Keeping Kids Calm and Happy in Emergencies
Hey there-This is the Mountain Mamma and I have a thought. Please let me know how you feel about it.
We all know being prepared means food, water, and other necessities to varying degrees. However, we don’t always think of entertainment. You know, Entertainment.
It’s something to help us forget our situation for a moment be it tornado, flood, tsunami, earthquake, terrorists, or the dreaded zombie invasion (our sons vote for the zombies). We have children and grandchildren of all ages and all need a break, yes the adults too.
In my truck I keep a small bag of “goodies”. At home I keep a large bag ready to go. Be sure to have LOTS more than you need.
Once we had to go to a shelter because of a tornado warning. The kids were terrified. Heck, the adults were terrified! That’s when I learned I needed things to get everyone’s mind off of their worries.
All I had with me that time were things I always carried in my purse:
- Dice in a small bottle (think empty medicine bottle).
- A notepad and pencil for scoring.
- A small deck of cards.With just those the kids were entertained. The older kids played Farkle although I was taught it by the name of Zilt. You need 6 dice. Instructions for playing it are on the internet. Make several copies and keep them in your bag.The little ones and I played a game of Slap Matching. To play this they try to match the cards they are holding with one in the middle. If they get it right, then they can slap it down hard. Actually, we didn’t match much, but we did a lot of slapping on the floor…and LAUGHING.
Here are more things I keep in my bags. I promise you, all are cheap cheap. Go to one of those stores where everything is a dollar like I do but shop around to see where you get the best buys.
Think of your own family. What would you need to keep your kids calm? Someone have a favorite doll, blankie, or truck? Don’t forget the little guys need rattles and small stuffed somethings, you know “finger toys” they can safely put into their mouths. Small stuffed animals and dolls are comforting so have a lot of those. Don’t forget doll baby bottles. They love those! Buy seconds and bag them. Nothing beats their old familiar toys. You won’t have time to gather up things when you need to get somewhere safe in a hurry.
Never again will I not be more prepared for emergency disasters.
In no time the storm and fears will be forgotten because that’s the key. Get them laughing.
- Dice, like I mentioned earlier. Yahtzee takes 5 dice and instructions and score sheets are on the internet. Make lots of copies. I make copies, front and back, four sheets on a page.In my bag of tricks I also have small cars and trucks, coloring books and crayons. They even have coloring books for adults now to use with colored pencils. They say they relieve stress but some of us still like to color in kid’s books and the kids love to join in.
- Other cards like Rook, Pit, Old Maid, and Matching to name a few. You may know more.
- Decks of cards. The “W” store has regular playing cards for 88 cents. There are lots of games you can play with a deck of cards that include all ages. One of our favorites is Snap (with some plastic spoons.) Others are Crazy 8, Go Fish, and Rummy. Print out the directions for these games to have with you when you’re rattled.
- Jacks and balls
- Travel games like Connect 4, Chess, and Checkers
- A quart size zip bag of pony beads and shoe laces which will keep the kids busy for hours.
Keep the items as small as possible and if you can afford it, let the kids keep the toys they choose. They won’t be too happy if they have to return them especially in these trying circumstances. I let them choose from the bag and that makes it theirs. Try it… You’ll like it.
If you have a solar charging system, don’t forget the tablet loaded with movies and books for all to share. I also keep a rechargeable lamp so they can play if there’s no power.
Have Fun Shopping and BE PREPARED! Please comment about how you entertain your kids and grandkids in stressful times.
Mountain Mamma is LeaAnn, Ken Porter’s wife, and has been prepping a long time.