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Power Outage Activities and Lights; Fun Family Games to Play in the Dark

Updated on November 22, 2015
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Cheryl likes games, especially ones where it doesn't matter if there is a winner or not.

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Welcome to Power Outage Activities, for games to play with little light

What do you do when the power goes out? No TV, no computer, no lights and it's dark out. Once you've determined that everything is safe, then it's time to play some family friendly games in the dark.

Get out some fun flashlights, and use your imagination; here are some fun things to do while waiting for the lights to come back on.

Image credit for the power outage design, is to Cheryl Paton, the author of this page. It is a photo of a painting I did with text added.

The Games

20 Questions - No light is needed for this one, just your mind, talking, and listening ears.

Participants take turns thinking of something, usually an object. The others get to ask questions to help them figure out what thing the thinker is thinking about. After twenty questions are asked, participants get to guess what the thing is.


The questions are phrased to indicate the clue that the questioner is trying to figure out. So, is the thing bigger than a house is appropriate, but asking how big is it, is not.

Sample questions are:

  • Is it small?
  • Do we have one?
  • Is there one in our house?
  • Is it living?
  • Is it smaller than a ruler?
  • Is it larger than a house?
  • Is it blue?

Thanks to kab for mentioning this Song Game.

No lights required. Just the willingness to sing out loud.

This cool idea is from kab - "During power outages, and sometimes in the car, we like to play Encore. Basically there are two teams, and given a word, the teams have to go back and forth trying to think of songs with that word in it and sing at least 8 words of the song. When one team can't think of one in the time allotted, the other team gets the point."

Thank you kab for sharing this idea. Me and my family love singing, so this one sounds like a keeper. : )

Charades can be played with some light, flashlights are good.

Players can think of tv shows, movies, book titles, etc. Then they act it out for the other participants to guess the title, name, etc.


The actors can use gestures to signify whether the word or words is a book title, movie, big or small, how many syllables, etc.

You may have to try some different locations of the lights or flashlights to see the outlines and shadows of the players. But it's still fun to play with little light.

Charades Party Game - Family Charades-in-a-Box Compendium Board Game
Charades Party Game - Family Charades-in-a-Box Compendium Board Game

This Charades game has a variety of themes to choose from and also different charades for different age groups.

For instance, there are picture charades for the 4 age plus age range.

These charades are made for families.

 

Do you know how to play Charades? - You think of a title of a book, movie, or TV show.

Without talking, you act out and use motions to describe the words in your title. Some people use timers, and others just play til someone guesses.

In Reverse Charades, more people get to act out.

Teams do the acting while one person guesses as many words as they can in 60 seconds.

A lot of older people seemed to really enjoy this version. Some even video taped the group playing it, to have more laughs after the game was played.

Of course, you'll have to wait for the power to come back on to do any video taping.

Reverse Charades
Reverse Charades

Teams do the acting instead of one person. One person does the guessing.

 

Hand Shadows in the Dark is a fun flashlight activity.

With some flashlights sitting about, use your hands to make various shadows on the wall. Can you make a recognizable animal? Can you then make it do something like hop or jump, fly, etc.?

Then have your audience guess what it is; then have fun taking turns making your images using your hands.

What kinds of hand shadows can you make?

Fun with Hand Shadows

You'll find more hand shadow ideas in Fun with Hand Shadows.

This hand shadow book has an extra entertainment factor; it has little poems to read about the character that is being made.

Fun with Hand Shadows (Dover Children's Activity Books)
Fun with Hand Shadows (Dover Children's Activity Books)

This book shows illustrations of the various ways to hold your hands, and also shows that shadow that is trying to be achieved.

Little rhymes also add to the fun.

Some have also played this game outside while the sun is going down, making hand shadows against the house.

 

My daughter and I have also played some games of hang man while the power was out.

It's nice playing it on a dry erase board, it gives a nice solid surface to write on, and you don't need to have multiple sheets of paper.

It is easily wiped off with a paper towel to start a new game.

A simple way to play hang man is on a dry erase board.

The dry erase board provides a sturdy surface, and it can easily be wiped off and re-used over and over again.

There are three pre-drawn hangers and three sets of alphabet printed on these boards. Just draw through the letters as they are called out, and play as normal. Players can see the remaining letters left to be called.

Add part of the body, starting with the head for each incorrect letter called, and write any correct letter on the board where it belongs in the word(s) that you have come up with.

This hangman dry erase board is designed by CherylsArt at Zazzle.com.

Having the alphabet letters there for each game makes it easier to think of a new letter to call. Draw a line through each called letter whether it is correct or incorrect, to show the remaining uncalled letters.

Hang man on a dry erase board.

Play three games, erase, and play again.
Play three games, erase, and play again. | Source

Hum a tune.

Not everyone knows the words to songs, but more people do know the tunes. Players can either hum the tune of sing, do do do, or dee dee dee, or whatever short syllable that you would like to use.

The guessers guess the name of the song that is being hummed, etc.

Play another thinking game...

Does anyone need spelling or math practice? Without going overboard, this can be made into a fun time of giving the participants another thinking activity.


For instance, the leader can say, Can you spell the word - then say the word you would like them to spell. If they get the word correct, then they can ask someone else the same question, making sure everyone gets included in spelling and being the leader.

This same idea can be used with math equations. Depending on the age, and the knowledge level, the questions should be adjusted to also make it a fun activity. The main idea here is to maybe have some review, but also to have success and fun.

Did you find a new game to play for when the power goes out? - Do you have a game idea to share?

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    • CherylsArt profile image
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      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      @AcornOakForest: That sounds like a fun plan. : )

    • AcornOakForest profile image

      Monica Lobenstein 2 years ago from Western Wisconsin

      I love 20 questions, and I think playing it in the dark would be even more fun. I wonder if my husband will play with me next time the lights go out.

    • CherylsArt profile image
      Author

      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      @TreasuresBrenda: Haha, yes, that is a good idea. : )

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 2 years ago from Canada

      Great games. Hopefully, people will have checked out your page before the lights go out!

    • CherylsArt profile image
      Author

      Cheryl Paton 2 years ago from West Virginia

      @Stephanie36: Playing these games for Earth Hour is a great idea! They would also be fun a glow stick party.

    • Stephanie36 profile image

      Stephanie 2 years ago from Canada

      There's some great ideas here! These are great for Earth Hour in March.

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      These are some good ideas and even if they don't end up getting used they'll at least get people talking.

    • eLightSpot LM profile image

      eLightSpot LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for these games, we'll be sure to write them down for the next time the power goes out. Oddly enough, we just wrote a lense on what to do if the power goes out as well. We hope you'll check it out and leave us some feedback.

    • profile image

      Danlier 6 years ago

      I am deeply grateful that you have provided useful information to me, and I also welcome you to my website brightest flashlight.

    • CherylsArt profile image
      Author

      Cheryl Paton 6 years ago from West Virginia

      @kerbev: That sounds like a fun idea KAB; thanks for sharing.

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 6 years ago from Upstate, NY

      During power outages, and sometimes in the car, we like to play Encore. Basically there are two teams, and given a word, the teams have to go back and forth trying to think of songs with that word in it and sing at least 8 words of the song. When one team can't think of one in the time allotted, the other team gets the point.

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