6 Community Invitations to Play + Build Collaborative Skills


Below you’ll find five invitations to play! These creativity building tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador Zina Harrington.

As a parent, I honestly believe that our children will reside in a world where knowledge is simply not enough to succeed. How do we prepare our children for a world we cannot even imagine? The answer is simple: CREATIVITY. [Read full article: Going Beyond Knowledge]

This summer encourage creativity and set out neighborhood invitations to play.

How do you set-up an invitation to play? Basically, just prep and set out all the tools a child will need to complete an activity and then wait for them to find it. You can set-up multiple invitations inside and outside. The key is to let them stumble upon it and engage without encouragement. Let them lead the activity!

Look for opportunities to involve the neighborhood kids! Being able to collaborate with other people is a life skill all children need to learn.

6 Community Invitations to Play

1. Set-up a community art easel out in the yard. Welcome the neighborhood kids to come and CREATE.

Be sure to let them know they can use as much paper as needed!

Invitations to Play - Community Art Easel

2. Set-up an obstacle course. Oh the power of something as simple as Activity Cones!

Invitations to Play - Build an obstacle course

Additional sources of inspiration:

3. Gather items from around the house and have a dress-up bin in the garage. Check out this list of 10 Must-Have Items for this pretend play activity.

4. Use this FREE printable to create construction work orders for you little sandbox architect.

5. Have a basket of chalk that is ALWAYS out near the sidewalk when your family is playing. Melissa & Doug’s Jumbo Triangular Chalk Sticks are easy to grasp and won’t roll away. Let the kids simply create!

10 Jumbo Triangular Chalk Sticks

One of the summer community activities I have planned is to draw a mandala on the driveway. I can’t wait to see how the kids fill it in! Will they go with creative chalk Zen Tangles or perhaps fill it with pedals and leaves from around the neighborhood? Be inspired by this wonderful Nature Mandalas post over at Nurture Store.

6. Don’t live near a lake or ocean? No worries. Set-up a beach in your backyard!

How interactive are your kids with other families in the neighborhood? Let’s chat in the comments.


Zina from Let's Lasso the MoonThese creative play tips are brought to you by Melissa & Doug, written by our Blog Ambassador
Zina Harrington.

Zina is the author of Let’s Lasso the Moon, where she inspires parents and children to interact creatively and enjoy the beauty of everyday moments.

See all Blog Ambassador posts by Zina
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6 Community Invitations to Play + Build Collaborative Skills *love the idea of group invitations to play


  1. […] You can find me over at Melissa & Doug’s Playtime Press sharing five additional Community Invitations to Play today. My favorite thing about our Melissa […]