While we have a selection of flags that the children can dance to the music with, the only space that allows this is at the back of church. Because we don't want to relegate the children, by default, to the back, we have hit upon creating a 'pray-ground' or interactive space for them at the front of church, where they can be involved in a variety of worship focussed activities while the service is going on. If you want to find out more about 'pray-grounds,' look at this great post by Traci Smith.
Because we want to make it clear to everyone how valued the children are, one of the clergy or leaders will often sit in the pray ground while sung worship is happening or during the sermon, so that they can interact with the children and take part in what they are doing.
Each of our churches now has a box of activities and three or four are chosen each week for the children to use. That way there is a bit of variety. If there is anything particular to the service then that might be included in the pray ground activities too. We have a communion treasure box that we bring out during communion services and this week we are looking at the parable of the sower so there will be some gardening sensory play!
Here is a run down of what we have put in each box:
Some paper windmills (we're going for an 'awe and wonder' feel!)
Chalk board and chalk
Felt cross shapes with little scraps of felt the children can use to decorate them.