How to Celebrate Your Kid’s Birthday During Social Distancing
Keeping your distance from friends and family is rough, especially when it’s your birthday and you’re a young kid. As parents, there’s a lot we will do to give our kids a sense of security and normalcy. And it’s never more important than on our kid’s special day.
We know that birthday parties have to look quite a bit different right now. Maybe you’ve decided to postpone a celebration or you’re planning to keep things more low-key this year. However you’re planning to tackle birthdays in this season of social distancing, the most important thing is to make your child feel loved and celebrated.
Years from now your children won’t remember the party they didn’t have or the big gift they couldn’t get. They will remember how you made them feel. The birthdays that will stand out will be the ones full of moments where they felt special and uniquely cared for. That’s what we all want. It’s what we all remember.
So we’re pulling together several inspiring ideas for an at-home birthday that is as exciting and memorable as any big bash. Put your party pants on and take these ideas for a spin.
1. Do a countdown to their birthday.
Help your kids mark time and build excitement. If you treat it like a holiday that everyone is waiting for, the anticipation makes the day of celebration feel all the more precious. Create your own large countdown calendar and place it somewhere prominent in the house. You can even use dry erase markers on a large window of the house and mark each day in a pane of glass.
2. Start the celebrating from the moment they wake up.
A great way to do this is by creating a balloon avalanche outside their bedroom door. Simply tape string or streamers in a zig-zag pattern outside the door, blow up balloons and fill your make-shift web with the balloons so that when they open the door, balloons cascade into their room. You can also bring them breakfast in bed if they’re a bit older, or simply take them a pancake or muffin with a candle in it and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ first thing to start the day.
3. Infuse surprise into the day.
Imagine small ways to keep the excitement alive throughout the day. Hide little notes of affirmation around the house, place balloons in closets and cabinets or pop confetti cannons any time someone says “birthday.” Have friends or family come by every hour on the hour, ring the doorbell and leave a little note or treat on the doorstep. Your kids will start to catch on and get excited for each new hour.
4. Get silly and have fun.
One of the perks of celebrating with just your family is that you can be goofy and there’s no one to embarrass yourself in front of. Have a “minute to win it” game tournament and enjoy laughing until you cry. Create an obstacle course in your house or backyard. You can create a course and challenge the kids to complete it and then let them create a course to challenge you. Or use string or streamers and tape to create a “laser maze” in a hallway or between rows of chairs.
5. Make gifts go further.
When it comes to giving gifts, one option is to buy a few smaller gifts and create an age appropriate scavenger hunt around the house leading them from one gift to the next. The activity makes the gifts feel all the more exciting and lavish.
6. Throw a parade in their honor.
One way to involve friends and family while remaining contact-free is by doing a neighborhood parade. There’s two ways you can organize it. You can either load your kids into your car (or ride bicycles) and make them the star of the “parade” and visit all your friends and neighbors or you can ask your friends to come by in their cars, on bicycle, or by foot. Ask them to make signs, play music, honk, wave and help you celebrate your kiddo with excitement and fanfare.
7. Camp in.
If you have space in your backyard, you can campout, make s’mores and tell stories. If not, build a pillow fort in your living space, make popcorn, stay up late watching their favorite movies or playing cards, board games or video games.
8. Let them know what they mean to you.
At a meal or whenever you have the family gathered, go around one by one and share your favorite things about the birthday kid. Let them know you notice all their unique and special talents, character and personality. It’s amazing to hear even what young siblings have to say and how they express their love. Tender moments like this are rare during a big event, so we encourage you to take advantage of this new opportunity to make your kids feel loved and celebrated for who they are.
So no matter what has changed this year, if you focus on showering your birthday boy or girl with attention and affection, it will be a birthday they remember for the rest of their lives.