The coronavirus has hit everyone hard during these last several weeks. But aside from those actually infected or suspected of being infected, the most severely impacted might be those with upcoming celebrations that have needed to be scaled back or even canceled. Among that group are kids with a March or April birthday.
Instead of bounce houses, bowling, or visits to Chuckie Cheese (maybe there is a silver lining?), these kids will be celebrating their birthdays at home with just their immediate family around them. For kids who are used to a birthday being a social occasion, this may just add an extra layer of misery to a rotten situation.
Here are a few ways to make the day just a little bit more special:
Social distancing has pretty much killed the in-person birthday party, so just like you may have switched to telework for work and telehealth for your doctor’s visits, it’s time to switch to teleparty! Using free services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, you can organize to have all of your child’s friends video in for a party. Your guests can sing “Happy Birthday,” a virtual dance party, or a Kahoot! You can also do a Netflix party if all of your guests have Netflix and watch a movie together. You may be able to contract local entertainers like magicians, art studios, and even traveling zoos to connect with your guests virtually.
One of the best parts of a birthday (at least for me) is the food. Even if you can’t take your child out to their favorite restaurant for dinner, you can bring that dinner to them. Plenty of restaurants, even those that usually don’t do take-out, have added delivery or take-out options to help them continue operating as local governments started to ban dining in. Even local ice cream shops have delivery! The bonus is that you can help keep that favorite restaurant in business by supporting them when you order.
If you are feeling creative, try making something special. Perhaps take ice cream from the freezer and create your own ice cream cake. Or bake cookies for cookie decorating. You could even coordinate having your child’s friends decorate cookies at the same time via teleconference.
To help make the house feel more festive, you can go full out on the birthday decorations. Put up streamers, balloons, and signs celebrating your child’s birthday. If you had a middle schooler or a high school student who was looking forward to having her locker decorated for her birthday, decorate her bedroom door while she is sleeping the night before. Or even the front door of the house or put out lawn signs to let the neighborhood know! You can also her friends and family to send notes, pictures, and drawings to help with the decorating.
More Silly Birthday Stuff
Here are a few more silly ideas to flesh out your birthday party blowout:
- Have musical friends? They can carol the house from a safe social distance as you watch from your porch.
- Arrange to have friends drive by the house and shout “Happy Birthday!” as they pass by. It could even be a pre-arranged parade!
- Make cupcakes or other single-serving sized snacks together via teleconferencing.
- Play online games together like Minecraft or digital board games like Settlers of Catan.
Birthday Parties for Adults
It’s not just kids that have birthdays, adults have them, too, and just like our children, we’re missing out on our usual celebrations. You can host a virtual happy hour via Zoom or other video conferencing services. Have everyone mix or make their favorite drink (remember, many states are allowing liquor delivery know) and drink to your continued good health. Like the kids, you can play trivia or other interactive online games to liven things up. You can even play games like Apples to Apples or Cards against Humanity if each member has their own deck.
Have more Coronavirus birthday party ideas? Share them in the comments!
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Structure the Unstructured: Surviving the #flattenthecurve Quarantine with Your Kids
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House Party is a great app for virtual games.