So what do you do to keep the little ones quiet during 8 hours of conference? Last year I posted a Conference Chex Board (see above). The basic premise is a paper with key words on it and the children have to listen for when the speaker says one of the words listed on the paper. When that word is said the child gets to put a piece of Chex Mix on their “board” and then eat it at the end of the talk and start again.
It’s super easy to make a sheet of paper with words (sort of like a Bingo card) on it and you can always use M&Ms, Skittles or something else you might prefer for the treat you use to mark the word. We did that last year and it worked, for a while.
This year, I might try something new with my son. I just scored a gi-normous bin of Legos from the thrift store. Since my son can’t read much yet, I’m going to set aside a pile of Legos for him (and my daughter if she wants to do this instead of the paper) to stack on top of each other each time he hears a key word, which is basically 4 or 5 words we tell the children to listen for during that talk or session. At the end of the session, I’ll count them up, and according to how many he acquires, he can earn a prize—say a piece of candy for 10 blocks or an outing with dad for 25 or whatever we decide.
Or I may do one activity for one session and another activity for another session. Of course we have coloring books and crayons and paper for drawing but we also try to sneak in activities that require them to listen at least for a bit. Maybe I'll see if they can draw a picture that shows what the speaker is talking about. I’d love to hear other ideas, after all, 8 hours is a long time for wiggly bodies to sit still.
Note: For those of you who are wondering what I'm talking about, General Conference is a bi-annual meeting for members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The conference is broken into four sessions (minus the Priesthood and Young Women/RS sessions) which occur in two-hour blocks: two sessions on Saturday and two on Sunday. The sessions are broadcast via radio, cable or satellite TV, and also Internet broadcast. You can also see the sessions at any local LDS meeting house.
For us on the East Coast the first Saturday and Sunday session starts at noon and ends at 2 p.m. and then breaks for two hours. The next session on Saturday and Sunday starts 4 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. ( 10 p.m. MDT and 2 p.m. MDT for the start of each session). You can watch the session online at BYUTV.org or LDS.org.