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Fun, Family Activities When The Electricity Goes Out.

Updated on December 22, 2009

We've all been there before.

You're performing your nightly chores; your significant other is either reading or watching television; your kids are playing; when all of a sudden the lights go out!

In the pitch dark you hear exclamations from the kids; stumbling and mad scrambling in search for mom or dad; and a scrounging around for a quick light source.

After you've calmed the kids down, found the flashlight and lit the candles, what do you do next to keep them entertained?

Here are a few fun activities that I've personally tried with my kids (and nieces and nephew) when the electricity has gone out in our home.

Depending on your child's age, you should be able to find an activity that they will enjoy.

* Go Camping Inside.

Using old sheets and your dining room table; simply throw the sheets over the table to make a make-shift tent of sorts (depending on the size of the sheets you might need several).

If you have sleeping bags, place them on the floor underneath the table (you can use think blankets in place of sleeping bags) to make it feel as if you are really sleeping in a tent.

Grab a couple of snacks from the kitchen to chow down on.

Gather the kids under the table and read books or tell stories by flashlight (or small battery operated camping lights - they have some cute kids outdoor camping lights at the Dollar Tree).

* Shadow Animal Time.

With flashlights or candlelight (preferably a flashlight for safety measures), see who can make the most convincing shadow puppets on the wall. Or play a "guess-what-shadow-animal-I'm-making-game."

* Guess That Show/Movie.

A great game for older children - this game entails a member of the family acting out scenes (no talking) from television shows or movie watched frequently by all family members.

Using an cooking timer; set if for two minutes (you can set for less or more time depending on the age of the children or the level of difficulty you desire) and try acting out a scene. Your family has that allotted time to figure it out.

Whomever guess right takes the next turn. In the event no one makes the correct guess, the one miming takes another turn.

* Have An Indoor Picnic.

In several instances, I've been right in the middle of cooking when the power went out. Since my stove is fully electric, that meant getting creative quick! Here's a suggestion:

Get a large blanket and place on the floor in the middle of your living room.

Gather together some fresh fruit, cheese, deli meat, and crackers; arrange them on a large serving tray.

Grab your kids favorite drinks, and set everything up on the blanket.

Voila! - Your very own indoor picnic.

* Board Game Night!

What a great time to dust off the old board games! Grab your old board or card games and get playing.

* Twenty Questions - The Family Addition.

With the use of questions - that can only be answered with a "yes" or "no" - try to determine what family member, family activity, family pet peeve - etc., that the individual is thinking about.

This is a great way to find out just how much you know about each other.

* Twenty Questions - The Star Struck Addition.

Played very similar to the "family addition" - this game is perfect for you star-struck teen.

Instead of trying to guess what family member the individual is thinking about, this game entails trying to guess what famous singer, or movie, television, or sports star the individual is thinking of.

* What's Your Favorite Color?

This is another great activity that will help draw the family together.

1.) Write down five questions such as;

a.) What is your favorite color?

b.) What is (or was) your favorite subject in school?

c.) What is your favorite song?

d.) What is your favorite food?

e.) What is your favorite book? ....

Each family member has to answer them.

Once the first set of five questions are answered, let each individual come up with their own set of questions to ask.

* Shadow Drawing.

This is a big hit at my home ...

1.) Get large sheets of drawing paper (brown packaging paper works really well for this as well) and crayons or coloring pencils.

2.) Tape the paper on the wall.

3.) Have your child stand in front of the paper.

4.) Using candlelight (be careful to keep the candles out of your child's reach), strategically place the candle so that light casts a shadow on the paper.

5.) You or your other child can trace the other child's shadow on the paper.

6.) Leaving the paper attached to the wall, get your kids to color or draw in the features. They can also add other personal touches to the paper.

It's a safe way of allowing them to "color on the wall."

* House Of Cards.

This fun activity will help your kids develop skill and patience- Using a deck of cards - choose a flat surface and build a house with the playing cards.

If you want to kick it up a notch, see who can make the most unique house of cards, or see who can get theirs the highest without it falling.

Whosoever house of cards falls down first, loses the game (for smaller children, use simple building blocks).

* Jenga, Jenga, Jenga!

I absolutely love this game - specifically made for older kids and adults, this is a great skill and stealth building game.

The concept involves removing blocks from the structure one-by-one.

But be careful! One wrong move will send the entire structure tumbling down.

- Lack of electricity does not necessarily mean lack of fun and excitement.

So why not try out these fun activities with your family, the next time you have a power outage.

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