Fun Things To Do With Your Family During Earth Hour
Earth Hour Supplies
Here are some things you'll want to be sure you have on hand to help celebrate Earth Hour with your family:
- Plenty of candles (flameless candles are a great alternative to having a room full of real candles. Especially if you've got young one's running around)
- Lots of flash lights with extra batteries
- Deck of cards
- Board games
- Plenty of story books
- Blankets, sheets, pillows and clothes pins (for making a fort!)
- S'mores fixing's . (Marsh mellow's, chocolate bars, Graham crackers)
- Glow sticks (Available at most Dollar Stores)
What is Earth Hour?
The idea for Earth Hour was born from an event held in Sydney, Australia in 2007. "Lights out Sydney" was an event created to encourage residents to turn their lights off for one hour to conserve energy and show their united commitment towards protecting our planet.
With the help of The World Wild Life Fund, Earth Hour has become a world wild event, with more than 7000 cities and towns across the globe making the commitment to collectively power off for one hour. It is held every year around the end of March and is the precursor to many Earth Day celebrations. Earth Hour 2014 is March 29th between 8:30-9:30 pm (local time)
Turning off all your lights for one hour is a simple step we can all take to show we are unified in our desire to protect our planet and environment...But if you've got young kids at home, what exactly are you supposed to do to keep them busy? Here's a list of some fun activities you can participate in with your entire family to help ensure a successful Earth Hour in your house hold.
If you and your family and have special Earth Hour activities or traditions, don't forget to share them in the comments section below.
Create Fun Light Sources with Glowsticks!
The first challenge with entertaining your kids during Earth Hour: Lighting.
During Earth Hour, you're supposed to turn off all non essential lights in your household. So how exactly are you supposed to entertain your kids in the dark while still providing enough power free light for activities? With glow sticks, of course!
Kids love glow sticks and there are many different ways you can entertain them during Earth Hour with just a few simple glow sticks from your local dollar store.
Lighting a room with candles can be dangerous with excited, playful kids bouncing around. Glow sticks are a safe alternative to using candles, and they're cheap! I purchased 25 glow sticks for under $5.00 at my local dollar store.
Create glowstick "runways"
Glow sticks can provide a surprising amount of light when you power off for Earth Hour. I used two packages of ten glow sticks (20 in total) to line the main hallway in my house (photo above). They can also be used to illuminate staircases to prevent tripping hazards. If you've got a long hallway, lining it with glow sticks create's a fun "runway" look. Perfect for playing some glow in the dark ring toss or glow in the dark bowling! (see below)
Glow In The Dark Bowling
You can create an easy "glow in the dark bowling" game using a couple of glow sticks, toilet paper and scotch tape. Simply tape the glow sticks to toilet paper rolls and set them up at the end of a long hallway. They don't look like much when the lights are on, but once you power down for Earth Hour, they're transformed into a fun glow in the dark bowling game your kids will love. (see photo above)
Another great activity: Glow in the dark treasure hunt!
Place small glow sticks inside plastic Easter eggs (I purchased a package of 12 for $1.00) and hide them throughout the house. Arm your kids with a flash light or a handful of glow sticks and set them off to hunt for these magical glow in the dark eggs.
The only limit to these activities is your own imagination!
Will You Be Celebrating Earth Hour with Little One's?
Glowsticks + Balloons = Magic
A package of balloons combined with a package of small glow sticks (both from the dollar store) makes for some truly awesome earth hour fun for kids.
Simply stuff one small glow stick inside a balloon and inflate the balloon. You can hang them from string around your living room and use them for fun mood lighting (photo above), or if you're really ambitious create a super fun glow in the dark balloon ballroom for your kids to play in. All it takes is one package of balloons, a handful of glow sticks and some serious lung power. Throw a dozen of these light up balloons into your kids room and watch them have fun tossing them around.
These glow in the dark balloons would also provide a magical source of light for little ones who are afraid of the dark or to provide some extra special lighting for your child's blanket fort (see below)
Camp Out In The Living Room
Build A Blanket Fort
So now that you've solved the lighting situation, your kids are going to need a central place to hang out. Earth Hour is the perfect excuse to build a blanket fort with your kids.
Think back to when you were a kid. Was there anything more fun than grabbing all the blankets and sheets you could find and building a fort? My siblings and I lived for building forts (my mom on the other hand, well, she tolerated it, bless her heart)
Why not relive the joy of living room camping with your kids? Put your awesome fort building skills to use and impress your kids with the best blanket fort they've ever seen (and score some major awesome parents points!) If you want to step it up a notch, add some mood lighting with some of the glow stick crafts featured above.
Watch the video below for tips and tricks to building the comfiest blanket fort in your living room.
Tell Spooky Ghost Stories
After your little ones are all pooped out from glow stick bowling and building their blanket fort, why not take the chance to cuddle up with them and tell some spooky ghost stories?
You can find some great ghost story books for kids on Amazon or check out The Scary For Kids Website for some great ghost stories to tell your kids.
Nothing pairs better with spooky ghost stories and blanket forts than some yummy s'more's treats! You don't need a campfire (or electricity!) to whip up these yummy treats for your kids.
Campfire Free S'Mores
I don't know many people (or anyone for that matter!) that doesn't love a delicious s'mores treat, especially kids. Who can resist the marshmellowy gooey goodness of s'mores? The kids will love toasting their own s'more's, it will add to the excitement of being in the dark during Earth Hour!
If you have a fireplace at home, making s'mores is a snap but you don't need to have a fireplace to make your own s'mores. Here's what you'll need to make your own camp fire free s'mores:
- Bag of marsh mellow's
- A couple of chocolate bars (Hershey's and Jersey milk are the best for s'mores!)
- 1 box of Graham cracker's
- 1 large unscented candle for toasting marsh mellow's (Make sure it's unscented! You don't want your marsh mellow's tasting like a spring meadow!)
- Plenty of napkins or wet naps to contain the mess
When making your candle s'mores, be sure to keep the candle on a solid surface (like your kitchen table or counter) and never leave your kids unattended with a burning candle. Making s'more's inside the awesome blanket fort you made may add to the "camping" feel, but it's not advisable to burn a candle inside a blanket fort. Safety should always come first.
Make It A Family Game Night!
Exchange The Video Games For Board Games
Another great way to have fun with your family and friends this Earth Hour is to switch off the video games and sit down to play a good old fashioned board game. Everyone has a closet full of old board games from when they were kids, Earth Hour is the perfect time to dust them off and have a family game night.
To make it more interesting and fun, you can set up different "gaming stations" and have a round robin competition. Here are some great board games for kids of all ages:
For School Aged Children:
- Connect Four
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Guess Who
- Say Anything
How Do You Celebrate Earth Hour?
Earth Hour is a great way to reconnect with your family while showing your support for environmental efforts. Involving your children in Earth Hour activities is a fun way to teach your children about why we need to learn to be more conscious of how we treat our planet and get them excited about it!
If you would like information about Earth Hour activities taking place in your area, how to sponsor an event or create one of your own, check out the Official Earth Hour Web-Site. If you have your own blog, web-site or other social media account, you can also find some great banners like the one below to post on your site to help spread the word about Earth Hour.
If you have any great earth hour stories or activities to share, please post them in the comments section below!