There are so many favorite things I love about kidmin.  When I think about what’s at the top of my list, it becomes really obvious:

I love community!

We remodeled our kids space at one of our campuses recently.  One of the features we placed in the new space is now one of my very favorite things.  We built an indoor play area.  It’s not terribly huge or over the top by any means – but it is a pretty amazing space. After visiting several churches, I have wanted an indoor play area for our ministry. Here are a few thoughts on the fruit we have seen from the investment.

  1. Community Free Play: We open our doors and invite the community to come in and play.  We post our hours on our website and schedule Free Play intentionally as much as possible.  Families are welcome to bring friends and set up play dates.  We have a television in the area that continually runs information about programming we offer on the weekends.  There is no fee and no expectation, we just open our doors and invite our friends to play.
  2. Birthday Party Outreach: We have specific times for families to schedule birthday parties.  They don’t need to prove need or even be a member of the church.  We have a contract, where we share expectations of how to clean up after use.  Families in our community have loved it.  Birthday parties are such a big deal to kids and so many families and friends attend.  It has been a great way for folks to come into our space without feeling pressure.
  3. Weekday Outreach: We used our play area to launch a story and craft time for early childhood kids during the week.  Our town does not have a public library, which usually does these kinds of activities.  On of my staff members thought it would be fun to offer a book book reading and craft time for our guests. This idea was so well received, we had to move our story/craft time in to one of our larger rooms. We do this once a month and our families look forward to it!

I know that most churches don’t have indoor play areas, but that doesn’t mean they can’t connect with their community in meaningful ways. Maybe think about utilizing one of your larger gathering rooms to invite families in for a story and craft.  During the summer months, (when it’s blazing hot) folks are always looking for ways to keep their kids busy without spending a ton of money. It doesn’t have to be anything like VBS, just a fun story that kids will love and craft that their families can help them complete.

Our play area is one of my favorite things about our ministry, but it really isn’t the play area itself.  It is the community and experiences that the play area affords our family and friends.