Keep Your Child Busy During a Hurricane
We all know that when the power is out during a severe thunderstorm or hurricane, it becomes really tiresome for adults. By this token, we can only imagine how tiresome it can be for children. While the physical safety of your children during a storm is important, many often forget the mental and psychological safety during a storm. We’ve come up with some ways to help you wait out the storm peacefully with your children, especially when you don’t have any technology to fall back on.
Prepare with your children
First and foremost, take your children aside to explain to them in the best way possible about hurricanes. Show them pictures or videos and make it easy for them to understand what is happening around them- this may turn into a fun learning activity for them to grow on! If children know what is happening they are less likely to become agitated and frustrated from the lack of knowledge, and they may also be better prepared for the big scary things that happen during a hurricane. Think about how different it will be for them- no power, no water, no A/C! All the comforts of home will be gone, but if you make it into a positive experience it won’t be so trying on their tiny little bodies.
While preparing your emergency kit, ask for your child’s help with packing items for the storm. This will help them feel a sense of responsibility by feeling like they are a part of the process. This is similar to giving your children small tasks around the house to increase pride and self-esteem. Letting your child help pack your emergency kit can give you better insights to what they would like to do during the storm, and maybe can remind you about some things you may be forgetting.
Toys and Activities during the Hurricane
I think adults and children alike can enjoy a good battery-powered movie during a hurricane, but once you’re out of battery, what else is there? While spending even more money to prepare for a hurricane may be the last thing you would like to do, it may be a good idea to go shopping with your little one to pick 2-3 items for the big storm, all the while explaining to them that this toy/game will be used during a fun evening in the dark. The best thing you can do is make it fun for them. Don’t forget about existing toys or board games at home, though. Pack all of these together in an easy to reach place on the bottom floor of your home.
So the toys are the easiest part, but you should also have a couple tricks up your sleeve to surprise your children with. Some fun activities, when prepared for beforehand, can make the evening go by a lot faster and smoother. Here are just a few:
- Pretend you are going camping for a few days- make your home look a little outdoorsy (cave included) to create a fun ambiance for your little ones! Make camp foods like hot dogs and s’mores for an added effect.
- Play Marco/Polo- we play this game with your eyes close anyway, why not play in the dark instead
- Accumulate art supplies- use this time to get messy and have fun
- Grab favorite stories and books, then recreate them by acting them out! gather any props you may need
- Dance party- charge up every Ipod you own and solely use it for music (this preserves the battery and tires out the kids!)
- Grab random boxes and uses them for all kinds of things (boats, airplanes, cars)- let the imagination run wild
- Clear out an area for physical activities- hopscotch on the tile, jump ropes and hula hoops
- Make cakes and cookies beforehand, let the kids decorate them during the storm (just have the physical activities ready for the sugar rush)
- Two words: LEGOS, Play-doh
- Puppet shows with flashlights and shadows
These are just a few ideas, but let your imagination wander! You know your kids better than anyone, and you can plan activities accordingly. The American Red Cross has a great educational toolkit for young children that can either be given to students in a classroom setting or a home setting.
Share what you’re planning for you little ones during the storm below!