Kids love going outside.
Whether they're playing an impromptu game of baseball, exploring new parts of their neighborhood, or just getting dirty, kids just love running around in the great outdoors.
But sometimes, Mother Nature decides to ground them to the indoors. It might be heavy rain, an impending tornado, or the sustained sub-zero temperatures that are currently whipping through the Midwest.
And we all know how it goes. Two hours into a forty-eight-hour state of emergency, the familiar cries of "I'm bored!" start to resound.
Surviving a storm—and cabin fever—can be hard enough for adults. But for kids, it can be almost unbearable.
Here are a few ways how to keep kids busy during a storm.
Fight Panic With Puzzles
Storms can be scary. Even for adults. When the meteorologist comes on the TV and warns about all of the property damage that the storm might cause, it's easy to get lost in a swirl of panic and anxiety.
Those numbers might not make sense to kids, but it doesn't stop the feeling that the world is about to end.
An idle mind is a breeding ground for fear. To keep your kids from being too scared to function, try to distract their brains with other tasks.
Among the flashlights, nonperishable foods, and other items in your tornado shelter, keep a few puzzles and brain teasers on the shelves.
Don't restrict yourself to jigsaw puzzles: disentanglement puzzles can keep kids occupied—and distracted from the storm—for hours.
Fight Boredom With Board Games
Kids love video games. But when storms come through, electronics might not be an option.
But they can still get their competitive fix with some board games.
Games like Sorry or Candyland are a great choice for younger kids. Older kids might need something a little more cerebral, like Scrabble, Cranium, or Apples to Apples. You might even get in a whole game of Risk!
Nobody actually likes Monopoly, though, so skip that one.
Good Old-Fashioned Storytime
For many parents, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu have been a godsend. These services have thousands of hours of content geared for kids that teach important life lessons.
But again, when storms threaten the electrical grid, Netflix is off the table.
That doesn't mean they can't have any entertainment though! Keep your kids' minds off the storm by turning storm time into story time.
Bring a few of their favorite storybooks into the shelter with you. If they start getting bored with the same old stories, start making up a few of your own.
You could even bring a few puppets with you to make it even more entertaining.
How To Keep Kids Busy—And Yourself Sane
Weathering the storm can be a long process. Being in such close quarters for so long can amplify fear, frustrations, and boredom.
But with these tips of how to keep kids busy, you might not just survive the storm—you might have some fun too.
For more info to keep yourself safe during extreme weather, check out our guide to storm shelters.