Rounding up older children for Family Home Evening can be a challenge, especially when everyone has different schedules and interests. This assignment becomes increasingly more difficult if children are inactive or have partners who not part of the Church.
While it may seem impossible, there are several simple ways to motivate family members in attending Family Home Evening activities. A good rule of thumb when getting started is to conduct an activity that appeals to the masses. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure weekly activities do not repeat or get routine. It also never hurts to entice them with a special Family Home Evening treat afterwards.
10 Family Home Evening Activities For Older Children
The hardest part of conducting Family Home Evening, once your children have left the nest, is getting them to return. These weekly events will more than likely be at the bottom of their priorities, especially once they’ve established a career and family of their own.
That being said, it’s not impossible to herd them back for weekly Family Home Evening activities. We count down the best Family Home Evening activities for older children:
1. Start a Family Book Club
Choose a conference talk, inspiring article, or section of a book for each member to read. Rotate contributions by having the first person restate a part of the talk they liked and what they liked about it; the next person quickly summarizes what the first person said, then share something that was inspiring. The third person restates what persons one and two liked then shares their own favorite part. When the last person has shared, person 1 restates all the favorite ideas.
2. Food Storage Assembly
Put together emergency packs in old backpacks. Discuss what is important to have in case of an emergency, and create a safety plan.
3. Join a Sports League
Play a sport like basketball or baseball, but first take the opportunity to discuss sportsmanship.
4. Create Daily/Monthly/Yearly Goals Together
Start a goals journal. Start with 5 years out. Each person should write at least 2-3 goals they want to achieve in five years. Write one-year goal list next. Each of the goals on this list should support the 5-year goals. For instance, if the goal is to graduate from college, the following must be started. Then do a six-month goal list using the same principal, a one-month goal list, and a weekly goal list. Each week take a few minutes to write and update goals.
5. Family History Night
Discuss family history and the importance of the temple then fill out a pedigree chart.
6. Letters to Missionaries
Put together a stack of blank cards and pretty stationary and write letters to missionaries, grandparents, or a favorite teacher. Thank them for all they have done. Give at least one specific example so that it is meaningful to the receiver.
7. Get Funky with a Service Project
Do a service project. Justserve.org has a list of places needing help. If that doesn’t work choose an elderly neighbor to perform a service for, or fill out an application to volunteer at the local Boys & Girls club.
8. Secret Appreciation Games
Bake cookies, then assemble them in boxes and drop them on the doorstep of neighbors with a note saying how much you appreciate them.
9. Missionary Insight
Invite a returned missionary (recent or not) to come and talk about their mission. Afterward, discuss going on a mission. What are some of the rewards? What would be some of the challenges?
10. Snacks & Movies Always Works
Pop popcorn and watch a good LDS video. Deseret Book has a huge selection, or you could borrow one from your ward library.