Here’s a fun idea for the non-foods section of your food storage. Suppose your emergency lasts longer than you expected. You’re stuck in your house without electricity or quarantined for whatever reason. What are you going to do for entertainment? Storing entertainment is not high on the preparedness list, but can be a lifesaver especially if there are children around. A few years ago we put together emergency boredom buster cans for the kids. We had the cans sealed at an emergency preparedness fair, but you could rent the can sealer from an LDS dry pack cannery and seal your can at home. Or put your boredom buster supplies in a clean paint can, mylar pouch, small bucket, or just a box.
The concept is pretty simple–it’s “surprise” supplies in a can to keep the kids (or yourself) busy/preoccupied. I honestly don’t remember everything I put in the cans. You want something that will take up some time and be a good distraction from the emergency situation. Maybe a model or equipment for some skill they could learn.
Here are some things I do remember putting in the cans:
Puzzles (in a baggie with the picture from the box)
Yarn, crochet hook, simple crochet directions
Small printed word puzzles, mazes, coloring pages
Colored pencils and hand sharpener
Some hard candies
I’m sure I put more in–I guess we’ll all be surprised if/when we ever open them! When deciding what to put in your cans, consider your children and their likes/dislikes/abilities. Also think a couple of years ahead. I put crochet stuff in the can for my littlest one and she was probably only 3 at the time. Remember some things won’t “keep” well–like crayons or regular play-dough or batteries.
Because we packed these at an emergency prep fair, they were adding the mini can openers to the bottom of the can. You sure wouldn’t have to go to that trouble, but do make sure you’ve got a manual can opener on hand so you can get it open!
Once you have it packed, put it away in the long term food storage. It’s pretty easy to stash it in the back of the food storage room and forget about it (just like those 10 year old peaches on the back of the shelf at grandma’s). This is not a high priority preparedness item, but just being able to pull out something new will be a huge morale boost and/or distraction for the little ones.
What else could you put in a boredom buster can?