How to Keep kids busy at Church

We can all pretty much agree that until kids reach a certain age, no matter what you do, they aren’t going to be 100% into the message being given at Church. That is why I am writing this post today. To share with you the things I do to keep kids busy at church.

The idea is simple.. Keep them distracted from making a distraction. To do this, I employ the following tools:

Snacks – A busy mouth is a quiet mouth. Give them grapes in a bag, cheese cubes, or any other small, quiet, and non-messy treat. Candy is not off limits for us. Skittles and M&M’s make great church snacks. Our rule with snacks is that they must wait until after Sacrament has passed and if they aren’t reverent during sacrament then they don’t get the snack reward.

Books/Magazines – I keep multiple books and magazines in my Church bag at all times. Examples: The Friend, Book of Mormon Stories, etc.. Picture books are especially good for little ones. These tools keep kids busy at Church without making them disctractions.

Coloring Pages –  Every parent should carry crayons and coloring paper with them. Even older children can get involved. Give them blank paper and challenge them to draw the speaker.

I Spy – This is a little game I like to play with my children. I “spy” something in the church and they must tell me what it is. For older ones, you could think about making some lists ahead of time including things like red tie, purple dress, man with glasses, etc and as they see them, mark them off.

Small Toys – Some of my kids favorite church toys are small cars and small characters. They do not make noise, are easily transportable, and keep kids busy at church so I am free to listen to the messages.

Puzzles – I use puzzles to keep my kids busy at church. They are small, quiet, and can be done alone or with the other kids helping.

What are some things you do to help keep your kids busy at church?

35 thoughts on “How to Keep kids busy at Church

  1. Mikki

    Great ideas, some I hadn’t thought of, like puzzles. BTW, I’m still waiting for my sixteen year old to be into the messages being delivered.

    1. LifeAsAConvert Post author

      If he is anything like mine, he hears more than you think. Sometimes when I think mine are the most distracted they are actually listening. Losh is especially good about this. He will grab his scriptures and start to turn to whatever verse is being referenced.

  2. Amanda

    We keep our kids with us in the Sanctuary at church as well- Their ages are 4,3,1 and I have all of those things in my church bag! :) My kids love their I Spy books.

  3. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    My kids are generally well behaved at church, but they are older now. I used to bring coloring books and crayons when they were smaller.

  4. Lesley

    Our church has a family room filled with toys, praise Jesus for that. My youngest is still nursing and my middle boy likes to come with us sometimes so we stay in the family room. They do have services for the kids though, they don’t have to stay with their parents.

  5. Melanie

    Great tips! When I was younger they always had a jr church in which halfway through the service the kids went upstairs to do some sort of craft and what not

  6. Ann Bacciaglia

    When my kids were little it could be a challenge to keep them quiet in certain situations. I think snacks and little toys are a great way to help keep them quiet. Cell phone games can be useful as well.

  7. Pam

    That is a very good point! I know for mine it took years before they began to take the messages at church to heart. And in the meantime it was so important to keep them busy so that they wouldn’t fall asleep or get into trouble!

  8. Liz Mays

    Mine had little spiral bound memo pads and pencils so they could draw and play tic tac toe. It’s hard for adults to sit still in church. I certainly don’t expect it of little ones.

  9. Kristen from The Road to Domestication

    When I was very small, my mom would bring snacks and a coloring book with crayons for me, and I was all set. We are very blessed at the church we attend now: there is a nursery for the tiny ones, Jr. Kids Church for the toddlers and Kids Church for the elementary ones. They figure by Junior High they should be able to sit still LOL

  10. Theresa

    I was never allowed up in the adult section of the church when I was little. We had Sunday School until we were 11, then 11-17 went to the teen Sunday School. My mom lucked out not having to keep me entertained lol.

  11. Stefany

    My 3 year old is the one I need to keep entertained in church. I usually let her draw on our church bulletin with a pencil throughout mass.

  12. April

    My children are little and these are some great tips. But having two of them, it was just too much to handle. I had to find a church with a children’s church and skip all of the “things” to keep them busy. Now we’re all happy!

  13. Rosey

    I had to switch churches. My son loved children’s church until he got to 1st grade, then they switched to Grades 1-5 in one room and he just didn’t like it. He went to big church w/me but he wasn’t learning anything (way over his head). I found a great church for the youth now (I miss my church for me, but it’s okay…the sermons are on YouTube if I want to hear them). :)

  14. coolchillmom

    I try not to distract them much so they can understand what is expected from them at church. As the sermon grows longer I do bring puzzles for them. great minds think alike

    1. LifeAsAConvert Post author

      I struggled with that.. I didn’t want to distract them and let them think it was ok to ignore the talks, but at the same time I don’t want them be a distraction to other people.

  15. Danielle

    My son is obsessed with church so nothing really has to be done to keep him busy. He likes the experience however I think this has a lot to do with the type of churches. More conservative services like if we attend mass would require some of the above tips.

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