Each year my church holds a big conference in October, and our creative design team goes all out in our children’s church. One year, the theme the kids church conference was “Ready, Set, Go!” so for a lot of fun, we designed a Mario Kart room.
The stage is the focal point of the design. It’s not a large space, and accommodates two puppet stages. Our budget is usually small, so we have to pull out our thinking caps to figure out how to create a design we want.
We didn’t take too many before or during photos, but I’m going to do my best to try to explain how we made each element and what we used. I’ll also include links to Amazon to help you find the products we used if they’re available there.
I’ll begin by telling you that these are the design elements in our finished product-
- Painted tires
- Yellow brick Nintendo type boxes
- Mario in his race car on one of the puppet stages
- Green Mario warp pipes and piranha plant on the other puppet stage
- Mystery “?” cubes- some to hang from the ceiling, and some stacked on the stage (these were awesome and light up from the inside. I’ve included a quick video later in this post)
- Checkered flag around the bottom of the stage
- Racing lines on the floor
- Red, white, black streamers hanging from the ceiling to each side of the stage.
If you are designing a space for a kids church or some other type of visual, a great source for ideas and tutorials is ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com.
I found this tutorial there that showed us how to make these lightweight cubes from AC filters & duct tape. For our theme, we added the metallic “?” I created it by cutting enough of them from posterboard for each side of the cubes, and using spray adhesive to lay tin foil over the tops. Then, I used both spray adhesive and safety pins to attach the “?” to the cubes.
We hung them from the ceilings, and stacked them on the stage. We put lights that kids church already owned on the inside of the stacked tower, which looked amazing!
Check out the video of the design for the light cubes!
We also found some free spare tires, cleaned them, and spray painted them in several colors.
To make the green warp pipes, we purchased inexpensive Quikrete concrete forming tubes in 12″ & 8″ diameter that we found at Home Depot. Because these needed to lay flat against the puppet stage, we cut them in half lengthwise to create four pipes in total. Then, to create the top rim of the pipe, we cut about 8 inches of the tops, and reattached that piece to give it the dimension we needed. Last, we painted them in lime green and attached them to the stage.
The piranha plant is made from a styrofoam ball.
With a knife I cut a wedge from it for the mouth. I cut the wedge into two pieces to become the lips, and shaved them down into thin pieces. Then, I used toothpicks and glue to reattach those piece to the styrofoam ball, and painted a coat of red paint and white polka dots.
I painted a dowel green, and cut leaves from glittery scrapbook paper.
For the yellow bricks, we found a brick image online and printed several copies. Then, used spray adhesive to attach them to square priority shipping boxes.
For the finishing touches, we cut a plastic checkered table cloth, and attached it to the bottom of the stage. We also hung streamers from the ceiling. We also placed duct tape as a track on the tile floors to be a part of a fun game during the conference nights.
The kids faces on the first night of the conference were pure amazement! They loved every bit, and each one I asked had a different “favorite part”.
Each evening the kids also dress in different costumes for a contest to go with the theme. My boys were Mario and Luigi, along with almost every other little one who dressed up that evening!
During the conference, not only did the kids learn a lot about Jesus, they also had fun while doing it!
And we had a lot of fun creating the design for “Ready, Set, Go!”