Fun Family-Night Ideas



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6 family-pleasing ideas that’ll help family members
learn about each other and their faith!

Go, go, go! That’s all families do today. They’re frazzled from
running to meetings, lessons, sporting events, school activities,
church, work, parties…they long for a break just to be a family
for once.

How can your church programs help families feel closer instead
of fragmenting them even more? Provide events that bring families
together. Get started with these intergenerational family-time

  1. We schedule meetings for different ages all on one
    night of the week.
    Then we bring families together before
    the meetings start with a low-cost meal, such as spaghetti, a salad
    bar, or tacos. Church members serve dinner for $1 (kids pay less).
    We have “dinnertainment”-people act out parts in simple skits. I
    bring photocopies of instant skits and assign roles on the spot. We
    also provide activities for children, such as balloon-blowing
    contests or simple relays. We recognize people who received honors
    during the week, such as kids making the honor roll. Each week,
    families update their prayer needs and answers to prayer on our
    prayer chart. We have a flannel-backed bulletin board with a tree
    shape on it. Family members write prayer requests on Velcro-backed
    leaves and put them on the tree for everyone to pray for during the
    — Joan Zeldenrust, a Christian education director in Lansing,
  2. We use family nights to build community. We
    make giant dominoes by cutting 3 X 4-foot cards out of tagboard,
    cardboard, or poster board. We draw a line down the middle and
    paint dots like dominoes, such as six dots on one side and three on
    the other. We make several dominoes with a blank side. We spread
    out the dominoes on the floor. Then we start the music and have
    people walk around the dominoes. When the music stops, family
    members each put their toe on a dot. The blank space can hold as
    many people as necessary. Each time we stop the music, we remove
    one domino but always leave a domino with a blank side on it. No
    one is eliminated. Family members help others get on dominoes so
    that everyone has a place each time the music stops.
    — Glenn Bannerman, president of Bannerman Family Celebration
    Services, Inc., in Montreat, North Carolina
  3. We have a fun family night every third Friday
    It’s an easy, uncomplicated, informal time to
    socialize. Each family brings a pizza and liter of soft drink.
    Families eat together and play volleyball. Young children watch
    videos. Sometimes we go to someone’s pool to swim.
    Judy Kile, director of education, youth, and evangelism in
    Kansas City, Missouri
  4. Our families enjoy making pizza together. We
    have all the supplies at the church when families arrive. They pay
    a small fee to cover the cost. Families make the dough, top it, and
    let it cook. While it’s cooking, we have a short devotional.
    Keith Johnson, pastor of children’s
    ministry, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota
  5. We have a family talent show once a year.
    Families prepare acts to do together. We also have individual
    family members perform. We serve light refreshments and enjoy one
    another’s talents. — Kathie Taylor, a Sunday school teacher in
    Stamford, Connecticut
  6. We connect families to the uniqueness of our
    For example, I dressed mannequins with church
    vestments. I made signs for different parts of our church such as
    “Hi, I’m the narthex. It’s like worshipping in an ark.” When
    families arrived, we had a short family worship. Then I gave each
    family a list of 40 to 50 items to find in the church. Families
    have 20 minutes to find the items. Afterward, I gave them a list of
    questions to discuss: What was something new you learned? What
    funny thing happened to you? What were the most meaningful things
    that happened to you? — Dick Hardel of the Augsburg Youth and
    Family Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Excerpted from Children’s Ministry Magazine. Subscribe

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For more great articles like this, subscribe to our magazine for only $15. Offer ends July 31, 2015.