8 Fun Ideas for Entertaining Kids During a Power Outage
*post by Shannan Powell, mom of 3 boys, RM Media community and project manager, and Resourceful Mommy contributor.
While it’s looking more and more like Hurricane Joaquin is turning to the east and leaving the coastal US alone, we’ve still got one eye on the weather forecast and have our storm prep checklist underway…just in case. Here in coastal Delaware, the kids are off school today because of the crazy wind and rain of a Nor’easter, so all our prep certainly wasn’t in vain!
One of the biggest problems during storms can be power outages. Whether you’re dealing with a tropical storm or hurricane, a crazy winter blizzard, or just an everyday thunderstorm, keeping the kids amused when you’re stuck in the dark can be a challenge. Here are a few of our favorite ideas for when the electronics have run out of battery life and the standard board games by candlelight have lost their appeal.
- Flashlight Stories – We do these a few different ways. Sometimes we’ll take turns telling whole stories, while other times well each add a sentence, then pass the flashlight to the next person. For another fun spin, put one person in charge of the flashlight and let them choose who is telling the story and for how long. When they are ready for a new storyteller, put them in the spotlight!
- Flashlight Freeze Dance – This is a great way to get out some of the pent-up energy that being stuck inside during a storm tends to bring. Play great dance songs if you have a way or just dance to the beat of your own drum. Shine a flashlight on one of the players and they have to freeze on the spot, while everyone else keeps dancing.
- Family Singalong – We are admittedly not the most musical people, but most of us can kinda-sorta-almost carry a tune. Singing favorite songs from movies, shows, and top 40 hits can be a great time and can help drown out the noise of the storm and calm frightened kiddos.
- Mad Libs – We keep a big book of Mad Libs on hand for storms and rainy days. Everyone gets plenty of belly laughs when the whole family gets in on the action!
- Sardines – We love this twist on hide and seek, whenever there’s enough space and people to play! One person hides and everyone else has to find them, just like standard hide and seek. But in this version, instead of calling out when you find them, you quietly squeeze into the hiding space with them. Staying silent is a FAR bigger challenge than you’d think!
- Picnic Parties – No power generally means no cooking, but you can make your PB&Js a little more exciting by eating them picnic style. Spread a blanket on the floor or put a cover on the bed and munch away! Let the kids get in on the action and help pack a picnic basket to add even more fun!
- Pillow fights – Usually we don’t allow pillow fighting, but it’s a great distraction from the real battles that can occur with boredom. We monitor to make sure no one gets hurt and nothing gets broken, of course!
- Living room camp-out – At our house, when there’s a lot of wind or thunder, it’s not unusual to end up with small people in bed with us. Having a living room campout, complete with air mattresses, play tents, cushion forts, and lots of snuggles at bedtime, gives everyone a little more space and is loads of fun!
What are some of the ways that you entertain your children when the lights go out?