Games to Play Indoors During Power Outages

Summer thunderstorms and other inclement weather can lead to power outages. That means no TV, no Internet, and no way to charge your phone. What’s a person to do for entertainment during such dark times? Well, assuming you keep an LED flashlight or LED headlamps handy for just such emergency situations, there’s plenty of games you can play in the dark.

The classic party game of charades is the perfect entertainment for a dark powerless night. Train your LED Headlamps onto the actor, and guess the movie, book, or TV show he or she is trying to convey using only body language. Just be sure you clear a space to prevent any nasty acting accidents.

Hand Shadows
Who could be bored with a menagerie of animals lurking in the room? Well, you can create those animals using just a well-placed LED flashlight or headlamp and your hands. With a little practice, you may even be able to create celebrity silhouettes, as shown in the video above.

Singing Games
Even if you don’t have electricity, you always have the power of your own voice! My family used to play singing games while sitting around the campfire. We’d hum a theme song to a television show while everyone tried to remember the name of the show. This is a wonderful game for cross-generational groups, since each generation has its own retinue of ear-worm theme songs.

“Encore” is another singing game you can play when there’s no power. To play this game, divide into two teams. Use a dictionary or scrabble set to come up with a common word. Then, each team takes turns trying to think of a song that contains that word. Each team must be able to sing at least eight words of the song in order for the entry to count.

Card and Board Games
Haul out the Pictionary, Monopoly, and Scrabble sets that have been cluttering up the hall closet. Heck, even Shoots and Ladders is more fun when the lights are out. When a game is lit only by LED flashlight, it somehow becomes more dramatic and fun. Only have a deck of cards? Don your LED headlamps and set up a rousing game of hearts, bridge, poker, or crazy eights.

Word Games
Entertain your mind while beefing up your vocabulary! Generally, all you need for a word game is pencil and paper and a little light. Here are a couple of word games you can certainly play by LED flashlight:

Synonyms—The game leader prepares a list of 10-20 common words. After each word is called, each player writes down as many synonyms for each word as possible. (A synonym is a word with a very similar meaning to another word. For instance, “jump” and “hop” are synonyms.) To add a bit more spice, use a timer to limit the amount of time each player has to come up with synonyms.

Hidden Words—Best for players over the age of eight, this game has players finding hidden words inside larger words. First, everyone agrees on the key word, which must be at least 7 letters long. Then, players try to find as many smaller words as possible within the key word. You can rearrange letters like you would when solving an anagram, or keep them in the same order. For instance, “kitchen” would have the hidden words “it,” “itch,” “kit,” and “etch” in it. It’s a good idea to have a dictionary on hand to resolve disputes. Again, adding a time element will make this game even more fun.

If none of these games appeal to you, pick up a gaming book, such as the Great Big Book of Children’s Games, where we found some of the games listed above. As long as you have some basic supplies on hand, such as cards, paper, writing utensils, and an LED flashlight, a power outage doesn’t have to be boring.

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