family home evening is an evening that we as members of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints set aside to spend as a family. it's a time when we can instruct during a gospel centred lesson, sing a song, have family scripture study, have family prayer and enjoy a game and treat. in theory. let's be honest, it's hard. and it's especially hard to keep the attention of a 3 year old and an almost 6 year old. so i have been desperately trying to think of easy lessons to keep their attention!
our evening normally goes like this:
(simple primary song, favourites include i am a child of god, jesus wants me for a sunbeam, give said the little stream, follow the prophet, i love to see the temple...)
good news bad news
(we stole this idea from our friends family. you go through the room, from youngest to oldest and say one good thing that happened during the week and one bad thing. it's pretty hilarious!)
(from our kids illustrated version of the standard works)
but i have finally been able to think up some good ideas for easy kid friendly lessons, all based on my gospel library pictures. i have them in a plastic box, but you can order them in a spiral bound flip book online here. a very good investment!
simple lesson 1:
the first vision.
i showed madeline and joseph various pictures of joseph smith and asked who is this? i then showed the picture of him reading the bible and read them james 1:5 and told them about he wondered which church he should join and how he asked his heavenly father after reading that passage. next picture the first vision, where i read the first vision and told them about how he saw heavenly father and jesus christ. it was a great little lesson and i actually managed to keep their attention the whole time. win!
simple lesson 2:
prophets speak to our heavenly father
this one was even easier! i found pictures of prophets throughout time. eg. adam, noah, samuel, nephi, moroni, joseph smith... and ended with thomas s monson. i asked the kids who each one was, and i was well impressed with madeline who knew all except for one or two and joseph who knew a lot of them too! i asked the kids what all of them have in common and we decided it was that they were all prophets. i then told them that each of them speak to heavenly father and that is how we can hear his voice and know what he wants us to do. i also mentioned general conference and that's why we need to listen carefully while the speakers speak! simple, easy, effective.
simple lesson 3:
the brother of jared needed to light his boats
we told the story of the brother of jared (found in ether 3) and how he needed to light his boats to sail across the sea. we have a fountain in our backyard full of round river stones, so i had my husband go and find some stones of similar sizes and bring them in. i told the children about how sometimes we will take our problems to our heavenly father and he won't necessarily give us the answer... he'll ask us to work it out for ourselves and come back to him, so we need to always think for ourselves! i took the stones to the door of the loungeroom and had my husband reach around the door to touch them so they would glow and then threw some glow sticks in with them! he then stepped out from behind the door so they could see him, the same as the brother of jared had the faith to see the lord. bonus points for family participation haha.
these are just three easy ideas i've come up with the last few weeks... there has to be hundreds! but fhe with kids will never be easy, just hang in there! ♥