Have you ever been to a mega-church? You know, the ones with amazing wall murals in their “Children’s Wing”? Every time I visit one of these churches, I get such church-envy. I’m jealous of their amazing decorations. I’m jealous of their huge selection of Fair-Trade coffee. Jealous of the 3-Story playhouse in the lobby. At least I used to be jealous. I had to do a lot of praying, but I realized that all those fabulous features don’t actually bring people into the Kingdom of God. Sure, they might get a few more people in the door, but I’m not convinced the over-the-top decorations and play structures are the way to go, especially after hearing this little girl’s story. However, I do think we need to make the church appealing to the eye. That means keeping things neat and clean and it often means decorating classrooms to make them more inviting for kids and families. Oh yeah, and there should always be coffee around!
Often, smaller and midsize churches are limited by the budget and the “multi-purpose space dilemma”. Here’s a few options we’ve come up with in order to jazz up the Children’s Ministry spaces a bit.
Removable Wall Stickers
I can’t begin to tell you how much I love this invention! These easily removable, easily re-positionable wall stickers are the perfect low-budget alternative to painted wall murals. I picked up this Solar System Wallies Peel and Stick Wall Play Mural on Amazon for $21 and it was a breeze to put up. It really brightened up the room. This room used to be our Wednesday night Kids’ Club room (before our crowd outgrew it) and a kids Sunday School room, so this was a perfect fit. We also decorated the other two walls with circles and robot wall stickers. I love that can take these down if you need to or even move them to another room with ease. You could also rotate wall stickers seasonally so the room always feels fresh and interesting.
We also use a set of circle wall stickers to display monthly jobs on the wall. We meet in the gyms, so any time there is an all church function, we can pull down these circles quickly and then put them back up easy.
Sometimes you can find Scripture verses on sites like Etsy that would be good for highlighting the month’s key verse.
You can find this wall sticker on Etsy for $24 and can customize it to any color you want.
Here’s how it looks in our living room at home:
Paint a Poster
This is a super easy way to add a BIG decoration to your space and coordinate with your monthly theme. For the poster above, I used a drop cloth style canvas and simply hung it with masking tape. I can’t remember where I originally got the canvas, but you can pick up DIY Craft Banners at Oriental Trading for $10.50 per dozen. Paint is much more effective than markers when it comes to coloring a large space so break out those brushes and get to work!
Canvas Style Pictures
Inspired by this post over at Sugar Bee Crafts, I tried my hand at the whole engineering print thing. The photo above was 11×14 inches and it was $3. The woman at Sugar Bee Crafts got hers printed at 4 feet by 3 feet and it was $8. I mounted mine on canvas because that’s what I had on hand, but Mandy did her 1st one on foam board and then another one on plywood. Read all about it here!
You can see another example of modge poster photo over at Life as a Thrifter. Here’s her finished product:
Kids love pictures! Especially pictures of themselves! I saw this great project over at Bits of Everything that showcases a ton of photos in a super neat and orderly way. I haven’t attempted this project yet, but its on my to-do list! If you mount it on the wall with some fishing wire and a command hook, it will be a cinch to remove if needed.
Super Cool Back-Lit Marker Board
My dear friend Paulette picked this up for our ministry at Sam’s Club the other day and we’ve been using it a ton ever since. We used it for the Easter Event (pictured above), but we also use it to display the month’s theme for the parents. Last week, I also used to do a little chalk talk (with the back-light off) and at the climax of the story (Jesus’ death), we shut off the overhead lights and turned on the sign, showing that there is light even when it seems like we are surrounded by darkness. You can pick this up at Sam’s Club for around $110.00 and don’t forget an easel.
Hope these few ideas got you thinking about your own ideas!
Of course, displaying the kids artwork and making bulletin board displays are another great way to keep the room brightly colored and relevant. Check pinterest for some great bulletin board ideas!
What About You?
How do you decorate your classroom and stay within the budget?