15 Ways to Entertain Your Kids In A Black Out
Winter has hit Texas hard this February and with it has come rolling blackouts. As a mom who shamelessly relies on technology to entertain her child and to keep her from running out into the snow every 5 minutes, having no power is my worst nightmare (before you judge me, read this post so you know my feelings about it). Yes, I am worried about the temperatures plummeting but honestly my kid acts like she is immune and doesn’t even notice it so my biggest concern is keeping her entertained. I thought their might be a few other parents in the same boat so I’ve made us a list of 15 fun things to do for kids when there is no power.
1. Make No-Bake Snacks
Planning is preferable here so if you can pull all the ingredients out of the fridge BEFORE your turn on the blackout list rolls around that’s best but if you are one of the unfortunate who are stuck in a perpetual no power state then you’ll just have to run the risk of opening the fridge ( try and get it all at once). Most of these are sweets so it should keep the kids interest and honestly a sugar crash nap wouldn’t be the worst thing *yes, I still feed her healthy items too but times are tough so don’t judge me.
Cake Batter Cheesecake Bites by MorganManagesMommyhood.com
Peanut Butter Balls by The Real Food Dietitians
Cookie Dough Bars by AMomSake
No Bake Cinnamon Rolls by All Recipes
Apple Donuts by Fork and Beans
2. Coloring and Painting
I feel like this one might be a no brainer but what will really draw kids in is if you tell them that you want to color too. How often do we actually take to color with our kids? You can either color you own picture or the same, with each coloring half or only using certain colors. No matter your kids ages, the website printablefreecoloring.com has a category that is sure to interest everyone with different difficulty levels. You can even go a step extra and make it a color or paint by numbers by writing in the number in the space and what number corresponds to each color.
3. Build Something
This one can take on many forms and is really up to your imagination. You probably have pulled out a ton of blankets so use them to build a seriously awesome fort, throw in some couch cushions for extra comfort and support. If your kids happens to have and like legos, then help them build a castle or epic town, or even try to make one of their favorite characters. Lastly, there is always the old trusty play doh or clay. Break it out and start sculpting your own snowmen or make a tiny diorama of your house, the more details the better. Be sure to post pictures of your creations in the comments sections- I’d love to see the great things your build.
4. Play Board Games
If you are like me, then you have a stash of board games up in a closet somewhere with the good intentions of having some family games night. Well friends there is no better time then the present. Pull out the Candyland and Shoots and Ladders. You know that jigsaw puzzle you bought because it was so pretty, put halfway together like 8 years ago, and then never touched it again? It might be time to give it another go with a little extra help. If you don’t happen to have any board games readily available then I suggest creating your own. I’m sure your kids could help you with this, they are full of great ideas, but if you need a jumping off point then think Dungeons and Dragons.
5. Look At Family Photographs
Most of our pictures are digital now but I still have quite a few old photographs in photo albums that I don’t think my daughter has ever seen. There a pictures from mine and her daddy’s childhood that I know she would be extremely amused by, the idea I was ever a kid is unfathomable for her. There is also many photos of relatives long past that she never got the chance to know and snuggled up in the bed is the perfect time to show and tell her all about the adventures of her great grandpa and her heritage.
6. Play Some Card Games
In the old days, a lot of time used to be passed with a deck of cards and now is the perfect time to go back to the tried and true methods. Itsalwaysautumn.com has a post that teaches you how to play 11 different fun card games with your kids. You can play the simple but fun game of go fish or if you don’t feel like playing a game at all then you could always try building a house of cards.
7. Make A Scrapbook
Does your kid have a collection of something or do you? Maybe all those cards you have gotten for your birthdays, mothers day, or Christmas? Have you been collecting artwork from your kids for sometime? A great way to pass the time and be productive is to put those into a scrap book. You’re kid can help you put on stickers or help layout the pages and you can write a little note about why that particularly picture/card/ thing is important to you allowing you to revisit some funa nd special memories with your kid.
8. Have Story time
I have a huge selection of children’s books for my daughter but we get distracted by all the options on her tablet and tend to read on it instead. With no power, this isn’t really the best option so its time to revisit all those books. Since the pandemic, we haven’t been able to visit a book store or library so we are going to have her pick out the books she wants to read by playing like we are in the at these places. She even drew her own library card to use when she checks books out. When our time for no power hits this evening, we have a basket of books she picked to read by flashlight (which makes them even cooler).
9. Make Some Washable Paint
If you have read much of my blog then you might know that I am a little bit of a neat freak. Don’t get me wrong, I love painting and appreciate the value of a creative mess, but my daughter tends to go a bit over board. I use a big cookie sheet or a short storage tote as a containment vessel and make it perfectly clear that it must stay inside it. You can give them paper if you want or just them them paint all over the plastic tote or cookie sheet to avoid the “I must keep this masterpiece” fight later. To make the paint, you mix 1 c shampoo, some water, 1 c of cornstarch, and some food coloring. Let them mix it up and use your mad scientist voice for extra entertainment flair option.
10. Play Hide and Seek
If you are stuck in the dark and need something to do then hide and seek is the perfect option. While finding each other in the house might not be a huge challenge during the middle of the day, the dark amps up the difficulty level and the fun factor. If you worry about your little getting scared or getting into something then give them a buddy to help them- Mom, Dad, or a sibling.
11. Cleaning and Organizing
Just because there isn’t any power doesn’t mean you can’t still get things done and have your kids help out. If you are in the rolling back out and the power is only off for 15 minutes at a time then use it as a timer to work by, and the kid who gets the most done before the lights come back wins. Maybe it means that they don’t to participate in the next round. If you are using the time at home to organize then have them help you sort whatever it is into categories.
We all know that our kids are giant balls of energy and if we have any hope of getting them to go to bed on time then we have to figure out a way to get them to burn it. Since going outside isn’t really an option for more than 10 minutes at a time, then we have to get creative with helping them get the exercise they need. Fortunately, this isn’t something that requires power AND it has the added benefit of helping them keep warm. This is the time to break the house rule- let them jump rope in the living room, use painters tape to make a hop scotch court in the kitchen, or challenge them to do a certain exercise more than you.
13. Perform A Show
All those flashlights ya’ll are using when the power goes out make perfect stage lights and there aren’t many kids who don’t love to be the center of attention. Tell your kids that since there is no power that you are missing your television show and really need something to watch. Let them come up with their own script, make scenery out of paper or boxes, and craft together costumes. When the lights go out then flip on the flashlights and let them do their thing. The best part is that once that performance ends, give them a standing ovation and beg for episode 2. You’re guaranteed to get it and you’ll have some more time to yourself while they come up with what happens next.
14. Play Restaurant
This one is fun as long as you lay out certain ground rules first. Unless its something you know they can make and not be wasteful, then you should probably prepare the food in advance. They don’t get to use the fine china event though they will want to and they don’t get to dirty up every dish in the house. Aside from this, let them create a fancy restaurant dinner for you and your spouse. Light some candles, let them help you get all dressed up, and take your reservation. They can take your order and serve you, the whole ten yards. The power being out might just be the perfect reason for you to have a romantic candlelight dinner of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
15. Play a Sensory Guessing Game
Sensory activities are all the rage right now and not being able to see what you are touching adds an extra fun factor. Make up some of the things listed below and let them stick their hands in and play with it when its dark. See if they can guess what it is that they are playing with and only show them when they surrender. Let them play with it only until the light come back on. When the lights go off again, they will want to play wit hit again thereby making it a special blackout only activity.
Cloud Dough by Crafty Morning
Bubble Foam by Busy Toddler
Moon Sand by Little Learning Club
Snow Slime by Little Bins for Little Hands
It can be really hard to be stuck inside, especially when we don’t get snow all that often, but the cold and black outs make it necessary. Hopefully some of these ideas will help keep your little ones entertained and provide you with some quality time and memories. Just because this situations is difficult doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around for your family. enjoy your snow days and hopefully you wont need these blackout activities for too long. Stay safe!