Come 8:30 pm this Saturday, the world around you will go dark, for a bit. Whether you do so or not, there are bound to be people around you who will switch off their lights for an hour.
Here's a list of things you can do to make Earth Hour a fun time:
Play Dark Room
Remember Dark Room? This was the time before DVDs, iPads and, depending on how old you are, even colour television. We'd turn off the lights and excitedly run around the room, bumping into everything and everyone in search for the hidden lumps that were our siblings, cousins, friends, or all of them. If you've played this game, you can probably still feel the excitement of entering a pitch-dark room and using the aural clues (whispering, giggling or shuffling) to get to your targets. If you've not played it then you don't know what I am talking about, here's your chance to find out. The Earth Hour is the perfect opportunity to play Dark Room. The kids will love it-you just have to get past the tricky part of who-is-going-to-be-the-den!
This can be a whole lot of fun, depending on how much effort you want to put in it.The Earth Hour is a great opportunity to see the stars and the constellations that you usually cannot see because of the lights in the sky. You could simply go to the balcony/terrace/lawn and look up to see what constellations you can spot. There are some great apps that you could download to help you map the stars. If your kids don't know them already, give them a few facts about the planetary bodies-have a competition on who can spot the Big Bear first!
If you are enthusiastic enough, you could get a small telescope to look at the sky, or even make your own. BBC has a great web page that gives you tons of information on how to make your own stargazing pack and some facts about the night sky. This could be extremely beneficial for older kids who would love the idea of making their own telescope.
Have a glow-in-the-dark party
Buy some glow-in-the-dark curios-bracelets, rings, or light sabers (Star Wars style!). You could even get stick-on glow moons and stars for the cupboards and walls. Call your children's friends over and have a little glow party. Once the lights are off and the things begin to glow, the children will squeal with delight. You can feed them a little before the party begins and then let them play their games. Take precautions, of course, like clearing the play area of furniture and monitoring the usage of sabers.
Make a shadow show
This will take work and imagination. Log on to the web and search for "shadow puppets". You'll get a host of results on how to make these puppets or how to use your hands for a shadow show. Take notes and make your own little show during Earth Hour. This could be a lot of fun as your kids huddle together while you tell a scary story with your hands. You could also include the kids in making the puppets. The wiki-how website has an amazing step-by-step guide on making shadow-puppets. Log on and do this with your kids-it's a great way to celebrate Earth Hour; they will remember it for a long time to come!
Have a candle-lit dinner
If you don't feel up to all the action mentioned above, you could just have a lovely candle-lit dinner. Get the food all ready before 8:30 and lay out the table. Put two candles on the table (get some of those lovely fruit or lavender-smelling ones). Light them up as you switch off your lights. Have one or two lit around the room as well, to add to the candle-light effect. Be careful not to have too many, since that defeats the purpose of emissions. Have a great dinner with the family, or, if you can manage it, with your better-half.
Stay safe this Earth Hour. Also, remember that one hour out of 8,765 hours in a year will not help much. The earth needs us to help it on a daily basis.