Frankenstorm (aka Hurricane Sandy) is here… And it’s looking like the worst is yet to come. While the thought of more wind, rain and almost inevitable power loss may seem daunting, the thought of keeping the kiddos entertained inside for days may be even more scary.
Here’s a round-up of fun ideas to keep ’em busy! Separated by ‘when the power is on’ and when you’re kicking it sans electricity.
While the power is still working…
1. Get Cooking! Or baking more likely. Whip up a favorite cookie recipe. (We’re a big chocolate chip cookie house!) Measuring and stirring is sure to keep them entertained for a bit — and you’ll be super thankful for homemade goodies if your power fails.
2. Update Your Playlist. Hop on iTunes or your other fav music site and download some new tunes. Be sure to check out Recess Monkey (a new area fav after Harbor Harvest), Jewel’s kid music, Milkshake, Dan Zanes and others. Never know when an impromtu dance party is required…
3. Red Carpet Movie Premier.
You may be stuck home, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pop some popcorn, stream a new release and watch it! If snuffling on the couch is getting old, pull out those dress ups and have a ‘premier!’ Be sure to get your mamarazzi on and snap pics! Better yet, grab your iPhone and have the kids make their own movie. Then have a showing!
4. Create a Family Photo Booth. Such a cute idea from Salsa Pie! You may not need electricity for this one, but it does require a working camera. Keep the kids busy by making your photo booth props — or just find random funny things around the house!
5. There’s an App for That. Looking for a new game to keep the kiddos occupied? Check out Common Sense Media. They have best app lists for everything kid-related! And a brand new iPhone app (Droid coming soon) to help you navigate the appy waters.
6. Whip Up Some Homemade Play-dough. I like to think of this as a ‘twofer’ — quality activity time spent making playdough plus hours of fun molding it! Here’s a great list of recipes, including a no-cook one!
7. Make a Lego Puzzle Book. Chances are you have Legos or any type of building block sitting around. Work with your kids to come up with fun buildings and create your own puzzle book. Best part? Whip the book out and rebuild your masterpieces next time the kids are bored.
8. Shaving Cream Mowhawks This is such a great indoor fun idea from The Happy Family Movement — but does require hair washing afterward, so make sure the power is still on. It’s on a list of things to do with Shaving Cream over on KneeBouncers.
9. DIY Marble Race Track. So, technically this activity does not require electricity. BUT no one wants to go slip sliding on marbles in the dark. This great idea needs only a leftover summer pool noodle to create a race track (and we bet you have that in the basement! You were looking for something to do with it, right?).
10. Upcycled Toilet Paper Roll Race Cars. What’s the one thing we all run out and buy at the first cry of snow or hurricane? TP. Reuse the rolls by making this cool race car. This other tutorial involves hot glue (which is why it’s under the ‘when the lights are on category).
Ideas for when the Lights Go Out
11. Cork Art. If there is one thing most parents have on hand during a storm it’s wine… Use those corks to create a fun fall tree! (We posted this idea from Laura on Friday, but you may have missed it ).
13. Colorful Glue Paintings. Have some Elmer’s glue lying around? Then you’re all set to make a colorful glue painting via A Childhood List!
14. Construct A Fort. We love the Fort Friday Feature on All For the Boys. Check out some of their ideas and build your own!
15. Have a Camp ‘In.’ Truth? The novelty of this idea will wear off for you in a power outage WAY before your kids are burned out on it. Grab the sleeping bags and gather ’round the living room with you ‘camping’ supplies. Telling stories is a MUST.
16. Balloon Play. LOVE LOVE LOVE these ideas for turning a simple balloon into four different fun balloon toys for kids from Classic play.
17. Aluminum Foil Art. Didn’t stock up on paint when you were picking up water and toilet paper? No worries. There is one art material you ALWAYS have on hand: aluminum foil! This is a great Pinterest board full of aluminum play fun. (Bonus? No paint mess to try and figure out how to wash up!)
18. Build a Story. Story telling is such an easy way to spend some time — but it’s even more fun when you tell the story together! The Woohoo Factor has great tips for building your own story telling game.
19. Make an Indoor Obstacle Course. The worst part of being stuck inside? The lack of running, climbing and jumping that tires your munchkin out. Use play tunnels, pillows, jump ropes, use tape to create a track and more to create an indoor obstacle course (because there are only so many crafty-sit-down activities one mini me can handle). See how Toys in the Dryer set their obstacle course up. PS: Yes, this is row home space safe!
20. Get Your Einstein On. Kids love science and experimenting takes less advanced prep time than you might think! Try blowing up a balloon with vinegar and baking soda, make an old school telephone using string and the cans from some of those non-perishables you might be noshing on, or explore absorption with some paper towels, water and food coloring (you’ll need a few plastic cups you stocked up on, too!).
21. Coffee Filter Art. I bet you ran out for coffee — and filters — before the storm started. A little food coloring, an eye dropper and some markers can entertain for hours. For real! Here are two versions (based on our clover craft from St. Patrick’s Day!)
We’ll keep updating this list! How are you keeping the kids busy?