One of my New Years Resolutions was to do Family Home Evening (FHE) each week. Clara is definitely old enough to really participate and learn from it so even though we have tried doing it in the past and been okay about it, I would say that last year we only did it maybe 50% of the time. But this year it has been going really well so I thought I would post two of our most recent FHEs for the record since they were right on target as far as what I would feel is a successful FHE. And just so you know, these totally weren't my ideas. I have been searching Pinterest for inspiration, which has been amazingly helpful.
Jesus Calms the Storm
Song: Master the Tempest Is Raging
Scripture: Luke 8:25 "for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him."
Activity: First we told her the story about Jesus calming the water from Luke 8 in really simple terms. Then we laid a blanket out on the floor in the living room and had Clara sit in the middle of it. Paul and I each grabbed the corners and shook it to create a storm and Clara was the boat in the water. We told her that when we are in trouble we can ask Heavenly Father to help us and he can calm the storms. So when she would say "help me Heavenly Father!" my mom (who was there with us) would hold up a picture of Jesus and say "Peace, be still." and Paul and I would stop shaking the blanket. Clara thought this was awesome fun and made everybody take a turn being the boat and holding up the picture of Jesus to say "Peace, be still." Clara even took a couple of turns being the one to hold up the picture.
The original inspiration for this FHE went even further by creating a storm using a rain stick, musical instruments, and turning lights on and off to make lightning and talking about how the winds and the waves obey Jesus and how we should obey Jesus too. I just sort of forgot all those extras but we will probably repeat this one in the future because it went over so well.
Valentine's Day "Love" FHE
Song: Love at Home or Love One Another
Scripture: John 13:34
Lesson: I cut out paper hearts beforehand for each of us, then we took turns standing up and everybody else would say something we love about each other and I would write it on our hearts.
Activity: I hid a heart in each room of our house and we went on a hunt to find each of them. Then we said that love can always be found at our house.
Treat: Heart shaped apple and cherry pocket pies. These turned out so yummy.
The original inspiration for this FHE mentioned that several studies show it is important for kids to know their family story (and I have read a lot about this in adoption studies as well) and gave some good alternate lesson ideas like telling children how their parents met and fell in love or how we felt when each child joined our family and what it was like when we first 'met' them. Again, this is a lesson that I can see us repeating using some of these variations.