Help kids through storm with old-school ac­tiv­i­ties

Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition - Showtime - Palm Beach - - SPOTLIGHT - By Jen­nifer Jhon

En­ter­tain­ing kids while Hurricane Irma forces them in­side can be a chal­lenge, es­pe­cially once you lose power. But old-school fun such as puz­zles, card games and board games are a great way to keep your kids dis­tracted from the storm.

Here are some other ideas to keep your fam­ily happy in­side:

Treat the week­end like a camp­ing trip, com­plete with air mat­tresses, flash­lights and shadow pup­pets. If you lose power and have to cook on a camp stove and pack all your food into cool­ers, it will just make the “in­door camp­ing” week­end more com­plete.

Hun­ker down with another fam­ily for an epic play date. Your kids might tire of play­ing “Uno” or “Crazy 8’s” with each other, but they are likely to stick with friendly com­pe­ti­tion longer if you add other kids to the mix. Plus, with a larger au­di­ence, pro­duc­tions such as skits, tal­ent shows and games of cha­rades are even more fun.

Books, col­or­ing books and crafts are great ways to pass the time. Paint sou­venir rocks to hand out af­ter the storm or make friend­ship bracelets or another craft. Re­search ideas on Pin­ter­est be­fore the power goes out.

Go for tried-and-true kid-pleasers such as play dough, Lego bricks, fort­build­ing, dress-up fun, hide-and-seek and scav­enger hunts. Have a dance­off or try a drum cir­cle us­ing some of the many cans of non-per­ish­able food items you bought be­fore the storm.

Get your glow on with glow sticks, per­sonal flash lights and so­lar lanterns or so­lar light ropes. These items are fun for kids and help keep fears away af­ter dark if the power is out.

Have anx­ious kids? Col­or­ing and play dough can be calm­ing ac­tiv­i­ties. Also, team­ing your lit­tle ones up with fam­ily pets can be help­ful; re­mind them to be calm and strong for their furry friends, or have them read aloud to pets if they start to feel un­easy.

Still bored? Take the op­por­tu­nity to search the house for things to dis­card or to do­nate to others af­fected by the storm, such as gen­tly used cloth­ing and l i nens, t oys and other house­hold items. Hav­ing a project fo­cused on the fu­ture may help the time in­side go faster.

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