Celebrating your child’s birthday during stay at home orders or having a birthday during social distancing can be a big disappointment for children of all ages. We’ve come up with a list of 25 ways to celebrate the little ones in your life when they hit milestones. In our current world of “social distancing” and isolation you can still celebrate birthdays in big ways and even get your family and friends involved.
COVID 19 Birthday Party Celebration Ideas
It’s time to get creative and know that your kids will remember the fun, no matter what you end up doing. Someday soon we’ll be back to having family and friends over for cake or celebrating with fun birthday parties in public spaces. For now, here are our favorite ways to celebrate birthdays at home.
Decorate Your Front Yard
“We rented a HUGE sign for our daughter’s 4th birthday and after seeing how special she felt, we already booked signs for the next few birthdays in our house.” Katy Mann says. “As people from the neighborhood drove by, they would honk and wave, it was a very special day.”
Check out Indy with Kids favorite pick, Sign Dreamers. Owner, Gina will take good care of you. But don’t wait to reserve a spot on her calendar, this birthday treat is growing in popularity.
Silly Safaris Birthday Animal Grams
Silly Safaris is offering personalized “Animal Grams”. Your recipient can receive a cute video from the animal of your choice “saying” whatever message you’d like.
Once Upon a Party Covid 19 Birthday in a Box
Once Upon a Party has a couple celebration services available for hire. Schedule a delivery of a “Birthday in a Box” package with custom surprises catered to your child. They’ve just started offering a tween/teen and adult box as well (hello, wine from Vino Mobile Bar) so if you have an older kid or someone turning twenty one, no need to miss out on the fun.
Host a Drive By Birthday Party Parade
Ask friends and family to drive by your home waving, honking, blowing bubbles. They can even toss birthday gifts onto the lawn. Coordinate a time with friends and family locally to parade by and celebrate from a safe distance. Make certain the birthday child is outside to see everyone and wave back.
Decorations All Over the House
Make huge poster board signs (or use cardboard boxes), banners, streamers, balloons, whatever you have on hand that’s festive. Leave everything up for a couple of days to keep the party going.
Host a Zoom Birthday Party
Gather your friends and family on one of the video conferencing sites like Zoom, Google Hangout or Jitsi. Make sure everyone has a dessert of some sort; a cake, cupcake, cookies, donuts, pie… then everyone can sing to the birthday girl and eat their “cake” with her. You can even play games during video calls.
Virtual Scavenger Hunt
If you’re hosting a Zoom style party with friends and family this is a fun and interactive way to play games with your guests. List items, like a hat, an apple, an old birthday card… and the first person to come back to the screen with said item gets a point.
Have a Baking Competition
Bake and decorate your own cake or cupcakes and have a “Nailed It” competition to see who “Nailed It” best. Have family and friends judge from afar. Obviously the winner is the Birthday child.
Chalk the Driveway
This is super easy for neighborhood friends. Have people write birthday wishes and messages all over your driveway and sidewalk with sidewalk chalk. We did this to our neighbor and other people walking by during the day added messages. Even strangers participated.
Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
If your child has friends in the area, give clues and take a walk to hunt for greetings or gifts left out in driveways. Clues like, “we carpooled to kindergarten together” or “he was on your soccer team last year” can spark wonderful memories and give you something to chat about along your hunt.
Ask friends and family to send video wishes to the birthday kiddo. If you are tech savvy you can compile them into a fun “movie” or just play them individually for the recipient while you’re celebrating. Seeing and hearing their loved ones well wishes may just make their day.
Pitch a tent in the living room or in the back yard. If you’re indoors light a few candles and tell stories with flashlights while eating microwaved s’more’s. If the weather is nice and you are outside, build a fire and roast marshmallows. Reminisce about favorite birthday memories and talk about future memories you want to make together as a family.
Host a Fancy Dinner at Home
Send invitations to everyone in your family, inviting them to get really dressed up. Set the table with candles, play music, use proper manners and cloth napkins. Even if you are eating pizza it’ll feel fancy and special.
Old School Games
When I was a kid we played “pin the tail on the donkey”, Clothes pin drop, Bobbing for apples, balloon bust, and the Bozo bucket toss. I’m guessing you have supplies around the house to set up a few if not all of these retro party games. I’m willing to bet the kids (and adults) will have such a great time you’ll play these games again someday.
Have family and friends mail cards and/or gifts ahead of time
Collect everything and present them to the birthday child at some point during their festivities all at once (like they’d receive at a party) or spread them out throughout the day. You could also make a game of it and hide cards and gifts around the house for a Scavenger Hunt.
Host a Video Game Party
Older kids are having fantastic Birthday parties online via their video games. Games like Minecraft and Fortnite are hot spots for social interaction and friend and party features are perfect for celebration with those they surely miss most.
If your neighborhood has a Facebook page or is on the Nextdoor app, ask neighbors to hang signs or balloons so when you take a walk your child will be greeted with birthday well-wishes at every house. Also, have the birthday child dress up in a crown or tiara and wear a sash or hold an “it’s my Birthday” flag. That’ll get them some extra waves and car honks from passersby.
Change your routine
Make the birthday a little different by just changing a few things up. Breakfast in bed is always a treat, then how about a picnic lunch in the living room? Dinner could be outside in a tent, around a campfire, or sitting in the trunk of the SUV (my kids LOVE eating here). The slightest difference will seem special and help make this challenging time more memorable, in a good way.
Did you know you can host a Netflix Party with your friends? Download the app. It synchronizes video playback and adds group chatting making binge watching so much more social. Pop some popcorn and host a Netflix movie night.
No matter the age from 2 to 99 everyone likes a little pampering. We did this with my 3 year old and 7 year old. Make facial masks, give massages, do their nails, curl or style their hair and maybe even a touch of makeup to feel extra special. Listen to relaxing music and sip on fun drinks. My girls have already asked to have another spa day so I’ll take that as a win.
Let the Birthday Child take the Lead
This may be scary and you’ll definitely need to use your creative side. If we’re still practicing social distancing when my little turns four, I’ll have her pick four things she wants to do for her birthday. If one of them is to go to the beach, then I will somehow make a beach in the backyard with a kiddie pool and sand. If she wants a movie night we’ll have a movie night. You might be surprised by what they ask for.
Quarantined Themed Party
Older kids could totally get into a party theme reflective of the current situation. “Twilight Zone”, “Zombie Apocalypse”, or maybe just being alone (my 7 year old would LOVE a day alone, away, from her little sister).
Maybe you’re trying to be more grateful and giving in 2020. If your child is turning ten have him write ten cards or letters to people that mean the most to him in his life. Have him express his gratitude and why he values the receiver. It’ll make him feel good and brighten the recipient’s day. Or, use this time to work together making masks for people who need them, or writing letters of thanks to first responders.
Paint and Sip Party
Get back on the virtual conferencing website (Zoom, Google Hangouts, ect…) and host a “juice and canvas” or “tea and ceramics” party. Guests can follow along with the host and create beautiful art. Dollar store plates are easy to color with Sharpies, plain paper can be painted or get fancy with take and make ceramics from Kiln Creations.
Once Upon a Princess is offering personal video calls with characters ranging from princesses to Marvel Heroes. Maybe your little one would like the Snow Queen to read her a bedtime story or maybe she has endless questions for Thor. These are extra special ways to add some flare to their birthday celebrations.
Keep it simple
Small family? Only child? Single parent? Working parents?? Keep it super simple. Turn off the electronics, gather around the table for dinner, sing “Happy Birthday”, gift a homemade card or present. Just be together. Take solace in the simple things right now. Sit back and see your kid. Realize how much has changed since their last birthday. See their habits, their mannerisms, the way they talk… take this time during social distancing to reconnect with your kids and really see who they are becoming.
Go in with a positive attitude (even though you may be heartbroken as well) and we’re sure everyone will make some good memories during this unprecedented time. Use this list for other milestones that may come up during our social distancing phase of life. Graduations, births, anniversaries and birthdays for young and old deserve to be celebrated. You are doing a great job and we will get through this together; while apart.