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You have planned to or have already stocked up on food, water, extra fuel, perhaps a generator, medical supplies, personal security, finances. You have reviewed family plans, maybe even took a course in first aid.


How about a family practice. It has been a breeze so far, but you are not at the lake where you can go swimming or riding your bike down the bike trails or flying a kyte at the park. At this point you starting to get a little bored, cannot surf the channels, no television. Cannot go on the computer...remember the power is not working. So the question is "how will you entertain yourselves".


In todays world many children/youth do not know how to play card games. What a perfect time to teach them. Be sure to keep a few decks of cards on hand.


Of course depending on the ages in your family, you may want to stalk up on play dough, coloring books, crayons, chalk, board games, crossward puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, paint by number sets, a crib board. A large selection of craft supplies, scizzors glue, paper, stickers. Treasure chest full of costumes. Sharades is another great idea for old and young alike. Learn sign language.


Be sure to have enough batteries! MP3 players and hand held battery games like gameboy, childrens battery operated toys. A large supply of batteries is crucial.


There are many great skills to learn at this time such as knitting, crocheting, beading. There are some great kits out there you can purchase for a reasonable price. You can never have to many books, magazines or educational tools on hand. Any projects on hand that you have been meaning to tackle, renovations. Be sure to have tools on hand as you won't be able to venture out to purchase any.


Homeschooling your children: There is a great source of educational tools out there. Books, cd's, educational board games. Add a chalk board and some chalk to give a more formal feeling to the room.


Homeschooling yourself. There are alot of great cd's, and educational books to challenge yourself to learn a new language/skill. Something new and to keep your mind busy.


Don't forget the goodies. Hard candy are good keepers. Don't forget about the adults in your home as well. Special coffees, sweets or spirits or maybe some lovely scented hand or body cream.


Don't forget the power of "surprises". Instant gratification. Have many on hand tucked away. These do not have to be expensive. Dollar store items, treats, small toys, bubbles, a cool pen etc. There is so much out there that you can put away today for a rainy day tomorrow.







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It's looking good Sunny. I believe there's a thread on Mrs.S about prepping for birthdays and upcoming holidays. Quite a bit on here about buying gifts ahead of time and different ways to make toys and such. I know I posted about making toys from cardboard boxes, doll cradles from salt boxes and etc. And there were quite a few other suggestions there too. They would need a supply of tape, glue, paints, material, and etc. on hand. That might be something you might work into this also. How about directions for making salt dough to use as clay? Somewhere I have the directions for making edible playdough from chocolate chips and corn syrup. I guess I'm saying you could get into particulars if you'd like.


Be cautious about emphasizing lots of batteries because it's possible the disaster might just be an EMP which would mean that nothing electrical would work. Hmmmm let's see, Maybe you could make a list to use as a check list for this. Perhaps something by age levels.


Does that help any?



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Here are a few recipes for children and the young at heart:



Salt Modeling Clay


1 Cup flour


1/2 cup salt


1 t. alum


1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water


food coloring


Combine dry ingredients. Add water a little at a time, and stir into flour. Knead until smooth.




Cornmeal Dough (uncooked)


1 1/2 cups white flour


1 1/2 cups cornmeal


1 cup salt


1 cup water


food coloring


1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl


2. Add the food coloring to the water and mix into the dry ingredients.


3. Knead until pliable.




Cinnamon Dough (uncooked)


2 cups whole wheat flour


1 cup salt


5 teaspoons cinnamon


2 tablespoons of oil


1 cup warm water


Food coloring (if desired)


1. Mix all the dry ingredients in your bowl.


2. Add the oil and food coloring into the water then mix into the dry ingredients.


3. Stir until the dough forms a ball (add more flour if the mixture is too sticky, add more water if the mixture is too dry).


4. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is pliable.


5. Refrigerate in a ziplock bag when not in use






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These games are fun, easy and great for one of those summer afternoons when all you hear is "Mom, there is nothing to do!"


Battle of the Oranges:

Divide the kids into pairs. They will battle one pair at a time. Each warrior is armed with a tablespoon on which an orange is placed. At the "go" signal, they will try to knock the opponent's orange off the spoon, using only the one hand which hold the spoon and orange. The winner is the one left with their orange on

the spoon!


Clothes Pins in the Bottle:

Place a milk bottle (or other jar with a small opening) on the ground or floor. Let each kid try dropping ten clothespins into the bottle. See who can make the best score. Note: Yes, you can still buy clothespins in the supply section of most grocery stores.



A large dining room table is perfect for this game. You will need a ping pong ball. Divide the children into teams. Each team takes an end of the table. The ball is placed at the center of the table. Both teams blow the ball with all their might, trying to blow it off the table at the end of belonging to the opposing team.


You can also use this opportunity to explain that there wasn't always computers, television and video games! For a fun family night, pick up a big watermelon, make some homemade lemonade and you can have an electronic free night with the whole family.


web page


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Have several decks of cards.


Go Fish

This game is for 2 to 5 players.


The object is to get as many pairs as you can. The pairs must be either the same number or letter, such as two 5s, 2 Qs, etc.


You can never ask a person for a card unless you have one in your hand already.


1. The dealer deals six cards.


2. The dealer places the pile face down in the center of the table.


3. Each player fans his cards and looks at his hand. If players have any pairs, they place them face up next to them on the table.


4. The person to the left of the dealer chooses one of the cards in his hand and asks the player to his left if they have that card. The player asked should give up all he has of that card. If the player receives a card or cards from the person to the left, he puts the pair or pairs face up next to him on the table. The player then gets to ask for another card. If the player to his left does not have that card, the person they asked says, "GO FISH!" The player then takes a card from the pile. If he gets the card he asked for, he says, "I FISHED, AND I GOT MY WISH!" The player then places the matching pair face up next to him on the table. It is then the next player's turn.


5. When a player draws a card that was not asked for, but it matches another in his hand, he puts the new pair down face up. It is now the next player's turn.


6. After all the cards have been played, each player counts the number of pairs. The one with the most pairs wins.


Crazy Eights

This game works best with 3 to 4 players. You can play with 2.


The object of the game is to be the first one to run out of cards.


1. The dealer deals 8 cards.


2. The dealer places the pile face down in the center of the table and turns over the first card from the pile and places it next to the pile.


3. Each player arranges the cards by suit in his hand.


4. The first player needs to match the suit of the card that was turned over. The 8s are wild. If the 8 is played, that player can name the suit to be played, then everyone has to play that suit.


5. If a player cannot follow suit or play the same value card, he must draw from the pile until he can play.


6. If a player uses up all the cards in the pile before someone runs out of cards, the dealer takes the top card off the pile and places it face up, then shuffles the rest of the pile.


7. The winner is the player who runs out of cards first.


Old Maid

This game is for 2 to 8 players.


The object of the game is for one player to end up being the "Old Maid."


1. The dealer discards one queen from the pack and deals the remaining cards, one at a time, until all cards are dealt.


2. Each player discards, face up, all pairs (never three of a kind).


3. Each player in turn shuffles his hand and offers it face down to the player to his left, who draws one card, and discards a pair if he has drawn one.


4. Play continues to the left until eventually one player is left with the odd queen and is the "Old Maid."



This game is for 2 to 4 players, but is generally played by 2.


The ace is the highest card.


The object is to get all the cards you possibly can. The one with the most cards wins.


1. The dealer deals all cards. The players do not look at the cards, but place them face down in front of them or hold them face down in their hands.


2. The player to the left of the dealer places one card face up in the center of the table.


3. The next player plays a higher card, regardless of suit, if he can. The player playing the highest card gets those cards and places them face down next to him on the table.


4. If the two cards played are the same, you have war. Each of the two players places 2 cards face down and 1 card (the third card) face up. The highest card wins. The player with the highest card showing gets all the cards in the center of the table. If both of these cards are the same, war starts all over again, with each player placing 2 cards face down and 1 card face up.


5. If any player runs out of cards, he picks up his face down cards. He can shuffle them if he wants to. He then starts over again.


6. Play continues until one player has all the cards. If the game must be stopped sooner, the one with the most cards wins.





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Land and water


This is a game which calls for attention and is real fun to play. On hearing the word "land" the players jump forward, on hearing the word "water" backward.

Then the word "land" can be suddenly changed into "bank". The actions of the players must be the same as after the word "land" i.e jump forward.


The word "water" may be changed into "sea", "lake", "river", etc. The player who gets it wrong is out.


Musical Statues*


All the players have to run around while the music is playing,

When the music stops, the children have to stand as still as a statue for as long as the music is not playing.


The first child who moves is out, repeat until you have a winner.


*You could sing a song if music is not available.





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Battle of the oranges...don't want to waste food, use pine cones or rocks on the spoons.


You can also use stones to drop in the bottle instead of clothes pins.


As long as your outside eating watermelon, why not have a seed spitting contest...or carve the rind of the melon into something cool.



In our BOBs, we carry a deck of cards, a frisbee, an M&M container with 6 dice for yahtzee and 10,000, a ball and jacks (this too can be played with rocks), marbles for all those games and to use as muncala stones.


If you carry nylon rope, you have a jump rope, or you can use the two stick method for jumping or limbo.


Use a stick in the dirt or a piece of chalk on the driveway to draw a hopscotch pattern...you also need a stone to throw.


Memorize funny action songs for the kids to do when they are bored. Father Abraham, If Your Happy & You Know It, The Farmer Takes A Wife, Teddy Bear, Head & Shoulders, Knees and Toes are a few examples.


Memorize any songs to sing along with instruments. Use bottles - half full of beans(I filled some plastic easter eggs half full and glued them shut...use rice in one, beans in another, stones, whatever you can find), drums, sticks, bells, tamborines, whatever you can find.


Balloon Volleyball: Use a balloon and assign seats around the room or sit in a big circle, bat the balloon around like a volleyball without it touching the floor without getting up. This game continues until the balloon breaks or it's time to go to bed.


Checkers and Chess don't take a lot of equipment...you can paint the board on a table top and just keep the pieces and rules. You can also make your own checkers from little cuts of a limb, sanded and paint or stain one batch to tell them apart. I quess you could carve the chess pieces with enough time on your hands...if you were a lot better at it than I am.


Leap Frog - Everyone bends down in a row and the last person hops over all the rest and takes his place in the front..followed now by the last person in line, etc.


How Long Can You - One person picks how long can you hop on one foot?...everyone hops on one foot until there is a winner, who gets to pick the next event...how long can you stand on your head....how long can you hold your breath... how long can you spin around without falling down...You get the idea.


Follow the leader - the chosen leader follows a meandering path of over and under and around things while everyone else follows.


Mother May I - the effort of the game is to be the first to reach Mother. Mother must be asked if the player may take so many baby steps, elephant steps, washing machine steps, whatever (just be able to demonstrate what the step is) until someone reaches Mother.


Simon Says - Simon says do this or do that and you try to trick the players into making a mistake and then they have to sit out until there is a final winner.


Spelling Bee - all you need is a dictionary for you


Red Rover - Form two lines with half of the people in each line....standing about 10 feet apart, they join hands. First one lines decides who they want to call over. They yell "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send "Name" over." That person runs with all his might and tries to break the hand hold of the ones he has chosen to run between. If he doesn't break the hold...he joins that team...if he does break the hold he gets to take one person to his team from the two he broke between. Goes on taking turns between the teams until you either end up with a one member team or you get bored. (As a added benefit, I pick a winner, sometimes the one member team is the winner, (the kids don't see that coming), or, the person called over the most, or the person who was picked first or last, so they never know how the winner will be selected.


Monkey in the middle - Form a circle and throw something back and forth while the monkey tries to get it. If the monkey gets it...he gets to take the place of the last person who touched the object and that person is now the monkey.


Duck, Duck, Goose - Everyone sits or stands in a circle. "It" goes around the outside of the circle, tapping each person and saying duck...when "it" says goose, that person chase "it" around the outside of the circle back to his spot. If he catches "it"...it starts the same duck duck thing. If he doesn't catch "it"...the goose becomes the new "it".


Button Button, Whose got the button: Everyone sits in a circle.."It" stands in the middle. A button is passed between the circle members (everyone keeps pretending to pass the button even if they don't have it to make it interesting). "It" spins in a circle a designated number of times - 10 is usually good..count the number of spins. Then everyone stops and "it" asks "Button, button, whose got the button...as he walks around the circle." He picks one person to have the button...if he's right that person becomes "it" and he takes their spot. If he's wrong he tries again (depending on how many people are in the circle, given them a good chance to find the button)..if he still doesn't get it, repeat as necessary.


Red Light-Green Light - Everyone gets a good piece away from the leader who is in the middle of this big distant circle. The leader shuts their eyes and yells green light and everyone starts toward the leader. The leader opens his eyes and shouts red light at the same time...if anyone is moving, they need to back up 10 steps. You have to remember their are people behind you too. (For little ones, just play in a straight line towards you.) First person to reach the light, is the new light and the game starts over.


These are all great and the only thing required are the rules and a bunch of people willing to act silly for a while.


With a ball, you can play things like kick ball, dodge ball, your number, over & under, soccer, volleyball, baseball, football, whatever. Playing football with a playground ball is hilarious.

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Recycled Crafts:

Spring And Easter Projects

By Brenda Hyde



Egg cartons are great to wash and save for kid's crafts. Keep them in a craft tub (ours is getting bigger all the time) and try a few of these fun ideas:

Egg Carton Tulips: Take each section of the egg carton and cut it out, then using the scissors make the edges zig zagged like the top of a tulip. Paint each "bloom" with craft paint and allow to dry overnight. At this point you can use markers or fine brushes to add little details to the tulips or leave them plain. You can now use pipe cleaners to attach a stem, or glue them to the tops of pens or pencils for fun spring toppers. They can also be used to decorate an inexpensive hat for a silly spring bonnet!


Easter Egg Holder: Cut the top off of the egg carton, and paint the bottom a nice spring color. Add colored paper shreds to the carton when dry, or plastic grass. Cut a bunny face and ears from construction paper or foam boards (Styrofoam trays work well too!). Glue the bunny face on to one side of the egg carton and place in the decorated hardboiled Easter eggs for a breakfast treat!


Seed Starters: Finally, use your egg cartons to plant seeds. Each child should have their own seed tray-remove the lid of the egg carton. Have them place soil in each egg hole, and then carefully put one seed in each section. Label each tray with their name and the date. Give them small notebooks to keep a little gardening diary of the progress. Pick up some inexpensive seeds, so they can all share and plant different flowers. Choose seeds that germinate quickly and transplant easily so they don't become discouraged. The cartons fit easily in windowsills too!






Monster Puppets


By Brenda Hyde



Only a kid could love a project like this... but since it uses items around the house it's easy and fun for Mom or Grandma too!



You will need:

1 egg carton

Poster Paint or Markers



Red paper

White paper

Old Sock Optional: Glitter


Paint the egg carton brown, green or black-actually any color your child wants to use is fine. Let dry. If you want to add glitter-take a cotton swap or small brush and paint on white glue (it dries clear) and sprinkle the glitter over the glue-shaking off the excess. Let this dry. On the hinge side of the carton cut a hole in both the lid and the bottom for your child's hand. Open the carton and inside where the egg sections are, place a piece of red paper that has been folded accordion style. Glue this in place. On the top of the carton lid on the front inside edge, glue a long strip of white "teeth" that have been cut out of white paper. On the front edge above the teeth cut two holes for the eyes and decorate if you wish with paint or markers. Optional: Make "hair" by gluing on yarn to the top of the egg carton.


To Finish-

Cut the toe from your sock and slip it on your child's arm. Grasp the puppet through the holes made earlier to open and shut the monster's mouth. Make several and give a show for friends and family on a rainy day!




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Colored Rice Art

By Brenda Hyde


Colored Rice Art



You'll need:


uncooked white rice

food coloring

white vinegar

non-toxic glue

cardboard or paper


Place 1/2 cup rice into a clean butter bowl or other recycled container. Add 5 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp. vinegar to set the color. Mix around until the rice has colored. Spread rice flat onto a baking sheet covered with foil or parchment paper. Bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes to dry the rice. You can make more than one color at the same time. Keep the colors separate and in one layer on the cookie sheet. After they are dry and have cooled, place each color in a snack size plastic bag and seal.


PROJECTS: You can use these to make mosaic pictures with the kids. Have them draw a shape or a simple picture and then glue the rice onto the shape, using patches of different colors or creating a pattern of some sort. You can write their name in fat letters that they can fill in with the rice. Use this to teach colors also by asking them to use certain colors on certain sections of a picture. Create an interesting bookmark by cutting a 2 inch by 6-8 inch long piece of cardboard and have them glue the rice on the cardboard till it's full. Carefully cover the cardboard on both sides with clear Contact paper. Trim the edges and they have a neat bookmark.


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