Background on Family Nights
A couple years ago my mother gave me a book from Focus on the Family that was about how to regularly include a family night into your schedule. I really liked the concept so we adopted it and started having family night on most weeks. Many people have asked what makes family night different than other nights and the answer is that there is a spiritual focus and purpose. Both my husband and I are heavily involved at our church and would have it no other way. We pray with the girls regularly, talk about God and Christ daily and generally discipline (we call it correction) from a Biblical point of view but we wanted to have a focused time as a family where we could learn about God's Word together and learn from each other. As an educator and an advocate for children's ministry in churches I wanted family nights to be memorable, fun and easily applicable to our lives. Sometimes we focus on one theme (virtue) per month, sometimes it is a holiday theme, sometimes it is just a hodgepodge of various aspects of the Christian life I think we need to know but whatever it is we have fun and try to talk about it throughout the week/month. Often I come up with some sort of system or chart to document how we are practically working on applying what we are learning but not always.
I want to use this blog to just give you a peek into our family nights and give you some tools to use if you feel inspired to add them to your family dynamics. Please feel free to leave a comment if you have a question. I have taken the ideas I use from many other resources and not just my own brain but I am compiling them for however you see fit to use them. I will mostly be showing links and pictures and descriptions about our family nights and will add pictures when I have them but don't always have them. Hope you enjoy!
With the first day of school being last week I wanted to focus family night last week on just how much God knows us no matter where we are or what we are doing.
Main focus: God knows you and loves you!
Dancing/music: This is a personal addition that our family enjoys. We always dance and act silly together. It loosens us up and allows us to laugh and have fun together before our "lesson" begins. You in no way have to do this.
Opening activity: Game- Biggest and Smallest
Play a game that includes finding the biggest and the smallest of a certain object. Example: find the biggest book in the room, now the smallest. Biggest blanket, smallest blanket. Etc.
Story time: After the game we transitioned to the story of Zacchaeus. We read the story from their Bible. After we were done we acted it out and sang the very old, very dated Zacchaeus was a wee little man. (I never said family nights didn't include some cheese!)
Craft: I printed out this coloring page and the girls retold the story as they colored the page. Lydia worked on this word search, as she recently discovered word searches and liked them.
Closing: Reminded the girls that just like Jesus knew Zacchaeus, He knows us and loves us.
Prayer: There are a few different ways that we include prayer in our family nights. I will share more of them another time but for this night we used the prayer ball. The girls love using it and I think that is the best.
Reinforcement: We used this print out for reading before bed and the girls liked looking for Zacchaeus even though it was a bit too young for Lydia. Through out the week we have been talking about how God loves us and knows where we are, what we are doing, etc. and of course have sung the Zacchaeus song a couple time for good measure. All in all I enjoyed the lesson and the main point immensely.