Storm Survival – Or 5 Tips to Keep the Kids Busy and You Sane
Between snow storms and hurricanes, it seems like we have had our share of school cancellations this year. Once the initial excitement wears off, I find that my kids get really antsy during a storm if we have to stay inside.
Also, due to our time spent in Alabama, they tend to worry a lot about tornadoes.
When boredom kicks in or when I see them anxiously looking at the sky, I find I have to dip into my tried-and-true diversion tactics.
Break/Bend the rules. Nothing is more exciting to kids (and probably most adults) than the thought that they are being naughty and getting away with something. Why not let them break a rule or two (in a controlled fashion)? One of our favorite rules to break during a storm is to eat in the living room. To keep my sanity, I spread out a big blanket or sheet and turn it into a picnic so I don’t have to worry about the mess on the carpet.
Cook or bake. If you have electricity, cooking or baking is a great way to pass the time. Kids love to cook, but often I am in a rush to get things done and don’t have the time it takes to have them “help”. What better way to spend your time in captivity than making something delicious together? And then you will have a treat to eat together in the living room!
Do something totally wacky. My kids get so excited when I come up with something totally crazy for them to do. Choose something that you know is easy to clean up. I haven’t used it yet, but next storm I am going to give them watercolors and let them paint the mirrors and/or windows.
Build something. Drag out the blankets, move the furniture around and build a fort to play in. If you have a mountain of recyclables sitting somewhere (like we always do) let them pick through it to build things. We have made race tracks for cars, robots and hurricane shelters in honor of Hurricane Sandy.
Another one of our favorites it to build an obstacle course in the house and then take turns running through it. This is a great game for all ages because the older kids can build and the younger ones can run through it.
Flashlights/Glow lights. If you lose electricity, hand out flashlights or glow lights (you can grab them from your car). Give everyone a flashlight or glow light and let them run around the house. Puppet shadows are also very entertaining.
I would love to hear some of your diversionary tactics – I always need to build my arsenal.