2018 Block Party Handbook

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TO YOUR BLOCK Block parties are a great way to connect with neighbours and celebrate your community. We’ve put together a few fun activity ideas for you to make your next block party the best one ever.




BLOCK PARTY PLAY KITS Add some play to your party! Sign up to borrow one of our new Block Party Play Kits to use at your next block party. The play kits include outdoor game equipment suitable for all ages. Learn how at coquitlam.ca/blockparties


MAKE IT MUSICAL Host a Talent Show or Porch Concert Bring some music to your block by recruiting your neighbourhood performers—you never know what kind of talent might be just around the corner. Create a stage on your front porch, in your backyard or even in your living room. Get the kids to create tickets and let the show begin!

Make Music with Water Line at least five glasses next to each other and fill them with different amounts of water. The first glass should have just a little water and the last glass should almost be full. The glasses in the middle should have slightly more than the last. See if you can get a tune going by hitting the glasses in a certain order.

Homemade Harmonies Use your imagination to make musical instruments from everyday household items. Drill holes into a PVC pipe to make a flute or try stretching elastic bands over an empty shoebox for a makeshift guitar.

Homemade Maracas Making your own music shakers or maracas is easy. Use recycled bottles, toilet paper rolls or two paper cups taped together. Add small rocks, rice, lentils, corns or buttons to provide the shaker noise. Once complete, decorate your shakers for the final touch. 4

Start a Pots & Pans Band Gather an assortment of pots, pans, and wooden, metal and plastic utensils; experiment with the different sounds each one creates!

TAKE IT OUTSIDE Outdoor Movie Night Create your own outdoor theatre with a movie screen for the neighbourhood. Use an old white sheet and hang it from a tree, a couple poles, a fence or find a neighbour with a white house or garage door and set up your theatre there. You’ll need: • White cloth or sheet • Posts or wire to hang sheet from • Projector • Blankets, pillows, lawn chairs • Popcorn and snacks

Backyard Bowling Bring the bowling alley to your backyard, with a few simple supplies. Use one litre bottles filled with water to give them some weight, and arrange them in a triangle with the single pin closest to the bowler. Use streamers or sticks to make out the bowling lane width and length. You’ll need: • Water bottles (at least six) • Soccer or dodge ball • Streamers or sticks


Homemade Bubbles Who can resist blowing bubbles? Get creative and try using different items as bubble wands. Fun ideas can include straws, Mason jar lid rings, wire coat hangers and string tied in a circle. You’ll need: • Dish soap • Water • Glycerin (can be found at many pharmacies or where cooking supplies are sold) • Sugar • Container with lid, such as a plastic food container • Bubble wands directions

Mix one cup of water with two tablespoons of dish soap,

one tablespoon of glycerin and one teaspoon of sugar. Stir the mixture gently and store for one hour before using. Once you’re ready to use it, gently swirl the container in case any ingredients have separated. Then, dip your bubble wands into the solution for a few seconds, lift out and blow! You can also make a bubble solution without glycerin and sugar; just use soap and water. There are lots of recipes to try; search online to find the best one!

Old Fashioned Field Races Ready, set, go! Re-live those childhood memories with a good old fashioned field race. They’re fun, interactive and suitable for all ages—young and old.

Potato Sack Race Old fashioned sack races have been a classic game for generations. Place both legs in the sack and get ready to hop to the finish line, the first person across wins. You’ll need: • Sacks; try potato sacks or large pillow cases for smaller children • String for the finish line

Three-Legged Race

Egg & Spoon Race

Stand next to your partner and tie a rope or cloth securely around your touching ankles. If your partner has an opposite dominant side than you, tie your nondominant legs together. Put your arm around your partner's waist, and have your partner do the same.

Balancing a hardboiled egg in a spoon, race your neighbours to the finish line. The first person to cross the finish line without dropping their egg wins!

You’ll need: • Rope or cloth to tie legs together

You’ll need: • Spoons • Hardboiled eggs • String for the finish line

• String for the finish line

Water Balloon Battleship Let the games begin! Here’s a take on a classic water balloon fight. Create a barrier to hide behind with either a suspended sheet or build your wall by stacking boxes so that the teams cannot see each other. Lay down in different patterns to represent your battleships. Players will take turns throwing balloons over the walls trying to hit the other team’s battleships. Everyone who is hit is out. Keep playing until there is only one player left. You’ll need: • Sheet or boxes to build the wall • String to suspend the sheet • Water balloons


CELEBRATE CULTURE Bring the block together to celebrate a cultural holiday. Plan your block party around a special holiday to celebrate the occasion and share traditions with your community.


Host a Multicultural Potluck Maybe the next master chef is in your neighbourhood! Host a block party potluck and share your recipes by combining them into a neighbourhood cookbook.

HOST A PLAY STREET Did you know you can apply to close your street for a block party? Learn how at coquitlam.ca/blockparties.

Street Hockey Competition


Bring your neighbours together for some friendly competition. Organize a street hockey game or tournament for some fun, active play.

Try a variation on this classic game by switching up the layout of numbers or trying different shapes. Why not create two hopscotch patterns side-by-side and make it a competition!

Host a Bike Parade Take advantage of your block party street closure and host a bike parade. Decorate the bikes with stickers or streamers—even an old deck of playing cards can be clipped to the bike spokes! Collect simple prizes to give out for the most creative bikes.

Build a Cardboard Box City Reuse those old cardboard boxes and build a fort for kids to play in. Build it across the street, between the houses, in a yard—how big can you build it? 9

GET CREATIVE Block parties are the perfect gathering to create community art. Try these ideas out and email us any new ideas you try!

Chalk Art

Dish Soap Art

Share your artistic side with the neighbourhood by creating temporary works of art on the pavement.

You’ll be amazed at the artwork you can create using dish soap!

Fun ideas:

You’ll need: • Thick water colour paper

• Create a neighbourhood mural

• Acrylic paint

• Draw a scene on the ground to take photos with; try balloons to hold, a crown to try on or butterfly wings!

• Paint brushes

• Host a chalk drawing competition

• Dish soap • Spray paint • Water/garden hose directions

Completely cover the paper with acrylic paint. Using a spoon, drizzle the dish soap over the surface of the paint in random patterns, making sure to leave some of the surface uncovered. Spray the entire surface with spray paint. Let stand 10 – 20 minutes, until the spray paint is dry to the touch.


Use the garden hose to completely rise off the soap and watch as your finished painting is revealed!

Tin Can Lanterns Create your own beautiful lanterns using empty tin cans. You’ll need: • Variety of empty tin cans, labels removed • Water • Hammer and nails • Printed design templates and tape (optional) • Spray paint; black works well • Tea lights or string of LED lights directions

Fill the tin cans with water and place in your freezer until all water is frozen. Take the cans out of the freezer and tape on your

design template, or just use your imagination to create a design of your own. Using your hammer and nails, punch small holes in the side of the can to create a pattern you like. The frozen water inside the can will maintain the can’s structure while you create the design. Once all the water is melted and the can is dry, finish it off by spray painting the outside. Use tea lights or a string of LED lights to show off the beautiful designs you’ve created.

Eco-Art Collage Create a scavenger hunt that includes a natural element from everyone’s yard. For example, challenge the kids to find a maple leaf and a dandelion from around the neighbourhood. Once all the pieces are found, put them together to create your own community eco-art collage. 11

Help us build the Block Party Handbook! Do you have a great idea for your next block party? Share your ideas with us and they could be included in our 2019 Block Party Handbook. Please send us a detailed description, a link (if applicable) and photos of the finished product. Email blockparties@coquitlam.ca to submit your idea.

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