No Power? No Problem! 6 Kids Activities to Do Without Power
Activities for Kids

No Power? No Problem! 6 Kids Activities to Do Without Power

by Martha Scully

Was it a rainstorm? A snowstorm? Lightning? Whatever the reason for a power outage, there’s no need to worry. If it’s going to be a while before you get power back, being able to keep the children occupied is key.

As a parent or caregiver do you need some fun kids activity ideas to pass the time?

In this article we’ll detail 6 great ideas the kids will love; all with no electricity required.


Safety First

The first thing you’ll want to take care of is safety. Make sure you’re prepared for any power outages by having the necessities handy. A few things to consider having on hand (or asking the parents where they’re kept):

  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Candles
  • Snack food
  • Blankets (if it’s cold)
  • A portable mobile phone charger

If it’s after dark when you lose power, remember that’s an experience that can be scary for young children. Make sure you comfort them and let them know it’ll be alright. A favourite toy or stuffed animal can also help.

6 Fun Kids Activities You Can Do in a Power Outage

There are plenty of fun activities that are appropriate for children of all ages that can be done without power! Here are some great ideas to get you started!

1. Indoor “Campfire”

Set up some candles (or flashlights) and have a good old-fashioned campfire in the living room. You can have the children each come up with a campfire song or game they’d like to play, eat traditional campfire snacks like marshmallows (not roasted, of course!), bagged popcorn and more. When your campfire is finished, set up a tent with some blankets and furniture and tell stories! Don’t forget pillows, snacks, and everyone’s favourite stuffed animal.

2. Act it Out

Acting can be a lot of fun for people of all ages. There are several different activities that involve acting and drama that can be done without any power.

Here are a few easy ones you can try out:

  • Charades – try playing a game of charades. Get into small teams and act out words or phrases for others to guess.
  • Theatre – have the children create a short script, put on some quick costumes and perform a play with you as the audience
  • Puppets – if you have puppets on hand, these can make great tools for times with no power. Putting on a puppet show is a great way to pass some time; you can even have craft time beforehand to make the stage! No puppets? No problem. Hang up a sheet, shine a flashlight on it and make shadow puppets with your hands!

3. Board Game Olympics

If you have a large enough flashlight, or you’re lucky enough to still have some natural light, board games are always a big hit with kids. If you’re minding children of different ages, try to make sure to choose a game that allows all to participate. If you have younger children that may lose interest quickly, many board games have a “quick game” option listed in the instructions.

4. Make a Time Capsule

Time capsules are great – you can put anything you want in them, everyone can contribute (or make their own) and they can be opened at any time. Grab a box – any box will do (cereal, shoe, etc.) and cover it in construction paper. The kids can decorate them with markers, crayons, glitter, pipe cleaners and other things from your local craft store. Don’t forget to set a date when you will open them again, which is completely up to you – 1 year, 5 years, etc.

As for what to put inside the time capsules, the possibilities are endless; here are a few suggestions:

  • Page from the daily paper (with date)
  • Photos – polaroid cameras are great as you can get the most recent shots of each child
  • Lists of favourite things – colour, subject as school, sports team, musician, tv character, etc. You could even throw in things to represent these such as a trading card of a favourite athlete, CD of a favourite band, etc.

5. Get Crafty

Have the children create art in the dark! Get some thick paper or canvas ready and have the kids paint something you tell them to – a flower, a tree, a beach, whatever you can come up with. Or, have them try to paint themselves for even more fun! Just be sure to lay out an old sheet or some newspaper first, to avoid a mess afterwards.

Another crafty idea is to have a colouring or drawing contest. If you have some colouring books handy, have the children choose a page to colour and make a contest out of it. Or, ask them to draw something and judge them on their drawing skills. Just make sure everyone gets a turn to be the judge!

6. Scavenger Hunt

If there are enough flashlights for everyone, complete a scavenger hunt! Give everyone a bag and a list of things to collect. It could be as simple as five or 10 different things. Or, come up with one thing for everyone to collect and give clues for the children to try and guess what it is! The winner can pick the next activity.

Don’t Let a Power Outage Get You Down

The weather doesn’t have to dictate whether you have fun or not. Always have a few indoor activities planned out just in case of poor weather or other unforeseen circumstances. Involve the kids in the planning of the day, as well. Perhaps they have some great ideas you wouldn’t have thought about!

What do you do to keep busy when the power goes out?



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About the Author
Martha Scully
Martha is the founder of CanadianNanny.ca. Martha has been featured as a Child Care Expert in hundreds of publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, CBC, Today's Parent and The National Post, She lives in British Columbia with her husband and two daughters.