USING HYMNS WITH CHILDREN
Using hymns with children prepares them to have a fuller part in adult worship later on. Conversely, to use only children's songs and choruses in children's programming may handicap their integration into the adult services of worship. Instead of "Heavenly Sunshine" and other old chestnuts, why not use the first verse of a good hymn as if it were a "chorus" (or perhaps the refrain of a hymn as a chorus, if it can stand alone).
In some cases, you might have to define a word or explain a concept or two. But so much the better. How often have we taken a moment to do that with adults?
You could also tell a story about the author, or tell how the hymn came to be written. That way, what children learn in Sunday School, children's church, and week-day clubs, will help to prepare them for more meaningful worship with the whole congregation.
In addition to fine children's hymns such as "Jesus Loves Me," and "Jesus Loves Even Me," here are some other hymns that could be used in this way:
My Jesus, I Love Thee (explain "follies")
Ye Must Be Born Again
Wonderful Words of Life (explain "duty")
O How I Love Jesus
Jesus Is the Joy of Living(refrain only)
The Light of the World Is Jesus
Amazing Grace (explain "wretch")
Trust and Obey
What a Friend We Have in Jesus (explain "griefs" and "forfeit")
Praise Him! Praise Him! (by Fanny Crosby)
Constantly Abiding (refrain)
Blessed Be the Name (explain "majesty supreme")
With a little study of the hymn book, you will be able to think of many more, and find using hymns with children very profitable.