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10 Ways to Entertain the Kids When the Power Goes Out

With Hurricane Sandy the talk of the Internet and worry for friends & family peaking, my mind is on storm prep. Not the kind Casey gets excited about or the kind the Eastern seaboard is dealing with, but the kind where I ensure my kids don’t drive me crazy in the rain.

The kids have been talking about the hurricane and its effects all weekend, wondering if the predicted snow will affect trick or treating, asking about our own emergency preparations, and planning things to do if the power goes out.

That’s really the worst that happens around here. We’re too far inland to worry about hurricanes, and our earthquakes are practically a nonevent. We’re in the midwest, but not really near a tornado belt. About the most we can expect is a good storm — and the power outages that come with it.

We have flashlights and batteries and a good stock of candles. We already enjoy lighting those in the evening, so it isn’t a big deal to be sure they’re spread through the house enough to get us where we need to go. The real trick is entertaining the kids.

My favorite thing to do when we’re trapped indoors through the winter snow is movie night, but when the power is affected, it’s time to get a little more creative. Here are 10 great ways to entertain the kids when the power goes out:


  • Shadow Puppets 1 of 10
    Shadow Puppets
    This is always a huge hit with the girls when we're camping, so while the flashlights are handy, we'll play again. Keep in mind you don't want to use up too much battery playing, but if your outage is expected to be short-lived or you have plenty of battery sources on hand, this is a fun way to entertain in the dark!
    Photo Credit: Flickr user mattkowal
  • Board Games 2 of 10
    Board Games
    This is always a good, unplugged standby. If you aren't interested in board games by candlelight, try charades or Simon Says — simple body motion games to keep the kids active while they're cooped up.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user cosmonautirussi
  • Ice Cream Sundae Bar 3 of 10
    Ice Cream Sundae Bar
    If you've got melting ice cream to eat up, there is no better way to make the most of it than a sundae bar. Grab whatever toppings you can find in the fridge and freezer, then go to town! (Note: If the power outage should be short, leaving the fridge & freezer closed the whole time is a better way to preserve your foods.)
    Photo Credit: Flickr user conniefoggles
  • Arts & Crafts 4 of 10
    Arts & Crafts
    My girls' current favorite craft is making headbands and hats. We have been through a lot of paper and staples lately. Dig out the craft supplies, gather your markers, and see what they come up with!
  • Storytelling 5 of 10
    Storytelling
    Reading together by candlelight can be fun, but if it's too dark to read, try acting out the story. Let kids tell their favorite stories from memory, complete with a candlelight theater show for your entertainment.
  • Homemade Constellations 6 of 10
    Homemade Constellations
    Poke holes in foil then cover your flashlight for some fun indoor constellations. Again, be careful not to use too much of your flashlight batteries, if you anticipate needing them for any length of time.
    Read more at Imagine Childhood
  • Make Holiday Cards 7 of 10
    Make Holiday Cards
    Get a jump on our holiday decorations and cards, while kids are in a crafty mood. It's also a great time to sit down and sign your own cards.
    Read more at Blue Eyed Blessings
  • Fun with Glow Sticks 8 of 10
    Fun with Glow Sticks
    Play games with glow sticks, like this fun ring toss. The glow not only gives kids a fun light, but there are so many fun games to play!
    Read more at Design Dazzle
  • Chase Rainbows 9 of 10
    Chase Rainbows
    Once the rain has cleared, hop in the car and find the rainbows! They're just so pretty, and kids love the idea of a hunt.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user invictus
  • Puddle Jump 10 of 10
    Puddle Jump
    Once it's safe to be outside, grab your rain boots and go out for a good, old-fashioned, puddle stomp.
    Photo Credit: Flickr user

If you’re in the path of the hurricane or prepping for impending storms, please stay safe! Even if it ends up being a little boring.

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.

More from Heather:
Family Fun Memberships that Save
Healthy Snacks for On-The-Go Kids

More on Babble.com:
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
12 No Cook Meal Ideas to Get You Through a Storm
12 Essential Frankenstorm Preparation Tips for Parents
Free Kids Haircuts Every Sunday

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