Simple, clever ways to get children excited and ready for LDS General Conference!
First, What is General Conference?
General Conference is a semi-annual gathering of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The current Prophet and other church leaders share inspiration messages to worldwide members. As members of Jesus Christ’s church, we believe that God continues to speaks to us through His living prophet and leaders. We look forward to this 2-day conference to hear what God wants us to hear for our day.
You can read all the specifics of General Conference right here. General Conference is available to anyone online at lds.org.
How to Prepare for General Conference
There are so many great ways to prepare for General Conference. I’ll talk about some things that have worked for us and our young children. You can read other ideas for older children/adults at the end of the post!
With that said, let me give you a few disclaimers:
- our children are still wiggly and chatty and not perfectly quiet.
- these ideas will not guarantee a totally peaceful listening experience, although that’s the goal
- we’ve learned that choosing a few of these activities can keep engaged longer, rather than just having one activity for both days of the conference
Preparing is key
Remember. the ultimate goal is to create an atmosphere where the Holy Ghost can be present and you can receive revelation for you and your family.
Whatever General Conference activities you choose to do, make sure to prep them a few weeks in advance so you can have time to talk with your family and get them excited.
AND NOW FOR THE IDEAS:
The First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Matching Game
Each member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Apostles will speak at least one time during the sessions of General Conference. Get to know their names and faces with this fun matching game. You can play Memory, a matching game, or “Go Fish”
What You Need:
- Free Printables Here
- color printer or copy shop
If you can, make this game a few weeks before conference so that everyone can be very familiar with the Apostles and Prophet before General Conference even begins.
First Presidency & Apostle Treat Bags
Another idea that our children love are First Presidency and Apostle Treat bags. Since every apostle will speak at least once during LDS General Conference, you can prepare a small treat or quiet activity that your children will get to open when He speaks.
We’ve observed that our children really look forward to the next speaker to see if they’ll get to open a bag.
Update: this has been a great way to keep them excited throughout all the sessions. They will hold up the bags to see which photo matches the Apostle speaking. However, the one downside is that once the treat has been eaten, they tend to lose interest. So, just keep that in mind. Having a quiet activity would be a good way to keep them occupied during the duration of the entire talk.
What you Need for General Conference Bags
- craft bags or lunch bags
- Pictures of The First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Apostles
- 15 different snacks, treats, small toys, quiet activities, etc
- Basket to put the snack bags in
How to Make General Conference Bags
- Print off the pictures of The First Presidency and Quorum of the 12 Apostles. We only make bags for these church leaders because we know that each of them will speak at least once during the Saturday and Sunday sessions.
- Fill your paper bags with a small snack or treat. It’s best to have a variety, but you don’t need to have 15 different kinds. You’d be surprised at how many different snacks (pretzels, goldfish, crackers, etc) you already have at home. Sometimes I’ll take my children to the store and let them pick out some of the treats. This gets them excited for General Conference! If you have a store that sells bulk candy, that’s the way to go! You can buy just a small quantity of snacks for each bag.
- Attach one picture to each filled snack bag. Staple the bag shut and place all the filled bags into the basket.
During LDS General Conference, when that leader speaks, you get to eat that snack or treat. You could also do this with a simple, quiet activity instead of a treat.
Prepare Food In Advance
Another way to prepare for General Conference is by having food prepared ahead of time to avoid having to cook during the sessions. Think slow cooker meals, finger foods, appetizers, and special treats that will make General Conference something everyone looks forward to.
Here’s some simple ideas that you could enjoy during General Conference:
The Best Caramel Apple Dip (we call it Conference Caramel)
Crudite platter with veggies, hummus, dips, pickles
Slow cooker soup
Slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches
Other Great Ideas & Resources (most from LDS.org)
If you near Salt Lake City, take a free tour of the Conference Center