What Can You Do with Family During Hour Without Power?

Going through the craziness of the day, we sometimes find downtown while catching up on our smart phones or smart tablets and honestly, our kids are now doing it. There are so many times that I will look over at my kids and they are just sitting on the ipad playing a game or watching an unboxing and I often think that if I were to leave and run to the store for a few minutes that they wouldn’t even know that I had left. Now, I know that’s not possible to even test out because I can’t just leave my kids, but I can try to get them to unplug and challenge myself to do the same. When Project Envolve challenged us to just spend an hour without using any power, I tried to think of some fun things for the kids to do without using the ipad or playing video games. By participating in the Power Hour challenge,  my goal was that my family would realize how much we all depend on energy and how often we use it without even realizing it. 

Before bed one night, rather than watching a movie or tv, I challenged the kids to shut the lights off and play. They were really excited to try playing with just a flashlight, but I don’t think they expected it to be as difficult when trying to find the pieces they needed to play Legos. Mollie and I decided to put together a scrapbook of pictures that we had developed from different milestones of the past seven years.

What I realize now is we need to Make Time rather than Find Time. Especially when it comes to doing something we have been putting off month after month.

I can’t remember the last time that I developed pictures and put them into an album. I have gotten so used to creating digital family albums with all my online photos, but I wanted to do something special with Mollie that she will always remember- not only as a keepsake, but the time we spent creating the album. Rather than just putting the photos into an album, I thought we should create a scrapbook. This was something that I did as a teenager with all my pictures, so it was the perfect opportunity for us to spend some time together without any interruptions and also to create and preserve some memories.


One of the biggest challenges was the amount of light we had to work with. We had to keep putting the stickers up to the lantern in order to look closely before choosing the right stickers for the page. One of my favorite parts of the challenge was telling stories and sharing memories about the pictures.  It was interesting to listen to her interruption of the pictures because most of the time I am so caught up in the moment with trying to take a thousand pictures that I never step back enjoy the moment. Mollie told me some of her memories from those special moments that I had forgotten or didn’t even know about. We had some laughs and even caught up on things that were happening this week in her life. Sometimes I feel like I am always rushing from one activity to another or making/cleaning up meals that I don’t even listen to my kids. Having no other distractions allowed me to really listen to Mollie and enjoy our time together.

The boys wanted to try to play Lego in the dark. This is their first attempt at playing Lego in the dark. Sometimes I like to just watch them play and listen to the way they create characters and stories to go along with their Lego creations. Playing in the dark was definitely fun, but they kept coming over to the flashlight to see the pieces they were putting together. We had a talk about how they usually have all the lights on in the basement and how really, they can play Legos with just one light one. If they can play in the dark, they can definitely play with just one light.

I am always screaming at my kids about shutting off lights in rooms as they leave, but now I think they realize that although it was very hard to go without lights for one hour, it’s still possible to use less light.

Are you willing to take the Power Hour Challenge?

Here are some Ideas and Activities To Spend An Hour Without Power or at least without Technology:


Make a fort and have kids create a puppet show…

—Here are a few other ideas to take your fort construction to the next level:

  • Use string for structure: Attach a length of string between pieces of furniture or curtain rods and throw your blankets over for a structured look. Pro tip: use clothes pins to secure the blanket to the string.
  • Use an old umbrella: If you’re not afraid to open an umbrella indoors, no judgment if you are, throw a blanket over an old umbrella for a big, castle- like canopy.
  • Turn your books into a wall: Stack books on top of each other to create walls where you don’t have furniture.
  • Make a door out of cardboard: If you have a few boxes laying around from your last Amazon order grab some tape and scissors and use a big piece to give your fort a front door worthy of a secret password.

Tell jokes—These kid and adult friendly jokes are hilarious:

  • Hilarious jokes for kids
  • Clean jokes that are actually funny • Terrible kids jokes to crack you up

Play Board Games—Try putting your own twist on the game, like a rule that every drawing has to be a character from Frozen.

Make a collage out of magazines or put together a scrapbook—Try making family portraits only with the pic- tures from the magazine.

Have an indoor scavenger hunt—You can make a list of decorations that are already out or put a hide and seek twist on it and plant your own items.

*Disclosure: This post is sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities.  I am a Project Envolve Ambassador and have received product/compensation to facilitate this post.  As always,  all opinions are 100% my own.  Visit PPL Electric Utilities Pinterest boards for more money and energy-saving tips!

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