Engaging Family Home Evening Activities are a great way to draw the family together on Monday evenings.
Family home evening is one of those remarkable LDS programs that promotes a happy home, and the growth and development of good, respectful members of the LDS Church. It is a chance for families to get together and embrace the word of the Lord while sharing responsibility, discussing scriptures, enjoying treats, and of course, taking part in the fun family home evening activities!
As President James E. Faust said, “Unity in the Church will always be a reflection of the unity in our homes. One of the most important ways to foster unity in the home is holding family home evening regularly.” Ask any Sunday School teacher and they’ll tell you that the way to drive the lesson home is to make the Gospel interactive and accessible for our youth members. By turning the Scripture into engaging games or FHE activities, you’re creating lifelong memories for your children that will help them blossom into the best people they can be: compassionate, humble, selfless, and dutiful.
Millennia ago, when the Son of God was walking the Earth, his followers realized the value of family and the virtues of bringing the Gospel into the home. Home is where we learn to physically walk, why shouldn’t it be where our children also learn to walk in the light of God?
In 2000, President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “We have a family home evening program once a week…in which parents sit down with their children. They study the scriptures. They talk about family problems. They plan family activities and things of that kind. I don’t hesitate to say if every family in the world practiced that one thing, you’d see a very great difference in the solidarity of the families of the world,” and of course, he is undeniably correct. The Prophets ensure us all that homes that practice family home evenings and meaningful FHE activities will have stronger bonds, stronger faith, and encourage youths to resist the infinite temptations that exist in the modern world.
In this article, we at FHE on DVD suggest some fun family home evening activities that bring families together through Love and learning to work together, as well as the value of sometimes taking FHE out of the home and into the world. All of these adventures should be coupled with appropriate lessons, reinforced throughout the FHE activity, to remind your family that the reason we gather together to celebrate the Gospel together is to learn and share the Scriptures and their holy lessons.
In The Home FHE Activities
Build a pillow fort and reenact the resurrection of Christ.
As a family, work together to build a sturdy fort using pillows, seat cushions, and blankets with a moveable pillow that can act as the stone blocking the cave Christ was laid to rest in after the Crucifixion. Have one family member tell the story, one family member act as Jesus, and any additional family members should play the roles of the two angels, disciples, and/or Mary Magdalene as appropriate.
Write to missionaries.
Taking the time with your family to acknowledge and celebrate the young men sharing the word of God with the world. As you may remember from your mission, a kind word from a stranger can mean so much. Helping your children write and send letters (and drawings!) to the missionaries will make both them and the missionaries feel the love of the Spirit. Thank them for their service to the Church – they’ll appreciate the love you send their way.
Write to soldiers.
Active-duty military stationed overseas long to hear from their Brothers and Sisters in Christ. In a strange, dangerous land, surrounded by people who have not yet embraced or heard about the Gospel, it can make a huge spiritual impact to receive a letter from an LDS family who cares. Thanking these young men and women for protecting this great country is an excellent way to spend your Monday evening. Sending them bits of Scripture or drawings of our Lord and His Prophets can bring a smile to their face, and the Spirit into their heart.
Work in the garden.
Gardening is an excellent way to introduce your young children to the healing and life-giving light of the Lord. Tell them the Earth, and everything in it, was created by the Lord, and treating it kindly and bringing more life into it (or ‘being good stewards’ of the Earth) is a way of saying ‘thank you’ for all that He has done for us. It also teaches your family the value of hard work and selflessness.
Start a family journal or scrapbook.
Including everyone in the creation of a living history of your family is a rewarding and enriching FHE activity your children and their children will cherish forever. A good idea is to find a quote from the Scripture you feel applies to your experiences that day, and use it to capture that moment and feeling in time. Adding the words of your family together in a single book brings unity to the home and memory, and weaves your experiences together with the Scriptures that help give you spiritual strength.
Out of the Home FHE Activities
Perform Scripture stories at a nursing home.
Have your family choose a story from the Scripture and practice acting it out. Then, visit a nursing home and share the performance with the elderly there. It will bring the warmth and light of God into a place that can often feel cold and isolating. Reminding the elderly of the joys and exuberance of youth, as well as the Gospel, can impact them in ways younger people can hardly imagine.
Bury a time capsule.
Time capsules are an exciting family home evening activity that blesses the family twice; when you bury it, and when you unearth it. Fill an airtight container (marked with the date and your families names) with anything your children hold dear. A seashell from a family vacation, a baby shoe from your first child, pictures of their Baptism, art projects, and anything else that will surprise and delight them when you retrieve the capsule. Bury the capsule in a public place like a park or near the Temple (make sure you ask permission first), and create a “treasure map” that will remind you where to find the capsule when it comes time to retrieve it. Mark on the calendar a few years out that it’s time to retrieve the capsule. It can be one year or ten, but keep in mind it gets more exciting the longer you wait!
Invite a non-member family over for food and games.
Sharing your family home evenings with those who haven’t yet joined the Church is an excellent way to spread the Gospel and share the Love and Enrichment the Scripture brings to your lives. After eating (pasta, pizza, and BBQ’s are generally affordable safe choices), invite them to play games and sing hymns with your family.
Clean up a local park or school.
Cleaning up public-use areas like parks or schools is a selfless and charitable way to spend your Monday evening. These places are used and loved by everyone, and so taking care of them is an act of all-inclusive community service not to go unnoticed. Pick up trash, paint over graffiti (it is always best to ask the city before painting public property), trim the plants, plant flowers, and anything else that would help make the park or school more enjoyable for all who visit it. If your children seem resistant at first, turn it into a game! Whoever picks up the most pieces of trash wins ice cream on the walk home.
Visit a historic site.
Take your family to a nearby historic site that celebrates American and/or LDS history. It’s imperative that our youth learn to value the past and the lessons it has taught us, and how the past (and the Gospel) help us find the way in the future. Discuss the impact of the historic site, and what it means to your family, and take pictures! Though your family will always remember the Lessons and Love learned and felt together on this FHE activity in their hearts, it’s nice to have photographs to look back on.
Final Thoughts on Family Home Evening Activities
There are so many wonderful ways to make your family home evening activities come alive with the Word of the Spirit in fun and exciting ways that bless your family and others. No matter your time constraints or budget, you can find an impactful way to infuse your family home evening activities with adventure and meaning.