General Conference Entertainment Ideas for Children

 

Twice a year we get the opportunity to get ready for General Conference Weekend and this is that week! There are ALOT of free resources to help our children to be entertained (and hopefully quiet enough that they can listen, too) while the General Conference speakers are talking. Sitting for that long can be torturous for busy bodies, but can be easily handled if you have the right tools on hand.  Here are some fun ideas for you use. I’ll be updating our General Conference Pinterest Board, too, so make sure you check it out!

 

Get To Know the Speakers

 

Flash Cards

It is fun to listen to people that you know, so help your kiddos get to know the Apostles by using these General Authority flash cards. In the September 2014 Friend they have a couple pages with 3 fun facts on the back of each about the General Authority on the front and they use a picture icon to help them remember. I used these with my 5 year old class on Sunday and was super impressed on how quickly they were able to remember the facts and which belonged to who. You can print the flash cards here.

General Conference - General Authority Flash Cards

 

Picture Art on Walls

Today I am putting up our General Conference hallway “decorations” to also help connect names and faces. Make sure you click here to see how we used them growing up. This year, I think I am going to attach a fun fact or two from the above flash cards until we put up the other stuff after General Conference weekend.

General Conference Ideas to help kiddos and families prepare. My kiddos love to walk by them and see if they can name them all.

 

 

Coloring Pages and Busy Packets

My kiddos love coloring pages and sketching right now, so last General Conference I made some quick “blank” canvas speakers for them to color in and get creative. You can check out the Male – Color the Speaker and Female – Color The Speaker free printables here. Yes, they are kind of hokey, but they did the job and my daughter loved them way more than I expected and my son…well, they inspired him to sketch from scratch! These allowed them to pay attention, sort of, and quiet…at least for a little bit!  ;-)

Coloring activities that really keep them busy during General Conference.

 

Here is a General Conference Packet from Sugardoodle.net that my kiddos really like the coloring pages from. In fact, between the sketching above and the coloring pages in this kit, they didn’t even have enough time to finish the entire packet. I’ll post more packets on the Pinterest board, too, to give you variety. Every kiddo is different and I am sure you will find something that will work for you.

Fun Coloring Activities for General Conference. General Authorities may need to be updated for one of the activities, but it is still fun!

 

I just discovered Food Storage and Beyond’s set of General Conference Printables from over the years and love them. They have an emphasis on activities (dot-to-dot, word searches, coloring, poke pages, etc). We will be using them this year! She has available for free download The Ultimate General Conference Activity Packet and The Ultimate General Conference Activity Packet 2.

A fun variety of activities for your child during General Conference, Mazes, dot-to-dots, coloring pages, poke holes, etc.

I know a lot of work goes into creating these packets and I really appreciate the time and effort creative individuals put into creating them!

 

Creative Quiet Activities

I love this Coloring Box idea from Berry Sweet Baby. It keeps the kiddo contained and busy. I can totally see my almost 2 year old loving this and I bet my 6 and 8 year old would like to get in on it, too.

I can't think of a smarter idea to keep a young child occupied and quiet for a little bit. Perfect for a movie they are not interested in, a work meeting via phone, etc.

 

Shop Ideas

There are a lot of Quiet Activity ideas around, but I love the idea of activities that inspire quiet. There is a difference! lol For example, the General Conference Cash from Somewhat Simple. I like the idea of stopping between speakers for a quick question. With technology today, that is totally possible and should be taken advantage of. It’s a great opportunity to quickly refocus everyone in a few seconds.

Use this general conference activity idea to inspire your kiddos to listen up. Who doesn't like a little Cash?!? Free printable too

Make It A Game

Another fun way to enjoy conference is to make it a game. Play Conference Bingo (like the pic below) or pick a few words like, Temple, Christ, or Love (or whatever you want to focus on) and keep track of how many times it is said during General Conference. Create a sheet on the wall or individual tally sheets. I challenged my 5 year olds in class last Sunday to try to see how many times they hear the word “Temple” throughout General Conference. I am excited to see what they come up with, even if it is only a few times they heard it.

This Bingo Game is from Bits of Everything and there are a variety of other sheets on LDS.org, too.

General Conference Free Printable - Bingo

 

 

Get Crafty

If all else fails and your child is absolutley against coloring or writing, pull out a craft bin, popsicle sticks, blocks, legos, water colors, paints and get creative and/or crafty. You can make a tower from blocks or popsicle sticks, paint rocks, make paper airplanes, teach them how to finger croche (I’m going to have to do that soon, too! I think they could have fun with it), build Temples from Legos, etc. There are lots of ideas, once you get thinking.

 

Make It a Postitive Experience

Remember to make it an enjoyable experience! You don’t have to go out and spend a lot of money (or time) for preparation BUT if the kiddos are happy than you, Mom and Dad, get to listen more. It’s a win, win. So, find something that will keep everyone entertained (1 thing for each session) and enjoy!

 

How To Find More Time To Workout

 This post is in partnership with Flex Belt and does contain affiliate links. Regardless, all opinions are 100% my own!

How to find more time to workout - tips

One of the biggest excuses I hear everyone give for not working out is, ”I don’t have time.” No more! It’s just an excuse. Don’t let not having time be your excuse anymore with these tips on how to find more time in your day to workout.

Wake Up Early

I know, you’ve probably heard this one your whole life, but seriously give it a try. And just to clarify; by early, I mean early enough to give me 15-30 minutes to myself before my kiddos are awake. Most of the time I try to get a little time to read/center myself and get 15-20 minutes of cardio in. The reading doesn’t always happen in the morning because I can slip it in later in the day, but if cardio is going to happen that day, that early morning time is when it happens!

How to find more time to workout - tips

It seems like the mornings I actually wake up early, I really do find more time in my day. Crazy, right?!?! Try it and tell me if you do not see the same results. I will note, that going to bed a little earlier is also helpful if you plan to get up earlier, but you know that! ;-)

 

Use Tools

We all have tools: gym memberships, work out equipment at home, strollers, shoes, exercise videos, etc. Once you get thinking, I am sure you could come up with a long list that you have available.

One tool I recently acquired was the Flex Belt and so far I am super impressed with it. This past summer I lost 20 lbs and am still on my weight loss journey. I am always feeling like I never have enough time in my day on top of all I have to do to get the ideal amount of workout time in that would help me lose the most. Sadly, it is usually my ab workouts that get pushed aside and mainly because this is what happens when I attempt them. Good thing she is cute!

How to find more time to workout - tips

 Can you guess what happened when I was offered the opportunity to try the Flex Belt? I figured it was definitely worth a try! I  have been testing it out the past 2 weeks in addition to my normal morning cardio workouts. I used it about 4x a week for 20 – 30 minutes a day. I was told that most users need 4-8 weeks to see results, so I was not expecting to see any big results. To my surprise, my waist feels slimmer! I expected a loss like that after 4 weeks of use! It is still hard to see, but you can see in the pics below that my shirt is a little looser and it looks like I lost it mainly in the front/top of my waistband area.

Flex Belt Review Before and After 2 weeks pic

The Flex Belt Allows users to give their abs a muscle toning session even when they are sitting down, performing exercises, walking, doing laundry and much more. It’s great for busy moms, students, or just anybody that wants to give their abs a good muscle toning session.

The Flex Belt uses EMS (electronic muscle stimulation) technology  that contracts all of the ab muscles at the same time. So, it is flexing your upper abs, lower abs and obliques. You have control of the intensity and can up the level to where you are comfortable. It is FDA cleared and uses a rechargeable battery – no need to waste money on batteries! It also comes with a 30-day users guide to help you get started, adhesive gel pads (that do need to be replaced around every 25-30 uses, but you can get a free set when you leave a review on their site), belt/belt extension for larger waists, 60-day money back guarantee and a 2 year warranty. so you don’t need to spend money on batteries I laughed when I saw videos of people doing makeup or chores while using it because the first few days I used it, it was all I could focus on. But by the end of the first week, I discovered I was paying less attention to it after the first few minutes and almost fell asleep one night while using it. Keep your eyes open for a video via Instagram to see it in action. I tried to do one, but my torso is so short, that you can not see it via video. I’m almost have my hubby convinced to be my model. ;-) For now, you can see the Flex Belt in action here.

 

Take Advantage of Breaks

Whether you work full-time away from home or working full-time as a parent at home, you will find you have breaks during the day whether at work, in the middle of your day or at the end of your day when you want to watch your favorite TV show. Take advantage of them! For office workers: Take the stairs, take a walk around the office outside at lunch, park in the back of the parking lot to get more walking time in, etc. For at home parents:  Run up and down the stairs (or do lunges in the hall if you have no stairs) twice every time you need to go up  the stairs, take the stroller and walk around the parking lot/field while kiddos are at practice, etc. And for everybody, don’t just sit while watching your favorite TV show (or your kiddo’s favorite) or even while you are waiting to “needed” for homework help. Grab some weights or a a kid and do some leg lifts or bench presses, try out some squats and lunges during commercials or do some jumping jacks. Once you start thinking, I am sure you will come up with some creative ways to exercise!

How to find more time to workout - tips

 

Involve The Kids

There is no better example than you and I cannot think of a better parenting example than teaching your children to be healthy. Great ways are simple. Like, playing at a park. Shift My Body has some great short workout videos that you can do at the park on youtube and Instagram – you can start on the curb if the bench is too intense., going on hikesThere are many different ways to incorporate it. Other ideas are to go on a family hike, play a fun round of soccer or even doing yard work together. You will build great memories and be doing something awesome for you body at the same time.

How to find more time to workout - tips

 

How Do You Find More Time In Your Day to Workout?

Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear how you do it!

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

When I find a good recipe, I love to share it! Meatloaf is a traditional and easy Sunday meal for us, but I always hated all the extras. With this recipe, you can hide all sorts of veggies (check it out, over 3 cups!) in it and no one, I mean NO ONE, complains. In fact, they all ask for seconds. Now that is a good recipe! Enjoy!

Yummy Meatloaf Recipe - Paleo that the kids will love

 

What You Need: 

 

  • 2 lbs. extra-lean ground beef
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pepper, chopped (yellow or red add color but not necessary)
  • 1 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 c. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 T. oil (I use olive)
  • Blender (optional)
  • Large bowl or Mixer (I prefer the mixer)
  • 1 large baking dish (9×13) or two smaller pans (8×8).

 

Directions: 

Step 1: Gather supplies and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2: Chop all ingredients needed. I like to chop the onions into fourths and cut the tops off the peppers. Then I toss everything into a blender. I have friends who say they mix everything, meat included, in their blender (the strong ones), which makes it super easy.

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

Step 3:  Add all ingredients into a mixer OR you can mix it in a large bowl, which I find is easiest with your bare hands. This also makes a great sensory activity if you are letting your children help.

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

Step 4: Add meatloaf mixture to a pre-greased pan. I like to divide it into two 8×8 pans because whatever is in the pan will get eaten no matter what the size of the pan is!

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

Step 5: Bake for 45 minutes or until well done. I’ll be honest, I have used a meat thermometer to check the inside temperature the first few times because it’s hard to tell when the ground turkey is cooked all the way. The meat still looks moist when it is done, so it is a little tricky, but the top will be slightly brown.

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

Step 6: This is a sauce free meatloaf, which is still hard for my hubby to get used to. It’s super yummy and even though this meatloaf is packed full of veggies already, it just looks bare on the plate by itself. So, if you need more, add some yummy sweet potatoes to the side.

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

This recipe is supposed to serve 8, so slices are large and go quickly. Even my picky eaters ask for more! I like to take the 2nd pan (if I make 2) and save it for my husband’s meals for work the coming week.

Yummy Paleo Meatloaf Recipe

 

 

Cooking With Kids Adaptations:

Kiddos love to help in the kitchen and this recipe is an easy one to let them help out with since you don’t have to use a knife for a lot of the chopping. If you have a child who is super picky, letting them help in the making of the food can help change their perspective. Here are a few of the variations you can make to let the kiddos help more:

  • Wash veggies
  • Measure veggies
  • Mix meat – if the texture bothers them, let them use plastic sandwich bags on their hands to mix. It will help give those fingers a workout.
  • Let them add the meat to the pan using the above technique – not as messy as mixing, but still get to get to participate in the squish factor

As always, when working with children, taking a deep breath and checking your stress/volume level are always needed. They will remember these moments later in life and really appreciate them.

 

ENJOY!!!

 

This recipe was adapted from The Paleo Diet

 

Linked to: I Heart Nap TimeLil’ LunaSomewhat SimpleTatertots & Jello & Today’s Creative Blog, Strawberry MommycakesCraftaholics Anonymous

Parent Teacher Conferences: Why and How You Should Turn It Around

Have you ever thought  parent teacher conferences should be something we look forward to and not dread. I always wonder if and why we can’t just do these darn things over the phone. I mean really, it takes me longer to find a sitter, get ready and get up there than the actual meeting itself. Lets be real. A lot of the time the meetings consist of what our child is not doing enough of or high enough a particular area of OR how they are meeting the “standard” of some sort of core or test, right?

Parent Teacher Conferences: Why and How you should turn them around

 

How often do we ask the teacher about our child’s strengths from THEIR perspective?

I had a meeting recently and I let all the teachers go through their list and tell me about what they wanted to see improve. Mind you in a very quick meeting with one set of teachers, the main teacher stood up toward the end as if the conversation was about to end, which was the signal my time was up and that meant I was not going to get my “do you have any questions for us” turn. Well, I just sat there and I asked my ?s anyways. I stated that we all came to an agreement as to WHAT needed improving and I was on board for their plan. Next I asked what strengths do you see from my child thus far in your class. They started in with a few items and one teacher stated how smart and great my child was especially with memory and learning fast, then SHE SAID THE MAGIC WORD, “BUTTTTTT, this area still right here XYZ needs help and we really need to focus in on that,” etc.  I stopped her right there and stated, “yes, you mentioned that already. We are done with that area, I just want to focus and leave on a positive note if we can for a moment,” smiled and waited for her reaction. To my surprise there was a bit of a pause. I don’t think she expected me to say that, but I really didn’t want to hear anymore “but…”—we addressed it, move along. When situations like this occur, how often do we, as parents, take the time to ask for some positive feedback.

Parent Teacher Conferences: Why and How you should turn them around

 

My point is that each kiddo is different. I have four and I promise you, each one will learn differently. Each of their meetings, once all in school, will be different and each child will have different strengths to build off of, too. My suggestion to parents is to stand up for the positive. Learn to leave every meeting on a positive note about your child.

 

Learn to leave every meeting on a positive note about your child.

 

Parent Teacher Conferences: Why and How you should turn them around - Everyday Quote

 

I mean after all, we are asking the people that spend the majority of the time with our children, the ones we sent our little birds out of the nest to go learn, inspire and grow. These teachers are suppose to be taking very good care of them, teaching them and hopefully loving them enough to see the good in them as well. So next time you have an IEP, ILP, parent teacher conference or just a check in with your child’s teacher do not be afraid to leave on a positive note, making them find the GOOD in each of them wether they like your child or not. You and your child deserve positive feedback. We work hard enough as parents and teachers. So, lets make this a positive place we want to come to every six weeks.

 

 

 

* pictures courtesy of Bella Bean Photography (our very own Shannon)

 

Linked to: I Heart Nap TimeLil’ LunaSomewhat SimpleTatertots & Jello & Today’s Creative Blog, Strawberry Mommycakes, Craftaholics Anonymous

Fit Made Fun Day

I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog and CLIF Kid sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Blog-leapfrog-fall-family-fitness-infographic

Click Here to See Full Infographic

 

We all know encouraging our children to participate in fitness and be active everyday is important. It is also important that they have fun doing it and a great way of doing that is to invite friends over who feel the same way to celebrate #FitMadeFun Day.

The Fit Made Fun Day was created to inspire kids everywhere to get up and be active and this past September 6th hundreds of children and their parents joined together in Santa Monica, California for multiple Guinness World Records. We were able to host our own mini Fit Made Fun Day at our home with some friends by playing some active games and enjoying some yummy snacks. Even though September 6th has passed, there is no reason why you cannot make any day a Fit Made Fun Day. Here’s how:

Enjoying fitness with kids, CLIFF bars

Supplies Needed:

  • An energetic group of kids and parents are always welcome!
  • A Healthy Snack Like CLIFF Bars, yogurt and fruit
  • Games that you can find on the LeapBand Party Planning Guide site
  • LeapBand
  • An open space to move around in
  • Any extra equipment you think you may need

 

What To Do:

The kiddos were starving, so we started out with a fun snack of fruit/yogurt parfaits topped with CLIF Kid Zbars. Each bar is made with 5g of protein, 70% of organic ingredients and contains no high fructose corn syrup. The kiddos loved to mix and match the different flavors and loved making them on their own.

Enjoying fitness with friends

 

LeapFrog has put together a LeapBand Party Planning Guide that was super helpful when it came to planning our party. An easy way is to use the LeapBand to get the kiddos moving, but with so many children running around and making noise we could not hear it. So, I was able to print off the CLIF Kid 60 Minutes of Motion Cards off of the site. This jump started our fun and definitely got everyone super excited.. We would flip a card and do the movement listed on the card…like downward dog.

Enjoying fitness with kids

 

We also let them create their own obstacle course and let each kiddo run it while everyone else cheered them on.

 

It was a great way to practice being a good sport and cheering on everyone else. Everyone, of course, had to end with a victory fist pump!

 

Fit made funfit made fun day

 

The kiddos AND the parents had a lot of fun. My kiddos have not quite got over the obstacle course idea, so we have had a new course every week in our front room!

We will definitely be getting together with friends to “Get Fit” again!

Grilled Sausage and Tortelli Recipe

Need something super quick and easy……Well, I have just the thing! Yum!!!

Grilled Sausage and Tortelli Recipe - Quick and Easy Meal Idea

Ingredients Needed:

  • Grilled Italian Sausage ( I used regular and Jalapeno/Cheddar}
  • Fresh Mozzarella cheese sliced and cut Cherries Tomatoes sliced
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Cheese Tortellini
  • Fresh Basil
  • Garlic/Sea Salt

 

Directions:

Super easy! Combine all ingredients into a large bowl, mix and serve.

 

Bonus:

I served with side Caesar salad and the kids loved it! Would also be great with a side soup and fresh  bread. Enjoy!

 

Additional Notes:

I couldn’t find mozzarella balls in the deli area today so you can buy any fresh, my favorite is at the italian bakery/deli’s if you wanna get fancy.

 

*photo courtesy of Bella Bean Photography

 

Linked to: I Heart Nap TimeLil’ LunaSomewhat SimpleTatertots & Jello & Today’s Creative Blog, Strawberry Mommycakes

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