"General conference is a semiannual gathering of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). During general conference weekend, Church members and others who are interested gather worldwide in a series of two-hour sessions to receive inspiration and instruction from Church leaders."
Want to watch General Conference this weekend?
(April 5th & 6th, 2014)
I am very excited for Conference! No matter what is going on in my life, the Lord always answers my prayers and gives me guidance for my current needs through the words of His modern-day Prophets and Apostles. It is always inspiring and uplifting. I love it!
It can be difficult for little ones to pay attention and sit still for so long, so here are some ideas we've done that have helped:
The first idea is a little activity I made up called the
General Conference Train!
First, I cut out rectangles from some different scrapbook papers. Then I cut out a bunch of small circles out of black paper for the wheels. I printed several pictures of each of 9 topics often discussed in General Conference and glued the wheels and pictures onto the rectangles. And those are the trains!
When the boys hear one mentioned, they get a train car that has that picture on it and put it up on our wall using sticky-tack.
We've done this for the past 2 Conferences, and it has worked very well in getting them to hear what is being said. They certainly don't sit perfectly still and listen to every word, but often while they are playing quietly (and NOT so quietly) they will hear a word that sounds familiar and they get so excited to put a train on the wall!
I figure that's a step in the right direction. :)
They are constantly adding to the train during each session of Conference, and it gets so long that it even starts winding it's way on the wall up our stairs! My boys absolutely LOVE trains--so a constantly expanding train is perfect for them. You could also do leaves on a tree, fish in the sea, stars in the sky, petals on a flower, or whatever your children are interested in. :)
The 9 topics are:
1. Jesus Christ
2. Joseph Smith
6. Prophets - Thomas S. Monson
8. Scriptures - Bible, Book of Mormon
9. Missionary Work
I've also created several blank trains for when the boys hear another topic they recognize and want to add to the train.
If you'd like a copy of these pictures, I'm happy to forward them at no cost. Just email me:
firstname.lastname@example.orgI have them both in black & white and in color, so I'll send both. Included are 5-6 pictures of each of the 9 topics (note: for the topic: Family, I just used a picture of our family. I'll take that one out so you can add a picture of your own family.) AND all 15 pictures of the Prophet & Apostles, (for the activity bags described below.....)
This next idea is based on one I found on Sugar Doodle:
General Conference Activity Bags!
The Prophet, his 2 Counselors, and the 12 Apostles all speak during General Conference. So, I printed their pictures and put each with one of 15 different activity bags (I used Pencil Pouches). When that Apostle speaks, the boys look to see which one it is and then do the quiet activity in that bag while they listen.
Here are the activities I put in the bags:
1. Lacing Beads
2. Doodle Pros
3. File Folder Games
6. Plastic Shapes (to use like this)
7. Shape Fish (from this)
8. Valentines - to put into shoe boxes with slots
9. Magic Paper & Markers
10. Card Game & Flash Cards
11. Self Picture Memory (from this)
12. Foam Shape Stickers
13. Water Color Paints
14. Felt Numbers - to match with flashcard numbers
15. Felt Pictures - to match with felt words
*Note: I made these activity bags for Conference a couple years ago. And I have to be honest and say that they didn't work so well for us. :( The boys did love having a variety of activities and loved when they got to get a new activity out, so that part was fun. BUT It was actually really distracting. I was so focused on what bags were coming up next, trying to get my 2 boys to share the activities, getting them cleaned up and put away and the new bag out with each new speaker, etc. etc. etc. I felt like I heard LESS of Conference than ever.
So, the next time Conference rolled around, I just used the Conference Train activity and not the bags. Instead, the boys just played with whatever toys they wanted to while we all watched. Much less hassle and distraction for all of us.
HOWEVER, I'm sure there are infinite ways to tweak this idea so that it works for your own family. So if you want to try it, have at it! :)
And again, if you'd like a copy of the pictures, I'm happy to pass them along!