I love Family Home Evening.

In our church, since family is stressed as being so incredibly important, we are encouraged to set aside one night per week for our family and nothing else.

And we love Family Night around here.

We don’t answer the phone.

We make sure all friends go home relatively early.

And we soak each other in.

It makes us realize how lucky we are to have one another.

It is an avenue to create deeper relationships.

Is it always easy to do? Heck no. Sometimes we’re going every which-way and things are so darn crazy. But I love that F.H.E. pushes us to slow down and remember what’s most important. If Dave and I aren’t planning anything our kids are hot on our heels to get something going.

Traditionally Family Home Evenings include a lesson, an activity and a treat or snack on Monday nights. But we’ve modified it over here since we have piano lessons on Monday that take up a bunch of our time. We have our Family Home Evening lessons on Sunday (when we’re trying to find good Sunday-ish things for the kids to do anyway) and we do our activities on Monday.

family playing games for Family Home Evening

Our Sunday F.H.E. is led by one of the kids (they take turns). They call the meeting to order, call on someone to pick the song and the prayer, etc. We have “family business” where we talk about what is coming up the next week and make sure things are on the calendar. Then we have a lesson usually based on something Dave or I have noticed needs to be discussed (how to be more respectful, how to put dirty socks in the hamper, how to look up scriptures, what the Plan of Salvation is, etc.) Sometimes the kids give the lessons too.

I thought I’d throw out some of our favorite Monday night activities since someone asked. They are super simple…in fact, the all-time favorite is playing “Sorry.”

But our “drawing game” comes in at a close second. Here’s how we play:

1) Fold enough papers for everyone playing into three equal pieces (like as if it were going to be stuffed in a legal-size envelope).

2) Each person starts with their own paper on which they draw a head to fill up the first of the three sections. It can be a monster head, or an animal or a person…whatever creative thing you want to come up with. We make sure to draw the neck long enough to spill over just a tad into the next section so the next person will know where to start drawing.

3) Everyone passes their paper to the person on the right. Without looking at the head, the next person draws a body down to the waist and folds the paper just so so that the next person can’t see what their creation looks like yet.

4) Everyone passes their papers around again. The last person draws the legs and feet.

5) Unveil our creations.
It is funny because our kids adore this and it is so darn easy. We’ve had some wing-dingers in the past I wish I would have kept. The kids love to see what strange creatures we come up with.

These games are fun too:
…although Rummikub is much more for older kids and the I Spy one is more for younger kids. A couple weeks ago Max, Elle, Dave and I had so much fun playing Rummikub after the little kids were in bed.

The point is: togetherness. And I’m so thankful F.H.E. helps us do that.

For more F.H.E. ideas click here or here.

And I’d love to hear other good “go-to” activity ideas anyone else’s family does for Family Night…

p.s. THANK YOU for all the good camera info. The only problem now is: I’m more confused than ever. I made up my mind which camera I wanted countless times yesterday…back and forth, back and forth. Have I mentioned making up my mind on things is NOT one of my strong-points?

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  1. We play that exact same drawing game for FHE it's a family favorite. One that Mark grew up playing with his family. We keep the pictures and pull them out when we need a good laugh. So fun! Got to love fhe. we do spiritual on Sunday and fun on Monday. because chances are someone may be out of town or working on monday night. oh well it works for us too.

  2. I love your blog and I always feel so uplifted and inspired by your ideas. Thanks for the FHE ideas, we are going to have to try that drawing game soon. Here's one that we were introduced to last fall: it's called the thimble game. You use a sewing thimble and fill it with water. The person with the water filled thimble chooses a category (we have gotten really creative with this one). It could be cereals, ice cream flavors, etc. That person picks a specific thing that fits in the category and keeps it him/her self. Then they go around and each family member guesses something that fits into that category (i.e. the name of a cereal) and if they guess the one that the thimble person is thinking of, then they get the thimble of water thrown in their face and they become the one to hold the thimble and choose a new category. I wasn't too sure about it at first–but it's really fun and it's not that much water:-)

  3. I'm a great mind maker-upper, too. Right now it's all about "to paint or not to paint" rooms in our house. Aagh!
    So, last night we played a fun board game for FHE in a sick child's room. That way she could watch and be included. I LOVE the drawing game–I thought MY dad invented that! That was my very favorite FHE game growing up as well. We used to play all those Victorian parlor games like pass the button, the minister's cat, steal the bacon & doggie doggie who has the bone. I think games are so bonding for families. Thanks for your great ideas!

  4. I've been a blog stalker for a few months. I love checking in and getting inspired by your blog posts. I admire your passion for your family. Sardines is a MUST for a family with lots of kids!! It's a version of hide-and-seek. All the lights are turned off in the house. With smaller kids you may want to limit the game to just the main floor or just the upstairs. The family (everyone but the "hider") goes in a room and closes the door (pantry, laundry, etc). One person goes and hides. The family counts to fifty and then comes out. Everyone splits up and looks for the "hider". Remember it's completely dark! When you find the one hidden you secretly climb in/around/nearby and wait with them. Keep on until the last person finally finds the group. Usually there is a lot of giggles and noise coming from the hidden group by the time the last person finds them. The last person is the one that gets to hide next. It is pretty serious at our house and the kids usually change into dark clothes so they aren't seen so easily in the dark shadows. Try it!! I think you'll like it

  5. Cranium is a fun favorite too. It's funny you mentioned the flour/dime game.(in a past post) It was our favorite when I was little and it's become a favorite with my own kids. Thanks again for sharing! You inspire me!

  6. Hi Shawni!It's Holly Vriens Bludworth here! It's been a long time since our early years in SLC! First, I love your blog and always feel motivated to be better after reading it, so thank you!
    Second, we have a couple of favorites for FHE. One time I drew a 9ft Goliath on craft paper and hung him on the wall in our backyard. Then we each got 5 water balloons and took turns trying to slay him – and eventually eachother! The kids still talk about it!
    Antoher favorite is acting out scripture stories. Each team gets 3-4 Gosple Art pictures and then has to act them out and get the other team to guess. My kids LOVE this and have gotten pretty extravagant with costumes and props!

  7. I try and change it up often. There is some awesome FHE blogs that have lessons, activities etc.
    Last night our activity was movie night. I love when it is summer and we might go hiking, bike riding, or a picnic together.
    My kids are only 3 and 4 and they ask me every day ," Is it family night yet??"
    I am looking at these comments for some fun game ideas!

  8. Our favorite FHE board games are "WhooNu" and "Apples to Apples Jr edition", because they lead to playful bantering and discussions! "Left, Center, Right" is easy and often surprising! "Don't eat Frosty" (or Pete, or whatever) is great for young families. I made several boards with different things NOT to eat (puppies, kitties, etc) on each.
    For quickie games on those late nights, we like
    1. Tangle- where you randomly grab each other's hands then try to untangle everyone.
    2. Ooga Booga- stand in a circle with your arms around each other. Look down, stomp your feet as you chant "Ooga Booga, Ooga Booga, Ooga Booga BOO!" Look up at someone when you shout Boo. If the same person is looking at you, you are both out. Continue til there is one (or two) people left!
    3. And our new favorite…. Duck Duck Goose! We sit on the ottoman so us OLD folks don't have to get up and down from the floor!

  9. FHE is awesome! Thanks for sharing your 3-fold pictures, those are too fun and something I will try with our kids now 🙂

    And to help confuse you even more, if you're not a follower of Karen Russel's blog, you can click over to see her comparison of Nikon's against Canon.


    I love my Nikon D90. I don't know if I could switch to Canon, even if they do have more cross-sensors. Sniff

  10. We need to enforce one night per week to be away from: ipods, computers, nintendo ds games and have family night. My girls dont' watch t.v. during the week, but now that electronics are in the picture more as they get older, I am finding that it's spilling into the time where the t.v. might have been on….
    We do movie night or game night, UNO is a big hit with older ones! My girls and I often have craft/scrapbooking nights too!
    Our family time that we do alot of is alot of times spent at barnes & noble, we get a coffee or hot chocolate and sit and talk, read magazines etc.
    I LOVE the drawing idea! super CUTE! your family is awesome!!!

  11. We used to play the "word game" at home. It goes like this …. one person picks a word, eg: Play, then we go around the circle coming up with rhyming words for it. eg: day, say, may. You keep going till you can't come up with a rhyming word and there is a winner.

    It was heaps of fun.

  12. Ok I am NOT a fan on commenting on strangers blogs, however, if you need a game that is good for ALL ages it's Doodle Dice. I used to be able to find it at Target but now I can get it on-line or at any specialty game store.
    It's really fun and not a painful kids game that the adults have to endure:)

    Love your blog.

  13. Hi shawni! I am kinda new in your ward, i was teaching in nursery with Lucy for her last few months and now my husband is your home teacher…i was blog stalking and just wanted to say hi! Your family is absolutely adorable and I love your blog!

  14. I love your FHE that you do. Love everything about it. We are big on family games. Not wii games/tv games but good old fashioned board games. Rummikub is totally one of our faves. Problem solving. good times. we also love Mexican Train. That is a super game. My four year old rocks at Mexican Train. Try it out…

  15. The "um game" is fun. Pick a category and go around the circle, everyone standing up. On your turn, you have to say something in that category. For example, cereal-on your turn-and you must go fast-say a cereal. If you repeat one-and your kids will be the first to tell you-or you say um, or don't say anything in the allotted time-you have to sit down. Last one standing wins and gets to pick the next category. Fun and free!

  16. Great idea! So cute. I just found your blog from a link on another blog. I love it! Regarding your sweet little Lucy, I was wondering if you've read or seen the book "I am Potential" by Patrick Henry Hughes. I am reading it right now, and its so great. I thought you might be able to relate with all you have going on with your own daughter. Thanks for all of your inspiring words!

  17. Shawni — I am the "someone" who asked for more info on FHE, so thanks for the post! It's been interesting to read through the comments too. Sounds like games are a pretty common activity!

  18. the thimble game is a favorite around here. i love the drawing game-my kids will die over that. i like your idea of doing the lesson on sunday and an activity on monday-just so long as we didn't just end up bagging it on monday. last year our area was urged to 'take back your monday nights for your family from whoever has taken them!'

  19. A good back-up family home evening that we do is called Brown bag FHE. Everyone gets to pick something they want to do for FHE and writes it on a paper and puts it on a bag. Then you get a timer and do each activity for a set amount of time. We do 5 minutes. It's fun and everyone is sure to do something they enjoy.

  20. I LOVE this idea and we will be doing this form now on. I might have to look up some of these games, lol! Thanks for the ideas!

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