List: Things Kids Can Do After a Natural Disaster

Hi kids,

Y’all must be climbing the walls. You are stuck in the house after a natural disaster like the recent flood in Houston that has shut school down for a week. You are so bored you actually want school to re-open. You’ve binge-watched everything in your Netflix queue and you’ve mastered every video game you own. You have reached the outer limits of you-tube, and have even completed the list of chores your parents gave you and your homework.

What in the world are you gonna do for the rest of the week? Mom’s getting That Look. Again. She may make you scrub a bathtub or something if we don’t act quickly.

You have better things to do.

Don’t panic, and for Pete’s sake, don’t be like these guys, who appear to have forgotten they have brains. There’s lots of important, helpful, and even fun things you can do. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re helpless or that your input and ingenuity during tough times isn’t needed and valued. Kids, you can help your families, your neighbors, and your community while school is out during an emergency.

Here’s a short list to get you started:

  • Memorize a famous poem like Litany by Billy Collins. (If this three-year-old can win the internet reciting Billy Collins, so can you.)
  • Write a poem, short story, or even a novel. Get published!
  • Read a classic: this post has some good choices
  • Learn to diagram sentences. Diagram a sentence in your favorite novel.
  • Study geography: memorize the capitals of all countries and be able to locate them all on a map.
  • Google math-ish tutorials. Astonish your math teach with your new ninja-math skills.
  • Google science experiments; terrify your mom by replicating the most interesting ones at home.
  • Google flood prevention. Write a letter to the mayor suggesting new ways to respond to and prevent these situations.
  • Work with your parents and friends to organize a fund or a clothing/diaper/dog food/book-and-toy drive for your fellow students who have been displaced in the storm.
  • Visit displaced kids, seniors, and families. Read aloud to them. Listen to their stories. Seriously: seniors have awesome stories.
  • Grab some friends and your favorite board games and offer to give weary parents in shelters a break by playing with their children.

You can help: HoustonFoodBank.org

Sometimes we get sad or bored when we focus on ourselves and our situation, especially if there seems to be little we can do to change it. By opening our eyes to the world around us and stepping into the shoes of others and walking around awhile, we can see a bigger world, one in which each of us plays a key part.

Kids can be a powerful force for good in hard times, just ask Malala. There are tons of things kids can do while school is out, and while it’s in for that matter. Kids are a vital part of our community, and your smiles and spirit will have a positive affect on relief efforts. Use this list as a starting point, brainstorm with your parents and friends, get busy, and have fun!

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