Summer is just around the corner, and it’s a perfect time to set in motion a parish project. How about a committee to explore the question: Is our parish kid-friendly?
- Most parishes encourage children to become altar servers which helps them take an active role in the Mass.
- Many parishes offer Children’s Liturgy of the Word where the readings and the homily are geared to the children’s level.
- Some parishes have a children’s choir.
- Some parishes have a special children’s collection at Mass with children coming forward to put their offering into the basket in front of the altar.
But parishes that are truly child-friendly go a few steps further to make families feel welcome. Here are some things your summer committee might want to discuss:
- Changing tables in the restrooms for parents of infants.
- Preferred parking spaces for pregnant moms and single parents.
- Babysitting services for infants and toddlers.
- A crying room or sound-proof vestibule where parents can take active toddlers.
- Pre-school Sunday school classes during Mass.
- Vacation Bible School.
- A mothers' group for young parents.
- Social hours after Mass with refreshments.
- A parish library with a selection of children’s books.
- Outdoor playgrounds for kids to use after Mass.
- Special parish events for kids throughout the year.
- Opportunities for parents teach their children about the Catholic faith at home.
- Service opportunities for elementary-age children to get involved in helping others. It might include bringing food for the parish pantry, clothes for the clothing drive, toys for the giving tree, or other special projects throughout the year.
Taking some time this summer to make sure your parish is kid-friendly is an investment in the future! It will certainly make this summer memorable!