With inspiring messages, family traditions, a chance to sleep late and church on TV, what’s not to love about general conference?
If you’re a kid, there might be a lot. Eight hours of listening to people speak, often without any sort of visual aid to add interest, is challenging for little ones and adults alike. So, how can you help your kids learn to love general conference while encouraging them to sit still? Here are a few suggestions that might help.
1. Prepare printables
Helping your children enjoy general conference might be as simple as getting them to sit still. Make conference notebooks or download free activity sheets from lds.org or other sites. Coloring pictures holds kids’ attention while allowing them to listen, so it’s the perfect pastime for general conference. You could even compile several activity and coloring sheets into a packet to ensure your kids have plenty to keep them still while they listen.
2. Keyword treats
Choose keywords for your children to listen for, like “faith” or “prayer,” and give them a treat whenever they hear them. Your children will be listening carefully for the words, but with any luck, they might remember something else they hear. Just be sure to keep it simple — anything too complicated can distract kids from listening and defeat the purpose.
Make general conference a family holiday by creating fun family traditions. Institute a special meal of conference crepes, a game of flag football between sessions, an ice cream trip after priesthood session or family game night on Sunday. As your children associate general conference with happy memories, they will be more likely to enjoy conference as adults.
4. Fun and games
Get the whole family involved in conference activities to keep everyone awake and make listening time quality time. Print “Conference Squares” sheets from lds.org (or make your own version of the Bingo-style game) and play while you listen. Because every talk is different, you can play several rounds during the eight hours your family spends together watching conference.
5. Make it a challenge
If your children are a little older, challenge them to take something specific away from their conference experience. In the days prior to general conference, ask them to give a Family Home Evening lesson on their favorite conference talk or help them identify questions they’d like to have answered. Children and youth will be more likely to listen carefully if they have something specific to listen for.