Sunday, September 26, 2010

General Conference + kids = ????

{Twice a year, the leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gathers together to speak to the worldwide membership. General Conference is held in four two-hour sessions (two on Saturday, two on Sunday) and is broadcast worldwide on satellite tv, radio, and the internet. It's an inspired process, in that the speakers are not assigned topics, nor are topics reviewed prior to Conference--it's always interesting to see what is addressed!}
General Conference is coming.
Now that I have kids, preparing for General Conference is like preparing to entertain two preschoolers for the equivalent of an eight-hour car ride! I don't expect them to listen or pay attention to the speakers at their age, but I do expect them to be relatively quiet so Jason and I can listen and I do like for them to be in the same room as the tv, at least for part of each session. That means I have to get creative.
  • One of our favorite things to do is set up a tent or blanket fort facing the tv, ala King Benjamin's address (the original General Conference). We read the account in the scriptures, and then the girls enjoy sitting in their tent and doing their other activities.
  • Snacks and treats always help keep kids quiet. We combine emergency preparedness and Conference by going through our 72-hour kits the Monday night before Conference (for FHE) and taking out any items that have expired or will soon expire and need to be replaced--then I add these to our stash of Conference treats! Our 72-hour kits are filled with goodies I don't normally buy, like Cheez-Its, granola bars, and fruit snacks, so the girls are excited to eat them.
  • We rarely eat meals in front of the tv, but on Conference weekend I make something special for breakfast (usually cinnamon rolls and Orange Julius) and we all eat while watching the morning session together.
  • New toys or art supplies are always fun, so I usually pick up a few little things from the dollar store to surprise the girls.
  • There are a multitude of Conference packets available online--start here or just Google "General Conference packets for kids".
  • For kids just interested in coloring, here are coloring pages from the Friend.

What do you do to prepare your kids for General Conference?

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