It’s Hurricane hibernation time here in the Hennessey household and thankfully, we still have our health, our home, our power, (and our sanity). Before I devour all the snacks (and meals) I prepared in case we lose power, I wanted to squeeze in a quick post. (I do realize I’d be the first one voted off Survivor island because I tend to overeat when stressed, so sue me.) Seriously, I hope you stay safe through the storm. If you’re looking for fun and easy ways to help keep the kids busy, here are a handful of our family’s storm-time traditions:

  1. Flashlight family story time. Materials needed: One flashlight and lots of imagination.

One person holds the flash light & starts a story. The first passes the flashlight to the next person, who then continues the story, and on and on it goes. We’ve had our share of nearly-pee-in-your-pants plot-building times with our kids. Their brains are like sponges. It’s a cute way for kids to express their imagination! No matter where their story leads, this can be quite a riot for everyone.

2. “Blind man” sketching. Materials: A pencil and piece of paper.

We invented this fun craft recently with our kids when we knew they needed to turn off the television and fast. Start with a plain piece of paper, fold it vertically into as many sections as there are people in your household. (Not counting pets, sorry pooch.) For four people: The first person draws a face, the second a body, the next legs, the last shoes. Make sure each section is hidden from the other. The result is a hilarious looking sketch of a human, with special touches (and sketches) from every member of your family.

3. Fort time. Materials: Sheets, blankets, pillows, hockey sticks, you name it.

Have the kids build a fort around you. This one can take hours and helps when you need to do some work or stay glued to your phone for severe weather alerts.

4. Family Olympics. Materials: Board games, playing cards, checkers.

Drum up some fun Family Olympic-style competition to help keep everyone busy. Start with easy games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Hang Man and checkers. Make sure the games are age appropriate. The winner plays the next person, and on and on it goes. We enjoy friendly matches of balloon volley ball tossing, air hockey, War, Connect Four, Life, Stratego and when the power comes back on, iPad Wheel of Fortune. (Big money, big money.)

Have fun and stay safe!