Growing up in the panhandle of Florida, my family has experienced our share of insane lightning storms and a few scary hurricanes. When I was a kid the thunder and lightning used to terrify me, but as a mom I’ve tried to help my own kids not be so scared of them.
I wanted to share an idea that’s worked for us over the years to help ease my kids fears and to make being stuck indoors not quite as stressful.
We create a ‘Rainy Day Fun Box” and fill it with supplies to keep kids occupied during the summer storms. This can be a large basket, laundry basket, suitcase, picnic basket, even a brown box the kids have decorated themselves. The trick is to keep it exclusive and only use it on the stormy days. This makes it enjoyable for the kids, because they know that they’ve got goodies lined up that will help distract them from their fears or boredom.
A big sheet makes a great indoor tent.
One of our favorite things to do is to make a tent in our living room. We all did this growing up, so you already know how fun it can be to camp out indoors. All you need is a large sheet or a few blankets, and your dining room chairs. Use rubber bands or elastic hair ties to attach the blankets to the top of the chairs, and you have an instant cozy spot for the kids. Speaking of tents, two summers ago we had an unbelievably wet and stormy summer, so we pushed back our sofas and set up a real pop up tent in our living room. We kept it up all summer, and to this day they’re still talking about how fun that was.
Board games Games like Checkers or Monopoly can be a lot of fun set up inside your tent. Playing games that keep them occupied can help get their minds focus on other things besides how bored or frightened they are.
Flashlights and batteries
In case the power goes out, it’s smart to have these items on hand for kids and adults alike. Make it fun and get each kid their very own light in cool colors. Have them keep them by their beds or in a place they can access easily.
Crayons and coloring books, or other art supplies
Being crafty can help beat the boredom. I like to rotate the craft supplies I keep in our box frequently, sometimes it will be a book and crayons, other times it’ll be construction paper, scissors, and glue.
Food items for an indoor picnic.
What’s an indoor tent without an indoor picnic? Along with pantry type snacks, I also include napkins and plastic containers to keep it clean and portions appropriate.
Stockpiling the box doesn’t have to be expensive, and when you shop the Summer Storm Stock Up at Publix, you can save even more. In fact, between May 22- July 10, 2016, for every $30 you spend on participating products, and upload the receipt to stormstockup.com you’ll receive a $10 Publix gift card in return. Even better, you can earn up to three cards and it can be done over multiple shopping trips.
For example, for our box this year, I purchased Orville Redenbacher’s® Gourmet® Pop Corn, Betty Crocker™ Fruit Snacks, Chex Mix™, Fiber One™ Cookies, Nature Valley™ Granola Bars, and Bugles™ (I also grabbed some Hunt’s® Ketchup and Hebrew National® hot dogs, but of course those have to stay in the fridge).
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