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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.

copywrite © 2009


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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks so much Sweet Destiny for taking the time to stop by, read, and comment. I hope these ideas are just as fun for you as they are for my family.

    • Sweet Destiny profile image

      Sweet Destiny 7 years ago from Paris, France

      Hi Veronica,

      I love your ideas! I will start using them the next time we are without lights!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks so much swosugrad09 for stopping by. I love indoor camping. It is so much fun.

    • swosugrad09 profile image

      swosugrad09 7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Yes, indoor camping! Totally used to do that and enjoyed it so much. Great hub!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 7 years ago from Georgia

      Sure! With all the great activities and recipes you share with us, you'd make a great addition to our colorful family. :)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great ideas! Will you adopt me??

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      You are so welcome RGraf. Thanks for stopping by.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      Thank you so much. These are great ideas!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you so much Jimslass for stopping by. Your comment helps us to see that we don't always need electricity to have a good time. I see you are a newbie, so welcome to hubpages.

    • Jimslass profile image

      Jimslass 8 years ago

      We just had the power out for 12 hours a few days ago. We keep some water on hand and kerosene lamps as well as candles. We are in Alaska and heat with wood already so that isnt a problem. We read out loud to each other and my children love to draw so we drew pictures and had a wonderful time without the hummm of electricity. Love your article.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by rmcrayne. Exchaning links will be a great idea.

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 8 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Great ideas Veronica. Would you be interested in exchanging links with my Family Games That Promote Motor Skills hubs?

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Deletia and Hendrika, thank you so much for stopping by. I really hope these suggestions help keep the kids entertained the next time the lights go out. Have fun!

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 8 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      These are a lot of fun ideas. Thanks. I live in South Africa and our electricity has not gone down for a while now, but about a year back it was horrible, it happened every single day! I'll have these ready for when my granddaughter is here and the lights go out.

    • deletia profile image

      deletia 8 years ago from Bali

      Great ideas! I don't have kids but always looking for entertainment for my nephew when he's here, and here in Bali the electricity is going out at least a couple of times a week a the moment.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Wow! Artemus Gordon. Two whole weeks - I can imagine how hard that must have been. We've become so used to electricity that it can be hard to keep a positive frame of mind. Without electricity - we lose some of the luxuries and neccesities we use on a daily basis. I glad you guys got through it though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Artemus Gordon profile image

      Artemus Gordon 8 years ago

      We lost our power for 2 whole weeks a couple of years ago. At first it was fun but then it became harder and harder to keep up the good mood. But we did play a lot of games by candlelight.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by Hello, hello. You can really have some fun even when the electricity goes out.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      These are lots and lovely ideas. It surely will be appreciated. Thanks for your hub.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by BkCreative. We haven't seen you in a while, it's good to hear from you.Can't wait to see what nutrional information you have in store for us.

      I agree with you on going ahead and turning off the lights. My girls and I have so much fun when the electricty goes off, that even when it comes back on, we'll still sit and have fun by candlelight.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      What fun! I'm thinking it would be fun to just go ahead and turn the lights out - and have some fun! Lots of great suggestions.

      I love an indoor picnic - it worked so well with my tiny granddaughters - I think we forget how hard it is for them to reach a table. Their eyes lit up when I threw a blanket on the floor - and spread out the food!

      If I don't pay my electric bill soon - I may be doing all of these! Thanks!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by creativeone59.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great hub with great ideas, thanks for sharing it. creativeone59

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks jane@cm for stopping by. I did this hub in answer to one of our fellow hubbers question, and have tried these out on the several occasions our lights went out.

    • Jane@CM profile image

      Jane@CM 8 years ago

      Great, fun ideas. I remember doing some of these things when my kids where young!