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candle in the dark

Ways to keep kids entertained when the power goes out

We live in a technological age; our reliance on electricity is increasing and fortunately, here in the UK, we enjoy reliable electricity supply with power cuts and brown outs not being too common.

But, the one variable that can knock the power out for hours is the great British weather. At any time, we can find ourselves at the mercy of a storm, from a dumping of snow to almost-hurricane winds. And just as we snuggle on down to watch a film or play the gaming console, the power is gone and we are plunged into darkness. Even worse, you could be all ready to hand out the Avengers party bags and the power goes out.

Remember the good old days BEFORE we relied so much on electricity?

You may do but for the youngsters in the family, this is a one-off event and maybe some of the things and activities we did to keep ourselves amused during these power out hours (or days, in some cases!) may not be immediately obvious to them.

So, we have complied a whole list of helpful hints and tips, to get you through the worse of the winter storms and survive the ‘I’m bored’ groan that is sure to come your way…

Hint no. 1: Be prepared

The Met Office are keen to avoid any issues or comebacks on them for not alerting the general public to any impending storms and so, if they issue a ‘be prepared’ alert for your area then it pays to be exactly that.

Get the candles in the place you can easily find, the torches need to be in a similar places and all charged ready with new batteries and you also need a whole list of activities and things to do to stay sane, as well as warm and fed.

Hint no. 2: Keep boredom away

If you have small children, teenagers or, even worse in some respects, friends and relatives round the power goes out, you need to have a whole host of tricks up your sleeve.

Just like you keep all useful things together – torches, batteries, candles and matches – you need to have a magic box full of items that can stave off the first few hours of power out boredom.

So, get a plastic tote box and fill it with pencils, sharpeners, colouring books, puzzle books, felt tips, glue sticks and all kinds of lovely things that your children can get crafty with. Hopefully, by the time they have created an artistic masterpiece worthy of Turner prize, the lights will flicker back in to life. Sanity is restored and everyone can get back on the gaming console, the PC and the phones can be charged up once again.

Hint no. 3: Games and the like

It may be that the power does not flicker back in to life after a few hours and this presents a further challenge to you and your sanity. When the novelty of no power has worn off, you will need to roll your sleeves up, bite the bullet and get the kids playing or involved in something.

Baking a batch of biscuits may be out the question (unless you are on gas) but scrabbling around in the dark, with a gloomy candle for light is perhaps not the safest option.

Why not…?

  • Create a shadow puppet show in the walls – try and get past the basic rabbit! You could then create a story and act this out on the wall! A laugh that everyone will enjoy
  • Story time – sitting and enjoying a story is a great sue of time, but even better snuggled up all together in candle light (although you may need a torch for the reading bit!)
  • Hide and seek – a great way to spend some time in the dark but be careful not to make it too scary or you could end up with hysterical children on your hands and you don’t have a light to flick back on. Also, if you have candles around, probably best to extinguish those and just use the torches…
  • Card games – there are so many that it is difficult to name them all, however the favourites are 21 (reaching 21 in the lest number of cards), or Black Jack or matching pairs, followed by 7 card game (3 of one suit in a row and 4 of another suit)… the list could go on…
  • Old photos – when the power is out, you can do all those jobs that you never seem to get round too, so get out those old photos and if you have a scrap books, why not create a book of memories OR, just use the time to reminisce.

You could actually enjoy it!

Although power cuts are thankfully not common, when they do happen they can last from a few minutes to hours or days. But, rather than seeing it as a nuisance, why not see this down time as the hiatus in your busy lives where you can do things you may have forgotten about?