by Brittany Shannon
Growing up with Conference
by the sweetlymadejustforyou.com team
Emilee Reynolds, Cassie Lytle & Tiffany McDaniel
It's Brittany Shannon here.
I just finished reading the book, Growing up with Conference.
To summarize, this delightful read is a compilation of planning, organizing, and crafting suggestions for anyone interested in making LDS General Conference a unique, fun, and memorable experience.
I admit, I grew up watching conference. My parents definitely made us watch each session, and as a kid I remember it being fairly boring. Of course, as a young child, you don't absorb much information. However, my parents did their best with intentions of having us learn. The fun thing about the book Growing up with Conference is it gives parents with families, and kids of all ages, ideas of what you can do during the hours of conference. Even if you're traveling!
Some of you might be thinking...I'm not that crafty!
That's okay. There are other ideas.
If you decide to give crafting a try, there are a couple options in the book with links to the website,
where you can find printables. That makes the crafting so much easier for newbs.
The ideas about shadow boxes and files for each apostle can seem a bit daunting. I have a two year old and a one year old, and neither have the capacity to remember everything about each apostle. YET! The great thing is, you can start with one apostle and do one file a year or so. This way, you don't feel overwhelmed trying to make them all at once. As your kids get older, your collection of files will get larger. With your child's ability to memorize getting better, and their interest in learning (and staying entertained during LONG conference talks) expands, you can teach them about the contents in each file.
I thought the traveling ideas spoken of in this book were fantastic. I've heard about magnetic trays. It seems like a fun and easy thing to do to add "conference themed" magnets to these magnetic trays. Then, as you drive, little kids are entertained and the grown ups can listen to a little bit more of the talks.
I love the idea of taking notes. Personally, when I was middle grade age, I thought journaling was the dumbest thing ever. Who knows how other kids feel, but I thought it was stupid. I laugh now, because I read my journals from elementary school and they're, "I'm bored. Mom is making me write in my journal. It's Sunday." For almost every entry! I kind of wish my parents had explained a little bit more about the importance of journaling, because I want to encourage my kids to take notes. Not just, "I'm bored, watching conference," but thoughts and feelings they have. I think it's wonderful that Growing up with Conference encourages parents to teach their kids to identify feelings, to write about them, to discuss them.
This book also incorporates family home evening ideas. Since the book starts out at a 15 day countdown to conference, you have the opportunity to do a family home evening centered around General Conference. You can talk about all the activities you have planned. This book also has a recommendation of doing a snack table. I thought this was cute. You get to fill your plate before conference, and then in between sessions. This gives kids something to look forward to because they get more snacks. I would probably make mine a unique treat the kids don't get very often so they look forward to it. I'm not a huge candy fan, so I'd like to use granola bars, like the KIND bars, or CLIFF bars.
All in all, I am really excited to try some of these ideas with my family. Even though my children are really young right now, my toddler does enjoy crafting. She will like making little stick figures, or Easter Eggs with the apostles names on them come spring time. By then, my son will be a bit older and might try his hand at crafting...instead of just snacking!
I definitely recommend Growing up with Conference by sweetlymadejustforyou.com.
All families will find something useful in it.
Check it out for yourself!