5 Tips for Picking Worship Songs for Kids

Worship should be a big part of your children's ministry.

Worship ushers children into the presence of God and teaches them important truths about the Almighty God who is worthy of our praise.

It is challenging when you see children just standing there and not engaging in worship.  Or you have a child that simply refuses to participate in the worship songs.

If you want to make sure your worship music is connecting with kids, here are 5 tips for picking out elementary worship songs.

Pick songs that are kid-friendly.  Don't try to get kids to sing songs that were written for an adult worship service context.  

These would be songs that use big words. 

Songs that are drawn out (more than 3.5 minutes). 

Songs that use notes that kids can't hit.  

Songs that seem better as a solo.  Worship should include everyone, not just a person up front who can sing songs that sound like solo songs.

Aim for the oldest child in the group. 

When you have a group of children together who are different ages, it is best to always aim for the oldest boy in the group.  If a 5th-grade boy likes the song and sings, then everyone else will follow suit.  

Cool rolls downhill.  Make sure your elementary songs are not too "preschoolish." (Is that a word?).  When this happens, many elementary kids won't sing.

Here are some great songs that connect well with elementary kids.  Check them out here.  Song tracks and videos with motions are available.

Pick a song that reinforces the Bible truth you are sharing.

Example: If your teaching theme is about the love of God, then choose at least one song that talks about the love of God.  You will find this reinforces the truths you are trying to teach with the lesson. Check out my curriculum.  Each series has a song that matches the key truth.

Pick some slower songs.  Yes. Use lots of fun and high energy songs.  Get kids moving and help them burn some energy with your songs.  But I believe that there should also be one slow song each week.  This allows children to slow down and really focus on God.  Right before your lesson is a good time to do this.

Don't forget about the older classics that you have seen kids engaging with.  

Many ministries make the mistake of not using songs just because they were written 5+ years ago.  Don't dismiss songs just because they are older.  Many of these songs are very engaging and the kids will love them. 

Here are a few examples.  If you've been in children's ministry for a decade or more, you may remember some of these songs. 

  • Every Move I Make
  • Big, Big House
  • Jesus Be the Center of My Life
  • Hey, Jesus Loves Me
  • One Way
  • Shout to the Lord
  • Peace Like a River
  • Our God is an Awesome God

These are songs that I have personally watched kids engage with and sing.  Which brings me to a side note - the big test for songs is this - are the kids actually engaging and singing with this song?  If the kids are just standing there, then it may be time to pick some more engaging songs.

Here's one more bonus tip.

Let the kids help pick out the songs.  This works great and will help you get buy-in from them.  Have kids vote on what songs they want to sing.  Set up a poll on your website or social media app where they can vote.  Let one song each week be a song the kids chose. 

We know how important worship is in the life of a child.  It helps kids praise God, learn Biblical truths and grow in their faith.  

Make sure you are picking songs that will help you accomplish this.  

Here's a free song with a motion video you can download and use.  Click here for the free download.