In this third and final entry into a three-part series, we will look at more activities that are great for families living in a city such as Arlington or the Greater Boston area.
Plan a Block Party
To help with connecting with neighbors while also teaching your kids some valuable skills, ask them to help with organizing a block party for your neighborhood or community. Encourage the kids to form committees to determine how to advertise the event, plan the menu and provide entertainment. If permits are required, let them take the steps to secure the proper paperwork. You might also want to consider looking into the Play Streets program, which provides kits for turning streets into pop-up playgrounds.
Make Use of Vacant Lots
While this might take a bit of extra legwork on your part, you and your kids can help to transform vacant lots into fun places for kids to play games and develop skills. Once the proper permissions are secured, simple tasks such as creating a puzzle wall can help to bring more fun and excitement to the cityscape for kids.
Let the Kids be Your Guides
Challenge your kids to serve as tour guides to your neighborhood or to a particular part of Boston. Point them in the right direction for learning more about what the area has to offer and then allow them to lead you on short walks throughout the neighborhood as they share what they have learned about landmarks and historical sites.
Get Innovative with Playgrounds
If your school does not already do so, contact them to see if they can keep their playgrounds open on the weekend. You may also be able to bring more playspace to your kids by encouraging them to design their own playgrounds. Involving them in such a way will go a long way toward ensuring the playgrounds brought to your neighborhood are ones that they will enjoy and use. This is just one step you can take toward getting your kids engaged in city planning.
Get Involved with a Cause
The summertime is a great time to get your kids involved with a cause that they believe in. Look into volunteer opportunities for animal shelters or other causes that your kids may care about. You can also get them involved in community organizing by having them help with tasks such as going door-to-door to gather signatures for a local cause, such as building the aforementioned playground. Not only will this help your kids learn more about politics and how they can help their community, but it is also a great opportunity to get to know your neighbors.
Look for Teachable Moments
Finally, if you look at things from a different perspective, you will find that teachable moments are everywhere. When going to the grocery store, for example, you can talk to your kids about where milk comes from our how to shop for the best bargains. Not only will this help your children to be more independent, but it sparks great opportunities for conversation and family bonding.