I’m not yet in this phase of life-baby boy will be just a year old in a couple of weeks. So I called in the expert: my favorite sister, Kellie. (Just kidding, Trish…) Kellie has a 3 1/2 year old and a 1 1/2 year old-so this is right in her wheelhouse.
She put together this great list of tips, resources, and ideas for Family Home Evening with little ones.
-TIP: Try to keep the actual lesson to 10 minutes (MAX), then do an activity.
– TIP: Piggy-back off your kids’ primary lesson or what they’re learning in sharing time. You could review lessons from the month before or talk about something related. You can find a printable of the themes and scriptures for each month here.
– TIP: Talk about principles and doctrines in one of the new primary songs your kids are learning. You can find the list of the 2014 Primary songs here. (This CD cover is available on our site as a free printable if you’d like to burn your own CD of this year’s songs.)
-TIP: Whenever possible use visuals, videos, or come up with a simple activity that illustrates the principle you’re talking about.
– RESOURCE: The Friend magazine – they have a section about FHE ideas in each issue, or you could just read one of the articles and talk about it. At the Friend online, you can find videos and printables specifically for little kids.
-RESOURCE: There’s also a Family Home Evening charts and ideas page off of lds.org. We’re talking dozens and dozens of ideas that are also targeted to kids. (This is not the general Family Home Evening site, which is also an incredible place to find lots of ideas and content. This one is specifically for teaching children.)
-RESOURCE: The Nursery manual. You can download the entire thing here.
-RESOURCE: Living Scriptures has a great website full of FHE lessons based on each of the standard works (again, dozens and dozens!). If you register they will e-mail you every time they put up a new lesson. Each topic has a themed movie clip, lesson, activity, and treat idea. We never do all of it, but there are a lot of great ideas!
-IDEA: Hit up your grocery store’s case lot sale and talk in the car about the importance of temporal (or spiritual) preparedness. Sometimes the lessons we do in the car are the most effective! Everyone is sitting down and there are no toys/other distractions.
– IDEA: Talk about the doctrine behind one of the articles of faith, then work on memorizing it! Practice it every family night (and every other time you think about it!) til the kids can recite it. (Find printables for each article of faith and a punch card to mark each one you’ve memorized here.)
-IDEA: Read “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. Talk about one paragraph per family night (or however much your family can handle).
-IDEA: Watch a Mormon Message video and talk about the principle(s) it teaches.
-IDEA: Make and play your own Commandments Matching Game! (This one is actually mine-we made this memory game on my mission, which is why the words are in Spanish.)
Find clip-art images or cut out images from saved up Church magazines. My images came from Finch Family Games Clip Art. Even if you don’t recognize the name, I’d bet you recognize the playful look of everything that comes from them. Their games and pictures are a regular part of Primary singing times, sharing times, and Family Home Evenings all over!!
We colored and cut out the images, glued them onto card-stock, and laminated them. The matches to the images are scriptures that teach or explain the commandment. We selected the scriptures out of the Commandments lesson in Preach My Gospel.
Your little ones can color, your older ones can look up and choose scriptures that would pair well with the images you choose to represent the commandments, and everyone can play together!
Here’s the list of scriptures we used:
Love: Matthew 22:39
Prayer: Alma 37:37
Word of Wisdom: D&C 89:7-9
Temples: Psalms 24:3-4
Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:1-17
Sabbath Day: Mosiah 13:16-19
Study the Scriptures: John 5:39
Obey Parents: Mosiah 13:20
Listen to the Prophet: D&C 21:4-7
Serve: Mosiah 2:17
Baptism: John 3:5
Tithing: Malachi 3:8-10
You could also make this for your missionary and send it in a care package. We used it often when we were teaching families. It was a great way to keep kids interested and to get kids into the scriptures.
Besides some great tips, resources, and ideas, we’re GIVING AWAY more than $60 of Finch Family Games books to two lucky readers.
We’re giving away all of the books that you see above (never write a Primary talk again!!) to two lucky winners! There are games, lessons, visual aids, talks, and more! The GIVEAWAY ends next Monday, May 19th, at noon. So be sure to enter! All entries will be verified.