Since this summer’s No Child Left Inside (NCLI) block party started kind of slow, I pulled out my laptop and started tweeting about events (and non events). Twitter has since erased all those tweets from the public record, so I decided to retrieve them and put them on the web for anyone interested in planning their own party.
I reversed the Twitter order so that the first tweets are at the top of the page, rather than lost at the bottom. That way it reads more like a story. I also added some tweets from before and after the party, plus I added a bit of commentary that I neglected to tweet during the party. Finally, I did some editing and reforming, removing various aspects of Twitter speak but leaving a few #NCLIBlockParty “hash tags,” as they’re called. (That’s a way to search for all the tweets on a topic.)
So, starting a week or so before the party:
Our “No Child Left Inside” block party is next week. I blogged about its philosophy & posted the activity schedule here: http://bit.ly/xyKwU 4:02 PM Aug 15th
Just posted NO PARKING signs for tomorrow’s “No Child Left Inside” block party http://bit.ly/xyKwU It may rain a bit, but we’ll survive. 2:06 PM Aug 21st
Of course, my kids feel too old for all this. They will help with nature activities, but would rather chase a possible Stint in Ohio. 2:12 PM Aug 21st
Forecast for tomorrow’s “No Child Left Inside” block party: Rain ending, migrating birds arriving for our nature walk. 10:08 PM Aug 21st
And now it’s August 22, the date of the NCLI Block Party:
Weather radar showed some migration in our area last night — saw 4 Robins in front yards instead of the 1 we’ve been seeing. 6:45 AM Aug 22nd
Much more migration to the west of us. Hope nothing rare reported on birding lists — the boys would be begging to leave our #NCLIBlockParty. 6:47 AM Aug 22nd
I almost forgot the other important things about the weather: It’s about 60 and NOT RAINING on our #NCLIBlockParty. 6:56 AM Aug 22nd
So far I’ve counted 10 bird species and only 2 humans other than myself. Fortunately, our #NCLIBlockParty nature walk runs until bedtime. 7:47 AM Aug 22nd
An Annual Cicada just started a song, then quit. Temperature only 59 degrees, but at least it’s sunny! 8:07 AM Aug 22nd
It turned out that my kids were the only ones who woke up early enough for the 8 a.m. nature walk. So we decided to fit in nature observations and activities throughout the day, as they happened.
1 more human — Emma, a naturalist since her toddler years, current geology student, going back to college. 8:42 AM Aug 22nd
3 birds are singing, Cardinal, American Goldfinch & Starling, plus lots of cheeps and chirps, as expected this time of year. 8:44 AM Aug 22nd
The Village’s block party website advises, “Supervise children at all times.” What would @FreeRangeKids say to that? 8:48 AM Aug 22nd
Our street is now closed to traffic — kids are appearing outdoors (some without parents). Safe streets make a difference! 9:10 AM Aug 22nd
The DinoJump and a new neighbor’s moving truck showed up at the same time. Got that sorted out. On with the show! 9:43 AM Aug 22nd
Kids in DinoJump or on bikes/skateboards in the street. Except for supervising DinoJump, adults leaving kids on their own. 11:31 AM Aug 22nd
Having friends over is a vital part of #NCLIBlockParty. Ethan has friends over, Aaron’s can’t come yet. Ethan’s busy, Aaron’s bored.11:35 AM Aug 22nd
We have 13 bird species so far, all summer residents. Aaron and I are going to search for fall migrants. 11:41 AM Aug 22nd
Oh my, Ethan and his friends have started climbing trees! (The few that can be climbed on our block) #NCLIBlockParty must be a success! 12:27 PM Aug 22nd
Now the high school freshmen are playing with sticks and stones. Could we ask for anything more? 12:37 PM Aug 22nd
The next tweet relates to one of the activities we did with the younger kids: Turning over rocks, catching the bugs, worms, and slugs, and putting them in containers for a closer look.
2 preschool girls were just arguing over who had the cutest slug. As they left, they said I should “take good care of them.” 1:12 PM Aug 22nd
Busy, busy, busy — digging for treasures, trading at Nature Swap, wild pets (like tadpoles, mosquito larvae), & soil bugs. 3:36 PM Aug 22nd
Time to slow things down with nature crafts, giant bubbles, building with bark and sticks. 3:38 PM Aug 22nd
Cool thing this year: Lots of 6th to 9th graders active outside with their friends — mixing, talking, doing our activities. 3:40 PM Aug 22nd
Got to fire up the grills soon. I’ve taken some digital photos of activities, but I won’t have time to post. 3:49 PM Aug 22nd
Our bubble mix: 2 buckets warm water (less what kids spill); biggest Dawn Ultra available; 6 oz CVS glycerin; stand back… 4:26 PM Aug 22nd
Six-on-six touch football in the street, coached/officiated by one of the dads. 4:48 PM Aug 22nd
First casualty of the day was an accidentally smashed slug. Second: The coach/dad was hit on the nose with a football. 5:23 PM Aug 22nd
Another dad stepped in as coach/official for big-kid football — his kids are 7 and under, so I think he’s loving it. 5:25 PM Aug 22nd
It’s great to have a long block. We have room for football, bubbles, little kids stuff, bikes, & dinner setup at same time. 5:28 PM Aug 22nd
Dinner’s over, time for bingo under the stars…er, clouds. This tradition is led by one of the founders of our block party. 6:52 PM Aug 22nd
Suspicious activity in the alley — everyone reminded to lock their back door and keep an eye on loose bikes. 7:22 PM Aug 22nd
Our local band (headliners) swung deals for a stage, sound system & lighting — the opening act brought the sound system. 7:24 PM Aug 22nd
As one end of the block rocks on, the other plays ghost in the graveyard. And glow sticks decorate everything. 8:56 PM Aug 22nd
The street is quiet — just a few clusters of teens/adults. Maybe the day did wear out the kids, as the parents hoped. 9:54 PM Aug 22nd
The #NCLIBlockParty is over! As I took down the barricades, the last kids on the street scootered along, taking down No Parking signs. Bye! 11:10 PM Aug 22nd
And now some tweets from the next day and beyond. I’ve been keeping an eye out for kids playing outside on our block.
The block looks pretty good AM after #NCLIBlockParty. Folks already picked up most the trash, squirrels and starlings getting what’s left. 8:18 AM Aug 23rd
#NCLIBlockParty lost-and-found at record low: 1 scooter, 5 dot paintings, & 1 steak knife left behind — on our front steps until reclaimed. 8:21 AM Aug 23rd Later some lost kitchenware also turned up down the street.
24 hrs ago there were 50 kids playing outside on our block. Now there is 1 parent pulling 1 toddler in a wagon. (sigh…) 4:01 PM Aug 23rd
It’s sunset, but the middle-school skateboarders & four families with younger kids are outside on our block. I’m smiling…. 7:40 PM Aug 23rd
And finally, from mid-September:
A dozen middle schoolers took back our street! A diverse group in gender, ethnicity, & mode of transportation. (Just went home for supper.) 5:23 PM Sep 16th I wish that happened more often!
That’s it for now. I may add photos and more commentary later.