There’s no better way to kick off the summer than to get new and old neighbors together for some fun in the sun and a hearty barbecue. In fact, the annual block party held in the neighborhood where I grew up has a special place among my summertime memories.
Though traditional block party activities such as the dunk tank and the bounce house are fun, they can be costly. And according to Yahoo, people are taking a D.I.Y. approach to their games and outdoor activities this summer.
So here are some easy-to-plan and affordable ideas sure to be the hit of your next block party:
1. Make your own sidewalk chalk: Though some planning is required (to account for drying time), it takes just 20 minutes to make vibrant and safe-to-use sidewalk chalk. Enlist the kids to help you with the following recipe:
1 cup plaster of Paris
1 cup water
Powdered tempera paint
Chalk mold (use anything from small paper cups to shaped ice cube trays)
Mix plaster, water and powdered tempera paint. Pour the mixture into the mold and let dry. Remove chalk from the mold and let set for at least 24 hours before use.
Use the chalk to play hangman, hopscotch, or to simply draw.
2. Design a bean bag toss: Cornhole has become a popular outdoor activity, but it’s actually both less expensive and less time-consuming to buy the game. For a less-costly alternative, try making a ring toss. Just glue an old coffee can to the inside of an old shoe box or crate and use large washers as rings. Try to toss the washers in the coffee can.
3. Host a bicycle parade: This activity takes a bit more planning, but is a fun memory from my own childhood block parties. Tell your neighbors to bring their children’s bicycles and have streamers, balloons and other items available for decorating them. After all bikes are decorated, have the kids parade up and down the driveway (or the street, provided it has been closed for the party) and give prizes for categories such as “most elaborate” or “most creative.”
What are some of your favorite fun and affordable summer activities?