If you live in an area susceptible to power outages, you are already prepared for just such an “event” by making sure you have plenty of candles, matches, flashlights, and any other important paraphernalia at your disposal to minimize the inconvenience.
But what about the “fun” part of being without electricity?
In a heartbeat, there is no television, or radio, or computer with all the excitement of online presence to occupy your time. It may also mean maybe eating cold meals and not being able to flush the toilet, but that's a whole other issue.
Once you and your family have come to the full realization that conversation and attending to each other is all that is really left, have some fun with it.
If darkness hasn't arrived yet:
- Read a book outloud to everyone. Take turns. Have each person pick out a book and then read it. For young ones, picture books will go pretty quickly. For the older ones, suggest a chapter or two to begin with, and then continue each day, with or without electricity.
- Play board games that are age-appropriate. For younger ones, games such as Chutes and Ladders and Candyland are easy. A little older, games such as Trouble and Sorry make for some rowdy fun. Teenagers will easily become intrigued with the games of Life and Monopoly. These are all board games that can be found in your local toy stores or online, especially when you do have electricity.
- Put together a jigsaw puzzle. Set up a card table, spread the pieces right-side up on the table, then begin. Start with all the edge pieces and create the border, then spend time placing the other pieces while talking to each other.
- Play card games. Depending on the ages involved, play War or Hearts or Bridge. All of these card games give the opportunity to continue talking to each other.
Once evening arrives and you are living by candlelight:
- Play Charades. This game is fairly easy when played with full light, but it takes on a whole different aspect of difficulty by candlelight.
- Tell spooky stories. Depending on the ages of the children, temper the stories so as not to be too scary.
- Camp in the backyard. Weather permitting, camp in your own backyard. Set up a tent and build a campfire. Roast marshmallows or make s'mores. Never had a s'more? Take one slab of graham cracker and break in half. On one half, place a couple pieces of Hershey's chocolate, roast a marshmallow until it is done to your liking, and place it on top of the chocolate. Place the other half of graham cracker on top of that, then squash all together. The chocolate will start to melt and the little “sandwich” will stick together – ready for you to eat.
- Camp in the living room. If the weather is not conducive to camping, set up sleeping bags and supplies in the living room and spend the night together.
A little pre-preparation for this unexpected event helps to make for a “fun” time as opposed to making it stressful. If possible, have some of these items tucked away, making them new and exciting when brought out.
As corny as it may sound, you may have discovered a tradition that could become a weekly or monthly family get-together. By voluntarily turning off the lights, the television, the radio, and the computer, your family can get to know each other, once again.