily for church use. The floor plan includes two main classrooms: one for toddlers and one for preschoolers. Here are some of the notable features:

Check-In Area: Located at the entrance of the space for the younger kids, this arched area ensures that children can be safely checked in before entering their classrooms.

Walls and Windows: The black lines on the plan indicate walls, while the thin black lines represent low-visibility windows. These windows allow caregivers to monitor activities without disrupting the children, offering a balance of supervision with minimal distractions.

Classroom Layouts: Each of these classrooms features built-in closets in the corners for storage. The shaded blue section between the rooms is a lavatory equipped with a toilet and a sink, providing facilities that don’t require children to leave the classroom area.

Additional Features: Above the restroom area, you’ll find designated symbols for cabinets, counters, and classroom sinks.

The preschool room is 20 by 20 feet and can comfortably accommodate about 15 children, while the toddler room is 18 by 18 feet and can hold 13. These are not hard and fast room capacities. The preschool room could hold up to 20 children, for example but may feel crowded. 15 is simply the optimal number based on the room’s square footage.

Our next post will focus on children’s spaces for church use for kids older than preschool age. All these recommendations come from our recent i3 webinar on designing children’s spaces in a church building. Each I3 session offers in-depth knowledge and practical insights into the church design and building process. Be sure to sign up on our website for one or all the upcoming sessions!