How to Entertain Toddlers in Church

Toddlers in Church

Have you ever taken a toddler to church and ended up going to the foyer or someplace with them to wait till the church was over?

Are you nervous about returning as you need some church activities to keep the kids quiet?

Wouldn’t it be great if you had some way to entertain your toddler while keeping them quiet and still at church?

Toddlers have a short attention span, making it hard for them to sit quietly for long periods. Young children are too immature to understand what a pastor is saying at that age. The best option is to provide quiet activities to hold your toddler’s attention. What quiet activities to use?

Finding appropriate activities to keep your toddler quiet can be challenging, especially in a church full of people trying to focus and worship. Need ideas? Read on for the secrets to happy toddlers at the next church service!  

Prepare Your Toddlers Before Church

Before you bring your kids to church, take some time to remind your child where you are going and why. Take every opportunity throughout the week to explain to them why you go to church and who God is. 

  • Potty time – Remind small children to use the restroom before church, so they are less likely to need to go during church.
  • Don’t bring a sippy cup. Let them have a small drink before going to church to sit. Carry a juice box or small bottle of water with you, but don’t make it readily available. 
  • Make their tummies happy. Feed your tot before heading to church, so they are not hungry during service. 
  • Practice church at home. This does a couple of things. One, it lets them know what to expect at church. Second, if done regularly at home, it will gradually build up his attention span. 

A little bit of preparation can go a long way, as your toddlers get used to what is expected. It prepares you too, helping you remember about potty breaks and snacks!

Worship Time and Your Toddler

During worship time, try to get your toddler to participate. No one is expecting it to be quiet at this point in the service, and there is enough movement and activity to keep your toddler engaged for a short while, hopefully. Encourage them to participate as much as they can.

Get Them Involved 

Even if they get the words wrong or cannot talk well enough to say them, it is an excellent chance to teach them to worship during service. You can even whisper the words to them.

Let Them See

Sit up front on the front row so they can see what is going on. Usually, people with toddlers sit on the very back roll, and all the child can see is the rolls of adults blocking his view of the pulpit. 

Let Them “Read Along”

When the pastor recites scripture, give them a children’s Bible and help them look it up; even if they cannot read, they can pretend to follow along. It will help keep them engaged a bit longer. You can even buy a bible picture book for them to bring.

Hold Off on Toys If You Can

Never offer them a toy or book at the beginning of the church. Make them sit as long as possible so that they start developing a longer attention span. 

Avoid leaving the sanctuary. It trains your child that they can go outside of the sanctuary and play until church is over if they act a certain way.

Let Them Know Why Church Is Special

Explain to your child what is happening during church. Quietly, let them know when people pray, they are talking to God. I will help a lot if you have been praying at home where they can see, and you have explained who God is and why he is essential to worship. 

Practice quiet time at home with a timer and increase the time gradually. Start with five minutes.

How Do I Keep My Child Still in Church?

Taking a toddler to church can be hard on you and your child at first. Try some of these tips for better success. 

Children at church learn how to act in time. In the meantime, you may have to give them something to help them entertain themselves till they are more mature. Start building up and gradually work on adding to your child’s attention span. If you need tips, read on further. 

For more assistance and ideas, you might try these ideas. Again, don’t pull these out until you need them and consider offering them as a reward for good behavior, rather than something they know they’ll get if they are loud and boisterous. 

Great Church Activities – Tips for Keeping Your Toddler Still at Church

  • Sit closer to the front so the child can see what is going. 
  • Let them color in a coloring book or draw.
  • Let them bring their favorite stuffed toy to hug and “listen” along with them.
  • Take a quiet toy or two; he can play within his seat to keep your child busy. You might rotate them out or have unique toys just for church time. 
  • Bring some of their favorite books to look at.
  • Lacing cards work well to entertain small children.
  • Sketch and etch-type toys are other sources of entertainment.
  • Sticker books are also a great way to keep kids quiet 

Anything that will keep them in their seat and quiet until they are older is excellent. You may have to try a few different things before finding what works best. Be patient.

How Do I Get My Toddler to Be Quiet?

Whatever age children are, they have to understand what we expect and be mature enough to do it. Right now, it might seem impossible to get your toddler to be quiet at church.

Teaching toddlers to be quiet requires a great deal of patience. They must learn to focus long enough to make it through an hour or more of church service. If you are consistently training them, they will manage to sit quietly eventually. You may wonder how to be consistent and help teach them this virtue?

Below are more tips and ideas to help train your child to be quiet during church.

  • Stay consistent. If you say you are not going out to the cry room, then do not do it. 
  • Avoid tech. Do not use electronic devices to train them to be quiet. It will not help them to focus or learn to use their brain to learn.
  • Stay in one place. Do not allow them to walk around from the start. It will be harder to break the habit later.
  • Be prepared. Bring along things to do that are quiet but keeps your kids busy.
  • Be firm but gentle. You don’t want them to think church is a place they get in trouble. 
  • Set an example. Show them how it’s done.
  • Reward good behavior. This is so important. They’ll soon start to realize that behaving in church makes both of you happy!

In Conclusion

Toddlers and church aren’t the most harmonious pair at first! But it gets better. With patience and practice, with preparation and positive reinforcement, soon, your little one will realize that church is a place full of love and good feelings – and it will start to show. Taking your kids to church at first might be a daunting task but will get better with each visit. 

About the author
Daisy is a writer, mom, and expert on all things toddler-related. As a parent of three young children, she's experienced the highs and lows of parenthood firsthand, and she's passionate about sharing her insights with others. Through her website, The Toddler Life, Daisy offers practical advice and tips on everything from potty training to picky eaters. She's not afraid to get real about the challenges of parenting, and her honest and relatable writing style has earned her a loyal following of readers.