Monday, October 29, 2012

What to do with kids on days off

When people think of preparing for a major storm, they think of buying food, water and batteries.  However, as a mom, (and a life-long resident of CT), I also plan on ways to entertain my kids without power.  If I'm not prepared, I'll have to listen to hours of whining. 
I went to the library and got books that they haven't read yet.
I stock up a crate with construction paper, markers, crayons, paper lunch bags, glue and paste, kid scissors, paper plates, pipe cleaners, yarn, empty cereal boxes, etc.  I print out crafts to make with them so if the power goes out, we have something to create and then play with for hours on end.  So far we have printed out Dora's Mermaid Puppet Theatre and Puppets from  The theatre is 4 pages hat we glued together with a gluestick and then used Elmer's glue to stick to the back of a family-size empty Kix cereal box. The ocean floor is glued to a regular size Cascadian Farm cereal box.  Although the mermaids are made to standup we had a problem getting them to stand. So for some of the puppets, we glued them to cereal box cardboard and folded them but cut off one of the half circles on the bottom to help them stand better. For other puppets, we stuck craft sticks (or popsicle sticks) between the cardboard.

Paper bags are used to make puppets, and my girls retell a story that we read them while ducked down behind our coffee table. My favorite templates are from  Of course, it's fun to dress up and put on a play or have a dance party (if you have a radio with batteries or tunes on your phone) then drag out the dress up clothes or let your kids raid your closet.
Board games come out and puzzles are dusted off to create old-time family fun.  When things really get bad, like last year's storm when we were without power for 8 days, we move in with my parents.  It's like a camp out.  We huddle around the fire place in the family room and play outburst, which is a blast to play with a ton of people.  You shout out a topic and they have to guess the ten things listed, (ie. ways to cook potatoes-au gratin, baked, mashed, etc.). Get creative and have fun!  PLAY with YOUR KIDS! We get so busy that we forget to stop and have fun with our kids.  So make the best of the storm and PLAY!

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