This has been a tough year, and I’m sure we’re all entering the summer with a weird mix of exhaustion, nerves, and excitement as we anticipate life returning to some semblance of normal.  I’m sure we’re feeling it, but so are our neighbours. 

So what a perfect opportunity to be God’s hands and feet, to spread His love throughout our communities, to love our neighbours.   

On Sundays, we’re going to spend the summer looking at God’s call to love our neighbours. Here are a few practical ideas for how your kids can practice loving their neighbours this summer.
We've got a few different ideas for different ages!  Just choose what works for your family.

Intro to Summer Focus

and explanation for all those goodies in your packet!
Surprise!

Head over to a lcoal dollar store and put together a little goodie bag of fun things, and surprise another family!  Talk to your kid(s) about who they would like to surprise;  then have them help pick out items, pack up the goodie bag, and deliver the surprise!

UNICEF Vaccines
Help provide vaccines to those in need - a special opportunity for kids in Grade 4 and 5!

 

By learning about science and vaccines, then completing short quizzes, your kids can provide free vaccines to those in need. Every time a student scores 80% or higher on a quiz, they donate life-saving vaccines to UNICEF Canada.

Register at https://kidsboostimmunity.com/user/register using the code "watson-LPC45"

Team name is Colossians 4:5 (Thanks for the idea Athan!)

 

Sidewalks of Hope

Grab some chalk and fill the sidewalks with encouragement and thanks to all our essential workers!  Ask your child(ren) who they would like to encourage

Community Hopscotch

If you live in a cul-de-sac or on a quiet street, use sidewalk chalk to create a giant hopscotch game!

Or maybe your kids like the idea of a "path of challenge" better.  Consider including differently-shaped lines to follow, circles to jump in, and blocks with challenges like, “10 jumping jacks” or “20 squats.”

Invite your neighbors to add on to the courses you create. Enjoy hanging out in your yard and watching others as they play on your paths.

Donate Toys

Have your kids take some time to sort through their toys.  Do they have any that they don't play with anymore?  That other kids might like to play with?

Gather those up and them to one of our many local thrift stores!

Prayer Walk

Grab the family and take a walk around your neighbourhood.  Pray as you walk.  Blowing bubbles after each prayer makes it even more fun!  

You can pray for the community as a whole, specific neighbours you know, and even those you don't!  Prayers can be as simple as "God, please bless them."  God knows our hearts, and even a simple prayer can help turn our hearts toward God and our neighbours.

It's a Stinky Job!

It's a stinky job, but a great way to love your community.  Have you been walking along any trails near your home and noticed litter?  Grab your family, some plastic gloves and a trash bag to clean it up, as an act of worship for God.  While none of your neighbours may know it was your family that did it, God knows!

Share a Laugh

Grab the notepad from your packet, write out your favourite joke or draw a silly picture, and put it in a neighbour's mailbox!

Car Wash

Offer to wash a neighbour's car.  While your kids are playing in the water and washing the car, embrace the opportunity for you as the parent to maybe get to know that neighbour a bit better!  Even if you don't know this neighbour very well, most people are happy to offer kids an opportunity to learn about the importance of kindness.

Icy Treats

If you see a neighbour outside working during the hotter days, offer a cold drink or popsicle!  A super simple way to love a neighbour!

Snail Mail

The medically vulnerable have had a very isolated year.   Consider sending a physical piece of mail--filled with words of encouragement or adorable pictures--to a long term care facility near you.  Let the vulnerable know they are remembered, cared for, loved.  

Celebrate Milestones

Be on the lookout for neighbours that are reaching milestones, and help them celebrate!

Create door hangings, mailbox decorations, or yard signs for them to display.  Grab some sidewalk chalk and write an encouraging message  Let your kids creativity lead the way!

As your neighbors miss out on important celebrations during this season, show them that they are remembered, celebrated, and loved.

Stained Glass Windows

Add colour to your windows as a way to spread some cheer to your neighbours!

 

Simply create your design with some painter's tape, paint, remove the tape--and you're done!

 

Suggested recipe for paint that will remove easily: mix kids crayola washable paint with a bit of water and a drop of dawn soap

 

https://www.craftymorning.com/paint-your-own-stained-glass-windows/

Hearts in the Window

If pets, or limited supplies, make doing a stained glass window impractical--you can still spread love and cheer to your neighbours by decorating your window with paper hearts!  Your kids may not be able to play with their friends in the neighbourhood, but they can still help their friends feel less alone while social distancing.