The Design Thinking Process-Design A Children’s Ministry Space
#1: Understand. Develop Background Knowledge
Observe your physical spaces. Talk with your Children’s Ministry Team of children, church leaders, church members, and community members. Talk about what the Children’s Ministry is doing. Ask questions and reflect on what is seen. Throughout this process, develop a sense of empathy. Explore the web, and get information for other designed Children Ministry spaces.
Little Mountain specializes in children’s, youth and adult spaces creating stage sets, themed environments, interior design and digital puppetry.
#2: Point of view. Focus on becoming aware of the needs of the Children’s Ministry space, and develop insights. How will changes that will have an impact on the children’s experiences be made in the space?
How might we engage the culture of our Children’s Ministry?
How might we show and invite all cultures of people into the space?
How might we have children move through the space?
How might children engage in our experience design?
How might we support our Children’s Ministry narrative?
How might we make our children feel powerful by having a clear cause and effect on their immediate environment?
How might we create sharable stories that children, parents, and church members tell through word-of-mouth in the community and social media?
How might we make use of best practices with technology to merge the Children’s Ministry space with digital spaces.
How might we design a free mobile app that serves as a guide and memory book in order to enhance the children’s experience while in the space. For example, access to interesting biblical facts and photos of the surroundings.
How might we design a way that children and caregivers can take and place favorite pictures and memories from their visit into a personalized memory book. This book can be shared using social media and kiosks onsite at the church.
How might we involve volunteer teen techies and techies locally, nationally, and internationally, in our Design group?
How might we make our Children’s Ministry space accessible to children and caregivers with disabilities.
How might we make use of a themed approach?
How might we eliminate hallways with corridors?. How can we create assembly spaces for a group experience, with breakout rooms.
#3: Ideate. Brainstorm an immeasurable categorization of ideas. Take this action with merriment. Suspend judgement. No idea is far-fetched. No one’s ideas are rejected. Create. Become wishful thinkers and risk takers.
According to Feinberg & Keller, 2010, who wrote “Designing Space for Children and Teens in Libraries and Public Places”…Always keep in mind that the perception of scale for children is horizontal. Children love small nooks or portals that are in scales with their own size. Think about children crawling, walking, and sitting on the floor.
#4: Prototype. Sketch and build models of the Children’s ministry teams ideas.
Don’t forget to add outdoor learning opportunities that promote a direct experience with nature, and foster a sense of community and responsibility for the natural environment.
#5: Test. Discuss what works and what doesn’t. Then go back and modify the prototype.
Dream, create, and design a fantastic Children’s Ministry Space.