40 Simple Ways to Build Community in your Neighborhood

DSC_0139-2 I’m talking about building community in your neighborhood over at Simple Mom today.  It doesn’t happen over night.  In fact, having been a part of two great neighborhood communities in the past several years, I know that it takes repeated effort.  Eventually, when that effort is rewarded, it becomes so valuable.

We have found it to be such a valued part of our life that I’d like to share simple ways you can begin to build community in your neighborhood, too.

  • Turn off the TV, computer and smart phone
  • Walk to the mailbox and greet those you pass
  • Plan a neighborhood or block party
  • Help spread bark or shovel snow
  • Help hang or take down Christmas light
  • Organize a National Night Out party
  • Plan an annual holiday party: Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day or Halloween
  • Throw a potluck or progressive meal
  • Share seeds or plant a garden together
  • Help each other move in or move out
  • Hire neighborhood kids for small jobs around the house
  • Be welcoming: open curtains and turn on lights
  • Bake extra cookies and share
  • Participate in neighborhood school events
  • Go with your children when they play outside
  • Sit on your front porch and greet others as they walk by
  • Offer tools or a helping hand
  • Buy from your neighborhood coffee shop or restaurant
  • Wave and say thank you to the mail carrier, UPS person or garbage man
  • Offer to watch other children or exchange babysitting with other parents
  • Have a neighborhood garage sale
  • Throw a backyard BBQ
  • Support children’s fundraisers
  • Schedule a regular Mom’s night out
  • Offer to water plants and pick up the mail for neighbors out of town
  • Light your fire pit in your driveway and bring out the S’mores
  • Get a cruiser bike and pedal around with the kids
  • Go for an early evening walk
  • Open your front door, a screen might be helpful if you feel exposed
  • Attend your neighborhood association meeting
  • Help kids organize a lemonade stand
  • Host a Saturday pancake feed
  • Start the game of ‘You’ve Been Booed‘ at Halloween.
  • Introduce yourself to new neighbors.
  • Volunteer as a group
  • Ask others to join you for a weekly walk, run or bike ride
  • Carpool
  • Host a neighborhood book club
  • Start a community garden
  • Create a private Facebook group for your neighborhood. Share events, recipes, photos and offer to giveaway things you no longer need
In what ways are you building community in your neighborhood?
 

Comments

  1. amconrad2004@gmail.com says:

    These are great ideas!

  2. These are all good ideas. Anything that gets you outside makes connecting with neighbors more likely–I like to garden, so that works for me. A number of people in our neighborhood walk [or walk dogs] or jog early, which is when I’m out working on my garden, so I get to say hi then. And sometimes get to exchange plants with other gardening neighbors/friends.

  3. I love the “booed” idea!
    The last couple of years for Halloween we have handed treats out on our driveway, along with some hot cocoa and cider.
    I also offer to watch the neighbor’s kids while they run to the grocery store or when the parents aren’t feeling well. It’s usually pretty simple since our kids play together on their own.

    Thanks for the great list.

  4. We hosted a neighborhood vbs this week and are hosting a neighborhood BBQ tonight. Praying we can create more community in our neighborhood. There are only a few younger families on our block. We live in an older neighborhood. I appreciate the tips you have on here. I definitely am going to make it a priority for our whole family this year to create more community in our neighborhood. Blessings!

  5. Love these ideas! We host an annual Christmas party – kind of an open house, so people can come and go and not feel bad. We love doing it.
    ~FringeGirl

  6. Kathryn says:

    Great list! Thanks for the ideas.

  7. I love this post. We just moved and being a part of a community in our neighborhood is so important. Thank you for the great list of ideas.

    I would add schedule less kid activities away from home. So many people are never home to hang out. Instead they are busy transporting their kdis and trying to make their kids be stars of many things. But what do I remember about being a kid – my neighborhood and friends!

  8. I love this list, thank you so much for sharing it. It’s so easy to go into your garage, shut the door, and stay in your own little bubble. This gave me inspiration to venture outside of that bubble. Pinning it now!

  9. I love your ideas! I can’t wait to steal some of your ideas. I too love encouraging people to take the initiative to make their neighborhood the kind of community they want it to be. I wrote a post on a similar idea from a city perspective.
    http://shaunapilgreen.com/connected-marys-story/

  10. Marci – Yes! Being home is KEY to building community, I’m so glad you brought that up.

  11. These are all great and fine. I have had a garden for years and share my harvest with a few. I have house/dog sat, watched kids, mowed lawns, added Christmas lights and brought food to a neighbor when her husband died. We for a few years hosted a 4th of July party. People have come and gone and with that has come the cliques. The dynamics sure has changed from when I first moved here 9 yrs ago. Sad. Funny how gossipy people are. Rumors have been started. I pulled away from all of that. Some are just too much in your business. I still grow my garden, sharing with couple of neighbors. DH and I still go for our walks. It is our quiet time together where we can talk without interruption of kids. We figured out who the gossip girls are and just stay away. There are a few that we still talk to when out on our walks. We still do our bon fires in the driveway and have smores. The 4th of July gatherings have stopped because of all the nasties. I miss the old days when we first moved in. Right now, acreage sounds really good to my husband and I.

  12. I have done many of these things and still working on it… Been here 13 years and people are afraid of each other, too busy, so into their religious belief systems that they do not socialize with others or I do not know what. I came from a beautiful community neighborhood family and will continue to try where I am… I am going to post this list in the joint laundry room… Thanks…

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  1. [...] I’ve shared 40 Simple Ways to Build Neighborhood in your Community over here, today. I’d love to have you join the [...]

  2. […] out Tiffany Larson’s 40 Simple Ways to Build Community in Your Neighborhood. Coming from an urban area, many of these activities may seem corny or impractical. However, we […]

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