Power outages can mean family fun

The digital age has made us especially reliant on technology - and electricity - for our entertainment, and most kids are even more plugged in than their parents. So when the power goes out, finding fun and engaging activities can be tough. Need some electricity-free activities the whole family can enjoy? Give these a try.

1. Get outside
We generally imagine a power outage as a nighttime event, but sometimes the power goes out in broad daylight. When that’s the case, use it as an excuse to head outside as a family. After calling your electric repair service or checking in with your utility company, go on a walk, pick a local hiking trail, visit a park, organize a neighborhood game of wiffle ball in the yard or find some other fresh-air activity.

2. Cards by candlelight*
If it’s growing dark and the power is still out, regroup in the house and light a few candles. There are plenty of games you can play by candlelight, from charades to 20 questions. But cards are a reliable crowd-pleaser. Play poker for pennies, or try your hand at gin rummy, war or any other variety of games.

3. Tell spooky stories
Indulge in a few scary stories, told with flashlights. If you have young children, you might want to play up the silly and scale back the really scary parts. You can assure them that your electrician will have the lights back on in no time.

4. Pretend you’re camping
There are no computers or lamps in the great outdoors! Build tents from blankets and couch cushions, then roll out the sleeping bags -- you and your little ones will have a blast pretending to go camping in the living room. If you have a gas stove top, enjoy s'mores with marshmallows heated over the kitchen burner. You can also warm up some milk for hot chocolate.

5. Put on a shadow puppet show
You and your kids can write an epic puppet show by candlelight and then perform it with the help of a few flashlights and some ingenious shadow puppets. Of course, you don’t need to write out your shadow puppet theater beforehand - you can always improvise! It’s a fun and creative way to enjoy your power outage and bond with your kids.

*Exercise caution when using candles as a light source

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