Talk to Me Tuesday: Fun Family Home Evenings

I hate to say it but I’m a bit of a family home evening slacker.  I seem to go through phases where I’m able to stay on top of FHE for awhile…and then we get busy so we week skip a Monday night or two.  Before you know it, a month has gone by and we haven’t pulled out the FHE box once.  Thankfully, there’s nothing like a weekend of General Conference to give you motivation to get back on track.

So for this week’s Talk to Me Tuesday post I’m asking for your FHE input.  What strategies do you use to keep your family on track?  What websites or resources do you use to plan fun and easy family home evenings?  What’s your family’s favorite way to spend a Monday night?  As always, tor those of you who comment, thanks – in advance – for passing it on.

As a side note, although I’m not the best source for advice on staying on top of Family Home Evenings, I can show you how to make a quick and easy chart to keep track of everyone’s FHE jobs.  I made this one a few months ago with a small dry erase board and the leftovers from my Family Big Board project.   The entire project cost me about $10 and only took about 15 minutes to make.  If you’re in the market for a new FHE board, you might want to give this one a shot.  Just thought I’d pass it on.


18 Comments

  1. the new nursery manual is great for family home evening. the lessons are quick and easy with pictures included. even though it is targeted for little ones the lessons are easily modified for all my kids ages 1 to 10. the best part is it can be downloaded from lds.org.

  2. Oh, I so hope there are lots of tips–and for families with big kids. And can I say, I am so glad to hear you say you are a slacker because I am struggling with this right now. I have two kids and it’s usually just me and the kids for FHE. BORING! The lessons seem to be too involved or too childish. So I make up things to talk about, but I haven’t done that too much either. And my kids are too busy to prepare FHE….I have the time so I am not into the charts. Plus with 3 of us–again–boring!

  3. We keep things really, really simple. We have a teenager and two little ones, so we do a very short lesson (about 5 minutes, or until the squirming is too much) about our topic for the younger children, then while everyone is having their treat, we have a deeper discussion with the teen.

    Treats are always cookies – two per person – made with Mommy’s help by one of the two little ones. They alternate responsibility for the cookies every week. Even that I keep pretty simple. I have them either make cake mix cookies, or buy packages of cookie mix from the store. As they get older and are capable of doing more on their own, I have started us experimenting with more complicated recipes, and eventually I’ll turn them loose to handle it on their own.

  4. I just ran across a brilliant idea. A schedule. 1st mon-From the friend, 2nd mon-Scripture story, 3rd mon-Some kind of set thing- we are doing Stand for Something by Hinckley found lessons online, 4th mon-can’t remember, if a 5th mon-Some type of safety(stranger danger, fire drill, earthquake drill, etc) I have liked taking the thought and guesswork out of it.

  5. Mondays always seem to be the hardest days of the week. It seems that SOMEONE is conspiring against me, trying to thwart FHE. Can’t let him win so we always try to do something even if it is just sing, pray, and play a board game. I think many people feel that it has to be a huge deal. I just think it is important to be consistent and have fun as a family. I try to get at least one gospel concept in there even if it is just taking turns or sharing. Our treats are almost always store bought.
    I don’t seem to have time or energy to have an original thought so I have many websites I refer to. A while ago I made a kit from The Idea Door that has 30 lessons ready made. Kids can pick a baggie which correlates to a lesson already written. The kit comes out on especially hectic days. (http://www.theideadoor.com/FHE/30FHELessons.html) I also belong to a couple of Yahoo groups and I use the ideas that are simple.
    I have young kids but I imagine my older children picking a conference talk to discuss for the following week and talking about how we can apply it in our lives. That way they have a week to read it. It sounds simple enough but maybe I am dreaming that it would work.

  6. No kids at our house, but my husband and I are taking an Institute class on the Articles of Faith. I’ve found we always do so much better when we have a theme for our FHEs for a little while. Then we know what we’re going to discuss and we actually look forward to it. To go along with our Institute class, we’ve been talking about an A of F each week.

    So, my tip is to find a theme. For the month, for the season, for 13 weeks, to go along with a scripture that is meaningful, to highlight different points (in the Proclamation or Living Christ, for example). Then you know what’s coming up. At least until you have to pick a new theme. That’s when we start slacking.

  7. I LOVE FHE nights, I am in a FHE group and there are 10 of us. After General Conference we are to pick a theme/title (for ex: Testimony) and we have until the next General Conference to put our packet together. This consists of: a manilla folder with a label of the lesson and the name of the person who put it together, an outline, scripture, 2 songs, Lesson and story with pictures, activity/game, and treat recipe. Everything is laminated and also includes blacklines for additional family members or for church helps. About 8 weeks before Gen. Conference the FHE group leader hands out a list of who and what theme they have. Everybody meets the Friday before and brings the treat from thier lesson to share with everyone, mostly for the kids. We just meet at a park for them to play. It’s alot of fun and not to mention you put together 10 of the same packet which is super easy but you go home with 9 different already made FHE packets that you can just whip out at a second’s notice and have a really fun lesson. I absolutely love it. Check my blog out sometime and I will have to post about some of my lessons and what they look like. I am really big on the activity because I feel like my kids get it more hands on learning and playing a game then just being told something…it works for us!! Also check out fheplanner.blogspot.com and fheinasnap.blogspot they both have outlines already for you to put together!

  8. Also I forgot to mention, I try to go along with the primary sub themes each month. Sometimes if I don’t have a lesson I will check out the manuals for primary to put something together. Another site is hatchpatchcreations.com they have lessons you can purchase for $5.00 that has everything to it! I got my laminator at walmart for 25$ and I get my laminating sheets at Sam’s club.

  9. We keep it pretty simple. On Sundays, we always talk about it during Sunday dinner. I used to cute things out, laminate, color, etc. Now our lessons are scripture stories, or memorizing scriptures. Sometimes, just getting the kids to sit reverent for 5 minutes is a lesson in itself. The favorite part is activity – which is usually a child in charge. We always play some sort of chase game, or hide and go seek. I think those bonding moments are almost as important as the lesson.

  10. We have two types of FHE.

    Type 1 is a see or do. We all drive somewhere and look at scenery or fish or a new park or just grab some ice cream cones. My husband will announce “This is Family Home Evening” as we get in the car.

    Type 2 is a simple at home one. We let each little kid pick a song for us all to sing. Then my husband reads a picture story from the Book of Mormon stories “comic” type book. Then we play a game- duck duck goose or hide and seek. Sometimes we have a treat, sometimes not.

    We’ll never be the poster FHE family with moving, life changing moments. But we are doing fine and we like each other.

    PS We don’t do a chart.

  11. For a quick, no preparation lesson, I sometimes turn to the Gospel Art Kit (GAK). The kids can look at the picture while I read or tell the story on the back. The stories are short and powerful and directly from the scriptures!– and I can almost always come up with a way to apply the story to our lives while I’m reading. This method also crosses the age gap.

  12. Check out my blog, I gave you an award for your excellent blog! Thanks for passing it on!

  13. Doesn’t anyone use the family home evening manual?????? I’m totally shocked that not one comment posted mentioned this VAUABLE resource! It’s so easy and you don’t have to hunt down anything else. It is PACKED with ideas. You could do every lesson in there and not do the same one in a couple years!And by the time you got through them all, you’re ready to start again and review what you’ve already learned. Everything is there: songs, lessons, even ideas for games, activites and treats. It even has various discussions for different ages. And what about the scriptures??????? All you have to do is open them up to anywhere and discuss the chapter and what’s going on. It doesn’t matter how old your kids are. Read with expression like you’d read a storybook, you’ll have everyone’s attention. When they see you reading from the scriptures it makes a deep impression on them. They won’t remember the fancy FHE packets or who’s turn it was to do whatever. I encourage everyone to get back to the basics. Make it easy on yourself! Use what is already available by the church. Not to mention it’s free if you have the manual, if not it’s darn cheap at the distribution center. Get one! Use it! Happy FHE!!!

  14. Here is something that we tried for treat last night and the kids loved it. We all went to our local grocery store that sells bulk candy. The goal was to get as close as you could to spending $1.00 without going over. The kids had to figure out what they wanted and then what it cost. They they had to try and get the right amount of it. Ex. Gummy worms cost 1.49 per pound so Kelsie tried to get 2/3 of a pound. They could use the scales that were around but they couldn’t go up front to the digital scale. It was really fun and everyone laughed and encouraged each other. Our oldest won with 99 cents. He had his calculator out and was trying to figure out exactly how many ounces to get. It was a success and fun.

  15. My family is different from most. My husband is a firefighter so his schedule is always different and he is gone for 1-2 days at a time. I find “FHE moments” in our week. We pick a day that he is home we do something as a family and tack on a two minute lesson. My sons are 3 and 18 months so that’s all they can handle. We sing a hymn and pray together every night so when we add to it it’s no big deal for the kids. FHE doesn’t HAVE to be on Monday. Just find the time in the week.

  16. april kentner

    I am not the most creative as far as lessons go or as good about making cute handouts, but I have created a fun spot that my kids like to gather after the lesson is done and it’s time for family fun! We just finished our basement and I added some fun things for the kids. One of them was a stage. It was soo easy and cheap! I found two free crates behind a store and put them side by side and added a sheet of plywood on top and had enough left over to cover the edges. It was easy to cut and had a fake wood finish already on it. 12 dollars is all I spent. We had already put some spot lights above it, we also added a rope light around the edges for added drama. I want to add curtains down the road. The kids LOVE to act and sing on stage for us! Everyone has a great time! P.S. I just did my 5 year old daughter’s birthday and it went with the theme! I taped them doing a dance on it, it was so great! I titled it Lil’Chicks (after my daughter Lilly) and will post it on Youtube for family to view.

  17. This isn’t my idea, but some friends of ours were struggling with having FHE consistently and so they started to invite another less-active family over to join them. Fast forward, four years later: they rarely ever miss FHE, the less-active family still joins in (including the non-member dad on occasions) and that family has been active the entire time since my friend started to invite them over. There are occasions when they do FHE on their own, but my friend loves that it really got them to stick to doing FHE. They switch off now doing the lessons or preparing the dinner. It may not be an answer for everyone, but I’ve been looking around my ward to see if I could start something with a family that has kids similar to our kids ages.

Leave a Reply