Keep 'em in the Church
Our recommendation is that all children above (about) the age of 11 (or 6th grade) attend the entire church service. And that children under that age AT LEAST attend the "Liturgy of the table" (or from the Peace on). For younger children, they then have the opportunity to hear the "Liturgy of the word" (or the readings and the sermon) in a way they can understand. If your parish doesn't yet practice this, starting for a season (such as summer or Advent) is an opportunity to introduce both the children and the adults to fully inter-generational worship.
Why should young people attend the service?
The two books, Children at Worship, Congregations in Bloom by Caroline Fairless and Liturgy for the Whole Church by Susan Bock, are wonderful for multi-generational resources and including children.
How do you support young people and parents during worship?
Here are some pointers given by these two books:
Resources to use during the service
Bulletins, colored pencils and books – what do you have for your children to take to their seats? Some churches have bags that the children can pick up and take with them to their seats, some have a location where they can find a book or a basket for colored pencils. The same way some people knit in meetings or others doodles when on the phone, children can do something with their hands and pay attention at the same time (and some pay attention better when their hands are busy).
Articles and Information to support Children in Worship
A House of Prayer for All People (Even Young, Wiggly Ones) - from Episcopal Church Foundation
Kids in Church- Why Bother? An article by Ruth Meyer
A Child's "Worship Bag" from Sharon Ely Pearson
Kids in Church: Resources For Deepening Spiritual Practice & Community
From St. Gregory Of Nyssa Episcopal Church
Going for Growth -Transformation for children, young people, and the Church. From the Church of England
Worshiping with Children -This lectionary-based blog offers specific helps for specific Sundays.
Messy Church - a way of being church for families involving fun