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9 Ideas for Welcoming New Neighbors

Make the new kids on the block feel at home with these fresh and functional gift ideas.

You saw the moving truck in the driveway, and the children romping in the yard of the house that just sold. You’d like to introduce yourself and make the new family on the street feel at home. Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, president and CEO of Brakins Consulting & Psychological Services in Minneapolis, offers these ideas:

1. Give them the makings for a picnic.
Put maps of local parks and hiking trails, plastic dishes and food in a small picnic basket and take it to them.

2. Make an activity box for the children.
Include crayons, markers, coloring books, puzzles and juice boxes. These items will keep the children occupied while the parents unpack.

3. Make an address book for the parents.
Put a list of all of the neighbors' addresses and phone numbers in a three-ring binder. You could also include a list of important local phone numbers such as government offices, schools and doctors.

4. Make an address book for the children.
Put photos of all the neighborhood kids in a binder along with their names, ages and addresses. Include a calendar for setting up play dates.

5. Make a coupon for a tour of the neighborhood that your new neighbors can redeem at their convenience.
You get to be the tour guide.

6. Tell them where to have fun.
Put together a packet of takeout menus from nearby restaurants, information on local clubs, library locations and garbage and recycling information.

7. Bake a casserole that can be frozen or refrigerated.
Your new neighbors can eat it for dinner while they are getting their kitchen set up. Put it in a disposable aluminum tray so they don't have to worry about returning your dish. Or you could include the new dish as a housewarming gift.

8. Give them a welcome mat as a housewarming gift.
Pick a colorful one for their new front porch and include a card that says you’re laying out the welcome mat for them.

9. Give them the scoop on local services.
Get the phone numbers for baby sitters, neighborhood yard services and handymen and glue the info on a magnet so they can put it on the refrigerator.

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