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With so much tearing at the family and seeking to disrupt unity, what is the best approach for teaching otherwise? Sometimes the most potent lessons come through activities and object lessons. “100 Cards of Unity” is a simple way to help children work together and perhaps learn a powerful lesson. Time for some FHE Fun!
Opening Prayer. By invitation.
Time to Celebrate. What happy moments did your loved ones have this past week? You might take a moment to celebrate successes. This way your children will notice they do have strength sufficient to face challenges and to serve others.
Emergency Prep Minute. Just a little bit of weekly preparation can empower your children as they mature. What emergency tip do you want to share with your family this week?
Favorite Scripture Time. When kids and adults share favorite scriptures, they help each other find joy in scripture reading. You could include a few moments at the beginning of each FHE to share any new “favorite” scriptures found during the previous week. This can help settle the children for the lesson by bringing the Spirit.
Activity. We offer a suggested FHE activity, but do feel free to choose what you feel is most suited to your family’s needs this week. And if you have young children, feel free to adapt. Below is a simple activity and lesson you might try with your family…but you may have a different lesson to teach. Regardless of the method, enjoy this weekly time with your loved ones!
- paper clips
- pack of 100 index cards
- poster board
Explain that the goal is to evolve a structure from all 100 index cards. The family can decide how to develop it. Let your family know there are only two rules:
- Only paper clips can be used to join the cards, but the cards can be bent, folded, or shaped in any way.
- Only kind voices can be used during the process.
Allow about fifteen to twenty minutes for the completion of the structure.* If all of the cards are not yet used, invite the kids to continue to add to the structure throughout the week. (If you have younger children, consider building the structure on a solid surface that can be placed out of reach of little hands. Paper clips, otherwise, could be a choking hazard.)
Ask the kids to process the experience. How challenging was it to decide what structure to build? Or did it evolve naturally? If so, why? What helped the activity? Was it difficult to speak only with kind voices? How is constructing this project like real life in a family? What helps families? What hurts families?
(If you decide as a family to continue to add to the structure during the week, ask the kids how it feels to be working on a project together, all with the same goal, beyond just one day? What else in life can be like this?)
Ask the kids to brainstorm what one unifying goal or spiritual structure could be selected for the family. Write that on a poster board. If each index card symbolized individual “supports” for that goal, what would some of those “supports” be? Illustrate those on the poster board as supporting or sustaining the unified family goal.
Invite family members to contemplate during the week what they would desire from other family members to help the family feel more unified. In pondering those ideas, then turn it around and ask them to be ready to share at the next family meeting what they themselves are ready to do to bring about a more united family. Ask, “Why does it need to start first within our own hearts?”
Congratulate the family on a project well done!
Closing Prayer: By invitation.
Refreshments: Constructing ice cream splits would be a fun refreshment activity. Assign each family member one part of the process. Set up an assembly line so that each family member gets to add helpful parts to all the ice cream splits. (Remind them of the rule, “Only kind voices can be used during the process.”) While chatting-n-chowing afterwards, brainstorm on other ways your family has successfully helped one another. It’s all too easy to focus on what we’re not yet doing well; why not spend refreshment time celebrating the times the family has pulled together and in unified fashion accomplished great things!
A family’s finest hour is when it stands united. As parents, it is imperative we gently usher forth a steady beacon of love and guidance, so that our children will want to be part of that unified family unit. When we build upon the gospel of Jesus Christ, as parents seeking to obey His commandments with exactness and integrity, He will aid us in building a unified and eternal family.
In fact, one of the family’s finest hours each week could very well be during Family Home Evening. Put all those “finest hours” together and you have created a most powerful family unit — one that lasts unitedly throughout the eternities!
[* Idea modified from “Index Cards: Spatial Construction,” Fast Ideas for Busy Teachers, p. 84.]
C.S. Bezas obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Communications with an emphasis in training programs and human resource development. She earned her Master’s in Adult/Organizational Learning and Leadership with a focus on using transformative learning in dealing with life’s challenges. She is the author of Powerful Tips for Powerful Teachers and the creator of soothing-music found at CSBezasMusic.com . She and her husband have four children.