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Today I wanted to share some activities that neighborhoods are doing together as a community. I’ve been sharing ideas like Stained-Glass sidewalk chalk and Inspirational Drawings on windows, so I thought these ideas would be fun to share, too!
1. Chalk Walk
Invite your neighbors to fill in your artwork! You can leave chalk out (and hand sanitizing wipes) and invite the neighbors to color a brick…
You can make a Sidewalk Chalk Stained-Glass Driveway & let them fill in a shape or you can do it all & just leave beautiful art for your neighbors to see during their “Chalk Walk”
You can think of other ideas, too! My neighbor’s kids drew butterflies on the driveway and left a sign that said: “Add a butterfly to our Chalk Butterfly Garden!” The kids couldn’t wait to run over & add their own butterflies. invite them to add a butterfly to your “butterfly garden.”
I’ve seen Monopoly Sidewalk Chalk ideas like these…
You can play Real-Life-Sized Monopoly on your sidewalk or in your own driveway:
2. Weekly Community Birthday Party
Every week, communities are hosting birthday parties for kids. The day of the week & the time never changes. The birthday families drive down to the pool area & the kids stand by their car (they need to park far apart from one another). The rest of the community drives by, beeping & yelling “Happy Birthday” or they can yell from their yards. We make signs to take each week, too, for our kids to hold by the windows.
I’ve also heard of local fire departments and police departments doing a drive-through of the neighborhood with their lights flashing and sirens blaring all in honor of a birthday boy or girl. I know SO many kids who would be in total awe of this, definitely worth a call to your local police department to see if they’ve got the time!
3. Paper Holiday Decoration Hunt
Hang decorated paper pictures (like Easter Eggs or colorful flowers) on the front door. Then, when families take walks, they can have an “Easter Egg Hunt” as they look for paper eggs on everyone’s doors.
4. Painted Rocks
This is an awesome way to Spread Happiness!
1. Gather your rocks (flat ones work best), some paint & paintbrushes. If you have paint-sealer, even better. Or- you can use rocks & permanent markers.
2. Decorate your rocks with words, pictures, inspirational messages, or just funny drawings, etc…
(Here’s the M&M Painted-Rock that my husband made – he even cut the side of the rock to look like it was partially eaten)
The kids loved it & hid this rock in front of our house. 🙂 hahaha!
3. Then hide the rocks around the neighborhood as you look for other rocks from other families.
4. If you have a community FB group… if you find another person’s rock, post a picture of your child holding the rock in the neighborhood Facebook group
5. Re-hide any rocks that you find from other people. 🙂
5. Weekly Scavenger Hunt
Each week, host a neighborhood scavenger hunt. Every week we pick a theme “Number, Letter, Animal, Easter” etc… then we hang that thing on our door or windows. Families search for these items as they walk around the neighborhood.
6. Chalk Obstacle Course
Pick a place to have your course (sidewalk, driveway, or even the street in front of your house) and draw big squares. Each square has a different “task” inside of it. You can even add lines in between the squares and have the kids “walk on the line” or “Jump the line” or “Walk backwards along the line” then when they get to the next task, they do it.
You can even time them as they finish their course, too.
Examples of tasks: Jump on 1 foot, Skip, 10 Jumping Jacks, Do Hopscotch, Say 3 words that start with the letter “A”, Walk backwards, say the name of your favorite movie, follow the squiggly line, make a wish, etc…
6. Bear Hunt
I swear I saw this trend start the second day we were self-isolating. It has taken off throughout the country and I love that it’s such a simple thing to do, but it brings joy and excitement to everyone involved. All you have to do is put a teddy bear in one of your windows facing the street. THAT’S IT! Now take your family (or yourself… we all need a little alone time too), on a walk throughout town and see how many teddy bears you can find!
7. Driveway “Block Party” Happy Hour
This one is for the adults… my friend has been hosting weekly happy hours in her neighborhood.
All you have to do is set up your lawn chairs at the end of your driveway and your neighbors do the same! It’s a “Bring Your Own EVERYTHING” (chair, drinks, snacks, etc.). We all make sure to keep at least 6 feet of distance (more like 10-15 feet, actually) so we’re staying safe. It might require that we talk a little louder than usual, but even just being closer to our adult friends for a while brings us joy!
8. Neighborhood Window Safari
This is a slightly more involved version of the bear hunt, but still super easy! Send an email or text out to friends in your neighborhood (or distribute flyers in mailboxes so everyone is invited to participate), explaining the Window Safari.
Have every home who wants to participate put a stuffed animal in one of their windows. Along with the stuffed animal, tape a sign that has a fun or interesting fact about that animal.
You could have your kids carry around a “Safari Journal” to keep track of all the animals and fun facts. Your family will be out exercising AND they’ll be learning. I call that a parenting win!
9. Library “Swap Shop”
If your local library is closed for book exchanges (rightfully so!), and you miss having new and exciting books in your house, try this “swap shop” idea! My parent’s neighborhood has been doing this for years.
They set up a big rain-resistant porch-storage box right outside of the clubhouse door (if your neighborhood has a common area, pool, playground, or clubhouse, it’s a great place for this. If not, you can have it on your porch or in a common area of the neighborhood.)
You use it to have a Swap Shop Library! Put old books, DVDs, or magazines in it to share with your neighbors.
People can take books or leave books to share. We also leave hand sanitizer next to it for anyone’s hands, and we leave a container of sanitizing wipes, to wipe down any books that are being taken home.
In these uncertain times, I’ve loved seeing how our neighborhood can come together even though we have to physically stay apart. Has your neighborhood done anything creative and fun to keep spirits up these days?? We’d love to see it! Add it to the comments!