The first 101 items listed here were originally printed in the Church News in 1983. All of them may not apply to your circumstances. Also, there might be some that you may not even feel would even be appropriate for the way your family worships on the Sabbath. However, I have included all of them in their original form.
We suggest that after you look through this list, that you print it out and more carefully read over the ideas and suggestions. Mark the ones that you might be interested in doing sometime. Ask other family members to do the same. Perhaps everyone could put their initials next the ideas that they are interested in. Then, on a Sunday or in Family Home Evening, go over your list all together and decide which things you are going to do this next week.
Make specific plans
for your Sundays in advance. A bishop needs to plan what
is going to take place in Sacrament Meeting, and teachers need to prepare their lessons for Sunday. But we have a more important stewardship in our homes than any of these good people! It would be good if we, as parents, would prepare for what will go on there on Sunday. A sacred Sabbath starts before Sunday morning.
1. Children and adults could read their Church magazines from cover to cover.
2. Prepare any future talks or lessons.
3. Use crock pot recipes to cut down on extra cooking.
4. Prepare Family Home Evening lessons for the next day.
5. Visit those you know who are in the hospital.
6. Attend temple classes.
7. Invite someone who may be unable to cook for themselves such as an elderly person or shut-in, to share dinner with your family, or take dinner to them.
8. Make a list of members who may need a ride to sacrament meetings. Invite them to ride with you.
9. Surprise someone in need with a visit.
10. Find a unique way to fellowship less active families.
11. Have family scripture
study. Younger children may want to draw representational pictures beside
their favorite scriptures. This will enable
them to find the same scripture and remember what it was about in the future.
12. Visit the temple grounds as a family or bring a non-member friend.
13. View the movies inside the Visitors Center or take a tour.
14. Give time to a nursing home or to others who may need help reading letters from loved ones or writing them.
15. Re-visit families on your Home and Visiting teaching routes who may need to be visited.
16. Utilize time together in the car or at dinner to discuss what each family member learned at Church that day.
17. Check out filmstrips from the library and view them.
18. Rest and reflect on what was taught in Church classes.
19. Listen to scripture tapes or view scripture videos.
20. Read material that is Church-oriented or uplifting.
21. Tape morning broadcasts of BYU devotionals and play them back during the day and throughout the week.
22. Read children's scripture story books to them. Visit the ward library and find out what is available to check out.
23. Pair children up in separate rooms together with games or books, etc. This allows each child time to build a one-on-one relationship with each of his/her brothers and sisters. Partners are rotated each Sunday.
24. While children are spending special time together, Mom and Dad can spend time alone together and perhaps fix an unusual or creative breakfast for the children.
25. Label and catalogue the family picture journal (photos, slides or videotapes of family.)
26. Have a simple and short music lesson. Familiarize children with music symbols and words. Teach them how to lead music.
27. Prepare stories about your children to tell them.
28. Tell children stories of when you were their age.
29. Have grandma or grandpa tell stories about themselves or the lives of other relatives.
30. Record these personal profiles for Book of Remembrance or journals.
31. Decorate special jars for tithing and mission funds.
32. Take a walk as a family. Discuss the blessing Heavenly Father has given us through nature.
33. Invite married family members home for a visit or go visit them.
34. Decorate a Sunday "Things to Do" box and fill it with ideas. Draw one out each Sunday to do.
35. Plan and rehearse a family musical recital.
36. Perform the recital at a nursing home or children's hospital.
37. Make shadow portraits or silhouettes of family members or of the prophets. Include them in scrap books or use to decorate cards.
38. Tape a special program for a missionary or loved one far away. Include talks, stories and songs.
39. Make phone calls or write letters to those special friends and loved ones to let them know you're thinking of them.
40. Prepare home or visiting messages for the month.
41. Set goals or
begin a "Pursuit of Excellence" program. Chart your success
42. Compose an original song expressing a lovely thought or deed. Encourage children to express themselves also.
43. Develop greater love and appreciation for music by listening to great works.
44. As a family, invent a design, crest, emblem or logo to display on a family banner. When it is complete, unfurl it during family home evenings or other special family occasions.
45. Practice a skill such as knitting, etc. Make a gift for a friend.
46. "Adopt" a friend. Select someone special.
47. Have a "Hands Across the Water" day. Let return missionaries in the ward help you select a country. Help family members to become familiar with the customs of LDS around the world.
48. Customize copies of the Book of Mormon for the missionaries to give out by marking important scriptures and adding your personal testimony.
49. Produce a puppet show depicting a historical Church event.
50. Dramatize events from the Bible and Book of Mormon with family members. Be sure to dress for your parts.
51. Form a rhythm band to help younger children learn the music to hymns and Primary songs.
52. Construct an "I'm Grateful For..." mobile to hang in children's rooms.
53. Take turns role playing and acting out stories.
54. Make a set of paper dolls representing the members of your family. Use them in flannel board stories or at Family Home Evening to demonstrate proper reverence, behavior at Church, manners and attitudes.
55. Make gifts such as sachets from cloves, oranges and ribbon to give away to "adopted friends."
56. Have each family member make a personal scrap book. Include pictures, important letters, certificates, school and Primary papers.
57. Make some kind of book. Write a story inside with a good moral. Illustrate it and then make a tape recording, complete with sound effects and music. Younger children may then look and listen to the book themselves.
58. Make a tape or letter. Have children set goals for the year and share feelings or testimonies. Save the tapes and letters for a year and then listen and/or read them.
59. Compose some poetry or write a story.
60. Write letters, thank-you cards, get-well and thinking-of-you notes.
61. Make family progress charts, achievement cards and award certificates.
62. Use salt dough or clay or construct a nativity scene, Liahona, or other Church artifact. Use your imagination.
63. Learn the missionary discussions (you never know when you may need them).
64. Make puzzles from pictures in old Church publications.
65. Clip and file favorite articles from Church publications for future reference.
66. Expand your collection of visual aids for lessons and talks by removing pictures from old Church magazines and mounting them.
67. Make personalized, handmade cards for birthdays, I love you, thinking-of-you or get-well cards.
68. Remember birthdays for the upcoming week of ward members, Church leaders, relatives, etc. Mark them on a calendar as a reminder to call or mail a personalized card.
69. Make a scroll story with butcher paper and two sticks.
70. Plan a family service project. Ask your bishop for ideas.
71. Invent a Church-related game or play one you may already have.
72. Study religious history.
73. Make dot-to-dot pictures of objects like the golden plates or the start of Bethlehem to keep little ones quietly entertained.
74. Memorize scriptures, hymns, stories , or poems.
75. Read a good play as a family. Have each member assume one or more parts.
76. Have each member of the family take turns reporting on a General Authority, prophet, bishop or other Church leader. Tell stories and display or draw pictures.
77. Have a story swap. Each member of the family must have a story of courage or valor to swap about a relative, Church leader or famous person.
78. Listen to tapes of conference or talks of the General Authorities.
79. Practice playing or singing hymns.
80. Look at books containing great works of art with children. Discuss each painting with them.
81. Set missionary goals whether they are full-time, stake or personal.
82. Invite a family in the ward you would like to know better to your home for a family fireside.
83. Set genealogy goals.
84. Have personal family interviews.
85. Write a family song or cheer.
86. Write a family newsletter to send to friends and relatives.
87. Write a giant letter to the missionaries from your ward. Each person writes his letter on the same large piece of butcher paper.
88. Plan family outings, picnics, camp outs, vacations, and holidays.
89. Make a picture book for each family member. Include pictures of themselves at different ages, other family members, and special events.
90. Take a few minutes to plan next Sunday's activities. Decide what must be done during the week to prepare for it.
91. Plan a family D.I. drive day where the family cleans the house and garage in search of items to donate.
92. Tape Church meetings for members who usually are unable to attend.
93. Practice reverence with children by sitting quietly for a short period of time. Listen to quiet music or conference tapes.
94. Play this game or make up a variation. Cut the Articles of Faith and several scriptures which have been memorized by players into words. Mount the cut words on cards. Deal six cards to each player and put the rest into a draw pile. Take turns starting a scripture or Article of Faith. As each player takes his turn, add an appropriate card from your hand to your own and the other players' sentences. If you do not have a card that can be played, discard one card to the bottom of the draw pile and take a new one. If drawn card is still inappropriate, pass. Winner is the fist one to use all the cards in his or her hand.
95. Play the Scripture Hunt game. Each player takes a different page of scriptures. After reading that page, each player then writes a one sentence question, the answer to which is found somewhere on the page. At the signal, swap pages and questions. The first player to locate the correct answer to his question is the winner.
96. Play Hang Man, or Word Scramble on chalk boards. Use Church-related words.
97. Learn some new finger plays with the children.
98. Have a memory jolt (quiz) contest. See what is remembered from last Sunday.
99. Make your own filmstrip stories. Dip an old filmstrip in bleach for a few minutes. When the emulsion is loose, rinse the film under running water (do not touch the bleach). Wipe dry and then add your own pictures with permanent colors.
100. Select a talent you would like to develop. Set some goals to help you achieve the talent and then work toward developing it.
101. Each Sunday, feature a different family member in a "Why I Love You" spotlight. Display a picture and a hobby or craft of that person in a prominent place for a week. Write a brief history of the member and list all of their qualities and strengths.
102. To encourage family to know who the current prophets and apostles are, photocopy their picture from the center of the conference issue of the Ensign. Make enough copies for half the members of your family. Play a simple game by putting a small treat (M&M, small marshmallow or nut, etc.) on each individual's picture. Divide into partners. One partner decides which one of the individuals pictured is going to be "it", and either writes it down, or tells mom or dad. The other partner tries to not name who was picked. He will call each apostle or member of the First Presidency by name. ("Was it President Thomas S. Monson?") For every person he names who was not the name picked, he gets to eat the treat. Once the person picked is named, the other partner gets to eat all the remaining treats. (BTW, our children call this game "Don't Eat the Prophet.") :-)
103. Keep a notebook with a section for each child to use for interviews. At our house, an interview consists of us meeting one-on-one with the children, and asking them, "Okay. What would you like to talk about? What would you like help with? What would you like to see done differently around here? What would you like to have happen in the next week or so? Is there anything you want or need that isn't being taken care of?" Take careful notes of what is discussed, and follow through during the week. At the end of the interview, mom or dad might then have a request for the child such as, "It would mean a lot to me if you would work on (whatever) during the week." Because they have had their concerns listened to, they are usually very willing to work on our concerns. Review the children's list with them during the next interview, so they can see that you did what they asked where you could.
104. Study the General Conference addresses as a family, so that everyone knows what counsel our living prophets are currently giving us. Determine what you are going to do in your home as a family to implement their counsel.
105. Appoint yourselves to the unofficial Ward Welcoming Committee. When a new family comes to church, show up at their house later that day with a plate of cookies and a note saying who you are, prepared in advance. Make it a point to check with the quorum and Relief Society secretaries to find out the names and addresses of new people in the ward. Sometimes just one person or family can make all the difference between people feeling unwelcome, and having them feel, "Gosh! This ward is so friendly!" Be that one person or family.
106. Have an object lesson contest in your family. Pick one or two items around the house - any simple tool or item - and have everyone come up with story about how that item can illustrate a gospel principle. --Leslie North
107. One of the things we have tried is that my mother gave us a scripture to memorize and a topic. With that topic we had to write a short 5 min talk. We could use the scripture that we had memorized, (it was usually related). The older kids would help the younger kids. Then after a set amount of time, we would all give our talks to each other. Mom has kept these talks in a binder for our use if we ever had to give talks in church. It was neat to see how much we could learn about a certain topic, and it is neat to watch the younger kids grasp on to the gospel, and be able to memorize scriptures and testify of their truthfulness. --Heidi Scott
108. We hold our lesson for Family Home Evening on Sundays. Then on Monday, we plan a fun activity or a "field trip", like going to the library, the park, etc. These are things and/or places we wouldn't go to or do on Sunday. This has worked wonders in our home for having regular Family Home Evening. --Brent Gadberry
109. Bake cookies for an elderly couple or a less active family in your ward. Leave them on a pretty plate on their doorstep, ring the doorbell and run. --Christian Larson