Friday, July 1, 2011

Resources for Worship

Activities for children can be found in
the Narthex, just before you enter Church.
So you are ready to bring the children to Church this summer! Here are a few tips!
  • Sit near the front! Parents are always inclined to sit towards the back to make quick exits if needed, but I encourage you to sit where children can actually see the altar and all of the activity of the service. This lets them know that what is happening relates to them and gives them the opportunity to participate. 
  • Be easy on yourself and your children. We don't expect silence in worship. The sounds of children giggling and asking questions helps us to know that our entire family is present at God's table! Take time in worship to snuggle a little one or hold a child's hand.
  • Developmentally, young children will not be able to follow the entire service, but they can tune in to particular moments and they can participate more and more as they grow. Whisper a question about something you see happening on the altar. Point out something in the bulletin. Have your child join in on an easy hymn or a simple response. Children can follow the service with the yellow "We Go To Church" cards (below) and older children can follow along in the bulletin. Remember, when children are engaged in quiet activity they still absorb so much! 
  • The Nursery is open during the summer months from 10:15-11:45 am for infants and toddlers, and the occasional preschooler who needs a break from worship.
  • Take advantage of the quiet activities I have put together for children in the Narthex. Here are some of the things you will find:
I've just added this beautiful finger labyrinth to our shelves. Children have used
 labyrinths in atrium for meditation and prayer and they enjoy them.
These from-your-seat scavenger hunts include pictures from
around the Sanctuary and can be done more than once!

There are three 3-part card material packets featuring pictures of the people and sites in our Church for the children to identify. Have them lay the pictures out on the pew. Then whisper the word cards one at a time to your non-reading child so he or she can find the match. Older children can also match the definition cards to the pictures. Also, pick up a yellow "We Go To Church" card and have your child follow the service using the clothes pin attached. Non readers can follow along using the pictures! Flip the card over for more advanced readers.
Books, clip boards, and crayons are always available and popular!

Do you have ideas for other activities that we could add to our shelves? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below! You could also put together a special bag of books and activities at home that your child would enjoy, and save it to bring to Church on Sunday mornings.

See you in Church!


  1. Leslie, I really admire your philosophy of exposing the children to the adult worship. The hand labyrinth is also beautiful!

  2. Thanks, Leslie! You either read my mind or read my comment to your previous post! Great suggestions!

  3. what a great encouragement to engage small children in the liturgy. sadly, we fall into the "sit in the back because the kids might be a little on the energetic side" category. but we are going to change our ways! thanks, les. love you. xoxo

  4. Thanks Sheila! I love that hand labyrinth too!
    Kimberly, I was away on vacation and had this post scheduled. But you could say I read your mind because I've been there myself many times!
    Ton, don't be discouraged! every little thing you do can be a help. Sit in the front and be proud!
    Thanks for reading everyone!

  5. the hand labyrinth is awesome, can i borrow the idea for my classroom.? i wish resources like these had been so readily and beautifully available when my children were youngsters. what a blessing to your church families.

  6. @lori Hi Lori, Thanks for your comment! Of course you can grab the labyrinth idea! I know I'm not the first to have it!!! I got these beautiful ones on clearance at Washington Cathedral but I just checked and they are gone. Darn it! We have several types of hand held labyrinths in our different atria - including a foot wide one made of wood, and several different types made of metal. I hope you find something nice. Thanks for reading!


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