Games to Play with Kids When The Power Goes Out: Light Up the Dark With Fun

Power outages can short-circuit anyone’s day, especially when they last for hours. Adults might take the opportunity to read, clean, or work on something but kids can be harder to entertain. If there is a storm involved in the power outage then they might just need a distraction. Do not worry, what you need is some enticing games that will catch the interest of the children.

Here’s a list of games that are perfect to play with kids when the lights go out. These games require no electricity, and little or no light, and are sure to provide entertainment for all ages. With these games, your kids might not care when the lights come back on!

The Perfect Power Outage Games for Kids

20 Questions

Objective: One player thinks of an object, and the others try to guess what it is by asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions.

Materials: Just your imagination!

Tip: To make it more challenging, limit the categories (e.g., only animals or only movies).

Shadow Puppet Charades

Objective: As with normal charades, players guess the item but instead of physically acting out the item, they create shapes and figures using only their hands and a light source. 

Materials: A flashlight or candle.

Tip: Let young children use props in addition to their hands to increase the variety of shadow puppets they can make. 


Objective: Guess the word or phrase before the hangman is completely drawn.

Materials: Paper and pen.

Tip: Use categories or themes to narrow down the guesses.


If the power goes out at night, you will need a game that can be easily played in a dark room. Save the batteries in your flashlight for more important things, and play a game that provides the light itself!

Glowblocks is a twist on the classic game of Jenga where the blocks actually light up. Not only is this game easy to play in the dark, it has three different game types you can play. This helps ensure that you will have plenty of entertainment for hours. 

Materials: You will need to have the Glowblocks game set.

Tips: Keep this game in an easy-to-access location with your other flashlights and candles for emergency use!

Memory Chain

Objective: The first player says a word. The next player repeats the first word and adds another. This continues, with each player repeating all previous words and adding their own.

Materials: None.

Tip: Use a theme, like animals or foods, to guide the game.

Whispered Tales

Objective: One player whispers a short story or sentence into the next player’s ear, and the message is passed down the line. The last person says the message out loud, and the group enjoys how much it has changed!

Materials: Just your voices.

Tip: The more complex the initial story, the funnier the end result!

Blindfolded Drawing

Objective: One player describes an object or scene, and another player, blindfolded, tries to draw it based on the description.

Materials: Paper, pencils, and a blindfold.

Tip: Choose abstract concepts for added hilarity.

Guess the Object

Objective: Players are blindfolded and have to guess an object just by touching it.

Materials: Various household objects and a blindfold.

Tip: Use objects with unique textures or shapes.

Ghost in the Graveyard

This is a spooky game that will let you take advantage of the ambiance produced by an evening with no lights on in your house. It can be played indoors but if the weather is nice it is even better outside.

Here are the rules:

  • Setting Up:
    • Choose a home base. This could be a porch, a tree, or any designated spot.
    • Decide on the boundaries for hiding. Make sure all players are aware of where they can and cannot hide.
  • Choosing the Ghost:
    • One player is chosen to be the “Ghost.” This can be done through “eeny, meeny, miny, moe,” drawing straws, or any other method.
    • The rest of the players stand at the home base.
  • Counting:
    • The players at home base close their eyes and chant, “One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock…” and so on, up to “midnight.”
    • While they are chanting, the Ghost finds a hiding spot somewhere within the boundaries.
  • The Search:
    • Once the players reach “midnight” in their chant, they fan out and search for the Ghost.
    • The goal is to find the Ghost without being tagged by them.
  • Spotting the Ghost:
    • When a player spots the Ghost, they shout, “Ghost in the graveyard!”
    • This is a signal for all players to run back to home base as fast as they can.
  • Tagging:
    • The Ghost emerges from their hiding spot and tries to tag as many players as possible before they reach home base.
  • Becoming the Ghost:
    • The first player tagged by the Ghost becomes the new Ghost for the next round.
    • If no one is tagged, the same Ghost can hide again or a new Ghost can be chosen.

Tips for Playing:

  • Play in a safe area, free from obstacles or hazards.
  • It’s more fun when played in the dark, but always ensure safety.
  • Use flashlights or glow sticks to add an extra element of fun and safety.
  • Set clear boundaries to ensure players don’t wander too far.

Go Fish 

Go Fish is a classic kids’ game. There are other card games that you can play with kids but this game is easy to learn and can be played with basically any type of card deck. Most people are certainly familiar with the rules but just in case you need a refresher here are the basics:

Objective: The goal is to collect as many sets of four matching cards as possible.

Materials: Use a standard 52-card deck

Setup: Shuffle the deck and deal 7 cards to each player if there are 4 players or fewer. If there are more than 4 players, deal 5 cards to each player. The remaining cards form the draw pile.

Playing the Game: The player to the dealer’s left goes first and asks any other player for a specific rank of card (e.g., “Do you have any threes?”). The player must have at least one card of the requested rank in their hand to ask for it.

If the player being asked has one or more cards of the requested rank, they must give all of them to the asking player. The asking player then gets another turn.

If the player being asked does not have any cards of the requested rank, they say “Go Fish,” and the asking player must draw a card from the draw pile. If the drawn card is the rank they asked for, they get another turn; if not, play passes to the next player.

When a player collects a set of four cards of the same rank, they place the set face-up in front of them.

Ending the Game: The game ends when all sets of four cards have been collected or the draw pile is empty. The player with the most sets is the winner.


Sometimes entertaining kids with no power takes a bit of creativity. The game Restaurant is about getting kids to have some fun and help you out at the same time. 

Objective: Have kids take on the role of running a fancy restaurant. They get to set the table, prepare a simple meal, and serve it at the table. Let them take the reigns of mealtime!

Materials: Whatever you have in the kitchen!

Tips: Let the kids design a menu with simple things that require no cooking. Examples: chips, carrots, raisins, M&Ms, etc. Whatever you have on hand. If you have paper plates and cups, let them use these to avoid dropping any fine china. 


Power outages don’t have to mean endless boredom for kids. With a little creativity and some classic games, you can turn a dark situation into a memorable family game night. So the next time the lights go out, light some candles, gather around, and let the games begin!

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