This is part of the 31 ways to a closer family series going on right now. Be sure to check out the other posts that are a part of this series as well!
Family Home Evening, of FHE, is a suggested practice by the LDS church. Family Home Evening is a great way to grow closer as a family, even if you aren’t religious. Family Home Evening is just a time set aside each week for uninterrupted family time. It could be an activity, a lesson, performing some kind of service, even going to a movie. Obviously some things help build unity more than others, but the important thing is that it is consistent and is a top priority each week.
The LDS church suggests making Monday family night. If Monday doesn’t work for you, pick another day of the week. It doesn’t matter what day.
The LDS church lays out a list of things that a family home evening should include. You can see the full list and details here. Those things are:
- Start and end with a prayer
- Learn from the scriptures
- Add music
- Make it fun
- Be consistent
- Add variety
In our home, we have two little kids. The oldest is only 2, so it doesn’t make sense to have gospel lessons that are complicated at all. We stick with very simple and short lessons, followed by a long singing time and a snack. For example, one of our lessons was all about how we fold our arms and bow our head when we pray. We sang songs like “Do as I’m Doing” and had the action be folding the arms and bowing the head. It was probably a five minute lesson, but it brought a good spirit into our home and helped us grow closer together by spending time with each other.
Here are my five tips for having a successful family home evening when toddlers are involved
- Keep it short
- Keep it simple
- Plan ahead
- Be consistent
- Sing lots of songs
I know I said this before, but consistency is KEY! The first time you try to have a family home evening, it might go horribly. Your child might hate the fact that you are making him or her sit down for fifteen minutes when they could be playing. Don’t give up! It’s so good for your kids to have to sit still. If they can’t handle it, start with singing time. Nothing works better than a few songs to get kids to relax and unwind a little.
There are a TON of resources to help you be successful with family home evenings. One of my favorites is A Year of FHE. She is no longer coming out with new lesson plans, but there are over 120 lessons to chose from (THREE years worth!). Many of those lesson plans can be easily adapted for little kids.
Mormon, Mother, and Marriage Therapist has a list of 55 ideas for FHE with toddlers. I found that list very helpful.
There is a blog called 5 Minute Family Home Evening with a TON of short little lessons that are great for little ones with short attention spans.
Those are just a few resources that I have found helpful. Remember though that Heavenly Father knows EXACTLY what your little one needs. If you prayerfully plan out your Family Home Evenings, they will be successful. They may not be perfect, and you WILL have some that you feel have failed, but just keep it up, and in the end you will have years of family memories and wonderful lessons taught to your growing children.
Do you have any awesome Family Home Evening ideas? I’d LOVE to hear them!Share