Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Spirituality and the Arts in Children's Programming: A Resource for Religious Educators


Space is rarely talked about in church school programming but it is one of the most important aspects of an arts experience. You need to look at the space that is allotted to your class to decide which experiences can work for the group. Do you have a large group of children and a small space? Is there too much furniture in the space to make drama, movement or dance a possibility? Can it be stacked to one side? Is the space a more formal room not conducive to paints and water? Can you request that furniture be moved or is there another temporary space that the class could use? Is there an outdoor area available that could be used if the weather cooperates? Can you cover an expensive rug with a tarp for the morning? Make sure that you discuss these questions with your Religious Education leadership beforehand so that the class goes smoothly.

Tables are great for visual art activities but there needs to be enough space to have both materials and paper ready for the children. Each child should have enough space to work without bumping into other children. Don't require all children to work at a table; they may be more comfortable on the floor or in the corner for some privacy. Provide sturdy trays or large clipboards to hold paper or clay for children who prefer the floor.

If there is no water source in the classroom, you can set one up easily with a small table, a pitcher of clean water, two tubs (one for washing hands and one for washing brushes or cleaning up), and a bucket underneath the table to pour dirty water into. This set-up will minimize children having to leave the classroom space to use the bathroom.