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Click on each of the icons below to find out how to whimsicalize and gamify your neighbourhood for everyone

Rural / Remote

Use rain activated or temporary non-toxic paint that can be used on gravel/non-paved surfaces or grass.

Residences (Dwellings)

Challenge each floor in an apartment building or other multi-level residence to decorate their floor in a distinctive way. Decorate the landings on stairwells (ensuring it is within the fire code regulations).

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion

Challenge neighbours to find no- or low-cost ways to participate in or organize games.


Consider offering a variety of activities that are active both physically and intellectually that support people with dementia.


Ensure areas or paths used are clear of debris and feature street signage with large and visible letters. Install and decorate benches for function and fun. Strive to ensure activities are inter-generational and multi-generational. Activities such as Pokémon GO and geocaching are popular intergenerational activities.


Provide shelter or choose sheltered areas to ensure that people can enjoy the activities and installations (shaded in the summer, access to shelter and warmth in the winter).

Hopscotch: Boards, races, and obstacle courses

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Easy and inexpensive hopscotch boards on your local pavement are a great way to engage with your neighbours and bring some play and whimsy to your community! Leave a chalk box out with free chalk and a sign to encourage creativity. Make the boxes larger for those using a wheelchair.


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Using cornstarch paint or chalk, add a racetrack on the streets in your neighbourhood. This example is from Copenhagen and every person who came upon it ran down the lanes!

Eyebombers (Googly Eyes on Inanimate Objects)

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Bring your neighbourhood to life. Place googly eyes where you least expect them and laugh about it with your neighbours! Placing them throughout the neighbourhood may encourage people to walk/wheel more in order to find them.

Install Swings at a Bus Shelter

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Ask your transportation department to install swinging bus shelter seats to make waiting more enjoyable and active! In Montreal, some swinging bus shelters even incorporate music with movement so you can make music with those who are waiting beside you. “Urban hackers” have even installed swings at bus stops in London and Moscow.

Draw a Labyrinth

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Tired of hopscotch? Consider creating a labyrinth as a change of pace. Walking through a labyrinth is a form of active meditation that is challenging for the brain and an ancient practice of centering oneself. You can use low-cost materials like tape, paint or chalk to easily create the circular path, or for a more permanent creation you can use stones.

Water Games

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Water games are a fun, competitive and low-cost way to cool down in the summer heat. You can bring super soakers, buckets, hoses, or sponges to a public space with willing and ready participants to get some physical activity in while cooling down. Be sure to select a place near a water source and be mindful of those who don’t want to join in! Check out Have a Watergun Fight for more details.

It’s a Mystery (or Romance or Adventure) to Me!

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Create a walking novel in your neighbourhood, using signs and a bit of creativity. Or get a few copies of a children’s book and set up a StoryWalk® for the kids in your neighbourhood!

Plan an unexpected scavenger hunt

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In downtown Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, nine bronze statues were installed as part of the “Eckhart the Mouse Scavenger Hunt.”  Residents of all ages were encourage to find the statues by following clues to find the mice at different historical sites.

Asphalt Art

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More fun and creative ways to use paint and chalk to liven up streets, tame the traffic, be active, and meet new people

Bus Stop Gym to Recharge

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Using gamification techniques, this RECHARGE prototype was created in Singapore to combat sedentary lives and help nudge active behaviour. By pedalling while waiting at the bus stop, users gain points and can track how much activity they and their fellow competitors have been getting through an app. Find out more about the project and ideas behind it on the Soulab website.

Quick Tips and Ideas

  • Decorate trees with lights and ornaments.
  • Decorate with gnomes!
  • Designate an area as a painted rock exchange area (leave one and/or take one).
  • Keep a sheet to record the number of a particular item or decoration seen on the hike/walk (e.g., ladybugs, fairies).
  • Put out a chalk box with free chalk and a sign to encourage creativity.
  • Organize forest bathing with directional prompts with stations.
  • Place musical instruments like drums, a xylophone or chimes along a trail system.