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Indoor fun for those days loadshedding hits home

27 Mar 2019 FAMILY

By: Natasha Archary 

There may not be any load-shedding scheduled this week, but this doesn’t mean the fire’s out. Some areas may still be without power due to planned maintenance.It may just make life easier if South African’s just braced themselves for future outages. 

Load-shedding is more than an inconvenience, with the impact on the economy being massively restricted when it hits. Leaving the country in complete uncertainty about the impending future, what is the effect on family life? 

When darkness falls

Nothing puts a dampener on your day quite like coming home to a total blackout. It’s dangerous for one, with security systems at times flatlining or going offline as a result. Not to mention that most kids (teens and adults) have a fear of the dark. 

Parenting during these hours means you need to reach deep into your creative arsenal to keep those little online obsessed fiends of ours comfortable and entertained. Which may not be easy. We all know how dramatic they get when we just threaten to switch off the wi-fi. Going a good few hours cut off from the online world during this time may seem like the end of the world. 

What could you possibly do to pass the time with minor devastation?

It would help if we kept our electronics charged and power-banks and wireless chargers juiced to take us through until the power’s back. But with many furious residents complaining that the schedules were not being adhered to, it’s not always possible to plan for load-shedding. 

Keep the candles burning 


If you happen to find yourself caught in the dark and not prepared for it in the least, look on the bright side (oops, that was unintentional), and take this as some family bonding downtime. 

If there is a positive to take from all the outages, it’s that it often forces everyone into the same living area. Kids want to feel safe and during these periods will crave your attention. Look, people survived centuries without electricity and wi-fi so it’s possible for South Africans to come out of load-shedding unscathed too. 

Fun activities in the dark 

Kids need to let their imagination run wild, it’s part of the magic of youth and there’s this “don’t let your inner child go”, quip that comes to mind for moms and dads too. Whip out the blankets and sheets, grab every cushion, pillow and solar light you can find and get to work. 

  • Build a fort 

Your mission should you choose to accept it, is to help your kids construct the most indestructible fort that’s ever existed. Defend your territory from the threat of invasion from the Eskom aliens that have catapulted your country into the dark. You catch my drift? 

  • Bonfire it up

If you have a patio area, garden or cool outdoor space you use to entertain or set up a braai, go ahead and start that fire. Toast marshmallows, get your dinner on the grill, grab the kids for a snuggle and spend this time sharing stories about the good ol’ days. 

  • Board games

I don’t know a family that doesn’t get competitive during a game of monopoly, 30 secs or scrabble. It’s old school but it can be loads of fun. Set the stakes high by giving everyone something worthy to play for. It doesn’t have to be monetary at all because we’re not about teaching kids about gambling. It can be as simple yet effective as, whoever wins gets off all chore duties for a week. Not watch things turn interesting. 

  • Family concert

Ah man, your childhood was LIT if you put together an entire stage performance for the entire family. Comedy, talent shows, magic shows, circus acrobatics, singing contests or full-on drama productions and plays, guys the sky is the limit with this one. It’s so much fun and if you let go of your inner control freak and allow the kids a silk blouse to use as a cape, you can watch them bring to life their innocent little dreams. 

  • Stargaze
Close up conceptual portrait of cute african girl pointing at stars.Excited child with open mouth wearing christmas hat against dark star background.

If load shedding hits at night then this is the perfect time to spread a blanket out on the lawn and point out the patterns in the starry sky. Granted we don’t have the best views of the stars in the city but stargazing is such a relaxing time. That and it can actually be educational. Provided you know a thing or two about constellations and nebula zones. See two birds. 

South African’s are known to be resilient and find the humour in any and every dire situation. Protests, strikes, hikes, and cost of living escalates. Many challenges have come at us and we’ve dodged them all like we’re extras in the Matrix. Loadshedding is no match for us.