I’m a teacher and a Mom of four kids. Let’s just say that life is busy! When it comes to General Conference that comes twice a year for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints it can be tough! Let’s be honest here, more than tough with kids, right? The good news is I have a tried and true system that we have used for years that has my kids begging for General Conference and counting down the days. Check out my video about this game changing system that was shared on our Instagram for all the details.
The basic idea is that children have the opportunity to change activities often which caters to their attention span. These activities should be hands on and engaging. We have included activities like this to our Hands On General Conference Kit for you to use. You will need pictures of the prophets and apostles to attach to each activity. The ones I use and love are from Sara Marie Art on Etsy. They come in a variety of sizes, are hand drawn beautifully and double as a coloring page. Win, win!
The biggest mistake we make when it comes to General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with kids is that we expect them to sit and listen while taking notes or doing worksheet mazes. This so often results in a great 30 minutes and total disinterest, whining, and “Mom, when will this ever end,” for the remaining seven plus hours of the speakers. So many of us are doing it all wrong. The research shows us that a child’s attention span is only so long. As adults we are asking them to give full attention for 10 times more than what is developmentally appropriate. You can learn more about acceptable attention spans from our post about 5 Essential Tips to Home Centered Learning.
The good news is today I am going to help you have the best General Conference experience you have had yet!
Here are 3 easy tips to help you set up watching General Conference with Kids.
- Take an Inventory: You will need 15 activities for the 15 apostles and prophet. Look around for what activities you have at home that you can use. Be sure they are items your child (at their specific age) will be excited about. Pull these activities out and decide how many additional activities you need to purchase.
- Plan Ahead: Go to the store to grab a few exciting items that you need in order to have 15 activities total. My kids love things like beads on pipe cleaners, painting sun catchers or a new puzzle. Do this before the morning on conference. Prepare so you are not frazzled and so you can get it set up the day before.
- Be Excited: Model excitement around general conference. Your kids can feel your excitement and when you are looking forward to something, they will too! I like to say things like, “I can’t wait until general conference. I sure love hearing the choir sing. This is the best weekend of the year!”
Here are some hands on resources your kids are sure to love that work well with our General Conference system.
Recommendations for ages 3-5 year olds
- LDZ Studios has many great products. My younger kids especially love her scripture doodle dry erase card sets. Lisa gave my readers a code for 10% off just use “CFM10” when you check out.
2. Kinetic sand is LIFE over here!
This stuff is amazing and not messy like regular sand. Even my older kids love this activity! We have this kinetic sand play set that has really added to the fun too!
3. J.M Porim Felt Board and Feltings:
The felt board and felting pieces are the best of the best! As a preschool and elementary educator I own a lot of felt sets but these are the thickest and cutest by far! I have a corner in my home with both the day and night backdrops and a basket of felt pieces that my kids really enjoy! Use code “CFMFHE” for 15% off your order!
5. Norman The Latter Day Saint Books:
The adorable mouse Norman is a relatable friend for all children. My young ones especially love him! Each book teaches about a gospel topic. These are perfect for this system, daily use, sacrament bags and primary teachers. Use the code “CFMFHE25” to get 25% off your order.
6. Come Follow Me FHE Everyday Coloring Subscription:
Did you know that we have a coloring subscription? Each month it includes eight hand drawn unique pages and a color by number. Perfect for kids of all ages, teens and even adults! These pages can be a fun addition to your general conference set up! If you have a current subscription with us we offer it at a big discount too, nearly half off! Your kids are sure to love these fun pages!
7. Lacing Cards:
Not only do lacing cards improve fine motor skills but they keep your child entertained in a quiet way. We have so many cute lacing card at our house but you will also notice that we have some DIY Book of Mormon lacing cards in our Hands On General Conference Kit. For these I recommend laminating and grabbing laces that won’t fray to make them come to life! We have this Hungry Caterpillar set that is super fun and durable. Any Melissa and Doug lacing card set is also a great option!
8. Dot Markers:
I have used these specific dot markers in my classroom for years. They are awesome! No drippy paint oozing out, the perfect size for kids hands, great screw top lids and a variety of colors. Honestly, my three year old and my ten year old enjoy these. We have cool LDS dot pages in our Hands on General Conference Kit these can be used on. My kids also enjoy getting creative and making their own pictures.
Recommendations for ages 6-10 year olds
- LDZ Studios: My older children use the Article of Faith cards and the darling Memory Game she has in her shop. Both make awesome activities for kids who are older elementary during general conference.
2. Strive To Be Notebooks:
These hard cover, coil bound notebooks help youth to focus on their personal goals with the New Youth Program. My children appreciate being able to document their success, thoughts and ambitions all in one place. They come in two colors and even have pockets on the inside and back cover for extra keepsakes. General Conference is a great time for youth to set new goals of work on current ones. Use code “STRIVEFHE” for 40% off at Blossom Journal Co. That is a huge savings!
3. Weaving Loom:
These kits are awesome for a quiet activity that keeps minds busy. My son and daughter enjoy getting creative and making new things. A huge hit at our house!
4. Come Follow Me FHE Everyday Coloring Subscription:
I have to mention our coloring subscription. My ten year old son loves the color by number and my daughter who is eight geeks out over all of the pages. Each month our Everyday Coloring Subscription includes eight hand drawn unique pages plus a color by number. Kids of all ages like them and it is happy soothing time for Mom too! These pages will be an amazing general conference set up!
5. Unifix Cubes:
As an educator we use these all the time for math but they don’t just have to be for school. I have a tote in our home and my older kids really enjoy making new building, shapes and words with them. Be use to order the kind that you can connect on all four sides so they are more versatile. This is an item that some younger children may be able to do depending on their fine motor skills!
6. Magnet Shapes:
These provide hands on fun and offer a lot of open ended play. These can be a bit frustrating for young kids who don’t understand certain ends repel and attract but for older elementary kids these are a huge hit. Perfect to set up on your general conference table!
7. Book of Mormon Spot It:
My friend Colette has this amazing print in her shop. This game is quick paced and a great review of Book of Mormon characters. Simply download and print.
8. File Folder Games:
In our shop we have many different file folder games. Currently available are Latter Day games and New Testament games. Each game is sold on it’s own or we have eight bundled together for a complete set. These have been a huge hit for road trips, during sacrament, play time, Saturday afternoon and quiet time. Great for any elementary age, really! We currently have two sets available and one launching next week! Each game teaches gospel principles in a hands on engaging way.
Let us recap…
Set up your table with hands on activities and prophet images on each. Let this table be in the same room that general conference is being broadcast so children hear it as they manipulate items. Avoid filling the table with boring worksheets. The most ineffective, dis-engaging pages are crosswords, note pages and word searches for elementary children. Then plan ahead, take an inventory and be excited to listen to General Conference with Kids!
We would love to see your conference set ups! Snap a picture and tag @comefollowmefhe on Instagram to help encourage other families all over the world to prepare in an age appropriate way just like you!
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