A little planning ahead of time can make General Conference a positive experience for the whole family, even if you happen to have four rowdy boys (ask me how I know!). Here are six tips on how to get the most from General Conference.
Head on over to LDSBookstore.com for free printable coloring pages, general conference workbooks, crossword puzzles, and word searches. You can mix and match what you print to make your own custom-built General Conference packet.
Play the Word Game. My kids look forward to this every Conference. While I’m sure we use a bit too much sugar, my kids positively associate this with General Conference and you can cater the treats to meet your own family’s needs and preferences. We place usually about six or seven bowls of small candies or snacks (skittles, mini-marshmallows, goldfish crackers, pretzels, jelly beans or candy corn, M&Ms, circus animal cookies, etc.) on a folding table, each labeled with a word we might hear at general conference. These might be Restoration, Family, Faith, Repentance, Covenants, Prophet, etc. Your family can decide if you will allow variations of the word (e.g., faithful in place of faith). When the kids hear one of the selected words spoken at Conference, they get the treat correlating with that word. This has been our family’s favorite game because although they do get rather animated when their favorite treat-word is finally said, they are also listening intensely to the messages of Conference.
Conference Bingo. This one is a classic. Have stickers or small treats to cover the bingo items and this one is a winner. A free printable Conference Bingo sheet is available here.
Find the Apostle. For the week leading up to General Conference, keep images of the Apostles and First Presidency posted in your home. Use this link to order portraits if you’re unable to purchase them locally. You can also download photos and print them off at home. When one of the Apostles or First Presidency speaks, have kids go find his image so they can connect names, faces, and messages. We have even made little bags of treats or quiet toys to go with each apostle getting the kids excited to hear from our apostles and prophets.
Make it Special. My aunt’s family makes homemade pizza together in between sessions. My uncle’s family makes homemade donuts and invites friends to join them after the Saturday evening session. Including friends and family for a memorable time helps children to associate positive experiences with General Conference.
Most importantly, make watching General Conference a priority. Our children need to see us making time for the Lord and His servants. As they do, we won’t have to tell them it’s important, we will have preached by our own example.
Comment below with your favorite ways to engage your children with General Conference.