5 Fresh Ideas to Help the Neighborhood Transition to Spring

transition-to-springSpring. Will it ever arrive?

It’s a question the kids and I have been asking ourselves for what feels like eternity. Yes, I’ve been dreaming of what it would feel like to once again have fresh air blowing through my kitchen windows. And while the snow is pretty and all that jazz, we’re beyond ready to bust outside and start enjoying some warmer spring-like weather.

One thing we’ve missed the most about the warmer weather months of spring is bumping into and hanging out with all our neighborhood buddies. And now that spring is just around the corner, we’ve got big plans for the neighborhood.

5 Ideas to Help the Neighborhood Transition to Spring:

1. Block (or alley) party time. Something we look forward to each spring is our monthly Friday night block (or in our case, back alley) party. It’s super simple and doesn’t take too much planning. We simply shut down the alley to vehicles, open up the garages, and set up tables for pitch-in food and drink. They kids ride their bikes and scooters up and down the alley while the adults mix and mingle.

2. Saturday morning clean-up day. The first Saturday in April is our annual neighborhood clean-up day. It’s the perfect opportunity to not only get a lot of work done in a small amount of time (many hands make light work, you know) but to also meet neighbors that might have moved into the area over the winter months.

3. Plan and plant a community garden.  Over the past few years, community gardens have been popping up (pun intended) all over the city in which we live. This spring will be the first year our neighborhood gets their green thumb in on the action. Many of our neighbors (ourselves included) have small yards with not too much space for a private garden. The plan is to convert an abandoned lot into a large garden that is cared for collectively by the community. And when it’s time to reap the bounty, it again will be split amongst each other.

4. Offer to help elderly neighbors with yard work or home-improvement projects.We have a fair amount of elderly singles in our neighborhood and it’s important to recognize that while they might not ask for help, some projects are simply two-man jobs. Our family shows love by checking in on them and offering a hand with daunting home improvement projects.

5.  Organize a weekly play date at the park. About four blocks from our house is a really fantastic playground. It’s not real large, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with super fun playground equipment. A few years back, one of my neighbors set up a weekly play date for every Wednesday morning, weather permitting. This weekly date has saved my sanity and led me to make meaningful, long-lasting friendships with other women in my neighborhood.

If you’re looking for a tangible way to encourage your kids to do more than they may have even thought possible at their age, Everybody Can Help Somebody is a great book that not only provides inspiration, but illustrates the life-change that can happen when we all pitch in to help others.

In this day and age, it’s all too easy to drive into our garages and instantly hit the “down” button to the garage door. Community and friendship within the neighborhood takes time and effort, but is so very very worthwhile.

Your Turn

How about you? What neighborhood activities are you looking forward to this spring?

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Emily Elling

Emily Elling lives in central Indiana with her husband, and four unintentionally hilarious children. She’s a freelance blogger and commercial interior designer. When she’s not blogging or making things look awesome, you can find her reading long books, running short distances, and treasure hunting by way of thrift shops and garage sales. She loves her yoga pants, green smoothies, her collection of babywearing slings and things, and most of all her crazy family. She’s constantly seeking God’s grace and wisdom – because she’ll be the first to admit parenting is hard. You can find Emily on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog, DesignHERmomma.