How about getting some of the neighbours together for some fun activities?
~ Do you and your neighbours have pets? How about having a pet show? The kids can bring their pets and show them off to each other. Ribbons can be given to the furriest, the biggest, the smallest – your kids can help make the ribbons up ahead of time. You might want to have some blank ones on hand so that you can make up additional categories so that each pet wins one. Look at this cute idea for award ribbons made from cupcake liners: http://urbancomfort.typepad.com/urban_nest/2010/01/cupcake-liner-cards.html The kids could even demonstrate their pets’ best tricks or give a short talk about their favourite things about their pets.
~ Hold the neighbourhood Olympics! The kids can make medals to hand out to the winners. If one of the neighbours has a pool there could be swimming events, you could hold a variety of running races, do track and field events like broad jump and high jump (place a broomstick between two pieces of sturdy furniture), do shot put with a ball, or javelin with a yardstick or something similar. You could even let the kids think up their own events and call it the wacky Olympics!
~ When I was a kid, we used to hold neighbourhood carnivals (we did ours to raise money for charity but you could also just do it for fun). You can make a Plinko game using pegboard – put pegs or nails or something similar in the holes to staggered columns for the balls to bounce down through. Add cups at the bottom to catch the balls and use ping pong balls. Cut holes in a board or a box to create a beanbag toss. In place of a dunk tank, we would use one of those large boxes from a refrigerator (for a temporary one) or you could use a large piece of wood to make one that can be used again. Cut a hole in it the size of a face at head height. A person stands behind it with his/her face in the opening and you try to throw wet sponges at them. You can attach balloons to a board and use it as a dart toss if well supervised by adults and only as an event for older kids. Use something like large pop bottles in a bowling type arrangement or stack cans in a pyramid and kids can throw balls or frisbees at them to knock them over. For prizes, ask all participating families to donate some gently used toys that they’d like to get rid of!
~ How about a good old fashioned picnic complete with games like sack races, three legged races, and watermelon seed spitting contests? You could turn it into a block party!
~ Hold an art exhibit. The kids can all make paintings, collages, sculptures, and other arts and crafts and put on a display for others to attend. You could even hold a regular weekly art time – maybe with parents taking turns to lead a craft with the kids – for a few weeks leading up to the show.