Hurricane Irene can’t have all the fun
Here in the Northeast, we’re bracing for rough weather. Up in the Hudson Valley, we won’t have it as bad as people on, say Long Island, or the Outer Banks, but power outages are still a definite possibility.
So what’s a powerless girl to do on a rainy day? First stock up on candles (tapers and elevated tea lights give better light than pillars) and get a flashlight with batteries.
Then, check out the list below for some suggestions. Are you stocked up with enough stuff to keep from getting bored?
- playing cards: Card games are awesome. I come from a long line of card sharks and big group games are our favorite family reunion pastimes. But even a simple game of solitaire or a two-person game of “war” can be fun. Family favorites are “up and down the river,” “shanghai” (a kind of complex rummy), and “four-handed mary widow.”
- board games: Monopoly and Risk take hours, but when the power is out, that’s a good thing.
- novels: Read to yourself or read aloud. It’s nice to read aloud for other people doing crafty things.
- drawing paper and pencils: Even if you think you’re no artist, doodling can be fun. A favorite activity to do with kids (or anyone, really) is scribble art. Scribble art is a fun game/project in which an adult draws a series of scribbles on pieces of paper and the child or other person has to create a picture using that squiggle. It really encourages creativity and the resulting art can be realistic or outrageous.
- yarn and knitting needles: Now is the perfect time to dig out that knitting book and either try to learn how to knit, or attempt a hard pattern you’ve never had the patience or attention span to try before. Or, just make yourself a pair of simple fingerless gloves.
- embroidery hoop and floss: You don’t need a pattern. You could embroider your favorite cardigan, button-up shirt, or just a scrap of fabric. You don’t need a pattern, but a fabric pen (water soluble are great) is nice to help guide your design. Get instructions for some of the more complex stitches to try.
- paper to do origami with: Even if you’re just making silly hats and decorating them, folding paper is more fun than you might think. You can also make flying machines with a few drinking straws and some paperclips. Have a contest (even if only with yourself) to see which machine goes the farthest the most consistently.
- puzzles: Hit the thrift store or garage sales now. Missing pieces only add to the fun.
- musical instruments (guitars and pianos are especially nice): Got an acoustic guitar that’s been languishing in a corner for years? Tune it up and print off some of the chords to your favorite oldies. You could even have a singalong.
- clothes that need mending: Seriously. Jeans with holes in them, sweaters coming apart at the seams, missing buttons… All those projects you’ve put off thus far. Pull out your sewing kit and get mending!
- cleaning products: Have you cleaned your baseboards lately? How about dusted the tops of the molding around your doors? Heck, maybe you just haven’t attended to the bathroom floor in a while. As long as you’ve got water, you can clean and man oh man will you feel better when you’re done. Hate commercial cleaners? Here are some helpful hints for homemade cleaning supplies.
- a battery-operated or hand-cranked radio: Not only is this important to keep up on weather reports, but once your computer or iPod battery dies, it may be your only source of music.
- lemons, vinegar, baking soda, etc.: Not only are these ingredients good for making your own cleaning supplies, they are also great for oldschool science experiments!
- flour, water, salt, cream of tartar, oil, food coloring: That’s right. Sound familiar? They’re the ingredients in making your own homemade play dough.