Is your child afraid of thunderstorms? My youngest and middle boys have always had a fear of thunderstorms, whether it was an outright fear, or it interfered with their sleep, thunderstorms have been a problem. While as a mom, I love a good thunderstorm for loads of rain for the grass, flowers, and garden, my boys have not always weathered thunderstorms well. The childhood fear of thunderstorms is very common. There are several ways to help ease anxiety in children about thunderstorms, and I’m sharing The Best Ways to Help Kids Cope with Thunderstorms by overcoming your child’s fears and worries. Overcoming your child’s fears of thunderstorms with simple ideas is as easy as distraction, explanation, and masking of the sounds to make them seem less scary and loud.
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Thunderstorms can incite high levels of anxiety in children. I have several ideas to help you in freeing your child’s fear and worries about thunderstorms.
The Best Ways To Help Kids Cope With Thunderstorms
Scroll down to the end of this post to enter for a chance to win a handmade nightgown by itshandmadebymelanie.etsy and the book “Thunder Cake” by Patricia Polacco.
1. Use Distraction
Make a chocolate thunder cake with your child:)
For the Thunder Cake Recipe, please scroll down.
Get the book “Thunder Cake” by Patricia Polacco and Make Thunder Cake for a Special Treat
Read the book “Thunder Cake” by Patricia Polacco to your kids. This book is perfect for kids who have a fear of thunderstorms. The book is about overcoming the fear of thunderstorms and the grandma in the book helps the child overcome her fear of the impending thunderstorm by having her collect the ingredients for the Thunder Cake recipe. The grandma and the child make the cake together.
It’s a great book. Each of my boys came home with this recipe from elementary school teachers. It really is a delicious cake recipe with a surprise ingredient.
I made the Thunder Cake on a sunny day for photos, but make it during a thunderstorm to make it a true Thunder cake. I keep ingredients on hand at the request of my son so we can make thunder cake when the next thunderstorm comes through our area.
My Grandma’s Thunder Cake Recipe
©1990 Patricia Polacco
Cream together, one at a time
- 1 c. shortening
- 1 3/4 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 eggs separated (Blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)
- 1 cup cold water
- 1/3 c. pureed tomatoes (the surprise ingredient)
- Sift together:
- 2 1/2 c. cake flour (I used white flour)
- 1/2 c. dry cocoa
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8 1/2-inch round pans at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting (or my frosting recipe below). Top with strawberries.
I made my own frosting with the following ingredients:
- 1/2 c. melted butter (one stick)
- 1 2/3 c. powdered sugar
- 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Mix ingredients together until smooth with an immersion blender or another handheld blender. Frost the cake once it has cooled.
I love the dazzling sparkly effect of the frost on the table in these pictures!
Get your own copy of the book:
Dress up in a pretty nightgown or play dress up
Have kids dress up in a pretty handmade nightgown that is beautiful:) This may help scared kids forget about their thunderstorm fears. These handmade nightgowns by itshandmademymelanie.etsy will make little girls feel so special and cozy and distract them from their fears. I know I always feel better when I’m wearing something beautiful and comfortable, so will they! These nightgowns could be worn during the day as a dress too.
When I was a child, my mother loved to sew. I remember having several nightgowns as a child that my mother made for me. They were so special to me and my favorites. I still remember them to this day. I loved wearing my handmade nightgowns as a child!
Photos supplied by itshandmadebymelanie.etsy and taken by photographer @photographybyrobyn on Instagram.
Purchase a nightgown for girls or women from itshandmadebymelanie.etsy for 10% off, use the code JULIE for the discount. Several styles available. Buy a mother-daughter set of handmade nightgowns for even more fun! Perfect for Mother’s Day, birthdays, and holidays too.
Scroll down to enter to win a handmade nightgown made by itshandmadebymelanie.etsy and the book “Thunder Cake” by Patricia Polacco. Contest has ended as of 5/17/2018.
Use old costumes for kids to dress up in or have them wear mom or dad’s clothes to take their mind off their thunderstorm fears. I save all my kids’ Halloween costumes for hand-me-downs in case my younger boys want to use the same costume. This works great because it also gives kids options for dress up.
Playing favorite games to distract kids from their fear of the thunderstorms is very effective because they are busy and occupied; plus, they will have fun. Dig out games kids haven’t been played in a while to spark their interest. Some of our favorites are below.
Younger kids might need help with Yahtzee, but they will love shaking the cup and helping count the dots on the dice.
Our favorites in this card game pack are Old Maid and Go Fish.
We love checkers at our house because it works well across the ages of my kids.
Brybelly Giant 3-in-1 Checkers and Mega Tic Tac Toe with Reversible Rug
Chutes and Ladders is a classic favorite at our house that brings lots of squeals from my youngest son.
Pull Out Favorite Toys from the Closet
We have the GeoTrax toys, but we keep them in a bin in the cabinet, so to play with them, we have to pull the bin out. Since they aren’t out all the time, they are special and they are great for keeping my kids’ attention. We have multiple sets of GeoTrax and they can all connect to make a big town.
Have Kids Watch a Movie on an Electronic Device and Have Them Use Earbuds or Headphones
Have kids watch a favorite movie on an iPad, phone, or laptop and have them use earbuds to watch the movie to distract them and mask the sounds of thunder. Headphones are great for masking thunder sounds too. The child will be so busy listening to the movie that they may not even notice the thunder booms outside.
Thunder is a natural part of thunderstorms. Explain what thunderstorms are and look up what they are on the internet. Getting kids to learn about thunderstorms on the computer will help distract them, plus help them understand they are a normal part of the weather. Kids love to use technology so this in itself will be special, especially if a parent sits down with them to do it.
Check out this website to learn about thunderstorms:
Talk about How to Be Safe and Be Smart during Thunderstorms to Reduce Fears
- Postpone any outdoor activities and take shelter indoors
- Avoid electrical equipment and any cords
- Avoid anything metal
3. Mask the Sounds to Make Thunderstorms Seem Less Scary
Ideas to Cover Up Thunderstorm Sounds During the Day
Play music CD’s or the radio during the day to try to mask thunder sounds. Kids love music, at least mine do:) Have a dance party and turn the music way up!
Play Just Dance on the Xbox. This fun game will distract kids as they hear the music and dance. Get those little bodies moving!
There are different versions for each year and they do have different songs. Kids love this game and it’s highly entertaining to watch as a parent:)
Put in a movie or TV show to occupy kids and keep them from thinking about thunderstorm fears.
Ideas to Cover Up the Sounds of Thunder at Night
White Noise Machines
Thunder during the night has often been a problem in our house. Sometimes my kids wake up from the loud thunder, but sometimes having a white noise machine going or music on helps at night. They may still wake up when the thunder booms, but if there is already sound in the room, they don’t always wake up in thunderstorms. This, of course, depends on how heavy the child sleeps.
We have this sound machine and love it. We have even taken it on vacations with us.
We also have this one in my youngest son’s room. It serves as his clock too.
Conair SU7 Soothing Sounds and Relaxation Clock Radio
A fan is also a good sound distraction during the night.
Earplugs or sound-canceling headphones
If your child tolerates ear plugs, this is an option as well to mask loud and unpredictable thunderstorm sounds. Sound-canceling headphones are another idea to help mask thunderstorm sounds for kids who are afraid of the sounds of thunder.
I hope my ideas will help your kids cope with thunderstorms:)
I sincerely hope these ideas for the best ways to help kids cope with thunderstorms will help you and your child get through loud thunderstorms. Do you have ideas to add for what helps your child cope with storms? I would love to hear your ideas, add them in the comment section below. As moms and parents, we need to help each other out and share our ideas:)
Need more tips for kids regarding anxiety or sleep? Read these: Signs Your Child is Anxious and Professional Advice for Helping Your Young Child Sleep
Enter below for a chance to win a handmade nightgown made by itshandmadebymelanie.etsy for girls (size 6) and the book “Thunder Cake” by Patricia Polacco! Contest has ended.
P.S. I love this tag! My mom used to have one that read handmade by Karen. LOVE IT!
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