The Sabbath is a special day, but it can be difficult think of what a family with children of different ages can do to make Sunday a special, spiritual day. But those families that stick with it until they find their own ways to successfully celebrate the Sabbath will reap blessings of stronger family relationships, kinder communication, spiritual depth, and more family fun. Here are 50 helpful ideas to get you started.
Arts and Crafts
1. Make personalized, handmade cards for birthdays, I love you, thinking-of-you, or get-well cards.
2. Make your favorite Book of Mormon story come to life with a shoebox diorama! Look up "shoebox diorama" on Google images for inspiration.
3. Make a family story book: Everyone picks a memory, draws their version of it, and writes a short summary about it. Share your memories with each other.
4. Make puzzles from pictures in old Church publications.
5. Make a few teams and give each a bag and a list of things to collect. (e.g. 5 flowers, 4 pebbles, 7 twigs, 10 leaves). Once the items have been found, each team creates a 3D nature picture.
6. Create a family mailbox to keep inside your home that you fill with sweet letters to each other.
7. Make a wall of favorite quotes from general conference and leave it up for 6 months until the next conference.
8. Create a Mormonad. You may want to show an example of a Mormonad from the New Era or Liahona. Share the Mormonads with the family and post them in your home.
9. Make “Quiet Books” using photographs of your family members being reverent in different ways. Small children can look at the books during sacrament meeting to remind them to be reverent.
10. Book of Mormon Puzzle: Draw your favorite scene or character from the Book of Mormon and cut it up into pieces. The smaller the pieces the harder it will be to put it back together. Then have fun putting it back together.
11. 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.
12. Practice a skill such as knitting, etc. Make a gift for a friend.
13. Construct an "I'm Grateful For..." poster to hang in children's rooms.
14. Make a goal collage out of pictures from old magazines.
15. Draw pictures of members of your family.
16. Create a gospel quote book.
17. Before a fast Sunday, eat a meal together Saturday afternoon or evening, discussing common purposes for the upcoming fast. You could remind each other of these purposes throughout the fast. Parents can encourage children to fast to the degree appropriate for their age. (Younger children might fast for only one meal.) Break the fast by praying as a family about the purposes of the fast. Ask children about their experience fasting and about any promptings they might have received.
18. Do science experiments to understand God’s fascinating world. Study how the Lord used scientific principles in the scriptures.
19. Look up addresses and phone numbers for your Congressmen and Senators. Write them a letter about an issue you feel strongly about. Thank them for the good they are doing.
20. Take a short nap.
21. Write about a spiritual experience.
22. Invite two or three families from church to your home for ice cream “Sundays” and talk about your favorite Sunday traditions.
23. Testimony Memories: Create a book, blog, or video log on YouTube, DVD, or online video channel filled with testimonies from your family.
24. Make up fictitious stories together. Sit in a circle and begin a story. Each person gets to say five sentences to contribute to the plot. This goes around the circle with each person adding plot twists or details.
25. Memorize “The Living Christ” and recite it as a family.
26. Identify all the temples on a world map using pins or markers.
27. Have a Book of Mormon read-a-thon.
28. Take family photos outside somewhere in a beautiful setting.
29. Show home movies or slides of when everyone was younger. Tell stories of when parents were young and what things were like then, etc.
30. Have a Scripture Chase event! Use scriptures that your family already knows or is working on, or use the selected scriptures from Seminary.
31. Watch Mormon Messages.
32. Study the general conference addresses as a family. Determine what you are going to do in your home as a family to implement their counsel.
33. 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.
34. While children are spending special time together, Mom and Dad can spend time alone together.
35. Have an object lesson contest in your family. Pick one or two items around the house and have everyone come up with a story about how that item can illustrate a gospel principle.
36. Your Wedding Day: If your kids have never seen your wedding pictures or videos, look at them together. Tell them about your dating story and what that day was like for the both of you.
37. Listen to music or a podcast on the Mormon Channel.
38. Read “Gospel Classic” talks on LDS.org.
39. Make phone calls to loved ones to let them know you're thinking of them.
40. Get to bed early on Saturday night. A family can worship better on Sunday if its members have gotten enough rest the night before. Make it a priority to get young children to bed early and encourage teenagers to return home at a reasonable hour on Saturday night.
41. Select a talent you would like to develop. Set some goals to help you achieve the talent and then work toward developing it.
42. Set missionary goals as a family.
43. Learn about our current and past Prophets in a couple of short minutes with the LDS Kids Video App. (for iPhone users)
44. As a family, read the first three paragraphs of President Henry B. Eyring’s talk “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady.” What are some “spiritual disasters” or trials that we might face? What can we do to prepare spiritually? Read the remainder of President Eyring’s talk, and ask them to look for answers to these questions. Invite them to share what they find.
45 . Read “Grateful Heart” by James E. Faust (Friend, May 1994, inside front cover). Talk about simple, daily blessings in our lives and help children realize that each day we receive many small blessings for which to be thankful.
46. Talk about the importance of temples. Watch the wonderful video “Only a Stonecutter” about John Moyle who walked 22 miles every week to work on the Salt Lake Temple. Discuss what your family can do to make temple attendance a priority.
47. Discuss the 11th article of faith and how each person is responsible for his or her choices. Why should we not try to force someone to believe the gospel? Why should we expect others to let us worship God as we desire?
48. Read D&C 58:26–28, and ask the following questions: What does it mean to be “agents unto [ourselves]”? How can we become more “anxiously engaged in a good cause”? What do these verses teach us about self-reliance? Discuss the answers.
49. Read the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies in Alma 24 and talk about how you could bury your own weapons of rebellion.
50. Discuss with children the consequences of the following decision made by President Spencer W. Kimball: “I made up my mind while still a little boy that I would never break the Word of Wisdom. … I knew that when the Lord said it, it was pleasing unto him for men to abstain from all these destructive elements and that the thing I wanted to do was to please my Heavenly Father. And so I made up my mind firmly and solidly that I would never touch those harmful things. Having made up my mind fully and unequivocally, I found it not too difficult to keep the promise to myself and to my Heavenly Father” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1974, p. 127; or Ensign, May 1974, p. 88)