There are many areas in a church design that can focus on children. We have already discussed what elements to include in nursery and preschool rooms and K-5 classrooms, including security features. We’ve also discussed activity spaces for kids.

Another consideration is indoor play areas. We design these frequently for churches. Here are some ideas for your church building. 

Play Spaces for All Ages

Play spaces can be open rooms where you can put a lot of portable equipment, or you can opt for fixed equipment that’s anchored to the ground with open space around it. Consider multiple age-appropriate areas within a playroom that are cleverly separated but still family-friendly.

Some play area equipment is geared to older preschool and younger grade school kids, but that doesn’t stop the small toddlers from wanting to play. Those systems aren’t typically made for young toddlers. So, it’s a good idea to have a nearby toddler area to make sure that the family can stay together. We have an example below.

For older kids (and even the parents!), a game area can be a nice touch. It’s another way to keep the family together, allowing every age to do something fun while the younger kids play.

Security and Maintenance Considerations

For security purposes, you may want to consider having a restroom within or near a large play space. This prevents kids from having to wander through the building or go out.

It’s also important to remember that equipment needs to be cleaned frequently and inspected for any potential hazards. This helps to keep kids safe and secure while they’re in your church building. 

Other Uses for Play Spaces

Another advantage to having a play space in your church is that it can be used for outreach. For example, a birthday party room can be set up for reservation or rental. Your play space can be a great spot for birthday parties, too, giving kids the chance to play, and to have an area to eat cake and open gifts.

This approach is a popular and effective way to get people into your church at other times during the week. It’s also a way to reach into the community and attract new attendees.

Indoor Play Example

Here’s a play area example that demonstrates visually some of the ideas that we’ve discussed. A toddler play area is separated by a knee wall from a tree house play area. You can see tables in the back where people can sit.

Notice the tall glass outside wall at the back? That’s something we like to do because it creates wonder—it’s outreach-driven. When families drive by the church, they can see into the play area. Children will wonder what the area is and hopefully bug mom and dad to go there to check it out!

Want more church design ideas? Join our monthly i3 webinar series to learn about the latest trends and topics related to church building and design. These free sessions are a great way to hear from our experts.