Most of the time, No-Stress Emergency Preparedness means having a ready stash of water, food, backup power, and all that good stuff.
But what about things for the kids to do when in a power outage? Do you have a way to stave off cabin fever without the help of Dr Xbox and Nurse iPad?
Here are a few ideas for things to do with kids at home when the power is out.
For older kids: Helping around the house
Some older kids might want to play a part in helping the family get through the crisis.
It sometimes takes an emergency to wake people up. Kids are no different.
So even if you’ve had no luck so far getting your children to pick their things off the floor, you might be able to get them to pitch in and take on more responsibility when they see that something bad has happened to the neighborhood or the city.
Giving them a sense of purpose and the ability to make a difference are good ways to help them stay on track.
It might even be fun for them to help prepare meals, as this video shows:
If your kids are younger, some no-tech games might be just what the doctor ordered.
One of these is bathtub fishing. The idea is simple: just dump toys or learning aids that has a built-in a magnet into a bathtub filled with water (no, do not throw in things that don’t do well in water!).
Give your young ones a magnet dangling from a pencil and voila, you have a nice fishing diversion for a while.
If your city has lost water as well as power, you can still do this. Just use a bucket instead to conserve water, and be sure to re-use it later, such as to rinse out dishes.
Kids done with bathtub fishing?
Hang on to the water and take it to the next level with your emergency glowsticks, like what this parent did in this video. Get the cheap ones from the dollar store – they are less than a buck for a dozen or more.
Best of all, after the kids get sick of playing in there, you can dry off the glowsticks and use them as hallway and stair markers until the power comes back on.
Hide and seek in the dark
A power outage is a great time to revisit this old favorite.
Hand out flashlights, lay down some ground rules on where NOT to hide, and cut them loose.
This family did a great job with their kids. Ok, maybe they might have done too good a job.
Paper rocks and hot lava
A game that can be played in the daytime is paper rocks and hot lava. Lay out sheets of paper on the floor to serve as stepping stones, and designate every thing else as hot lava (or quick sand, or acid, or whatever you can imagine).
Want to play this at night? Put the glowsticks from the bathtub game on the paper, and you’re good to go.
The following video has nothing to do with the game directly, but we just thought it would be cool to show how lava actually behaves.
It’s like maple syrup – very hot maple syrup.
Rainbow Shaving Cream Bath Party
Another fun game to play is to let your kids mix food coloring with shaving cream, like in the video below. It takes just a few minutes to get ready.
Once done, the kids can smear their faces, bathroom tiles, the bathtub, any where that is easy to clean.
Just make sure you lay down some ground rules, like NOT to eat the cream, or not to get shaving cream on the furniture.
Building with cardboard boxes
If you usually flatten and stash away cardboard boxes, a power outage is a good time to bring them out. With some masking tape and box cutters, you can build your young ones a fort, a castle, a tank, whatever strikes their fancy in the day.
When night falls and the house gets dark, the kids can then use the glow sticks from the bathtub game to decorate the inside of their cardboard structure. Check out the video below:
As you can see, a power outage could be just the thing you need to give your kids a glimpse of what your own childhood was like, during a time before video games took over.
It can be stressful, but with a little preparation, you can bring those stress levels way down!