Archives For Ideas

April Fool's Ideas

March 30, 2011

April Fools is a great day to plan a family night! Here are a few Web sites with great ideas for planning a night for your little pranksters!

Food and Fun

Family Fun has Great ideas for planning your menu, crafts and pranks. You will find great ideas like Faux French Fries!

How about a meatloaf cake for dinner? You can find full menus for April Fool’s Day at AllRecipes.com. Even Martha has some great ideas for pranks on April Fool’s Day!

Bible Passages

Some great verses to share with your family on April Fool’s Day center on wise words and choosing them carefully.

18 Like a maniac shooting flaming arrows of death 19 is one who deceives their neighbor and says, “I was only joking!” Proverbs 26:18-19

People throw out the words, “I am only kidding” and think that it somehow negates the insult or funny words they just spoke. We make a choice to speak life into others or speak death into others. Our words are like a “maniac shooting flaming arrows of death” when we veil how we really feel and then claim we are “only joking.” We have all been in those conversations where we are just joking with others and slide in a taunt or insult, which often conveys how we really feel. It is pretty obvious how God feels about deception, foolish talk and “only joking.” Spend time talking about speaking life into others, being an encourager and someone who chooses their words carefully. Have each family member tell of a time when other’s words have encouraged them and made them feel valued. You can also talk about a time when the words of others have hurt them. Challenge each family member to speak words of encouragement to others this week and practice choosing their words wisely!

How Often?

July 24, 2010

How Often Should You Have Family Night?

This is a question that each family has to answer when they begin the journey of themed family nights. A themed family night is different than a general night, hanging out with your family. While spending time with your family is essential to developing strong kids, a themed night, is focused around a specific characteristic or scripture passage. A themed family night also takes more planning, so the question becomes how many is realistic for you to plan and carry out during a month. Here are a few questions to discuss in determining how many themed nights to have each month:

  1. How much time do I have to plan for each themed family night? Planning, researching, and shopping for a family night takes time. You can estimate between one and four hours of prep time for each family night, depending on how intricate and elaborate your night is. This does not include the day of preparation time to get ready for your family night.
  2. What activities does our family participate in each week? Look at your calendar  to determine how many evenings you have free each week or during the month.  If your Thursdays are generally free, then you know that this is a good day to have a themed family night. It is important to schedule your family nights and put them on the calendar.
  3. How many do you think seems reasonable or realistic? Each family is different in makeup, stage of development, involvement in outside activities and if parents work or stay home. All these things effect how many family nights you feel you can pull off each month.

After discussing and answering these questions, set the number for a month that seems reasonable. For our family, we have a goal of two themed family nights per month. Some months it is more, some less. The important thing is to be together as a family. Be aware though, that your children will love themed family nights! They will ask for more! So, set a goal for your family and then after having a few, determine if it is a good amount for your family. Remember, your children are worth it!

There are great websites which can help you create your family nights. From menus, to crafts, to games…by spending time researching ideas, you can create a themed family night that can lead to a memorable experience for you children. Sometimes you will have an idea in mind for a family night, and other times, you create a family night out of something you found online!  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Family Fun Magazine: Great ideas for crafts, menu items and games. You can also search by a particular theme.
  • Living Locurto: Free downloads, party ideas, games and crafts which are compiled from all over the web.
  • Skip To My Lou: Craft ideas, décor and recipes…free downloads, too.
  • Hostess with the Mostess: Party themed website. A little surfing can inspire great ideas for décor and themes.
  • Be Different Act Normal: A blog that compiles crafts, décor and recipes from all over the web. It can also feature some cool crafts that you can incorporate into your family night.
  • Kaboose: A great craft site. You can also explore recipes.
  • Makes and Takes: Another great craft site which is geared to kids. This will have great crafts around holidays and the different seasons.
  • When all else fails, google it!

Welcome to Family Muscle, a site designed to help you strengthen your family through intentional, fun, focused nights set around a theme and God’s Word.

Planning Your Family Night

Family Nights take place across the world every night. Sitting around a dinner table talking, watching a movie, playing games, riding bikes or reading books are all great ways to connect, as a family, at the end of the day. In the busyness of life, we can often forget to take the time to be intentional and focused on developing the faith of our children. Our desire is there, so we often fall back on what comes natural and is easy. Family Muscle is designed to help you take a night, centered around a theme and a devotional, to focus on your family, build memories and teach Scripture.

Here are some easy steps to begin having a family night:

  1. Set a goal of how many family nights you want to have a month:Taking the time once a week to disconnect from the world and engage your family is essential is developing a strong foundation of trust and faith. Not every family night has to be planned to the minute! We encourage you to look at your schedules and set a goal for how many family nights you would like to have a month. We suggest at least 2 a month.
  2. Pick a night:
    Having a set night each week to have a family night gives everyone something to look forward to, as well as giving you a night that will become sacred for your family.  Putting family nights on the calendar makes planning smoother and gives you a chance to create anticipation for your children.
  3. Pick a Theme: Choosing a theme is the easy part! You can base if off of the season of the year, a holiday, what you have on hand, or even what you find on sale at a store.  We had a Luau night after finding décor at a local dollar store. Always be on the lookout for what can be easily used for a family night!
  4. Read over the Themed Family Night guide.  We have made it easy by giving you all you need for planning a family night, from the menu to the devotional! Read over what supplies you need and what Scripture you will be using in your devotional.  This will help ease the stress on family night and allow you to focus on enjoying the night.
  5. Enjoy your family! Being intentional in your family night requires some extra work, some planning and with that sometimes stress! Remember that it is about being with your family, connecting with each other over food, fun and focusing on a truth from Scripture.