General Conference Activities for Older Kids | Overstuffed Overstuffed

Friday, April 01, 2016

General Conference Activities for Older Kids

Now that I have two teenagers (yes, I did say TWO TEENAGERS, what has happened to my life?), it's becoming more difficult to make General Conference special. I want them to be inspired and to listen, but I still want them to be just as excited about it as they were when they were in Primary and had special General Conference packets to work on.

In other words, I felt I needed to step up my mom game regarding General Conference. Instead of just piling into the family room and turning on the TV, I wanted a few ways to make it really special. And I also really wanted to encourage my older girls to really listen and learn while my 9-year-old would also still be engaged with the activities I had for them.

So, I've been hunting all over the internet for inspiration this week, and I have finally come up with a few things that I think the girls will really like. And I'm really excited for conference this weekend—I can't wait to see how everything turns out!

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These are great ideas for General Conference and teenagers--when you want them engaged and excited but they have grown out of the primary packets. #overstuffedlife

1. Modified General Conference Center Activity Board

My very favorite thing I found was this amazing General Conference Activity Board at A Day in My Life. It's obviously a wonderful thing for younger children that will keep them really engaged during Conference. I wish I had found it a few years ago, that's for sure!

Modified General Conference Center Activity Board. Great way to keep track of speakers in General Conference and older kids love it!

I knew that most of the activities on the board were too juvenile for my kids, but I also knew that they love keeping track of which apostles have spoken. We have also been working a lot lately on learning their names, which order they were ordained, and other facts about them. I knew they would really like this visual way to keep track of them as they speak in conference and that it would help them remember their names.

Modified General Conference Center Activity Board.

I kept the podium, pockets, and the chairs and added a music stand and an organ (she has these, but they were small and since I had more room I found my own clipart). She has all the printables you need to make this wonderful project on her blog. The original version has topics, a clock, a map, and several other fun things.

This project was quite the endeavor to start on the Tuesday before Conference! I spent hours printing, cutting, and laminating—but it was totally worth it. The girls are already super excited to use it on Saturday morning.

Materials needed:
  • Printables from A Day in My Life Blog (find them by clicking here: General Conference Board printables)
  • Trifold project board (my store only had black in stock, but I think I would have preferred white)
  • White cardstock
  • Colored cardstock for the pockets
  • Glue sticks or other adhesive
  • Clear contact paper (which doesn't look great on black!)
  • Velcro dots (the original uses clear velcro dots, but I couldn't find any at my store, and I did start this too late to order online after all! I don't mind the white ones, but you might feel clear look better—because they do look better!)
  • A laminator (or access to one!—I usually borrow a friend's, but I finally bought one because I use it too much)
  • Time and patience and a love for cutting things out
I'm seriously super excited about our board. Thanks again to Tiff at A Day in My Life for all of her hard work. She updates the printables every time there is any change in the leadership, too! AMAZING!

Update: Here is a photo of Sophia using the board during conference. We all loved the visual reminder.

2. General Conference Bracket

Especially since March Madness is just ending, the whole bracket idea is on everyone's mind. I found a Facebook group called "Fantasy General Conference" and she has a great printable that she makes each time Conference rolls around. Hers is really detailed and you can play online with other people on the Facebook page.

Make General Conference a little competitive with a bracket to fill out beforehand!

I decided it was just too much information for my kids and made my own version with fewer categories. We filled ours out tonight, but it would also be a great before General Conference FHE activity. We are having a family competition with just the five of us and whoever has the most points will win a prize that will be determined when I go shopping tomorrow.

Update: I chose a really girly notebook (kind of like this one) that would appeal to the girls (and me) and some fun colored pens (exactly like these ones) for the prize. Wouldn't you know it, The Maestro won? He declined his prize and it went to the second place winner, which was Bria.

Download a General Conference printable bracket and make General Conference a little more fun this year.

If you would like to download my shortened version of the General Conference Bracket, enter your email in the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.

Otherwise, be sure to go to the Fantasy General Conference page to get the original version!

3. Emphasize Personal Revelation

For me, General Conference is always a wonderful time for personal revelation. When I am careful to prepare and think of questions beforehand—many of them personal to my life right now—I am amazed at how many answers I receive directly from the speakers. The Lord will truly answer our questions if we go into it prayerfully and listen.

Use this printable to keep track of your personal questions and the answers you receive during General Conference. Great for teens and adults and older kids. #overstuffedlife

I created another printable for my family to use during conference. I want my girls to start thinking about the ways conference can be personal to them. Hopefully they will enjoy doing this activity and it will get them thinking on a more spiritual level during the sessions.

Update: I think only me, The Maestro, and Chloe actually used this form. I don't know what their questions were, but I observed both of them writing on it often. I even had to use the back of my page. Having one specific question written down and listening for those answers really made my Conference experience so much better. It's amazing how you can hear those same ideas over and over when you are listening for certain answers.

To download the Personal Revelation printable, enter your email address in the form below. If you are on a mobile device, click here to see the form.

4. Food

Yes, food speaks to older kids in a big way. I haven't had a chance to go shopping yet, but I will be buying special food for conference this time. Some will be healthy, some will be less healthy, but the catch is we can't just eat it whenever we want.

I found several ideas about reserving food until a certain General Authority speaks and I thought that would be another fun way to keep track of speakers. I plan to have a table in the family room complete with paper plates and other necessary utensils. I promise to update with pictures as soon as I have it all set up!

Update: This activity was a huge hit! The girls were thrilled that all the candy was eaten on Saturday, but that just meant we had a much healthier Sunday. I just randomly put the cards on the various snacks, so it was totally lucky I guess!

Here's our set up:

Hopefully these things will start to make General Conference something to be looked forward to! I mean, they do look forward to the whole church in their pjs thing, but I'd like it to be a truly special event in our home.

What do you do to help your older kids love General Conference?
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