Monday, March 10, 2014

Elementary Children's Ministry Essentials . . . Design Top-Notch Classrooms!

Have you ever have had an opportunity to see elementary children's ministry classes in a large church - one which is decorated to the nines? While you might want to have compelling and cool classrooms in your ministry, what do you do when it just isn't in your budget? Let me tell you - you can have a truly top-notch elementary children's ministry area . . . on a shoestring budget! Consider these ideas for developing the environment for the children in your church - 

Paint! A fresh coat of paint can really freshen up any children's ministry area!
  • You may be tempted to paint your classrooms bright colors, but resist such a temptation . . . paint your walls a pale, pastel or neutral shade and then decorate according to the time of year and according to your Bible theme. 
  • Plan a paint-n-party day! Invite the people in your church to join you to paint your classrooms. Provide sandwiches . . . or have a pot-faith picnic and ask families to bring sandwiches, chips, cookies and veggie sticks to share for one big picnic! Provide lemonade and you have all the makings for a fun and productive day!
In addition, consider the following ideas to make your elementary children's ministry spaces unique and usable -
  • Hang colorful posters which you change from time to time in your classrooms - for safety reasons, use tape or Handy-tak instead of thumbtacks to hang posters. 
  • Use posters which show elementary children doing the things the children in your ministry enjoy doing and posters of Bible themes which correspond with the lessons you are teaching.
  • Consider making your own posters; use a digital camera to take photos of the kids in your class, enlarge them, and post them for a personal touch around your room kids and parents will love! 
  • Involve the kids by having them color posters which connect with the Bible themes and lessons you're teaching and then hang them around the room.
Inexpensive, yet fun special "touches" for your elementary classes . . . 
  • Your classrooms could make great use of bulletin boards - assign small groups their own spaces so they are able to show and share the exciting things happening with their group - allow them to post photos showing their service projects, specific missionaries they are praying for and any small group get-togethers. This is a great place to post photos of the kids doing things in your children's ministry; kids and parents . . . and your entire church . . . will enjoy these! Ask a handy person in your church to build some quality bulletin boards - place some in classrooms and others in the halls around your classrooms. An added bonus to this is when the people in your church see the excitement in your children's ministry, they will be more willing to become personally involved!
  • Use chalkboard paint to make a "look what is new" space where you can promote Bible themes, special events and more! Consider painting a specific area in each of your small group's spaces with chalkboard paint and encourage small groups to use this space for children to each write or draw one thing they learned from each week's lesson. The following week give small groups a few moments to follow up with their kids to see what they did and how they lived what they learned. 
Bulletin boards, posters and chalkboard paint are inexpensive and yet provide a way for you to make your elementary children's ministry classes reflect a cool and personal touch . . . on a shoestring!

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