Yep, it's nearly that time again: General Conference! I love watching conference, but it is a challenge to keep kids engaged and yet quiet. Here are 10 quiet activities kids can do while "listening" to General Conference. It is worth putting a few of these together ahead of time to make conference more enjoyable for the entire family!
Is there anything better to a kid than a new coloring/activity book and a new pack of crayons? Maybe Color Wonder and Aquadoodle, but not much else... If you have a child that is too "mature" for coloring, try a word search, Soduku, or crossword puzzle book and a new pen. My kids like those four-color pens.
2. Dry erase board and markers
Kids L-O-V-E playing with dry erase boards. Wal-Mart has some 9" x 12" kind that have some tic-tac-toe and other game starters along one end. Be careful to make sure kids are not using the markers over carpet or upholstery, though.
3. Primary Conference Activity Packets
These are going around on the Internet and I know our Primary presidency handed some out yesterday at church. Basically it is a compilation of Friend magazine activities and religious-themed coloring pages. If you would like a copy of one of these, send me an e-mail (address in side bar) and I will forward one Pikes Pickles sent me (thanks Stefany!).
4. Write a Letter
If you have a missionary in your immediate or extended family, an older sibling away at college, or just a relative that lives further away kids love to write letters! You may even try making a fill-in-the-blank form letter if they are age 8 or younger. Or just have them draw pictures about what they have been doing or a story they heard in a conference talk. Be sure it gets mailed between or after sessions!
5. Sticker Books
There are tons of these at grocery stores, big box stores, and book stores. Look for them in the coloring book area. Or you can staple some paper together to make your own "book" and then let the kids choose their favorite stickers from an assortment of stickers you have purchased.
6. Folder Games
These are becoming more and more popular and you can find some free ones on the Internet. Or you can buy one of the Finch Family folder game books that have a number of cute patterns to use. Putting them together requires a little bit of preparation ahead of time, but I think it is so worth the effort since you can use them time and time again.
7. Quiet Books
These were extremely popular when I was a child. And when I was a new mom a group of women in my ward got together and made these. Each of us made multiple copies of two pages and then we swapped. You may not have time to make one of these before Conference, but maybe an older relative has one put away somewhere. I only pull our book out for stake and General Conferences, so the kids love to use it and are not tired of it.
8. I Spy/Where's Waldo books
Kids will spend hours pouring over these books to find all of the hidden people and/or objects. In fact, I think this will be a purchase I make this week since my kids have pretty much memorized the other two we already own! Here's where you can get it on Amazon.com.
For kids of reading age, provide them with a new book to read. Maybe the next one in a series they love. Just make sure they spend some time listening to conference too!
10. Friend Magazines
Dig out some old back issues of the Friend magazine for kids to look through and enjoy. I usually find I need about two issues per kid, but only provide one at a time per session. Since these are gospel-related, I feel no guilt letting them browse through the Friend during conference and church.
If you have other activities your kids enjoy during conference, be sure to leave a comment! I would love to have more ideas to draw from.
Scripture of the Day: #10: Thou shalt not covet -- Deuter. 5:12