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Inspiring neighbourhoods - Day 1 - My neighbourhood

These activities can be done alone, but work best with one or more friends on a video chat like Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc.

Grades K-3

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: What is the national food of Canada?
a) Lobster rolls
b) Maple syrup
c) Poutine

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Imagine that your pointer finger is a candle.
  • Hold up your candle, take a deep breath in, then blow out the candle on your finger for as long as you can.
  • Notice how your breath fills up your belly when you breathe in.

Front Lawn Tea Party

Supplies:

  • Tea set
  • Card stock
  • Markers or crayons
  • Tables and chairs

Watch the Front Lawn Tea Party video

Have your child create invitations for a tea party. Make sure you list out when and where the tea party will happen. Ask for everyone to bring their own chairs, a small table, hot water, tea and mugs. You can also ask your guests to dress up for your tea party.

Drop the invitations off at your neighbour’s house.

Decorate your lawn for the party and choose background music to play. If there is not enough room on your lawn, feel free to have your tea party in a green space or park. You can have a tea party picnic with your neighbours, as long as you make sure that your neighbours are at least 2 metres (or 6 feet) apart.

Street Chalk Competition

Supplies:

  • Paper cups
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • Gold or yellow paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Pipecleaners
  • Black permanent marker
  • Sidewalk chalk

Part 1: Have your child create a homemade trophy for the winner of the street chalk competition.

  • Attach the bottoms of 2 paper cups together with hot glue.
  • Paint the cups gold or yellow.
  • Poke holes into the sides (2 on each side) for the pipe cleaners to go through like a handle.
  • Draw a #1 for first place.

Part 2: Invite your friendly neighbours to draw on their sidewalk or driveway.

  • Whatever they draw should answer the question: what does Neighbour Day mean to me?
  • Create a score sheet with these categories: creativity, use of colour, use of theme, readability.
  • At the end of the day, score each art piece using your score sheet. The winner gets the trophy!

Electronic Neighbourhood Newsletter

Supplies:

  • Blank paper
  • Crayons or markers

Help your child fold 3 pieces of blank paper in half (hamburger style). Staple them together at the seam.

Think of a name for your neighbourhood newsletter and put it as the title on the first page.

For each page, draw a picture or write a short article, story or poem representing the news in your neighbourhood. Are there any community events planned? is it someone’s birthday? You can include other categories like a joke, a cartoon, the weather or a new and interesting recipe.

Scan or take photos of your newsletter and email it to your neighbours.

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How does spending time with your neighbourhood friends make you feel? (Feel)
  • Do you think connecting with your neighbourhood friends is important? (Think)
  • How can you keep good relationships with your neighbourhood friends? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: Poutine

Grades 4-6

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: Who made Captain America’s shield?

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Put your palms together at chest height.
  • Push your hands against each other as hard as you can.
  • Which muscle gets tired first?

Photo Walk

Supplies:

  • Camera
  • Paper
  • Pencil

What do you find interesting about your neighbourhood? Do you like the architecture, plants, parks or people?

Have your child write a list of the things they like about your street, block and neighbourhood. Now, think about the things you might see when you go for a walk. For example, people walking their dogs, rabbits or big trees.

Go for a walk on your street with your child and a camera. Have your child take pictures of things they think are interesting or beautiful.

After your walk, check the list you made. How many of your favourite things were you able to take pictures of?

A Story About Your Neighbourhood

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Memories about your neighbourhood will last for your whole life. You will think back about who you played with, what kind of activities you did and where your favorite spots to hang out were.

Have your child imagine they are 20 years in the future. How would they describe their childhood and their neighbourhood to people who have never been there?

Have your child write a short story about what it’s like growing up in your neighbourhood.

Do You Know Your Neighbourhood?

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Neighbourhoods are not only a structural place, but also a social place. It is important we know where we live and the people who live there.

Have your child find as much information as possible about the neighbourhood you live in. You can ask questions like:

  • Do you know all your neighbours? What are their names?
  • How many steps are there from your house to your neighbour’s house?
  • What do you know about the neighbourhood you live in? What was it before it was this neighbourhood? A farm? A town separate from Calgary?
  • How do people move around in your neighbourhood?
  • What are the top destinations in your neighbourhood?
  • Is there a community association in your neighbourhood?
  • Who is your City Councillor that represents you? How can you let them know what is important to you?
  • What are some places you can walk to in your neighbourhood?
  • What are some interesting things on your street? What makes your street unique?
  • What types of plants and animals do I see on my street?

Review Questions

Ask your child:

  • How do you feel about your neighbourhood? (Feel)
  • What do you think are some of the pros and cons of living in your neighbourhood? (Think)
  • What can you do in the future to make your neighbourhood even better? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Answer: Howard Stark

Grades 7+

Mindfulness Activity

Trivia Question: What is the oldest neighbourhood in Calgary, Alberta?

Mindfulness Activity:

  • Notice how your belly feels.
  • Breathe fast for 10 seconds.
  • How do you feel? Better? Worse? The same?

Walking Your Block

Walking your block is a good way to learn about planning ideas, principles and citizenship.

Go for a walk and be intentional about learning your block. Try the following activities during your walk:

  1. Explore the senses - Explore what you can see, hear, smell, touch and taste. Touch the grass, listen for trains and airplanes, or smell fallen pine needles.
  2. Take pictures – Capture images of your block with a camera or draw a sketch. What makes these images so special to you?
  3. Turn your walk into an obstacle course – Leap over sidewalk cracks or run in the park.
  4. Use a pedometer – Try to count and keep track of how many steps it takes you to get to a certain location.

What's Important to Me in My Neighbourhood

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Pencil

Make a list of the top five things that are important to you in your neighbourhood. Your list could include your home, family and friends. What about your schools, parks, hospitals, community centres and grocery stores. Write a brief description for each important thing about why it is important to you.

Share your list with friends and family, and challenge them to make a list too. Compare and discuss your lists with your friends and family.

Building My Community

Supplies:

  • Paper
  • Magazines or newspapers
  • Glue

Think about what’s missing in your neighbourhood that you feel would help make it a vibrant place to live.

Find pictures in old magazines or newspapers to help show what buildings or places you would like to add to your community. For instance, you could cut out a picture of a recreation facility or a library to show the need for these facilities. Or you could combine multiple ideas to make a brand new type of community asset.

Think about why each place you want to add to your community is important.

Share your picture with your friends and family. Discuss with them if there are other things that may be missing.

Review Questions

  • How did you feel when you walked your block? What did you learn about your block? (Feel)
  • What do you think it’s important know what is in your community? (Think)
  • What are ways you can share your opinion and ideas about your community? (Act)

Mindfulness Trivia Answer

Inglewood is Calgary's oldest neighbourhood. It is immediately across the Elbow River from The Confluence Historic Site & Parkland (previously Fort Calgary). The community was established in 1875 after the fort was built.

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