Using the outdoors as part of the learning environment
Are the windows in your church’s preschool area
low enough so that the preschoolers might see outside? If so, consider planting butterﬂy bushes outside near the windows. Planting the butterﬂy bushes provides another teaching/ learning opportunity. You might talk about the different colors of the ﬂowers on the bushes; you might observe the various kinds of butterﬂies that come to the ﬂowers and research with the preschoolers the names of the butterﬂies; you might talk about plant growth. “Thank you, God, for making the butterﬂies!” “Thank you, God, that you have a plan for all creatures to have food.”
for Preschool and Children’s Facilities at Church Houses
Here are some decorating tips for preschool and children’s facilities at church houses:
Making the Best Use of Space:
Choose colors carefully. Colors stimulate. Colors
minimize. Oranges, reds, yellows stimulate the activity level of children. Good colors inside the classroom are soft peach, soft purples, blue purples.
Consider hanging wind chimes outside the
Avoid putting anything on walls that become
preschool windows. Again, listening to the sounds made by the chimes is a great way to distract an upset baby or toddler. You might also offer a prayer of thanks for ears to hear; you might sing a song to thank God for sounds. the older preschoolers and children could plant and cultivate a garden and gather the produce? You might add ﬂower seeds to the garden. A garden is a marvelous teaching/learning tool. Planting and tending a garden develops math skills, science concepts, language skills; it also teaches patience and God’s provision. You might enjoy the gifts from the garden in your classroom; the children would also enjoy sharing the gifts (the ﬂowers and vegetables) from the garden.
permanent or ‘sacred”, such as murals. Sometimes mural are well done; other times they are poorly done. Permission to paint over a mural is difﬁcult to secure, especially if monies for the mural were given by a deceased relative of church members. classrooms should be Biblical. Winnie-the-Pooh and Elmo aren’t Biblical and shouldn’t be in a space designed for and focused on teaching Biblical concepts.
Is there space at your church house that you and
That which is placed on walls in hallways and
The space should say “This is prepared for For more information contact Diane Smith, Children’s Ministry Strategist, Emerging Leaders Team 800.ALL.BGAV Ext. 2256, email@example.com
children. We know children—how they develop and what they need for optimal development.” families; it should look and smell good.
Space should be welcoming to children and their Display the core value of your congregation’s
Children’s Ministry so that anyone entering the preschool and children’s area will know immediately the purpose of the ministry. Some churches use phrases such as “Connecting Children and God,” “Connecting Families and God,” “Helping Children to Be like Jesus.”
I hope you ﬁnd these suggestions for decorating the preschool and children’s spaces at church house helpful. Let me know which suggestions you develop at your church house. Diane Smith Children’s Ministry Consultant Emerging Leaders Team
Made possible by the generous Cooperative Missions gifts of Virginia Baptist Churches afﬁliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia.
Using hallways as a continuation of the learning environment
Secure non-breakable mirrors from a school
supply/teaching resources company and attach to walls at 18” in the preschool area. Attach a nicely printed Bible verse near the mirror. Consider using “I am wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Good sizes for the mirrors are 24” X 48”; consider using bubble mirrors and bubble borders.
animal and bird” (Gen. 2:19). Alternate the Bible thoughts/verses so that children will read (hear) a new verse at different times. An aquarium is a good diversion for toddlers or two-year-olds who are upset.
Have you thought of having a terrarium in the
If the hallway is long:
Paint the end walls of the hallway a bold color,
such as burgundy, gold, purple.
Hang banners from the ceiling. Banners could be
preschool hallway? Terrariums provide easy dialogue about Creation. Again, there are many Bible verses related to Creation. Ask the kindergartners and grade schoolers to paint pictures of their favorite Bible stories. Older grade schoolers might paint pictures related to Creation. Display the paintings for a month to six weeks; give the paintings to children at end of display period to take home. Bible stories. Then, recruit a skilled artist to paint these Bible stories on 3’ X 6’ canvases. Hang in the hallway with a note about the Bible story. Remove and/or rotate to a different location after several months. I would avoid David and Goliath.
Purchase 12” X 18” canvases from a craft store.
portions of Bible verses, Christian symbols (ship for evangelism, shepherd, bread and grapes [Communion], shell [baptism], star, manger, different kinds of crosses, Alpha and Omega, Bible, etc.). Check with your county ﬁre marshal regarding ﬁre codes and regulations. ceiling. Again, check with your county ﬁre marshal.
Install acrylic frames at 20” from the ﬂoor in the
preschool hallway to display the preschoolers’ art. The preschoolers may touch the art without damaging the art project. Parents enjoy seeing their preschoolers’ art. Consider using a Bible verse, “Thank You, God, for hands to make pretty pictures.” These frames are usually 50” long and 15” high and are available through teaching resources companies. ﬁle, frame them, and hang so that bottom of picture is 30” from ﬂoor in the preschool area and 50” from ﬂoor in children’s hallway. Identify the Bible story represented in the Bible picture. Ask questions similar to “Miriam helped her mother care for Baby Moses? How do you help your family?” Providing questions helps parents to discuss the picture with their children. Rotate or add new pictures periodically. many Bible verses that you might display beside the aquarium: “God made every kind of ﬁsh” (Gen. 1:21); “Everything God made was very good (Gen. 1:31); “God made every kind of
Hang long, bold colored strips of fabric along the
Place large diamond-shaped patterns into the tile
Ask grade schoolers to tell you their favorite
Select quality Bible pictures from your picture
or carpet. Use only 3 colors. Stagger the placement of the diamond-shaped patterns. If the building/property committee/team frowns at this, might you achieve the same goal by using ﬂoor cloths that have been painted and cut.
One congregation had a frame shop cut
Aquariums are wonderful! There are many,
several 30” high crosses from white mat board. Each department/class of children (three-yearolds through 6th grade) put their painted | handprints on the crosses. Each cross was labeled with the age/grade of the department/ class (2nd grade, etc.) and hung in the hallway. Teachers added their handprints as well! 4-6) and their parents design and create banners to hang in hallway. Provide dimensions of the banners and content, i.e., Bible verse or Bible story.
Consider having the older children (grades