Family Time: Age 4

Create Intentional Moments
Family Time: Age 4 Hero Image Family Time: Age 4 Hero Image

What is The Family Time Step?

Around the age of four is a great time to begin the routine of including fun family times in your schedule to foster communication, laughter, and faith formation. This is why we’ve created the Family Time step on the Faith Path. Deuteronomy 6:7 clearly encourages parents to connect as a family to intentionally pass on spiritual truths to their children. Establishing a consistent pattern of purposeful, fun, and intentional conversations is a great way to make that happen.

Think of this as simply a regularly scheduled family time with activities aimed at deepening your family relationships. For some families, this might be a particular night of the week after dinner. For another family, it might be after Saturday morning breakfast. Decide what works for your unique schedule and then protect that time (you might need to say no to some good things to make family time a priority). We suggest scheduling a family time experience weekly, but no less than twice per month. Setting and keeping a regular schedule will show commitment and value to all involved.

Put It Into Practice

There’s an expression that says, “Start simply, but simply start.” What matters is beginning a habit of intentional fun (card/board games, dad jokes, puzzles, relay races, etc.) and meaningful connection (reading from the Bible, memorizing a verse, singing a worship song, praying together, or discussing important topics).

You can plan for success by finding resources to help make your family time a great experience (see the additional resources at the end of this guide to help you get started). As your child gets older, ask them if there are specific topics they would like to make a part of your time together and let them help plan your activities. Don’t forget that the Bible is the most important resource God has given us to instill truth in the hearts and minds of our children.

Overall, your kids are more likely to embrace your beliefs and values if they enjoy time with you. That’s why family fun times are a great context for effective faith formation. Be creative by acting out Scripture together, doing crafts, or object lessons that reinforce spiritual themes. Avoid becoming overly serious, rigid, or stressed while leading family times. It’s okay for kids to be silly and it’s important to fill your home with laughter.

Next Steps

  • Protect a day and time and let your child mark it on the family calendar to help build anticipation.
  • Choose a “Family Time” theme song to gather everyone together. Spend a little time singing, silly dancing, swinging the kids, etc. to get everyone in the mood for the best part of the week!
  • Use the Just Like Air activity (see below) to test-drive a fun activity together or choose a tool from the recommended resources that will provide object lesson activities to help you reinforce biblical values and lessons on an ongoing basis.
  • Other ideas include:
    • Pick a family verse that you want to memorize together. Make up a fun game to learn the verse.
    • Make some popcorn and watch an age-appropriate movie together. Afterward, have a “faith talk” about the choices of characters and other aspects of the story that catch your attention. Check out for inspiration.
    • Share with your child something that God has been teaching you.
    • Cook a meal together and use the time for sharing and talking.
    • Have everyone share their “high” (something happy) and “low” (something not so great) of the day.
    • Go on a family walk and spend the time praying for your neighbors or other friends and family.
    • Capture family prayer requests using a prayer chart or on a refrigerator whiteboard.
    • Create impromptu “God-moments” by taking advantage of unplanned and unscheduled opportunities to discuss your faith in the daily routine of life.
Family Night Activity: Just Like Air

Supplies needed: Several balloons and a Bible.

Follow these steps for a creative way to teach how a God we can’t see can be real:

  1. Start by asking the children the following questions and discussing their answers:
    • Why can’t we see God?
    • How can we believe God is real when we can’t see Him?
    • Can we think of anything else we know is real that we can’t see?
  2. Hopefully, one of the children will include “air” in the list of things we can’t see but know exist. (If not, suggest it yourself). At this point, pull out the balloons.
  3. Explain that air is not only real, but it has power. Ask each child to use the air in their lungs to blow up his or her balloon. Remind them to hold the end so that it doesn’t fly away.
  4. Once everyone has an inflated balloon ready, compete to see who can make their balloon fly farthest.
  5. Once you’ve had fun repeating the balloon-flying contest, read several scriptures that describe God as a spirit (John 4:24, Luke 24:39) and use the illustration of wind to illustrate the work of God in our lives (John 3:8).
  6. Now tie off a few blown-up balloons and use the fan to have fun blowing them wherever you want them to go.
  7. End by memorizing the jingle “Just like air, God is there!”

Additional Resources

©Inkling Innovations 2019, updated Watermark Community Church 2023.