We’re all spending a lot of time in our homes, and in our neighborhoods. In fact, I’ve never spent as much time walking around my neighborhood or saying hi to my neighbors from an appropriate social distance. But what are some others ways you can bring your community together during this difficult time? We’ve been very blessed to have some really fun neighborhood activities where we live. And if you’re looking to bring your community together, try some of these neighborhood activities where you live!
Teddy Bear Hunt
Have you heard of this? It’s one of my favorite neighborhood activities. And it’s such a fun idea for little ones. It’s a pretty basic idea. Here’s how to do it:
Announce this on your neighborhood’s social network, like Nextdoor.
Ask anyone who would like to participate to place a teddy bear in a window where it can be seen from the sidewalk.
Check out this story from The Boston Globe with more information on this fun social distancing neighborhood activity. I’ve even seen some of my wonderful neighbors take this a little further. Check out this teddy bear in a driveway with treats for the four legged neighbors!
Neighborhood Activities: Drive-by Character Greetings
Obviously, this Easter, not many kids were going to visit the Easter Bunny at local malls or other events. However, in our neighborhood, an anonymous neighbor drove through several local neighborhoods to bring cheer to local kids! We live in a very large neighborhood, with about 2,000 homes. So it takes a long time to get through our whole neighborhood. We didn’t have an exact schedule of when the Easter Bunny would be at our house. But we knew his or her arrival would be signaled by car horns beeping!
We were having a picnic in our backyard when we heard the car horns! I yelled for the kids, grabbed my phone, and ran outside! So far, we’ve had three weeks of quarantine, and this was a fun moment of happiness. My two girls really loved waving at this kind stranger. And my older kids marveled at how nice it was for a stranger to take the time to bring joy to so many kids. As we walked back to our house, and said hello to neighbors who had just shared this same joyful moment, we were so thankful for these kind neighborhood activities.
I shared a video of the moment on Instagram and Nextdoor even shared it on their YouTube page:
If a kind individual was willing to do this in your neighborhood, you could easily do this as well! Find some of those old Halloween costumes, or whatever you have, and bring some cheer to those living near you.
Although we did this particular activity for Easter, it could be easily modified for any any holiday. In fact, you could even do this with a simple graphic like a flower or a sun cutout. It could even be a simple sign that says, “Hello!”
This Easter, our neighborhood organized a socially distant Easter Egg hunt. Neighbors printed out Easter eggs, colored them, and hung them in their windows. This is similar to the teddy bear hunt, but holiday themed. When we went to hunt for Easter eggs, we even saw some neighbors who kicked it up a notch! We took a two hour bike ride around our neighborhood and found about 60 eggs. It was such a wonderful family activity, and a great way to get exercise. I hope we can do it again soon!
How can you make this happen in your neighborhood?
Post in your neighborhood website on Nextdoor or community board.
In this time of social distancing, chalk art has been very popular! Say hi to the walkers and runners in your neighborhood with an encouraging note. Write a note to your classmates to say hello. How about a special thank you message for healthcare workers and other essential workers? There’s so many things you can do with chalk art! And with so many neighbors out and about, these messages will be sure to provide encouragement.
Check out this post for lots of amazing ideas for chalk art to keep your kids busy. And it will also inspire some joy for your neighbors! We were so touched by some sweet neighbors who left this message for my son’s birthday recently. We will never forget it!
Offer Help and Get Help
Is there something that you need help with around the yard? Or is there something you can do to provide help? With so many people out of work, you may have the opportunity to be a blessing to those around you! If you have teenagers who are bored in the house, help them stay busy by encouraging them to help others. Can your teenage son mow a yard of an elderly neighbor? What about just bringing someone’s trash can in for someone with some mobility issues? If you keep looking around, you’ll see ways you can help.
On Nextdoor, there’s a “Help Map” feature that allows neighbors to offer to pitch in to help someone in need. What a beautiful way to connect to those within walking distance of you! During this social distancing time, it’s an opportunity to help others in need.
Neighborhood Activities Done Now Last Forever
Think about the most meaningful times in your life. Weren’t they also the most stressful times? Who shows up and who you connect with are very important right now. If you’re in need, and someone helps you, you remember. At this time in life, we’re all in need in one way or the other. Even if we are just in need of activities for our kids, having that need met can mean the world at this time. What neighborhood activities can you plan where you live? You can help others just by simply posting an idea or a comment. Get started now and connect with those right next door.