Earth hour is literally 1 hour a year where people around the world switch off the lights. It's a super fun way to educate your kids and family by taking part in a nation wide event in your own home.
Earth Hour 2019 will be happening on 30th March between 8:30-9:30pm and there are plenty of ways to have fun and take part, even if their bed time is way earlier than this.
Before we go to far, do you know what the point of earth hour is?
It's not about saving on the electricity bill, but it could help.
One hour without lights around the globe joins people and communities together to demonstrate that we want better for the planet. It helps to spread awareness of climate change issues AND of course save a little electricity.
We can all do our bit to make a difference and hopefully it inspires you and your family to continue (or maybe start) taking action even at a household level for a healthier planet beyond the earth hour events. It was set up by several people, one being Todd Sampson who I love, after watching him for years on the Gruen Transfer.
How Do you Do Earth Hour?
Basically, just switch off the lights at 8:30pm.
(If your kids bedtime doesn't work with that, why not do it at 7:30pm instead)
We go a step further than just turning off the lights and turn off ALL the power.
This is because in the past, turning off the lights while still having screens or the tv going , it felt like a non-event.
But you can do it whatever way feels right. Maybe you want a few small lights on if you're not a fan of a total blackout and you can go ahead and get out the torches, solar lamps or light candles, it's up to you.
Of course, remember to be cautious with kids, pets and candles, and opt for flame free low light if your kids aren't up with the safety.
Whatever way you do it, here are some fun ideas to celebrate earth hour with your family
>Tell Spooky Stories
Sitting around in semi darkness telling spooky tales is a great way to spark imaginations and compete on who can be the scariest. You might even get out a few Halloween decorations to set the mood.
You don't have to stay indoors during lights out. Head to the backyard with blankets and a tent. It is sure to spark some conversations about past and future family holidays.
>Play Marco Polo
This game is named after the famous explorer Marco Polo. Usually the 'it' person wears a blindfolded calling 'Marco' - to which the rest of the group call out 'Polo' and try to escape being caught by the blindfolded Marco. There's no reason for it not to be played completely in the dark.
All you need is a torch and hands to play this. Little kids will love trying to make animal shapes with their hands or just watching you entertain them.
>Make Up a Continuous Story
The first person writes (or says) the opening sentence or two of a made up story, before passing it on to the next person. Keep going until it reaches it's conclusion. The sillier, the better.
> Board Games by Candlelight
Monopoly, Game of Life, Snakes & Ladders - whatever you have on hand. Get them out and you might find yourself wanting more than one hour.
If your city is participating in Earth Hour, then you are in for a treat. Light pollution prevents us seeing so much of the night sky and you will see more than usual on this night.
>Go for a Walk
Take the kids and dog and go for a wander in your neighbourhood. Take a torch with you and see if you can spot any nocturnal animals.
> Get out the Musical Instruments
Got a guitar, piano, recorder or just a toy tambourine? Get them all out and have a fun family jam. You don't need any special skills to have fun with this, so let your kids take the lead.
Keep away from the candles with this one. Pillow fights are a great way to be silly, or maybe get some free family therapy by taking out your frustrations.
Collect sticks, grab your marshmallows and set up a mini bonfire to sit around. You could combine this with some backyard camping and spooky stories too.
My family tought me several card games as a kid and it can be loads of fun. If you know crib, poker or blackjack, try teaching your kids. Or you could go with easy classics like Uno, Slap Jack, Go Fish or my favourite, Cheat. Look up a few so you have the rules available and don't have to resort to google.
>Build an Indoor Fort
Anyone can do this - Use the couch, cushions, dining table or chairs with a sheet draped over. Give your kids plenty of opportunity to invent their fort using basic objects around the house and their imagination.
>Listen to the Wireless (or a Podcast)
What did families do in the olden days? listen to the wireless of course! Download a few family friendly podcasts and do it like they did in the 1940's. It's an ideal opportunity to chat about how much technology we have now.
>Get out the Vinyl
If you still have a record player and a few albums, this is a great chance to get it out and show the kids what was cool before CDs. You'll obviously need a little electricity for this one.
> Blind Tastings
You may want to set this up before the lights go out. Grab items from the fridge and pantry (steer clear of mustard and chili!). Blindfold the kids and using spoons, pass them food items to see if they can guess what it is. Include some easy ones and a few tricky items.
>Play Murder in the Dark
This is a classic game and great fun with kids of all ages. There are different ways of playing but basically one person is tagged secretly as the murderer and they kill by making eye contact and winking at the victim. Everyone then has to ask questions and figure out who did it.
>Teddy Bears Picnic
Younger kids will have a ball setting up the picnic blanket and getting out all their favourite teddies. You can include some real food too for the humans.
>Play Word Games
As kids, we used to play an alphabet themed game. One person decides the topic for example 'fruit' and each person has to think of an item that starts with the letter A, when that is exhausted, move on to the letter B - It can be a very long game.
>Get out the Photo Albums
Hopefully you still have some photos before the digital age took over. Looking through photo albums can sparks lots of conversations about our families and childhoods. If you're not old enough to have these, invite the grandparents over to share theirs.
Taking part in Earth Hour can be a fun reminder to use a little less electricity in every day life as well as a great opportunity for some screen time family fun.
Our kids LOVE pretending we have a blackout so we can read books in a lounge room fort or see who can make the best shadow puppets.
I'm not entirely sure what we will do this year but I'll share it on the Facebook page and Instagram, so follow at the bottom of the page if you're a little bit curious.
Do you think Earth Hour makes a difference?
I'd love to hear how you plan to do it this ear, or maybe you have some tips for fun games and activities. Let me know in the comments.
I'm really not up with what would work with teens, but I'm really going to need to work on that soon!