In my last post I shared some of the things that we do to get our kids excited and ready to listen to General Conference. Now I'll share a few things that I do the day of to help it run more smoothly.
**One benefit to living on the east coast is that we have plenty of time in the morning to get our wiggles out. We try to make sure that our boys get out and run around so that they are ready to sit still, be quiet and not bother each other for the next two hours. In between sessions we get them outside as well.
**I like to get the room set up nice and early. We watch through the internet so I want to make sure we have a good connection. About an hour before conference starts I like to pull the feed up on lds.org and byutv. There is always a re-broadcast of something else playing (or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing on Sunday morning) so the spirit is in our home before we sit down to watch.
**Watching through the internet at home is such a wonderful convenience but hard to watch on such a little screen. A few years ago we got a projector and always hook it up to watch conference! They boys love to watch it on "the big screen". If you have the capability to hook your computer up to your tv that is another way to make it a little more engaging.
**We also try to be as comfortable as possible. We pull out our big pillows and blankets so that everyone is nice and comfy before each session begins.
**Before conference begins we like to set some ground rules. Our boys know that mom and dad want to listen. If they are too noisy they will have to leave the room which also means missing out on any treat or activities we have planned.
**Speaking of treats and activities . . . I posted last year about our conference basket. I love the packets that circulate the web but if I give those to my boys they go through them before the first talk is over! I have to slowly give them things so that we can draw it out for longer!
**Treats are always part of conference for us. When I asked the two oldest boys what they liked about conference they both mentioned licorice. It has inadvertently become a tradition to have red vines around the house during conference time!
**I also like to have a spread of food lying on the table. Crackers and a fruit/veggie tray usually does it for us. That way if someone is hungry I don't have to miss anything... they can just help themselves!
**Since we usually have a little one in our family it always helps if they sleep through at least one session of conference each day. More enjoyable for everyone!
These little things really make a difference in our conference experience. In addition to the licorice my oldest said that what he likes about conference is listening to the stories. I don't always think he's paying attention but later on he can retell a story he heard with wonderful accuracy. Something must be sinking in while they are busy with their activities--just having them in the room really does make a difference!
I am always looking for new, exciting ideas to change things up. Tell me, what do you do to help your kids get excited (and quiet) for General Conference!