On March 28, 8:30 p.m. (local time), rally the kiddie troops, and enjoy spending quality time as a family while conserving energy during Earth Hour. It’s going to be a long hour—cue the groans—if you don’t have any activities planned, so let us help you out. We’ve put our heads together and come up with ideas that will illuminate the dark hour you have so kindly donated to our home, planet Earth.Photo: iStockphoto
This could be the highlight of your kids’ year! Instead of keeping the lights turned off for an hour, keep the lights out all evening. Make sure there's not a stitch of electricity present, and instead, use candles to light up your space. Prepare some platters of apple rounds cut into the shape of stars and melon slices that look like slivers of the moon. Trays of crackers, cookies and cakes will keep those little bellies happy all evening. A game of hide and seek (kept to one or two rooms) will be the trickiest and most fun!
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Have a backyard? Take this opportunity to watch the beauty of the sky at night during this dark time. Tonight there will less light pollution, at least for the hour, so the stars will be extra sparkly. Point out to your mini Gallileos where the little dipper is. Hike up a tent and sleep outside for the night. They’ll feel like they went camping for the weekend. Don’t have a backyard? Set up some pillows and blankets inside next to a window, lie down with the kids and watch the twinkling stars. This will be a relaxing way to enjoy the natural beauty of the universe.
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Kids and adults alike share in the excitement and ease of enjoying fondue. During Earth Hour, this will be a perfect way to savour some of that ooey-gooey goodness without using electricity. Whether it be cheese or chocolate, use candle lights to warm up your choice of delicious goop. Have some skewers on-hand so those little hands can use them to rotate their tiny morsels in something deliciously warmed.
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You don’t need MTV to keep your brood entertained—be your own music-makers! Whip out the tambourines, bongos, acoustic guitars, keyboards, harmonicas, and other instruments that jingle and jangle and become the twenty-first century’s Von Trapp Family Singers.
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You, or at least someone you know, made it out of the 70s with a transistor radio. It may be in your garage, buried in your basement, or maybe it’s in your old room at your parents’ house. Chances are, you’ve definitely got one. Dig that bad boy out, pop in some AA batteries and call the kids down to sit around the dinner table and listen to its grainy delivery. Talk to them about how technology has evolved over the years, and explain how important it is to conserve energy as much as you can, whenever you can.
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Your fam is going to get a hoot out of this. Indoors, light a candle in front of a blank wall, and show the little ones how to use their hands to create animals and shapes. Want to take the fun up a notch? Usher the kids outside and find the nearest lamp post. Use that light and the ground as your stage and have some puppet-y fun outdoors in the moonlight.Photo: iStockphoto
Grab a picnic blanket (or anything gingham-patterned) and lay it out on the floor. Store some snacks inside a wicker basket, and use some plastic plates and forks to really get the kids feeling like they’re outside enjoying a picnic. Light some tea lights and enjoy!
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Getting kids into the bathtub can be taxing, but after glow-in-the-dark bath time, you’ll wish Earth Hour happened every day. You can pick up some coloured glowsticks, glow-in-the-dark toys and stickers from your local dollar store or craft supply shop. Decorate your bathroom with the glow-in-the-dark fare, and toss the glow sticks into the tub. The water will immediately look phosphorous, and your washroom walls and ceiling will transform into a starry night sky. You’ll have to tempt them with a nighttime snack to get them out of the tub.Photo: iStockphoto
It's going to be big. It’s going to be strong. It’s going to be the coolest fort ever built. Distribute some tea lights around the room and well out of harm’s way. (Grab some of those star-shaped glow-in-the-dark stickers that you used in your bathroom for that awesome bath, and place them around the walls.) Have the kids grab all the pillows they can find, and give them some old sheets to use. With some chairs and help from Mom and Dad, you can definitely build the most awesome fort, ever.
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Pile up a colourful, textured array of clothing in the center of your room. Make sure the pile includes everything from fedoras and feathered boas to capes and grandpa’s old sweater. Keep the tea light count to a minimum and have the fam dress themselves in whatever they pick up from the pile. Once they’re done, light up a flashlight and fall over laughing at how silly everyone looks!
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Earth Hour is a global movement uniting people to take small, achievable steps to protect the planet. In 2013, hundreds of millions of people in more than 7001 cities and towns in 153 countries and territories, across all seven continents, switched their lights off for an hour. By engaging your kids, you are teaching them about the importance of caring for our planet, and showing them they are accountable and have an impact on the globe. Anyone can get involved, so let’s spread the word.Photo: iStockphoto
Don't forget Earth hour is on March 28 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
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