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10 Ways to Make Church "Fun" for Kids

Listen as parents pick up their children after Sunday School or Kids' Church. Most of the time you will hear parents ask their children this question:

Did you have fun today?

Fun at church. What exactly does that mean? What are parents really asking their children?

When they ask "Did you have fun today?" what they are really asking is...

Did you have any friends there?

Was the teaching relevant to your life?

Did they get your attention?

Did anyone pray for you?

Fun means so much more than fun. If fun means solely that children are entertained, then we've fallen way short of what we should be seeking to accomplish during class time.

Fun means sharing God's Word with children in a way that captures their attention and engages their heart, mind and soul. Fun means you teach children using the methods they learn best by.

The opposite of fun is boredom. Boredom happens when children's ministry leaders try to teach children using outdated methods. When boredom sets in, children will begin to squirm, talk and disengage. If your teaching is boring, kids will invent their own interactive curriculum.

This being said, let's look at 10 ways you can make church fun for kids.

#1 - Give them opportunities to talk. The opposite of fun is forcing kids to sit and listen to a talking head for an extended period of time. Use icebreakers, discussions and other opportunities to get kids talking. Be intentional about creating designated time for kids to talk throughout class time.

#2 - Use games to learn. Kids love to play games. Tie games into the lesson. Use games to spark conversations about the lesson truth. Don't play games just to be playing games. Make it a key part of your lesson.

#3 - Give them lots of opportunities to move. Kids...they've got to move it...move it...move it. It's wired in their DNA. Use worship songs that include motions. As mentioned, play games and use activities that get them moving.

#4 - Get them in a small group where they can talk with and interact with caring leaders. A previous point I mentioned was giving kids the opportunity to talk. The best place for this to happen is in a small group, Sunday school setting.

Work hard to make sure your ratios are good. This will give volunteers the time they need to engage kids with individual and group conversations. It's hard to have individual conversations in a "small" group of 20 kids.

#5 - Find ways they can serve. Ask a group of children if they are willing to serve and you'll see almost all their hands go up. Kids love to serve. They want to make a difference. We just need to give them an opportunity to do so. Kids can run audio/video. Kids can be greeters. Kids can help clean up. Kids can help distribute class materials. The list goes on.

Someone said the reason many adults don't serve is because they were told to "sit still and be quiet" when they were children. So they grow up and that's what they do.

#6 - Use lots of visual imagery. Kids hear with their eyes. I was at a church consulting this past weekend and I sat in for one of their large group sessions. When the teacher was talking, the kids were restless and weren't engaged. They then used a video for the lesson and when the video started, you could have heard a pin drop. All of the kids got still and listened without exception. Make sure you are using curricuulm that has plenty of visuals.

#7 - Use curriculum that engages children and captures their attention. Does the curriculum you are using grab kids' attention? Does it have a good mixture of video and live teaching? Check out my curriculum - Connect 12. I guarantee you the kids will engage with it throughout the class time.

#8 - Hang out with them before and after service. Pre-service and post-service are great times to invest in children and connect with them. Make sure your volunteers are spending time with the kids before and after service. This makes a big difference and helps make church "fun" for kids.

#9 - Enlist high school volunteers. Kids love high schoolers. That's why "High School Musical" was so popular with kids. Work with your youth pastor to get teens serving in children's ministry. Not only will it benefit the kids, but it will help the teens serve Jesus as well. Stats show that teens who serve have a much greater chance to follow Jesus for a lifetime.

#10 - Sing modern worship songs that will sing to. Is your worship time fun? Does it get kids moving and clapping? The best way to judge this is simple. Just watch them during worship and see if they are singing. If they are not singing and engaging with the motions, it may be time to try some new worship songs and get some volunteers who can lead with more energy.

Your turn. What are some other ways you make church "fun" for kids? Share your thoughts and insight in the comment section below.

p.s. My book "If Disney Ran Your Children's Ministry" is a great resource to help you make your church "fun for kids." You can get your copy at this link.


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