WHAT: When your child reaches about four years old, it is a great time to establish a pattern of including fun family times in your schedule to foster communication, laughter and faith formation.
WHY: It is important to have a consistent routine of creating intentional moments that will help your family deepen relationships and have faith discussions. Regularly scheduled family time activities are a great way to make that happen.
WHEN: For some families this might be a particular night of the week after dinner. For another family it might be after Saturday morning breakfast. Decide what works for your unique schedule and then protect that time. You might need to say “no” to some good things to make family times a priority. We suggest scheduling a family time experience weekly, but no less than twice per month. Setting and keeping a regular schedule will show commitment and value to all involved.
THE PLAN: Plan for success by finding resources to help make your family times a great experience. We have listed several recommended resources on the back of this guide to help you get started. Free ideas are also available online at homepointe.org. As your child gets older, ask them if there are specific topics they would like to make a part of your time together and let them help plan your activities. Don’t forget that the Bible is the most important resource God has given us to instill truth in the hearts and minds of our children.
THE FUN: Children are more likely to embrace your beliefs and values if they enjoy time with you. That’s why family fun times are a great context for effective faith formation. Be creative by acting out scripture together, doing crafts or object lessons that reinforce spiritual themes. Avoid becoming overly serious, rigid or stressed while leading family times. It’s okay for kids to be silly and it’s important to fill your home with laughter.
- Protect a day and time and let your child place the Family Time sticker included with this kit on the family calendar to help build anticipation.
- Play the Family Time song included with this kit or choose a family theme song to gather everyone together. Spend a little time singing, silly dancing, swinging the kids, etc. to get everyone in the mood for the best part of the week!
- Use the Just Like Air card included with this kit to test-drive a fun activity together. Then choose a tool that will provide object lesson activities to help you reinforce biblical values and lessons on an ongoing basis. You can purchase a recommended resource or check one out at the church library.
- Pick a family verse that you want to memorize and say together. Make up or use some fun games to learn the verse.
- Discuss a movie that is age appropriate for your child. Make some popcorn and watch the film together. Afterwards have a “faith talk” about the choices of characters and other aspects of the story that catch your attention. Check out movienightchat.com
- Share with your child something that God has been or is teaching you.
- Cook a meal together and use the time for sharing and talking.
- Take time to ask each member of the family to share his or her “high” and “low” of the day.
- Go on a family walk and spend the time praying for each other, the neighbors or others.
- Capture family prayer requests using a prayer chart or on a refrigerator white board.
- Create impromptu “God-moments” by taking advantage of unplanned and unscheduled opportunities to discuss your faith in the daily routine of life.
At age five, we will send you a kit to help prepare you to lead your child to Christ. The age in which a child trusts Christ as Lord and Savior varies, but we want to give you resources and training in advance to help prepare you for that time.
Just Add Family by Kurt and Olivia Bruner
Family Night Tool Chest series from heritagebuilders.com
Big Book of Questions and Answers series by Sinclair B. Ferguson
Fun Filled Parenting by Silvana Clark
Our 24 Family Ways by Clay Clarkson