General Conference/Family Home Evening/ Sabbath Day Activities for Kids

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My husband and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  In April and October there is a World Wide General Conference held where we have the privilege of listening and watching to our modern day prophet and apostles speak.  This conference is broadcast throughout the world over the internet and via satellite.  The conference is quite lengthy divided up into 6-two hour sessions.  Four of those sessions are for everyone to watch, including kiddos.  However, kiddos don't necessarily consider the conference "fun."  After all, to them, it appears that we're just watching a bunch of old men speak endlessly, with a few song breaks here and there.  There are some women who speak too, but they usually end up crying, which our autistic kiddos just don't quite get.

In an effort to make the weekend events more "fun" for them, I try to plan as many activities as I can for the kiddos, to keep them occupied during the two hour blocks, so my husband and I can watch and listen in a less chaotic atmosphere.  I say less chaotic, because, no matter what activities are planned, when there are four kiddos in the house six and under, there will always be some chaos.

There are 16 activities.  I've divided the activity trays up by category.  I have yet to figure out how to link up my printables to my blog.  If you would like printables for any of the activities, please feel free to e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com.  Be sure to be specific about which activities you would like printables for and exactly what post you're requesting them from.

Prophets & Apostles
Modern Day Prophet & Apostle Match Up
This is a very basic Montessori inspired activity.  The kiddos will match up pictures and names of our modern day prophet and apostles.  The cards I have made are quite small because I wanted to use them for several different activities, including the one below.  There are so many things to do with these cards, depending on the age of the kiddos.  Rather than just matching, try to put apostles in order of seniority.  Sort them based on letters in their name, the color of their ties, if they where glasses etc.

Source:  All pictures were taken from www.lds.org.

Modern Day Prophet & Apostle Guess Who
I've got to say, this is one of my very favorite activities planned for general conference.  It will involve whispers between two people, but I think it will be totally worth it.  We tested it out already during Family Home Evening and it was a HUGE hit!

I would love to offer these print outs for everyone's Guess Who games, however, I know the game has changed over time.  I do not know if my printable will fit all versions.  You may have to do some trimming or adding of borders.

Source:  All pictures were taken from www.lds.org.  I found the Guess Who game at a local thrift store for $1.

Family History
My Family Tree
This Friday, we head to the courthouse at 9 AM to make the adoption of our baby girl Sunshine official. She has been with us for 11 months now, but still to make it absolutely official is a HUGE deal and something everyone is looking forward to.  In honor of that event and also to introduce the concept of family history to the kiddos, I made a family tree with removable pictures and names of family members.  I did not include my husband and my siblings' spouses or their children, because that would be a bit complicated, but everyone else is there.  I left room at the top so as the kiddos become older, our adopted daughters will be able to see their birth family trees.  We are very close to Sunshine's paternal grandparents.  Princess' maternal grandfather also stays in contact.  I plan to introduce this activity during Family Home Evening this week, so they'll be able to do it with minimal help during General Conference.

Family Match Up, Grouping & Sorting
Besides using family pictures for the family tree, I also printed a second copy for matching up names with pictures, grouping families, and sorting by last name, gender, etc.  I did include all cousins and spouses in this set, so the kids could group and understand which cousins have which parents etc.  We don't see our cousins and relatives very often, so this will hopefully help the kids become less confused about them all.

I also printed sets of the family cards to fit inside our Guess Who game!  When they're bored with the prophet and apostles, we can switch them out and they'll have a brand new game!

The Creation
Six Days of Creation
I love the creation story.  It's one of my most favorite things to teach.  The kiddos equally enjoy learning about it too.  This basket is filled with numbers one through six showing pictures of what happened on each day of the creation.  There are also word cards to match.  Finally, the basket is filled with objects that can be sorted by the day they were created.
The kiddos have seen this activity on our shelves.  This week the main focus of our studies is the Creation, as  we get closer to celebrating Earth Day.  For little ones, you may want to eliminate the words and just focus on the numbers and objects.

Source:  I found these cards online a couple years back, before I started sourcing everything.  When I searched for them again, I could not find them, however I did find a link for the number pictures.  You can find them HERE.
Stamping Creations
Over the past year, we have developed quite the collection of stamps.  I'm super excited about this since Bulldozer can't use stickers.  In this basket are all of our stamps having to do with the creation, whether they be plants, animals, sun, stars, etc.  The kiddos should have lots of fun creating pictures with them!

My next learning time post is 100% dedicated to the story of the creation, so be sure to check back later this week to see many more activities on this subject!

Temples
Temples Throughout the World
At every General Conference we learn about new temples being built around the world.  I thought it a very appropriate time to teach the kiddos that we do in fact have temples and members of the church on every continent (except Antarctica). I did not make pictures of every temple ever built, as there are many that look very similar.  But I did choose several with many different building styles.  Over time, I'm sure we'll add many more.  Each temple card is labeled with it's place of location, including country.  We'll be using our world map to find where each country is located, so the kids know which continent to place it under.  Dinomite saw me taking a picture of this activity and is QUITE excited to do it himself, he LOVES using his world map!
Source: I found all temple pictures to make my cards at www.lds.org.  The continent cards are from an activity I found at Walk Beside Me.

Inside the Temple
We are preparing to take the kiddos to the temple located nearest to us, to have Sunshine sealed to our forever family.  In preparation for that, I thought it would be nice to have an activity where the kids can learn more about what goes on inside the temple.

There are five picture cards and five matching information cards.  I printed two sets, so when they learn more, they can start matching up cards without labels.  For little kiddos, just matching up picture cards will be enough. Then as they get older, it will be nice to incorporate information cards.
 All information, with the exception of one picture card, was taken from www.lds.org.  Even labels were taken specifically from the website.

Purity Sensory Bin
I desperately wanted to make some kind of sensory bin for general conference weekend, as the kiddos love them.  It's been a long time since I made one.  The hard part was deciding on a theme.  In conjunction with Sunshine's adoption and being able to be sealed to her in the temple forever, I made a Purity Sensory Bin.  When I think of the temple, that's the first word that always comes to mind as it is so clean and everyone is dressed in white.

Contents include multiple sizes and shapes of clear and white beads made of glass, pearls, plastic, etc, white lace and ribbons of various widths and textures, white feathers, white pom poms, a clear bangle, and white rose petals (missing from picture).

Scriptures
Scripture Story Sorting
The kiddos are BIG on their scripture stories. Each night before bed, Daddy reads a scripture story to them, using the kids scripture stories printed by the church.  When they're eight years old, we'll transition to reading from the actual scriptures.  By that time, I'm sure they'll already know all of the stories, which will make reading the difficult text a little bit easier for them.

For this activity, I've selected pictures representing different scripture stories in the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants.  Some stories from the Doctrine & Covenants are actually the teaching of concepts in the church, but the pictures still work.  I haven't printed pictures representing each and every scripture story in each book.  My husband and I selected ones we knew our kiddos were familiar with and/or should be.  For beginners, just sorting out which book has which stories is great, but for older kiddos, it wouldn't be too difficult to have them put the stories in chronological order, especially those that come from the Old Testament and New Testament.
Source:  Most pictures used to make cards were found at www.lds.org.

Pioneers:
Popsicle Stick Puzzles
 Source:  I saw this idea at Bits of Everything.  However, I can not bring up the exact post.  My apologies.
 The pictures I used made it a little bit more difficult, than if I was to use a picture of one person or one place, but I like that the task is a bit more challenging.

Tithing:
Tithing Coins
The kiddos are starting to do really well identifying and counting their coins.  If figure it's a great time to start teaching them about the law of tithing.  Since they are so young, I used four cups, one with ten pennies, one with ten nickels, one with ten dimes, and one with ten quarters.  As they get older, I'll definitely start mixing coins up.  The object of the task is to count the coins and then pick out how many are needed for tithing. They'll identify the coin, the amount of cents each coin is worth, and then practice filling out a tithing slip. I enlarged one to fit a whole sheet of paper, so they'll have an easier time writing.

Articles of Faith:
Tracing Articles of Faith
Bulldozer and Princess are really into tracing their letters right now.  I was thrilled to find these printables already made and ready to go!  I just slip them into sheet protectors and use washable white board markers and viola!

Source: I found these printables at 3 Dinosaurs.as part of the LDS Printables offered.

Sunday Practical Life Activities:
Hair Basics
 Sunday morning is quite hectic as everyone is trying to look their best for church.  There's no time like the present to start teaching the basics of looking our best on the Sabbath!  I've gathered together a stand alone mirror, brush, comb, and several different types of barrettes and clips for the kiddos to try out on their own heads.  Just opening and closing all the different types of clips alone is quite the practical life activity, but then you add the coordination needed to comb and brush hair... This is one of my favorite new activities!

Putting on a Tie
 The kids are too young to try to learn how to tie a real tie, however, they have several ties to choose from each Sunday with a variety of "tying" mechanisms.  There's the clip tie, the zip tie, and the fasten in the back tie.  Let's see who can put their ties on all by themselves!

Snaps, Zippers, and Buttons Oh My!
None of the kiddos are proficient at zipping, buttoning, snapping, or tying on their own.  Last week I had a buttoning activity on the shelves and no one touched it.  They all seemed quite intimidated by it.  So, I brought out Princess' old stuffed elephant to see if the task would seem less daunting to them. After all, part of Sunday dress is doing all of those things!

I hope by sharing the activities we've come up with for our kiddos, I've provided some help in making your general conference viewing less chaotic, or perhaps inspired some fun kiddo oriented family home evenings.  Once again, please feel free to e-mail me at renaemarienae@gmail.com if you would like any of the printables I created.  They are free.  Just be sure to be specific about which ones you would like.

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I love reading your comments!

6 comments:

  1. Renae,
    How in the world do you manage to come up with and make all these lessons/activities PLUS document them in such detail on this blog? How long did all this take you?? My mind is kind of blown.
    You also must have a fantastic color printer, that is a LOT of printing and all the pictures look really clear.

    luvs, aby

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  2. I found your blog over at Homeschool Creations. I haven't thought of the Days of Creation sorting basket. That is such a wonderful idea for a review! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. These are awesome. I especially love those montessori 3 part cards of the apostles and those cute article of faith pages. I keep giving my preschooler handwriting pages, but he pretty much hates them. Maybe he'd like them more if they were ultra cute like those article of faith pages. I'll have to test my theory. :) By the way, if you are in need of more General Conference ideas for young children, I have a bunch on my blog. http://www.momshavequestionstoo.com

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  4. Your activities are fabulous! Thanks so much for linking up with Montessori Monday! Do you mind if I pin your posts on Pinterest? This would be wonderful for my Godly Play Pinterest Board. Deb @ LivingMontessoriNow.com

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  5. Do you happen to have a link for your temple/continent cards? Those are great! Thanks for sharing this post

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