Seating for Opening Time Ideas

Seating for Opening Time Ideas

Question asked: I'm wondering if anyone has ideas or plans for child friendly seating in the opening room? What I have in my mind is kind of like risers, covered with carpeting, in several units that could be made into kind of amphitheater seating. Has anyone tried this, or seen something workable? Currently, we are using adult sized metal folding chairs - look bad, uncomfortable and noisy!


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Lisa:
We have 5 groups that meet on Sunday morning, 3 on Sunday night, and the same 5 again on Wednesday night. We purchased "bath sheets" which are super large towels in 5 bright colors. Each group is assigned a color and when the children come in they go immediately and sit on their color. Visitors are easy to spot because they are left standing and can be introduced to their shepherd and group. Each group then lines up as they are called and go to their rotation of the day. This method has cut down on noise and confusion for us. Hope this helps.

We have a campsite style area set up by a wonderful family every Saturday, so it is ready for Sunday morning. Each age group has their own area, that includes a $5.00 Walmart red Fleece blanket [lightweight & easy to wash], that the children can sit on, along with a small pine tree and a 5 gallon bucket that is painted brown and turned up-side down[which resembles a tree stump] for the adventure guide to sit on. There are also two old in good shape plaid sleeping bags that the children can sit on when we have special speakers or a skit during the opening, that provide additional space. Since the children have music and motion during this time, they are usually standing for the majority of the time.

We use the fellowship hall now. We were in a smaller room, but the children and teachers did not fit, they resembled sardines! Now, we set up 160 chairs every week and take them down every week. Because it is shared space, trying to come up with something that would be easier and value the children at the same time has been difficult. We set the chairs up along with the screen for the overhead, the pulpits, the sound and cans for offering. I thought about the children on the floor, but girls with dresses have a difficult time. We fit into the room, just a hassle with shared space.

We are in our fourth year of rotation and we have used rubbermaid tubs to direct the different classes. Each age group/class has a symbol that appears on their nametags, the shepherds name tag and the tub. The children sit on the floor with the shepherd around their tub. The class symbols are also on their workshop sign for that week and on their Bibles which they take from the altar to their workshop space each week. This has worked well and does not create a lot of set up work either.

We use cushions (the simple, flat ones that make a hard chair more comfortable) for each student.  We cover them with material and then the students decorate them with their name and other designs in fabric paint.  We have a lot of students who come only occasionally and this lets them know that there is always a place for them with us.  We also have a couple of Visitor cushions for guests.  When people move away or graduate, we recycle the cushions by recovering them with fabric.  We found the cushions made a huge difference in keeping wiggly students from becoming noisy disruptions.

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