We are just getting ready to launch a new campus. We have a smaller space available for our kids ministry rooms, but we still wanted to make it fun and kid friendly. So, we decided to make a photo wall down our kids hallway. The idea can from a photo I saw on worshipfacilities.com . Here’s what we did to make it.
Step 1. We took pics of some kids in our kids ministry. We tried to get close up shots of kids faces and them in action. I contacted the parents of each child to get permission to print and display their child’s photo. Then I ordered photos to be printed on canvas. These pics are 30″ x 30″ and were aprox. $75 each. Bestcanvas.ca was where we ordered them from. They had the best prices I could find online, and the quality was great! No taxes, duty or shipping cost (on orders over $150). I searched for a coupon code so that saved us extra money as well. They shipped within 24 hours and arrived in just a few days. Talk about fast turn around!
Step 2. I asked some handymen to cut me some rectangles from 1/2 inch 4×8 MDF board. I took a piece of paper 4inchs by 8 inches and drew out how many rectangles could fit on one board in various sizes.
This is what they looked like when they were all cut out. We used 4 sheets of MDF board, but we probably only needed 2 or 3. We had a lot left over.
Step 3. I took the pieces of wood and set them out on the floor as I ‘freestyled’ the design. I left spaces that were 32 x 32 inches (or the dimensions of the photos with a little space around) so that the pics would fit in the design.
Step 4. I took a panoramic photo of the design so I would remember how to put it together later. We used 6 colours of paint. (They were the same colours used in our kids rooms.) I dabbed my finger in a bit of paint and smeared it on each board so I would know what colour to paint each board. We only painted the boards needed for the design and not the extras. Each board got 2 coats of paint. I printed the panoramic photo on 11×17 paper, and took a q-tip and dabbed the colours on the printed version so that I would remember what colours went where. We let the paint dry and transported everything to the location where it was to be installed.
Step 5. I set out the pieces on the floor in the hall where we were putting the photo wall. I used the 11×17 panoramic map to help me figure out where the pieces went.
Step 6. My handymen helped me put the pieces up on the wall. We found the center of the wall and hung the center photo up first. Then we placed the coloured rectangles around the photo according to the panoramic map that I printed on 11×17 paper. The rectangles were hung by using a nail gun & nails. We worked our way out from the center doing one side then the other.
Step 7. The final touch is to fill in the tiny holes left from the nails & paint over them.
We love that the pictures are of kids from our church and they are creatively displayed!
On a recent trip to California, I went to visit Sandals Church. This amazing group of people showed us around their building & shared their stories of what they are doing to see people come to know Jesus. Here are a few things that I learned from our visit with them.
1. Their average weekend attendance is 5799 people and in 2014 they had 3890 first time attenders. They run 7 services at 2 locations each weekend.
2. Their kids and youth area were themed in a way that was appropriate for each age group, yet it all tied into the look of the whole building.
3. They have some creative people on their kids staff who write their own songs & make videos for their kids worship. It was fantastic! (Shout out to Andrew & thank you for giving me a jump drive of your videos at CPC. You rock!)
4. They had bulletin board for their volunteers where they communicated “stuff” with their volunteers.
5. Kids got a button on their birthday (just like at Disney!).
I went to visit Church In the Son in Orlando Florida. Their Sunday morning program for kids is called G.A.K. (God’s Anointed Kids) They have worked hard to create a space that kids will want to come to so they can teach them about Jesus. Here’s what I loved about this kids space:
The Look – They took tables, chairs, sofas etc and painted them or made them look new again in a way that screams “We love kids”.
Game Center – Kids love video games. They included this in their design so that kids had the option to choose an activity that was already familiar to them when they arrived.
Activity Center Area – They had lots of room to include spaces for kids to build relationships with other kids and with volunteers.
Stage – Their set was ‘interactive’. It included video as well as different places where people could appear from behind the set. They also had tons of storage space behind their set.
Mailboxes – Kids could write letters to the kids pastor, or to different characters that appeared on the stage for different stories.
Lobby – This area matched the color scheme of the GAK room and had signs that clearly communicated where people should take their children and where to pick them up.
When I went to Northpoint Community Church in Atlanta, I was excited to see their Kids Area. Each area was appropriately themed for the kids in that age group. These pictures are from their preschool area. Preschoolers sat on wide risers with their small groups to listen to the Bible Story. The hallways were brightly painted and doors had gates on them to keep kids in while the doors were open. They had signs to communicate information to parents. The volunteers were friendly and very helpful. Room capacity and volunteer to child ratios were displayed. I got the impression that if you left your child there, they would be safe and well cared for.
As I walked through their kids area, they communicated a message without speaking to a single person.
Attention to detail.
Planned in advance.
Volunteers well trained.
Kids are valued.
What message are you communicating to families when they walk through your kids area?