Strengthening the Home | Examples of Evening Activities
We hope everyone is doing well during this “stay at home” period. Since you are home more than normal, we’d like to recommend a few things to help you grow as a family.
I don’t know about you, but our family thrives when Mom and Dad give a little direction and structure to the evenings. How great is it when Mom and Dad can hype up a fun and exciting evening together to the rest of the family? Sometimes, it helps to hear what other families are doing…so we’ve polled a few and put them together as a “mock schedule” of sorts. Prayerfully, this will help you make your home a vibrant place of gospel ministry and training.
Monday Evening: Family Reading
Explanation: Family Reading time is a lost art for sure. What do we mean by “Family Reading Time”? Family reading time means that the whole family sits down in the same room and listens to one voice read a book. No devices. There are tons of benefits to reading out loud to your kids. Take some time to look up the educational benefits to reading out loud. You’ll be amazed!
What does this look like in our home? Most of the time, we really have work for it. This means after dinner, after clean up, after the teeth are brush and the PJ’s are on, we’re in one of our kids rooms, sitting on the carpet and huddled together. Nothing fancy. Our kids are 13, 11, 8 and 6. We still read picture books to them☺ Sometimes we’ll make a fire in the winter time and aim at reading a novel together. Some of our favorites are listed below in no particular order…
Resources (Christian and Non-Christian):
For ages 8 and up:
- The Wing Feather Saga by Andrew Peterson
- The Green Ember
- Lightkeepers Girls/Boys Box Set by Irene Howat
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
- Audio | Christian Hereos: Then and Now
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann Wyss
For the little ones:
- Anything from the “Good News for Little Hearts” series
- The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
- Anything by Catherine MacKenzie (for starters…Amy Carmichael: Can brown eyes be made blue? )
- Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep by Teri Sloat
- Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
- The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally-Lloyd Jones
- The Big Picture Storybook Bible by David Helm
- Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids by Phil Vischer
Tuesday Evening: Game Night
Explanation: “A family that plays together stays together.” We’ve got to have an environment of laughter in the home. Honestly, we’ve not done a great job at playing a lot of games at night. It takes a lot of energy and instruction. But, as our kids are getting older, they are growing to love more and more games. Here’s a few games to start…
- Uno (of course!)
- Candyland (for littles)
- Charades (good for all ages)
- Matching games
- Ticket to Ride (great first “strategy board game”)
- Blokus (good game for tetris/math type thinkers)
- Code Names (easy to play as a family – develops the language)
Wednesday Evening: Scripture Memory/Singing/Prayer
Explanation: This can look differently in each home. We usually have our time of memorization/devotionals in the morning over breakfast where we write on our chalkboard wall and work on a verse together. We L-O-V-E Seeds Family Worship. They have fantastic videos with hand motions that help us sing and memorize scripture.
- Our Kidzone Resource Page within Planning Center.
- Seeds Family Worship (search for them on Youtube or Rightnow Media)
Thursday Evening: “Build a…”
Explanation: After a day of sitting at a desk, etc, it might be nice to have a night where you just create! Do something together with your hands like build a fort, build a campfire, build a lego castle, etc. Be creative.
Resources: uh…duct tape. What else?
Friday Evening: Movie Night
Explanation: It is nice to have one night to unplug and watch a movie as a family. Often times, if there is no plan, movies become the easiest and most common source of entertainment. Moms and Dads, fight the urge to watch something every night. Use movie night as a special night rather than the common occurrence.
- www.pluggedin.com is an excellent resource put out by Focus on the Family to help Moms and Dads with discernment as to what to allow their kids to watch. The movie reviews cover positive and negative elements, sexual content, violence, language and other matters parents should know.
Saturday Evening: On your own Reading
Explanation: It is important to encourage reading on your own as well. Why? Stories deepen us. And… Just think how much reading you do in a day! And…not only for their development, but it also gives Mom and Dad a chance to have a “stay at home” datenight!
- The Gospel Coalition put out an extensive reading list for kids up to 8th grade. It is a little daunting! Don’t mind the “classic” aspect. It’s a great list for all. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/a-complete-classical-christian-school-reading-list-grades-1-8/
As always, we’re here to help. Please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need
anything or if we can pray for you in specific ways!
Grace and peace,