Earth Hour is an international awareness campaign advocated by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). Households and businesses are encouraged to turn their lights off for one hour – the Earth Hour – to raise awareness and show support towards combating global climate change. The Earth Hour concept started in Australia in 2007, and is now a worldwide annual event. This year’s Earth Hour will be held on Saturday, March 27th at 8:30PM to 9:30PM (local time).

Here are some activities you and your family can do to enjoy your hour in the dark:

  • Play games. Games that do not require reading from cards or boards are most appropriate. Some examples are truth or dare, name games (take turns naming places or animals alphabetically) and song connection (sing a few lines of a song, the next person must continue with another song using the last word of the previous song).
  • Do shadow puppets. Have a little contest on who can make the best looking shadow puppet.
  • “Camp out” and tell family stories. Gather everybody in one room. This is the best time to tell your kids about your childhood. Save the ghost stories for when your kids are older.
  • Play hide-and-seek. It’s more challenging to play this game with the lights out.
  • Make some art in the dark. Give everyone a blank paper and some coloring materials. Go crazy and see your artwork when the light is back on.
  • Watch the sky. Go out and enjoy a better view of the night sky, because it has less light pollution this time. Let your kids identify or make-up constellations. Watch out for passing planes or falling stars.
  • Roam the neighborhood. Many of your neighbors will probably be out and about as well. Make use of this time to introduce your kids to the neighbors. It is also the best time to teach your kids about neighborhood safety.
  • Go to bed early. Prep and tuck your kids early to bed. It’s not so much of an activity for the kids but you and your partner don’t necessarily have to sleep early, too.

Not everybody may agree with the purpose of Earth Hour. Some think that turning off their lights for an hour is not enough to create a significant impact. Either way, it’s still nice to have an hour of pure bonding time with your family without the distractions of all the electrical convenience around you.

For safety reasons, be sure to keep candles (if you will use any) in a safe and draft-free area away from children’s curious hands. Allow lights to be turned on if necessary, like when somebody has to go to the bathroom.

For more information about Earth Hour, you may visit www.earthhour.org.