Coronavirus: Connecting Community through Kids Activities

Amy Holmes, North End News

By now, our days at home with our kids may have you feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhogs Day. We wake up each morning hoping that today is the day that we can play at the parks again, meet up for play dates, and hug our best buddies.

As I write in early April, things are changing daily. Social Distancing is the new norm but that doesn’t mean that we need to lose our connection as a community. I believe that through the presence of children in our neighborhood, we will find hope for what lies ahead.

Here are some creative ideas that we have seen throughout the North End as well as things to do in the coming weeks to keep the spirit of our neighborhood alive.

    • Inspired by the popular children’s book and song, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” people have been placing teddy bears in their front windows. Families (or anyone) can go on a “bear hunt” throughout the neighborhood. There’s even a map with bear locations marked – on a website created by a North Ender. citybearhunt.com
    • Visit one or more of the many lending libraries. There are always treasures to be found.
    • Chalk your walk! It has become a growing trend across the nation to spread beauty and positive messages through chalk art.
    • Celebrate a birthdays social distance style! Sing happy birthday from the sidewalk, hang up a sign in the front yard, send a gift card from a local business.
    • Have your own dress up parade. Pull out all of your favorite costumes and go for a walk. You are sure to put a smile on someone’s face.
    • Go for a bike ride. With less cars on the road, this is a great time to teach your kids bike safety.
    • Paint rocks with fun designs or inspirational messages. Spread them around the neighborhood.
    • Participate in the “heart hunt.” Hearts can be found all over in nature. People are also filling their front windows with hearts to show their love for all essential workers.
    • Create your own scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. There are many options for different hunts: shapes, colors, animals, smells, sounds, flowers, trees, even holiday decorations. Admire all the unique architecture of the old houses that line our streets.
    • Play in the front yard, greet all the people out on walks, blow bubbles, fly paper airplanes. Sing songs or play instruments on your front porch. If you don’t’ know how to play anything, simply turn on some music and start a dance party.

Together we can get through this. Let’s all use this as a great opportunity to reconnect with this neighborhood that we love so much. Now is the time to slow our pace and truly enjoy this wonderful space. Please remember to smile and greet one another.