No, it’s not the highest priority in the Sunday school classroom, but appearances do matter especially in the younger ages. What do the children see when they enter the classroom? How might the physical appearance and design of the classroom serve to help or hinder a child’s experience in musical worship, biblical instruction, and meaningful discussion? These are some considerations to keep in mind as you go about preparing your classrooms. Yes, we are limited by many factors. For example, there may be space and budget constraints, the need for multi-use rooms, etc. But here are a few suggestions to implement if at all possible:
- Make the room as warm and welcoming as possible. The physical appearance will make an impression in a child’s mind.
- Think of the classroom as a type of “sacred” space and decorate it in a manner befitting its purpose: a place where the holiness and majesty of God will be seriously and joyfully proclaimed. The classroom should not have the feel of a playground or game room.
- Refrain from decorations, colors, and design elements that may over-stimulate some children. For example, a room with bright red and lime green walls may not be helpful for setting a calming tone in the classroom.
- Have a sense of order in the room by keeping clutter and mess at a minimum. If possible, keep supplies and other visuals tucked away in cabinets or bins until needed.
- Have clean whiteboards and blank wall spaces available for lesson time.
- Arrange the class in a way that minimizes distractions and maximizes visibility. For example, have the “front” of the classroom, where the teacher will teach, be devoid of doors or windows. If this is not possible, cover the windows with blinds or something similar. Use a moveable floor screen to block sight of the door.
- Have chairs and tables suited to the age and physical needs of the children.
- Throughout the year, make adjustments and changes as needed. Add some new design elements and decorations every now and then to provide variety.
- Look for opportunities to include the children in decorating the classroom, giving it a personal touch.
(Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)