From a distance, our new normal may seem drab and disconnected. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll find there’s always potential to stay in touch. Social isolation doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the social life you and your little butterflies thrive on. Neighborhoods across the country are coming together to maintain their connections, even while adhering to social distancing guidelines as mandated by the CDC. So let the unbreakable spirit of human connection fuel inspiration in your quest to raise the spirit of your community!
Go the (Backyard) Distance
Being responsible in social isolation generally means keeping the six foot rule of thumb outlined by the CDC. Put the cover on the grill, forget the 6 feet of measuring tape for distancing, and instead use an old friend as a multifaceted tool for both social distancing and dividing up games: your fence. They aren’t just for keeping your dogs in the backyard anymore. They can also be the divider line for games of catch, badminton, or frisbee. Neighbors on all sides can come together without leaving their own property line. Just be sure to wear your disposable latex gloves so those flying objects don’t carry any unwanted guests. For those looking for something more outside the foul line, kids can design their own paper airplanes with fun messages and toss them to neighbors to see whose airplanes fly the highest.
Dance the Night - or Day - Away
Start a dance party with the help of some speakers and a funky playlist. A dance off can really help get out all the energy that’s been pent up while hunkering down indoors. Need some playlist suggestions? Spotify offers a bevy of perfectly danceable playlists, from disco to funk to classic rock. When it comes right down to it, anything is possible with a good playlist, some groovy dance moves, and a swaggered pair of dancing shoes.
With the weather warming up, there’s never been a better time to bust out the super soakers and start a neighborly water gun battle - just be sure to put the waterproof furniture covers on first. Then don the trusty latex gloves, fill up some water balloons and toss them at your opponents next door to stir up some true competition. Just be warned: they’re going to fight back. And that’s okay, because even when you’re technically losing, getting to cool off with some cold water is a win.
Light Up The Night
The fun doesn’t have to stop once the sun goes down. Who says you can’t play tag in the era of social distancing? Flashlights remix classic games and add a new spin to old favorites. Tag, capture the flag, and sardines are just a few of the classic pastimes that can be brought to life at night. Or put a sheet up in the backyard and shine a light behind it to create a screen… and put on a silhouette play! Tell a well-known folktale. Write your own story. Everything is up to you and your family. After all, who wouldn’t like to be a star under the stars?
Raiders of the Last House on the Left
A scavenger hunt is an ideal way to stay plugged in with your neighbors while unplugging from quarantine. Coordinate with neighbors by asking them to place an item of some sort in or near their yard. Make up a chart of the items. Now create the clues, make up an easy list, and you’ve got yourself a neighborhood scavenger hunt.
Bring the Garden to Them
Everyone loves to be surprised with some flowers. If you have a green thumb, why not share the gardening love with your neighbors? Maintaining a backyard garden is not only a fun family activity, it gives you the opportunity to share your home grown gifts with all of your friends in the neighborhood. Flowers, herbs, and vegetables can easily be arranged in a basket and left on your neighbor’s doorstep for a pleasant surprise. You can even toss in some seed packets to encourage them to start their own backyard garden of eatin’.
Energize Spirits by Turning Social Isolation into Social Inspiration.
Connecting with your community keeps people optimistic and away from feeling alone and disconnected. Just remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to maintain the connections that keep your neighborhood flowing in harmony. You just have to get inspired. Throw a modified party. Create games that utilize space. Whatever your ideas are, your neighbors will happily join in to keep everyone healthy without keeping them bored. Just remember to keep the distances at a six feet minimum while letting your imagination run wild.