General Conference is on Saturday, and I am excited. It is always so lovely.
My friend Doris who is 89 told me about General Conference in the earlier days: “When I first joined the church, conference was broadcast over the radio and families brought food with them, sat on the floor of the multi-purpose room and tried to find and keep an atmosphere of reverence while entertaining and fetching children.”
Here’s my plan for entertaining and fetching children, while being grateful they are contained in my house and we get a picture transmitted along with the sound.
The past couple years I have planned activities for the children to do. I allow them to play with toys in the same room as the broadcast, but I don’t allow them to read.
I put conference on our computer in the kitchen and turn the speakers up high. If conference is loud, some noise from children doesn’t bother me.
12:00 Saturday Morning Session: Table Games. I have collected tons of educational toys and I like setting them out for children to learn with. I put each one on a tray, Montessori style.
2:00 Bike Ride to the playground, snack
4:00 Saturday Afternoon Session: Legos. I’m going to put the Legos in a long, flat bin on the kitchen table.
I’ll need to cook while they do Legos.
12:00 Sunday Morning Session: Art projects. I’ll get out a lot of art supplies and paper and clear the counters for work space.
2:00 Maybe a Sunday walk or ride to the duck pond or family pictures among the daffodils, snack
4:00 Sunday Afternoon Session: Fine motor activities. Bead threading, tweezer work, stencils, sewing, etc.
Again, cooking during the session.
Preparing Children for Conference
I cut out pictures of the apostles and organization leaders from the previous conference issue, write their names on the back, laminate them, and cut them out again.
Here is my song to remember the apostles and prophets, sung to the tune of “Do You Know the Muffin Man?” If you can write a better one, please send it to me.
Do you know the modern prophets?
Russell M Nelson, Oaks and Eyring
Do you know Ballard and Holland, And Uchtdorf, Bednar, and Cook?
Do you know Christofferson, Anderson, and Rasband? How about Elder Stevenson, Renlund, Gong, Soares?
I also encourage my older kids to think of a question to have answered during conference. Mine are always answered, and it makes me listen so carefully and appreciate the words.
I’ve also been trying to put on Living Scriptures cartoons of Jesus’ life when kids have a spare moment.
I’m going to start praying at family meals, and asking children when it’s their turn, to pray that we will hear the messages that will help us in our lives.
Helping children listen
My kids always say they can’t understand what the leaders are saying. This year I’m going to try several things to help them understand.
Giant sticky note stuck to the wall, where we write down invitations to act. A small whiteboard where I write the topic of the talk as soon as I know what it is, erased in between talks. Maybe alert them when I hear a story being told, by ringing a bell or shouting “Story time!” I don’t know.