Thursday, July 2, 2015

Classroom Carpet Squares and Rounds

Children's Ministry Resource Co.

"It's story time.  Everybody sit down in a semi-circle around me."  Most students know that story time means time to let their imaginations run wild.  For some, story time also means sitting down on a cold and often less-than-clean floor!  For decades conscientious teachers have found ways to warm up that dingy floor by repurposing carpet dealer sample squares.  Some of those samples are still found piled in classroom corners. 

Kits On the Go Carpet Squares

 Think for a moment about carpet squares.  They really are a convenient way to allow for quick story time seating.  And that's why in recent years, leading manufacturers have reinvented the carpet square, adding some fun and practical options. 
Kits On the Go Carpet Rounds

Today, carpet squares and now “rounds” are available in vibrant colors, designs, and 12", 14", 16" and 18" sizes.

Kits On the Go Storage Box

 Several even come in a case allowing neat and easy storage when not in use!
Toddler Alphabet Blocks 14" Carpet Squares

Carpet squares and rounds are not just for circle time seating anymore.  Their number and letter designs allow educators to teach young children colors or odd and even numbers.   

Number Blocks 16" Carpet Squares

Various colors and patterns make class dismissal or room transitioning go much more smoothly by allowing children to be dismissed by color or number arrangements.   

Carpet squares and rounds also let teachers determine the distance between pieces for proper seating space, allowing for plenty of wiggle room.
School Kids 18" Seating Carpet Squares


These colorful designs are not just for school classrooms but are also perfect for multipurpose rooms and churches meeting in temporary locations!  

Check into carpet squares and rounds for your classroom environment. They'll put a smile on your student's faces!  Available at:   Carpet Squares and Rounds

Friday, June 5, 2015

First Impressions Count

It’s always exciting to see new growth in a church, especially when it involves young families.  Is your church expanding?  Are you seeing young parents come through your doors for the first time? If so, that’s wonderful!

Now here’s something to think about.  When those young parents are toting infants, the main doors to your church may not necessarily be the ones they are most interested in.  Their primary focus may be what they see through your church nursery doors.  How they feel about what they see may determine whether those young parents will chose to return.

Our times have changed.  Many young parents are much more mindful of clean, safe places for their children.  If you work in children’s ministry, take a moment to stand in your nursery doorway.  Imaging yourself as a visiting parent of an infant or toddler.  What do you see?  Is your church nursery welcoming, clean, safe, and updated?  If you have any doubts, it might be time for a nursery makeover. Let’s take a look at several basic items where change could prove to be very beneficial.

Infant cribs are one area of child care that has seen the most amount of change in recent years.   All cribs sold in the USA must now comply with the 2010 federal crib safety standards.  These standards mean cribs today have been redesigned to be more structurally sound and able to pass additional rigorous testing. Cribs today are equipped with metal frames and fixed sides.  They now have improved mattress support, stronger slats, and more durable hardware.

There are many options when it comes to cribs.  It may surprise you to know that compact cribs, measuring approximately 39” long x 26” wide, are currently the most common crib used in childcare centers and church nurseries.  When space is at a premium, compact cribs simply take up less of it. The mattress can usually be adjusted to several different heights allowing the crib to be used as a bassinet for newborns or lowered for toddler use.  Options include slatted, mirrored or clearview headboards, fixed or easy access gate sides, and storage drawers.

Imagine the unthinkable… the fire alarm sounds and you have a nursery full of infants and toddlers and not enough arms to carry all to safety.  Fortunately, there is a very practical solution in evacuation cribs.  These cribs serve two purposes; to provide a rest area and to serve as a transportation vehicle. If an emergency occurs, as many as six small children (up to a total of 180 lbs.) can be easily loaded into the crib and moved from harm’s way. These cribs measure approximately 26” wide x 39” long, allowing easy passage through doorways.  Reinforced legs and heavy duty 4” caster wheels allow the cribs to smoothly roll over door thresholds, rough pavement, and grassy areas.

 (Note:  Consider storing an emergency backpack near an evacuation crib which could also be quickly taken to a place of safety. These backpacks would contain water, diapers, wipes, and warm blankets.  You never know how much time will be spent outside before the scene is cleared and parents are allowed to pick up their children.)  Every church nursery should have evacuation cribs in the event of an emergency. 

Rocking chairs and church nurseries have gone hand in hand for decades.  But today’s childcare rocking chairs are known as glider rockers.  As the name suggests, the rockers glide instead of rock.  The reason?  To prevent injury to little fingers.  In fact, glider rockers for church nurseries should be fully enclosed and tip-resistant.  They feature extra-wide seating making it easier to feed infants.  Cushion covers may be removed for laundering.  Childcare glider rockers are large, rather bulky, and more expensive but a safe option to consider.

When choosing a changing table and/or diaper organizer, select ones that are sturdy and have child proof locking doors to prohibit young hands from accessing supplies.  You might also consider a changing table paper roll dispenser and a wall mounted diaper organizer as convenient options.

Why not add color to your floors with the use of play rugs and toddler classroom carpets.  These floor coverings are available in creative options.  Choose bright solid colors and patterns or consider a faith-based rug.  Many faith-based rug options illustrate a Biblical character or verse.  Many small play rugs are machine washable.  Larger classroom carpets may be steam cleaned (always check the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning procedures.)  Some solid color childcare carpets are even bleach resistant.

Ever see a small child stand before a mirror?  They often appear mesmerized by the image of themselves.  Consider having shatter-resistant acrylic plastic mirrors installed at a child’s eye level in your nursery.  Add geometric and decorative mirror shapes to provide added reflective fun! 

Nothing says neatness to a young parent like storage shelves do.  Use cubby shelving units for storing diaper bags and coats.  Consider low level toddler height shelves for storing toys, blocks, puzzles and books.

Toddler Tables were first developed with church nurseries in mind.  Talk about a brilliant invention!  Toddler Tables are strong, sturdy tables, with cut out areas for infant and toddler seating.  Each child seat is literally built into the tabletop!  Ideal for feeding, teaching, and playing with a group of up to eight little ones.  Both table and seats are easily cleaned and sanitized.

Play activity tables and chairs should be age appropriate.  For example, a table for a 2 year old child should be approximately 14” in height and his or her chair seat should be no more than 8” from the floor.  Many cute design options available in these dimensions.

So again, what do you see when you view your church nursery from the doorway?  Remember, first impressions matter.  Make your church nursery say, “Welcome to our safe, clean, attractive, loving space for your precious child.”  In so doing, you could make it much easier for that next set of visiting young parents to say, “I think we’ve just found our next church home.”

Written by:  Dee Davis from Children's Ministry Resource Co.,, for the Religious Product News Magazine, June 2015 issue.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Candy Cane Table Decoration

Time for Christmas parties!  Here's a simple and inexpensive candy cane table decoration perfect for any children's Christmas party. Have fun!

Candy Cane Table Decoration

Materials needed: 
8 candy canes
28 -30" long piece of 1.5-2" wide wire edged ribbon

* Gather 8 candy canes together
* Tie the ribbon around the canes into a nice bow (may need an extra helping hand to hold the candy canes as you tie the ribbon)
* Adjust the candy canes and bow into a standing position

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Magnetic Flannel Board

You’ve heard the phrase “what goes around comes around.”  Well apparently it’s true with, believe it or not, those Bible story flannel board felt sets you may recall from your Grandparent's days as Sunday school students.  At the church we attend we recently set out a variety of toys for first grade children to play with during their Sunday kid's ministry activity time. The toys included building blocks, a puzzle, a chalk art project, and a felt and flannel board set with pre-cut characters illustrating a particular Bible story. It was interesting to see the children drawn to the felt set. They appeared to be “telling the story" themselves with the brightly colored hands-on visuals. Children’s ministry teachers have found the Bible felt sets a beneficial resource to use on occasion.

We’ve found a simple and very economical way to make flannel boards that attach to already installed classroom magnetic dry erase boards. The flannel boards can easily be stored away when not in use.  Again, easy to make, easy to store, and inexpensive!  Here’s how to make your own.


Materials needed:
  * poster board
  * flannel material
  * spray adhesive
  * fabric cutter
  * decorative self stick felt designs (optional)

* Spread the flannel out smooth on a flat surface making sure there are no wrinkles
* In a well ventilated area generously spray the adhesive on one side of the poster board making sure the entire surface and all edges are completely sprayed
* Immediately place the adhesive side down onto the flannel cloth pressing down firmly. 
* Carefully use the cutter to trim away the excess fabric from the poster board edges
* If desired attach decorative self stick felt pieces

* Attach magnetic strips to the back side of the poster board.

* Attaches to magnetic dry erase boards!

* Use in small group classrooms or activity centers

Sample of felt sets available at:
Children's Ministry Resource Co.

Birth of Jesus Pre-Cut Felt Set

Fruit of the Spirit Pre-Cut Felt Set

Emotions Pre-Cut Felt Set

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jesus Lessons in Parables Bulletin Board

Jesus Lessons in Parables Bulletin Board Poster Set is at the top of our favorites list! Gain a new understanding of familiar stories through this creative and colorful "stain glass" interpretation of the parables. Eight posters summarize the meaning of the parables and highlight the abundant rewards of living according to Jesus' instructions. Set includes eight 11" x 17" posters. 

Parables include:
available at
The Mustard Seed  Luke 13:18-19

The Barren Fig Tree Luke 13:6-8

The Wise & Foolish Builders  Matt 7:24-27
The Rich Fool  Luke 12:16-21
The Good Samaritan  Luke 10:25-37
The Persistent Widow  Luke 18:1-8
The Unmerciful Servant  Matt. 18:21-35

available at
The Lost Sheep  Luke 15:L1-7

 We've searched through the shelves of decorative punch out letters and bulletin board trims and have selected several items that coordinate with the Jesus Lessons in Parables Set. The Eric Carle Shades of Blue 3" straight border trim published by Carson Delossa has the look of stained glass and blends nicely with the posters.

Item #CD108065

Finish with small 1.75" decorative punch out letters for display titles or special messages.  We've chosen the blue and red letter sets - both with unique designs.

Item #NS1502
Item #NS1503

Jesus Lessons in Parables Bulletin Board Poster Set is published by NorthStar Teacher Resources and is available at the Children's Ministry Resource Co.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

National Day of Prayer, May 2, 2013

Praying for all who work in children's ministries!  Praying kids and their families will know God's great love and understand who Jesus is and what He did for each of us - the greatest love story ever told!

Blessings, Children's Ministry Resource Co. 

Poster NS3401

Friday, March 15, 2013

"Sing a New Song" Bulletin Board Theme

Boho Bird Bulletin Board Set

Spring is here and the birds are flying back North! Join in the celebration and decorate your Christian school and children's church classroom with the NEW Boho Bird bulletin board set. This cute and colorful display is perfect for a "Sing to the Lord a New Song," Psalm 33:3 theme! Includes tree limbs, 1 large 13.5" x 10.25" yellow bird, 35 small birds, and 40 leaves. Complete the display with matching bulletin board trim available with either straight or scalloped edges. Straight trim is easy to use and has continuity of design.  Two-sided scalloped trim features birds on one side and solid red on the other and can be stacked for a layered look. Create a colorful Spring classroom theme students, teachers, and parents will love!

Boho Bird Two-Sided Border Trim

Additional coordinating products also available that will continue and compliment the bird theme throughout the classroom.  Add final touches with coordinating letters, leaves, birds, incentive charts, and matching stickers.

EZ 4" Pre-Cut Boho Letters
Create eye-catching messages with EZ 4" Pre-Cut Letters

Boho Bird Cut-Outs
Also available: cut-outs, two-sided accents, charts, notepads, and stickers!
The Boho Bird Design Collection is published by Carson Dellosa and is available for purchase at Children's Ministry Resource Co.