5 Tips for Better Kids' Classrooms


Many churches are creating areas of natural light in their children’s facilities because natural light has a calming effect on children. Young children can become irritated and unhappy when there is inadequate natural light.

Children’s classes are often in the church basement. To the visiting child and his/her parents, this may communicate a message-our children are not valued.

Our elementary-aged children are on our basement level. Fortunately, we have a patio on one side that opens to the light. We have converted the patio into a small amphitheater for our “Construction Zone” (our version of children’s church). Currently, some of our Sunday school classrooms have large windows that look out into the amphitheater. We want to open up the entire level by taking down the walls and exposing all of the classrooms to the light. This would make natural light available to every area. We would then use moveable partitions to divide the space into classrooms.


I recently visited one of our boys in the hospital. Walking the halls, I realized how unfriendly and uninviting this was to a child. Then I entered the pediatric ward. It was as though I had walked right into a world of imagination. The walls were painted with fun, colorful scenes from storybooks. The cold, sterile environment had suddenly become warm and inviting.

In some churches, children are placed in rooms lined with stacks of chairs, tables, or someone’s junk. No wonder children are not attracted to these rooms. I have yet to walk into a sanctuary lined with chairs or with old sheets of plywood leaning up against the walls.

Children’s space needs to be filled with color, not junk. Even in a small church, walls can be painted with colorful murals of Bible scenes. With a little paint, a blank wall can be transformed into a pathway to adventure.

Each of our early childhood rooms has painted on its walls a bright, colorful mural depicting a Bible theme. Our outside “Construction Zone” amphitheater is painted bright blue with a speckling of other bright colors. The bleachers are bright orange, yellow, green, and mustard. The other “construction zone” items that hang from the walls are painted in bright pinks, purples, and greens. The physical environment is compelling to the children. We believe this is partly responsible for the dramatic increase in children bringing their friends to church.