“Home Evening for Young Families,” Ensign, Feb. 1994, 72–73
Many parents find that some of their children are too young to concentrate on family home evening lessons that are suitable for older children. Yet they know family home evening is important.
Family home evening does not have to involve complex lessons to be beneficial. Simple lessons and games can keep young children interested and teach them important gospel principles at the same time. Remember, the goal is to have fun together.
Here are some activities that can make family home evening a good experience for families with young children:
Show children pictures of Jesus and talk about his life.
Study nature. Take a walk, press leaves or flowers, or go to the zoo. Teach the children that Heavenly Father created all things in nature when he made the earth for us to enjoy.
Have the children make their handprints on construction paper. Show the children how each person’s handprint is different. Teach them that everyone is different and that differences are good.
Cook something simple. Help children understand that Heavenly Father gave us food so we could be strong and healthy.
Play. Teach children how to take turns with siblings or parents and teach them that Heavenly Father is happy when we share and are kind to each other.
Listen to tapes or read books. Materials such as the Family Home Evening Resource Book, the Nursery Manual with its accompanying sound sheets and audio cassettes, and illustrated scripture books with audio or video cassettes can be found at meetinghouse libraries. Many different gospel lessons can be created using these resources.
Other successful activities can be built on these principles:
Allow for spontaneity. Children have great ideas.
Do something new. Everyone, no matter what the age, loves to learn new skills.
Start and end with hugs and prayers. Be loving and cheerful.
These and other ideas can make family home evening enjoyable for everyone.—Tara Bangsberg, Puyallup, Washington