By Liana Cannon
It’s here! This weekend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will hold it’s semi-annual General Conference.
Here are a few ideas and resources to help you keep family members of all ages engaged during the 2-day event, and boost everyone’s conference experience.
Printables and Downloads
Researchers say doodling and fidgeting can help increase focus, concentration, comprehension, and memory. Try these downloadable coloring pages for adults that have all kinds of church themes or these fun workbooks for kids. You could also give kids this coloring page which helps them pay attention to when an apostle speaks by having them color the speaker’s tie.
If note taking is your thing, this diary has fun fonts and colorful add-ons like pen inserts and circle tabs. For a quick-print option, this note taking packet offers guided structure for jotting down spiritual impressions and thoughts.
If you feel like you need to put in a little last-minute prep before the big day, try this free study guide. It prompts you to think deeper on the questions initiated by President Nelson, such as “How would my life be different if my knowledge gained from the Book of Mormon were suddenly taken away?” and “How have the events that followed the First Vision made a difference for me and my loved ones?”
Who says just because General Conference is a reverent event that it has to be boring? Throw in a few games to keep family members engaged and entertained. One classic Conference game is Bingo. If a speaker says a word on your bingo sheet, cross it out or cover it with a marker. First one to BINGO gets a treat!
Another popular sugar-bribe is the Candy Bowl game. Fill a few bowls or a muffin tin with different candies and label each with a common church word. Any time a speaker says that word, kids can reach into that bowl and grab a treat!
This I Spy game has a list of things for kids to find during conference. Have them pull out their binoculars and spyglasses and check off each item for a treat when they’ve finished their detective work!
If you’re trying to cut the sugar, give this Lego game a whirl; it replaces the sweet reward with a toy. Different words are associated with certain Lego pieces. When you hear a certain word, you collect that Lego piece. The more you listen, the more elaborate structure you can build!
Another way to give family members a visual distraction is with jigsaw puzzles. You can find a variety of Christian themed puzzles on Deseret Book’s online store or Amazon. Try challenging your older children to more difficult puzzles with more pieces!
If jigsaw puzzles aren’t your thing, crossword puzzles might be your game. Crosswords and word searches are great mind benders that could serve as a nice break between sessions. And speaking of between sessions, this Conference Matching game is another easy go-to for young kids to break up the day.
Memes & Tweets
For older kids, try putting them up to a social media challenge. Have them take notes of their favorite quotes and things they learn. In between sessions, have them find or take pictures that associate with the quotes and post them on different social media platforms.
If the sibling squabbles tend to take away from the peaceful atmosphere, check out this mom’s solution! She gives a tutorial on how to make your kids their own handmade tents! They’re cute, simple A-framed units you can pop up in your living room, so each kid has their own space. Looks like they’ll love it so much they won’t want to leave it (which is just what you’re hoping for)!
Get conference cozy by making a “Mega Bed!” Grab a mattress or two, pile them in one room, and connect them with layers of pillows and blankets to make one huge bed. With a hearty breakfast and snug pajamas, this set-up makes the conference marathon cuddle and cozy. Not to mention, the perfect set-up for a family sleepover to follow!
Picnics & Hikes
Get outdoors and breathe the fresh air! You can set-up a Conference viewing spot outside, at a campsite or favorite scenic location. Or – simply hit the hills for a nice hike and take along a radio.
Maybe you have some hesitations about straying too far from your home right now. Understood. So why don’t you bring the adventure to your own driveway? Mix things up by turning your garage into a drive-in theater. Line the back of your car with pillows and blankets, lay back the seats, and project Conference into your garage. With a little popcorn and drinks, Conference will soon be your favorite family activity!