How to Keep Your Children Occupied During a Hurricane

Hurricane season can be a trying time for families and children. Even if a storm never touches land in your area, the idea alone can cause a great deal of stress in a young mind. If a tropical storm or hurricane actually makes landfall, the best thing you can do is keep your child preoccupied until the storm passes. In this article, we will look at some ways you can keep your child entertained - and stress free - in the event of severe weather.

Keeping Kids Busy During Hurricanes

Kids Busy with Crafts

If you did your homework and have created a hurricane preparedness plan and kit (see more about creating a kid-friendly hurricane package), then you are well on your way to making sure your children suffer as little stress as possible during any tropical storm. Aside from making your child feel secure in the knowledge that you are well-prepared, your kit will have some entertainment items and a few "creature comforts" you can use to keep the young ones preoccupied until the inclement weather passes. If you followed our guide mentioned above or have found one online, then you most likely have the basics: plenty of pens, pencils, paper, crayons, and coloring/activity books. These simple tools can keep your children busy with little interaction on your behalf. However, to keep them interested, we suggest joining in on the activities when possible and help them color and draw. Another great way to keep the art interesting is to give them suggestions on things to draw. Remember to keep it simple and offer plenty of praise. Along the same lines as creating "art", you could also have your children tackle some simple craft projects. Creating friendship bracelets or making a magazine mosaic from old magazines is a great distraction and kids can partake in both with everyday items you probably have lying around your home.

Put on A Show

If your child is getting antsy from being cooped up in the house and needs to release a little excess energy, there are a couple of safe indoor activities you can try. For starters, you can create a game of indoor basketball by placing a wastebasket or small garbage can on a short table and use balled up pieces of paper for the ball. To make things more interesting, you can put pieces of tapes in different spots around the room and turn it into a game of horse. Have each taped spot represent a letter in the word "horse" (or any other word) and take turns trying to collect each letter by scoring a basket. Another great distraction that combines imagination and physical activity is to have your children put on a play, musical, or talent show. You can choose an existing story from a book to act out, a favorite scene from a movie, or, for the truly ambitious, have your kid write their own play. For talent shows, have each family member pick a "talent" to perform and alternate who takes the spotlight. Shy away from rewarding points or declaring a winner, as this can quickly turn into bad feelings or arguments. Instead, focus on the "fun" of each talent and offer up plenty of applause. Finally, at the end of the day, a severe storm that keeps your family trapped indoors is the perfect opportunity to create a bonding moment. If you have some candles, flashlights, or battery-operated lanterns, gather your loved ones around it and make-pretend that it is a campfire. Then have each family member share a story. It can be a created tale, a favorite memory, or a conversation about the family history. All of the above activities will not only keep your children occupied during a hurricane or storm - they also present quality time, learning opportunities, and creative outlets that are all pivotal to early childhood development. And, at the end of the day, you will be creating memories the entire family can cherish for a lifetime.

Keeping Children Safe During a Hurricane

After the Storm

When the eye of a hurricane passes over your area, you may be tempted to let your children go outside for a breath of fresh air or get a peak at the damage left in the storm's wake. It is always best to wait until a storm has completely left your area before any family member leaves the home. The eye of a storm passes by very quickly, and while the calm in the center can be enticing, remember that it is fleeting. Once the wall of the eye passes, the storm will abruptly begin again, with little warning. The last thing you want to do is put your loved ones in a perilous situation. Even after the storm is over, it is best to keep your children inside. Before letting them leave the home, be sure to check the outside of the home for fallen debris, downed power lines, any structural issues, and even animals that may be roaming the area. Damaged trees and tree limbs also present a danger, as do puddles and bodies of standing water. The best bet is to wait until you have performed a thorough inspection of your street and the local news station declares it is safe to go outside (it is not uncommon for hurricanes to spawn tornadoes and hail storms, even after they have left an area).

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