By Trishia Van Orden
October and all of its wonders are just around the corner, including General Conference. I am very excited to receive some much-needed guidance and love from the speakers. This time around, I have decided to prepare for Conference by having a question to ponder ahead of time. I have heard of many other people who have done this, but this will be my first time actually preparing for General Conference in this way.
As I started thinking about preparing for Conference, I found myself wondering how I might prepare my children to receive guidance as well. After pondering and a little bit of research, I discovered several amazing ways to help prepare children and keep them engaged during Conference.
Toddlers and Small Children
My top three things that I loved for this age group were an I Spy game from Ministering Printables, “General Conference Treat Buckets” from Old Salt Farm, and coloring pages from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website. All of these ideas have great ways to keep young children (as well as mom and dad) engaged while listening to Conference.
My runner up for this age group is the “speaker bags” activity from AffinityGrove. I love the idea of having small, fun craft supplies in each activity-speaker bag so the children do not get bored; however, it was not my top pick because the activities (while great) were not gospel related. I personally think that I will incorporate a mixture of all four of these activities for my children this conference.
Elementary School Age Children
My top three choices for older children are not too much different from the younger kids. I found a wonderful updated I Spy list that would be great for kids as they listen to the talks. This list asks for things like someone speaking a different language, as well as different gospel or timely topics that might be mentioned. You can find this I Spy activity at the Live Craft Eat blog.
My last pick for this age group is a cute game from AffinityGrove. This game asks the players to observe what people are wearing as well as what they are saying. You can work as teams or individually to gather all the information and check yourselves with other members of the family. It is a great way to get the entire family involved.
Teens and Adults
As children get older they become more able to pay attention, listen to, and internalize the messages of General Conference. However, even adults can find it difficult to focus for five sets of two hour Conference sessions. To help those of us who struggle a bit with Conference overload, I also created a top-three-list to help keep your minds and hands focused on the speaker.
My first and favorite idea is to participate in the same activities as the children (it’s fun and keeps everyone involved). If their activities just don’t suit you or you would like something more to do, you can doodle/bullet journal key moments or quotes using your own paper or one of these cute, pre-designed pages from Melonhead Illustrating or LDS Lane.
One final idea is to do coloring pages that are simple yet intricate enough to keep you engaged. You can even write notes in certain areas instead of coloring them. Some of the most beautiful LDS-inspired coloring pages I’ve found are available at Ministering Printables.
And of course, don’t forget the snacks!
In preparation for Conference (or afterward), check out our books for LDS kids, Chloe has a Question, A Very Important Question and This is the Spirit of Revelation. Both of these amazing tools will help your kids improve their ability to access the power of personal revelation. Each has simple, powerful explanations to teach your kids how to ask for revelation, as well as how to hear, understand, and act upon inspiration and promptings.
Trishia Van Orden has a Bachelor’s Degree in Marriage and Family Studies from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She has a love for psychology and hopes to one day open a Family Life Education Center where she lives. She is currently writing for Empower Latter-day Saint Kids and working as a volunteer in a girl’s youth group program. She is a wife and a mother of three beautiful girls.
General Conference Can Be a Calm During the Storms of Life
“In a world of turmoil and uncertainty, it is more important than ever to make our families the center of our lives and the top of our priorities.”– L. Tom Perry