Summer is coming on fast and that means more time with your kids, more time outside, more family time…basically more time!
More time together is great in theory, but when we come to it without planning, we can find ourselves sitting around watching a show or listening to the kids bicker.
This summer, we need to plan our time together, to plan an intentional summer! And that’s where the Play and Pray Challenge comes in!
Messy Family Project Play And Pray Challenge Overview
Every year, we host the Play and Pray Challenge, where we challenge families to 3 things:
- Go on a date
- Plan a family fun day
- Enthrone Jesus as King of your home
Why these things and in this order? Because if you want a family who prays together, you need to play together! And the first ones who need to play together are the parents.
In our challenge, we start with play and end with prayer, specifically with the Enthronement to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart and when we dedicate our home to Jesus, powerful things can happen!
Plan a Date Night
Your family began the day you and your spouse said “I do.” Your marriage is the foundation of your family so a stronger marriage means a stronger family. So before you play with your kids, play and pray with your spouse!
Rekindle your friendship and romance with a date night! We encourage you to put down your phones, play a game or do an activity and include an element of prayer in your date night. There are so many things you can do to have a date night, with or without a babysitter.
Make a special dinner together after the kids go to bed or just enjoy a dessert for the two of you. Try out a new cocktail with an appetizer or purchase an online dance class to do in your living room.
If you want to make it a night out, plan something unique that interests both of you. Things like axe throwing, Top Golf or a wine and paint night are all fun, active activities that challenge you to get outside your comfort zone. But these are just examples! Find things in your area that you’ve wanted to try and book it!
We’re planning to host an online date night on June 15th, so if you need something simple and ready-made, join us!
Plan a Family Fun Day
Bring your family together to have fun and make memories on one whole day dedicated to each other!
To prepare for your family fun day, it’s best to plan ahead! This day is all about your kids having fun, like a date with them. You want to send the message that you want to enter into their lives, invest your time in them and enjoy the things that they like!
So step one is to ask your kids for their ideas! Try to make sure you’re doing activities every member of the family can enjoy together, avoiding individualized activities. And remember, it’s summer! So we absolutely recommend you include water play.
Other ideas are flashlight laser tag, Youtube karaoke, hiking, bowling or mini golf, building a whole room fort and going on a long bike ride. It’s a great idea to plan to do a few of these activities on the same day.
Finally, be flexible! Remember the point of the day is to be together!
Enthrone Jesus as King of Your Home
Finally (and most importantly), we challenge you to Enthrone Jesus as the King of your home on the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
What does Enthronement mean? Enthronement means placing an image of the Sacred Heart in your home in a place of honor. This is a picture or a statue of Jesus with His heart, which burns with love for us, exposed. By doing so, you’re publicly proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the Lord of your home and of your family. So, that all who enter can see how you love and honor Him.
When you enthrone the Sacred Heart, you’re saying that your family is subject to the King and nothing is done in your home without Him.
It’s like pledging your allegiance and dedicating everything your family does to our Lord. What a powerful thing to do!
You can find everything you need for the enthronement – the short prayers and a beautiful image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – in our Play and Pray download, which you can sign up for here!
Bringing It All Together
Planning an intentional summer doesn’t have to be complicated. It takes a bit of effort, but the connections and memories we make with our spouse and children are completely worth it!
While our Play and Pray Challenge is just for the month of June, we hope that you’re intentional throughout the summer and keep it going!
Plan a weekly or bi-weekly date night and family fun day to keep the spirit of fun and connection going all summer long. Remember, the family that plays and prays together, stays together!
Our Play and Pray Challenge is a fun way to help you be intentional, to grow closer as a couple and as a family, so we hope you’ll join us! Check out our fun promotional video for the Challenge here!
Be sure to download our free guide for our exclusive date night and family fun day ideas and to get everything you need to enthrone your home and family to Jesus’ Sacred Heart.
If you’d like to learn more about making Jesus the King of your home, check out this podcast episode.
Find some of our top tips on summer vacations in Episode 193 or in this blog post.
Finally, here are some of our favorite game night ideas: Episode 220
This guest post was written by the Messy Family Project team.