Monday, April 12, 2010

Simple Ideas for Family Night

Each Monday night we do Family Night here at the blue house. That means we sing songs, have a short lesson of a spiritual or 'life skills' nature, do an activity, share treats, and pray. I have really little children (4 and 2 years old), so for our 'lesson' portion we have a maximum of five minutes!

I like to do something memorable for our Family Night lessons, but I don't do anything elaborate. In other words, I like it to be cheap, and easy to prepare.

Here are three simple (super simple!) ideas for your file. I am LDS, but these lessons could fit easily into any Family Night--religious or not.

1. Plant a Seed of Faith
Talk about faith with your children. (Bible reference: Hebrews 11, James 1. Book of Mormon reference: Alma 32). Help them understand that faith is to believe in something even if they can't see it. Help them plant a seed. Discuss how they must care for the seed, but in the end, they must have faith that the plant will grow. (Thanks to my cousin, Christina, for this idea!)

2. Special Edifices
For this lesson, we talked about Mormon temples. We looked at pictures of them and talked about why they are special and sacred. You could talk about any special buildings--churches, cathedrals, mosques, etc. In fact, you could talk about your home--how it is special, how it should be cared for, and how everyone inside should feel safe and loved. Then, for the treat, we made Peanut Butter Blossoms and called them temple cookies. I realize this is a bit of a stretch, but my little ones thought the Hershey kisses made perfect steeples!

3. Let Your Light So Shine
For this lesson, we read from the New Testament--Matthew 5:16. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." We talked about being good examples, being kind, and serving others. Then, I gave each of the boys a glo-stick, equating those little lights to the good examples we can be. Then we turned off the lights and they had a ball navigating their way through the house in the dark, using just their glo-sticks for light. It was a major hit!

I hope you can tuck these ideas away and that they will be helpful to you!
Happy Monday!

p.s. Have simple Family Night ideas you'd like to share on Bloom?
Email us at aplacetobloomATgmailDOTcom


jeanine said...

I love these ideas! Thanks Anne! I think I'm going to use the glow stick one tonight.

Me said...

There is a lovely photographer who took gorgeous photos of some temples and are offering them for free (meaning print at your own cost) - or if you want better quality, you can order a print from her, at

Just thought I'd pass that along as it relates to sacred edifices.

Nicole said...

These are great ideas. I have a 14 month old so when she is starting to show signs of getting things, I will for sure be using these. I'm am not very creative so any ideas you all have on how to play with a 14 month old I'd love to hear 'em. I play with her and her toys and we do kids songs, etc, but I'm needing more ideas. This is my first baby and I am the youngest in my family so I don't really have much creativity in this area since I wasn't around it. Anyways, just a though for an upcoming post if you are needing ideas.


Honey said...

Great ideas!

We've found that the Gospel Art Kit is a great resource for FHE - for any age. We have the kids pick out the picture and then read/talk about the scripture story behind it. Great for morning devotionals, too. You can add any other visuals you'd like too.

Melissa said...

Love these simple ideas. I think my kids are not too old for them either, especially the glo sticks. :D I felt bad that the "pre made and laminated" FHE things were a little dissed at General Conference. I'm sure that wasn't the point, but I recalled the hours I've put into coloring, laminated, etc. to make visual aids for my lessons. I'm hoping that mixing it up was what the talk was about. I'll review it when the Ensign comes out!

jeanine said...

we did the glow stick thing tonight and it was perfect. thanks!

melissa... I'm going to have to go back and review the talk as well. But from what I understood he was saying not to put off having FHE because you don't have some great lesson... the important thing is to be having FHE and learning from the scriptures.

Heather said...

I wish I had read this earlier today, then I could have used the temple one this evening. My children love to look for the temples on our way to Grandma's house (we are fortunate to see 2 on our way, we love Utah!). I would love to hear some more simple, cheap ideas. I too have small children (6,4,1). Thanks for all the good ideas and advice.

Heather said...

Melissa and Jeanine...I am trying to find the talk from conference about FHE but am having no luck...could you help me out? I didn't get to listen, very well (3 kids, enough said), like I wanted to and missed a lot of conference. I would love any help on what talk it was and who was speaking. Thanks ladies

Bloom said...

It was Elder Bednar who talked about FHE:

"Imagine, for example, a family home evening in which children are invited and expected to come prepared to ask questions about what they are reading and learning in the Book of Mormon—or about an issue that recently was emphasized in a gospel discussion or spontaneous testimony in the home. And imagine further that the children ask questions the parents are not prepared adequately to answer. Some parents might be apprehensive about such an unstructured approach to home evening. But the best family home evenings are not necessarily the product of pre-prepared, purchased, or downloaded packets of outlines and visual aids."

I don't think he was "dissing" pre-made or laminated, but just emphasizing the importance of substantive teaching, from the scriptures, with the Spirit, etc. And the need to really engage our children at Family Night.

Sarah said...

I have four children 6 and under,and I'm a big fan of the new(ish) nursery manual. The lessons are all geared toward young children, and they're set up wonderfully.