Spiritual Prep: More FHE In A Jar!

Here are three more lessons to add to your FHE In A Jar. Again, these are for nursery/pre-school age children and are kept very short, sweet, and to the point to accommodate their attention spans (or lack thereof). 🙂  Just click on each of the three links below and either save them to your computer or print them out. Add them to your FHE jar (and add the activities to your images folder) and you’re ready for more Family Night Fun! Hope you enjoy!

  1. FHE in a Jar- lessons
  2. Sabbath Day Matching Game
  3. I Can Work- Coloring Page

{For instructions, information, as well as more lessons for FHE In A Jar, click HERE for the original posting.}

And in case you want some refresher tips for having a successful Family Night with small children, here are some suggestions:

  • Have a picture of Jesus Christ easily accessible so you can grab it for Family Night and the children can look at Him as you talk about the things He teaches.
  • Follow a routine each week so that your children can become familiar with the family night process.
  • Use a gathering activity for the lesson. In our home, we sing the following song (to the tune of “If you’re happy and you know it”) when it’s time for the lesson: “If you’re ready for the lesson come sit down (clap, clap), If you’re ready for the lesson come sit down (clap, clap), If you’re ready for the lesson it will surely be a blessin’, If you’re ready for the lesson come sit down (clap, clap).” (And we all gather in a circle on the floor while we sing.)
  • Involve the children as much as possible. Try to have a lot of interaction, ask a lot of questions, and have them repeat important parts.
  • Share your testimony with your children each week to help them feel the Spirit.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Small children have small attention spans and it will only frustrate you and them if you try to give a big, elaborate lesson.

Good luck and best wishes!

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Feature Friday: Family Home Evening In A Jar!

Howdy all! Happy Friday! Have I got a fun treat for you today (well… for some of you anyway)! As I was browsing through some websites, I came across this idea for ‘Family Home Evening in a Jar’ (explained below) and thought it was such an awesome concept… not to mention just what I needed (since I frequently wait till the last minute to prepare something for Family Night). However, the one I saw was set up so that it just gave a topic to discuss for the lesson. This would work if I had older children that I could actually have a ‘discussion’ with, but seeing as I’ve got a 1 and 3 year old, there isn’t a whole lot of ‘discussing’ going on during our lessons. 🙂 I knew I needed something with more structure to it. So I came up with my own version of ‘Family Home Evening In A Jar’ and geared it toward nursery age children (or basically 1-5 year olds).

Here’s how it works: It’s Monday night, you haven’t planned a lesson yet for Family Night, so you run to your jar, grab a strip of paper out and ba-da-boom, ba-da-bing, Family Night is ready. Each slip of paper lists a song and scripture that coordinates with the lesson topic. The lesson section gives a quick (since that’s all toddlers can handle) lesson and references a coloring page or activity (also included) that also coordinates with the lesson. So easy, so fun.

I really hope this can help someone. My apologies to those of you with older children to whom this will not be of much help… maybe I can start work on one of those at some point. But honestly, this took a lot of time and a lot of effort, so an older version may just have to wait until my kiddos are older as well. 🙂 Or if you have a family you visit/home teach with young kids, this could be a great present to give as well. Just doll up the jar with some ribbon or something cute and you’ve got one inexpensive, but very useful gift! 🙂

There are currently 12 lessons on this PDF file, so that’s a 3-month supply of FHE (or more, if you don’t use it every week). 🙂 I’ll continue to come up with more lessons and share them as I get the chance. Until then, I hope you ENJOY!
(Oh, and warning… it’s a large file! So please be patient if it’s slow.)

Download ‘FHE In A Jar’

{UPDATE: I’ve created a few more lessons to add to your jar as well…  Click HERE}


Spiritual Preparedness: Family Home Evening

So  how was General Conference for everyone this past weekend? I thoroughly enjoyed it! The messages were spot on for what we needed to hear (as always). But particularly, Hubby and I picked up on a similar thread that seemed to run through the entire conference: Follow the Prophet. And what did the prophet have to say? Be grateful.
In a time of so much trouble and trials, I love that the Lord is counseling us to be grateful. To be of good cheer. To not dwell on doubt and depression, but to lift up your spirits, strengthen your family, and carry on. What a balm to so many of life’s sorrows.

And speaking of strengthening the family, I wanted to talk today about Family Home Evening. For those who don’t know what Family Home Evening is, it is a ‘special time set aside each week that brings family members together and strengthens their love for each other, helps them draw closer to Heavenly Father, and encourages them to live righteously.’ (www.lds.org) In the LDS church, we have designated Monday night as Family Night so that meetings are not held then and other scheduling complications do not arise to conflict with this special time together as a family. Some families change this to another day of the week due to work or other scheduling complications within their own family. The day is not what’s important. The time you spend together is.

Well-planned family home evenings can be a source of long-lasting joy and influence. These evenings are times for group activity, for organizing, for the expressions of love, for the bearing of testimony, for learning gospel principles, for family fun and recreation, and of all things, for family unity and solidarity. -(Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee, and N. Eldon Tanner)

Family home evenings should be scheduled once a week as a time for discussions of gospel principles, recreation, work projects, skits, songs around the piano, games, special refreshments, and family prayers. Like iron links in a chain, this practice will bind a family together, in love, pride, tradition, strength, and loyalty. -(Ezra Taft Benson)

Monday evenings should be reserved for family home evening. … The primary emphasis of family home evening should be for families to be together to study the gospel. We remind all that the Lord has admonished parents to teach their children the gospel, to pray, and to observe the Sabbath Day. The scriptures are the most important resource for teaching the gospel. -(Howard W. Hunter, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas S. Monson)

Sometimes it can be very difficult and even frustrating to hold Family Home Evening. Let’s be honest… when the toddlers are running around screaming and won’t sit still, or the teenagers are dragging their feet and grumbling about having to spend time with their nerdy family, or you don’t seem to be getting any support from your spouse, sometimes you wonder ‘What in the world is the point?!’ (For the record, I have total support from my hubby (thanks Hubby!!), no teens at home to think I’m a nerd- yet, but my toddlers sure can give us a run for our money!) 🙂

Well the point is that there are so many blessings and promises associated with Family Home Evening. Blessings such as building family unity, increasing the Spirit in the home, instilling gospel truths in the hearts of your children. Promises such as, ‘Love at home and obedience to parents will increase, faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth of Israel, and they will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them’ (Joseph F. Smith, 1915); and ‘We promise again that as you faithfully plan and hold quality family home evenings, you will gain strength to withstand the temptations of the world and will receive many blessings which will help qualify you to enjoy your families through eternity in the Celestial Kingdom.’ (Spencer W. Kimball, 1978). (For an extensive list of promises and blessings, click HERE.)

Wow. What blessings! I’d say those are worth the effort. Yes, it may be difficult, but the end result will be worth it.

So here’s our challenge: If you are not currently holding weekly Family Home Evenings, start the habit now. Pick a day and time (Monday night sound good? 7 pm?) and don’t let anything interfere with it. Nothing! Soccer practice? Nope… it’s not as important as family. Homework? Get it done before or after. Favorite t.v. show on? DVR. Heart attack? Uh… okay, you can go to the hospital. 🙂 But decide now that your family is going to be the top priority in your home.
If you are already in the habit, then your challenge is to step up the quality of your Family Night. Try to bring the Spirit more fully into your home and think of ways to get each family member to be an active participant in the night.
For help on making your Family Home Evenings more successful, check out the links below and then tune in tomorrow for my special Family Night treat to each of you! 🙂

Family Home Evening Helps: