Birthday parties may be cancelled, but the celebration must go on. For parents having their children’s birthday amidst a pandemic, it’s definitely going to take some effort and creativity to make your kid feel special while on a lockdown. If you’re stressing over finding alternatives to celebrate your child’s birthday during quarantine, here’s a list of ideas to make sure your birthday girl or birthday boy still feels extra special.
1 Surprise them with balloons
If there’s one thing that screams birthday, it’s the balloons. Blow up as many and as huge as you can the night before. You can either tape them up to your kid’s door in a way that when they open it in the morning, it’s going to be a balloon waterfall that falls on them, or you can scatter them around the house so the birthday vibe is felt everywhere. Make sure you come up with a lot of balloon games, too! (Who knows, you might be playing with these for weeks, maybe even after the quarantine is over!)
2 Gather friends and family on a video call
Have a virtual party with his friends and your family. Set everything up a week before their special day so you know who can attend. Ask them in advance to write down what they love the most about the celebrant and say it during the call along with their birthday wishes. You can also ask them to prepare a little cupcake with a candle on it or wear DIY party hats as you all sing Happy Birthday.
You can also play a virtual scavenger hunt. Ask everyone on the call to find something in their houses like a ringing bell or a sock with a hole on it or whatever fun things you can think of. The first person to come back to the screen with the item gets the point. Optional: You can send in e-gift cards as prizes for the winners. (Don’t forget to tell everyone the celebrant should win at least one round!)
3 Backyard Obstacle Course and Indoor Camping
If your kid is a mover, then this idea will be perfect. We’ve found a cool idea from Raising Dragons about setting up a backyard obstacle course in just around 15 minutes! They’re able to create tunnels, mini hurdles, ring toss, balance beam, and more using only pool noodles, sharpened pencils/tent stakes, and duct tape. Kids are going to have a lot of fun going through the obstacle course for hours and can retire with microwaved s’mores and hotdogs in a tent that you pitch in the living room. You can also set up a pretend campfire with craft paper to get that camping vibe. With all their energy exhausted, it will be nice to dim the lights and let them read by flashlights until they fall asleep.
4 Mail Cards and Gifts
Who’s not excited to get something in the mail? Your kid will surely love this. If they can read, you can ask their friends and your distant family to write birthday cards and send them in the mail if you have enough time to receive it. If your child is still young and can’t read yet, then having gifts on special delivery will be perfect!
5 Make it a “Yes” Day
Let them set the rules for their special day.
A pancake tower drenched in chocolate sauce plus strawberries for breakfast? Yes!
She wants to bake her own cake and pizza? Awesome!
She likes to dress up like Elsa in Frozen and she wants you to be Anna? Go for it!
Movie night? No problem!
Whatever she says that won’t harm herself or others, say YES. And as you settle in for the night, you will realize how simple things can make your kid happy.
It’s frustrating that this virus is keeping us from doing things as planned, but whatever we end up doing for our kids on their birthday during this uncertain time, let’s make sure to make the day all about them. Listen to them and hear what they want. Who knows, it can be better than what you have been planning all along. Be there for them and help them make it a memorable one.