Right now we are all going through some difficult times. Whether you’re home with your kiddos in your new role as parent/teacher, or you’re still having to go to work and worry about what health risks you might be taking on, we are all out here doing our best to find some new kind of normal.
Whenever major events like this take place I always think of one of my favorite Mr. Rogers quotes, “Look for the helpers.” Look for those trying to make the world around us a little bit better.
I’m sure many of you have seen the posts circulating social media and the news about neighborhoods organizing bear hunts and decorating their sidewalks with chalk. The bear hunts are based on the popular children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. Each participating house would put a stuffed bear in their window and the neighborhood kids would walk around with their families and try to find all the bears. It was a great way for kids to get out of the house, have some fun, lighten the mood and still practice social distancing. So when a local mom reached out and asked us for some more ideas… we knew we had to come through!
Here is your week by week guide of activities to organize with your own neighbors. If you use these ideas please share them with us, we would love to see them! You can tag us at @columbiascmom and use the hashtag #CMNeighborhoodFun.
Week of April 5th: Birthday Porch Party
Who has a March or April birthday that is kind of getting overlooked or forgotten this year? Probably a lot of you and your kiddos! I’m sure some of you had to look your kids in the eyes and explain to them why they couldn’t have a party this year, and I’m sure they did their best to be understanding. But what if for just 1 day we celebrated everyone’s March and April birthdays? Coordinate a date and time with your neighbors and everyone can post up in their driveway or on their porch to celebrate each other from a safe distance. Play music, enjoy a treat, decorate your porch… however you want to celebrate your special loved one and/or your wonderful neighbors.
Week (and Weekend) of April 12th: Easter Egg Hunt
Agree with your neighbors on how many eggs each family wants to hide in their front yard, everyone should hide the same number to keep it consistent. Choose a day and make sure everyone has their eggs hidden by morning. The eggs should be findable from the sidewalk/driveway of each house. Then families can walk around to the participating houses and try to spot the hidden eggs. The best part is since we aren’t actually collecting the eggs we don’t have to worry about touching anything and sanitizing our hands a million times.
Or, take advantage of the Columbia Mom Neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt (social distancing style)! Our egg hunt works best if lots of neighbors get in on the fun. So, spread the word to your friends and neighbors and get ready to go on an Easter egg hunt! Here’s how it works:
- Download and print the Easter egg coloring pages.
- Decorate your favorite egg any way that you want!
- Display your egg(s) in your windows by Wednesday, April 8.
Go on an egg hunt with your family (or by yourself ) April 9-12 to see how many eggs you can find! *Don’t forget* to take a picture of the beautiful eggs you find and share to Columbia Mom’s Facebook page! Let’s see how many neighborhoods get represented! And follow along on our Facebook event page for all the details! Use #columbiamom #colamom #columbiamomegghunt and follow us on Instagram for a chance to be featured!
Week of April 19th: Book Walk (National Library Week)
Since it’s possible libraries will still be closed, here is a way you can celebrate your favorite childhood books from home. Decorate your windows or front door to represent your favorite children’s book and see if your neighbors can guess what the books are. You can get really creative with this one… seriously the possibilities are endless! Who doesn’t want a Harry Potter front door or a living room window dedicated completely to Pete the Cat?
Week of April 26th: Chalk Challenge Course
Lastly, I got this idea from another writer mom on our site, thanks Tasheena! She did something similar with her girls and the whole neighborhood loved it. Use chalk to draw an obstacle path in front of your house. Maybe you’ll draw a moat with alligators that needs to be jumped over, or a bunch of zig zags that will test your agility, or perhaps even a space to practice your ABC’s. Get creative and see if you and your neighbors on each side can make connecting ones. How cool would it be for your neighborhood kids to have an entire neighborhood obstacle course to play on?