Or alternate title: How to Stay Sane During a Power Failure.
We’re all preparing for a crazy windstorm here on the West Coast, which is a little bit exciting. Only a little bit terrifying too. Because as fun and exciting as a power failure is at first, the two dreaded words can make their appearance. “I’m BOOOORREDD” … and next thing you know you’re grumpy, they’re grumpy, and no one is happy. (is that just me? I hope it’s not just me…) I’m definitely guilty of finding my “sanity time” when we have power by putting a movie on… So when that option is taken away it can be overwhelming and a little (or a lot) frustrating when the littles get bored. So get out your lanterns/flashlights/glowsticks, charge those phones, and consult my list of power outage activities!
– Play board games (we really like Monopoly Junior but other favourites around here are Buckaroo, Connect 4, and Candy Land)
– Colouring! So simple, but it’s a go-to for sanity around here.
– Hide and seek glow sticks: this one would require buying some glow sticks at the dollar store but hide them all around the house and send the kids off to find them!
– Glow stick toss! Put one glow stick into water bottles and stand them up on the floor. Make the other glow sticks into rings and toss them onto the water bottles!
– After the glow stick activities have a glow bath! Just throw all those glow sticks into the bathtub for a bathtime that won’t be a fight (I don’t know about your kids but mine seem to never want to get in the bath… and then once they are in they don’t want to get out!)
– Ice cream party. This consists of eating all the ice cream or frozen deliciousness currently in your freezer. Because, clearly it’s all going to melt anyways, so you’re just doing your part to not be wasteful. (Ignore that BC Hydro alert that says the power will be restored in 40 minutes. That’s irrelevant.)
– Pretend camping in the living room. We have a gas fireplace so that will help us keep warm but I’ve heard if you lose heat for a length of time, setting up a tent and sleeping in there keeps everyone warm. And bonus – SUPER fun for the kids. You may not get much sleep but that’s what coffee is for!
– Which brings me to my next point. Get out that camp stove. No one likes a cranky mama who hasn’t had coffee. Boil water (on that patio people. Don’t do that inside!) and use a french press or use Starbucks Via packets for your daily cuppa.
– Shadow puppet stories. You can use a wall for this and take turns coming up with a story based on the shapes being made. Or if you’re feeling extra creative, use a white sheet and project the shadows from behind the sheet. You could even cut out shapes to cast shadows instead of only using just your hands!
– Build a fort in the living room.
– Or, send the kids with a couple big flashlights to their room to build a fort. Let them sleep in it if the power is still out!
– Baking soda and vinegar fun: ok this one is for people who are ok with a bit of mess. Use a baking sheet and lightly cover it with baking soda. Fill small containers with vinegar and put a drop of food coloring in each one. Using red/yellow/blue makes it an awesome activity for learning about colour mixing! Each drop of vinegar will cause a small “fizz” and bubble with colour. My kids did this one and it kept them occupied for literally hours. We had to replenish the baking soda a few times but it’s a small price to pay for peace and quiet! This activity is also amazing for fine motor skills as they use the dropper!
– Dress up and perform a story
– Read aloud together
– Read quietly together. I love this one. Only it never happens with two 5 year olds and a newborn, so it’s probably for you mamas with older kids. Please let this happen again one day!
– Build the world’s best Hot Wheels track. Bonus points if it goes down the stairs.
– Hold a Lego competition
– Get out the walkie talkies and have the kids talk to each other from opposite ends of the house.
– If none of the above work, make sure you are stocked up on dark chocolate and whatever other sanity-saver of choice you have and retreat. No one’s going to judge you for locking yourself in your laundry room with these things for a few moments. Power outages can be HARD! And Mama’s gotta do what Mama’s gotta do to stay sane. Solidarity, Sister.
Are you ready if the power goes out? What are your favourite power outage activities?