Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fun Family Ideas

In Family Ministry, we are always looking for fun ways to connect our families to each other and that can be a challenge in this busy day and age.  But below are a couple fun things that I have done that are not expensive, offer a cool way to connect, and are specifically for families (as opposed to just dropping off the kids).

Family Picnic
If your city has a park, and most do, this is an easy way to connect your families. Pick a day and do a Family Picnic.  Have each family bring their own lunches and then pick a spot and eat together.  You can rent a shelter house, but it's not really necessary if there is a place with an outdoor picnic area.  After they eat, either the kids can play on the park playground while the parents chat, or your can plan some fun games to do as a group.  Because each family brings their own lunch, there is really no cost involved for this event, and except for the games (if you choose to plan them) there is very little prep.  It's truly a win/win activity.  Lots of fun without adding a lot of work to your schedule.

Family Game Night
There are a few ways you can do this.  The first, is to set out a lot of table type games and allow the families to play these with refreshments, music, and perhaps some fun videos.  Easy, and not really any different than they could do at home, however, not all families take the time to play games at home. Plus it gives families opportunities to connect with other families in a laid back pleasant atmosphere which is always a good thing.

The second way, is to provide family vs. family games and give out prizes to the winners.  To do this, each family is a team and the teams compete against each other in games such as "Name that Tune", "Jeopardy", "Concentration", or "Family Feud".  Admittedly, these games can be very time consuming to plan and put together, so make sure you have plenty of time to prepare.  You will have to come up with the questions or puzzles for each game and that can be work intensive, however it is worth noting that there is a Family Feud Card game that can be purchased and has tons of questions and answers already done.  When I create these games, I try to do it in such a way that neither the parents or the children could win without the help of the other.  So, for example, when we play Name That Tune, not only will I include music from the parent's growing up years, but also music that we sing only in Children's Church...that way they have to work together.  We also have a game where we give each team a random assortment of objects and ask them to create something with them.  This year we gave each team objects that included, a piece of rectangular cloth, a small box of colored clay, a variety of lengths of yarn, rocks, beads, pipe cleaners, and a few other things and asked them to come up with a diorama of something that they did as a family.  I am always amazed at how creative the results of this activity are.  It was truly awesome to see!  As for the prizes, they are always something that promotes another time of family activity.  Perhaps a board game, a puzzle, a family movie, or even the components for them to make cookies as a family.   

The third way to do this, is to create life size versions of games such as LIFE or Candyland and let the families play with each person being their own game piece. This would also be rather work intensive, and while I have yet to try this, I have no doubt that it would be an awesome memory for the families who participated. I mean, who wouldn't love to play a life size version of a favorite game?

We who work in Children's Ministry are often cut off from the other parts of the church simply because we are with the children so much.  Both of these activities promote times of fun with the whole family and also allows them to interact with other families. Plus it gives us the opportunity to be with the family as a unit instead of just with the children.  And if we really want to minister to the whole family, we have to find ways to connect with the whole family...and these are good ways to do just that.  

Until next week! 

No comments:

Post a Comment