EDMONTON -- When Kristen Ackerman and her three kids left their well appointed southwest Edmonton home for their daily walk, its not just to get some fresh air and sunshine.

"Where are we going today?" asked Mom.

While her sons Sawyer and Jackson stomp their boots into ice covered puddles, four-year-old daughter Marley scans nearby houses for some neighbourly encouragement.

"Let’s see if they put their words in."

Less than a block from home they spotted hand drawn posters in a second floor window saying "Stay safe" and "Brave“ But they also got waves and hello's from the young family eager to put smiles on familiar faces. 

"Hi guys! How are you? We miss you," shouted Kristen.

These signs of encouragement and positive thinking seem to be popping up city wide.

Families who can’t get too close to their neighbours anymore thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, are putting inspirational messages on sidewalks and windows for anyone to see.

"I don’t think it can't not bring us closer," says Kristen.

Ackerman says her neighbours in Keswick actually have daily themes, so anytime they bundle up and head out, its a bit of mystery what they will see.

"It’s just nice to know other people are in their homes thinking about you, doing it for you and you’re doing it for them. If you can make the kids smile through all of this, you’re doing it right."

Isolation may be keeping their family safe from infection, but the Ackermans are doing what they can to stay connected, from a distance, to those around them.

"It makes you appreciate all those time when you wish you talked for just a bit longer."

Added Jackson "And hugged just a little bit tighter."