The events over the last year have presented plenty of challenges, including how to safely celebrate our kids’ birthdays. Traditionally, kids’ birthday parties are all about gathering friends and family together to play games, eat cake, and exchange gifts. Because that’s no longer an option in many places, it’s time to get creative — while birthdays look much different these days, there are plenty of ways to celebrate your child’s birthday. Here are just a few ideas for inspiration.
Okay, so maybe the last thing you want to do is engage in another Zoom call, but this is a go-to for holidays and celebrations these days. It’s a safe way to celebrate your child’s birthday and connect with friends and family all over the world. (Bonus: No cleanup required and you don’t have to share the cake!)
For families who are staying socially distant, planning a parade is a great idea for kids to see friends and family even if it’s from a distance. Have people decorate their cars with streamers, window paint, and posters that act as a moving billboard. You could even create a throne for the birthday boy or girl to have their own front-row seat for the action.
You don’t need to go far to celebrate a birthday in the great outdoors. You can create a campsite right in your own yard, complete with a tent and a bonfire perfect for roasting s’mores. If you do decide to hit up your favorite campground, bring eco-friendly decorations to create a sense of excitement out in nature.
All it takes is a white sheet, an inexpensive projector, and a big bowl of popcorn to have a birthday movie night on the lawn. Bring out pillows and blankets to set out and lounge on to make it more comfortable when you decide to turn a premiere into a marathon. If the weather is too cold to watch outside, create the same setup inside.
This fun and engaging birthday activity can help your child feel special on their big day. Weather permitting, it can be outside in nature. Or hide some of your child’s favorite toys and items (and add some new ones) all over the house and let them loose with a scavenger hunt checklist. It’s a great way to get the whole family to problem-solve and bond.
Character Video Calls
Many superheroes and princess characters that once frequented in-person parties are now offering personalized, custom video calls. These character calls can include activities, songs, and engaging live chat conversations. There are plenty of options for all ages available; simply Google the name of your child’s favorite character along with the term “video calls.”
Visit a Virtual Museum
You don’t have to let social distancing keep your kids from enjoying things to their favorite local — or even international — museums. The Louvre, Metropolitan Museum of Art, or The Van Gogh Museum all offer virtual tours, or kids can view dinosaurs at the Smithsonian or rockets at NASA. This list offers some great free options that you can take advantage of any day of the year.
Play Dress Up
Have your birthday child dress up in the costume of their favorite character for the day. Encourage the rest of the family to follow along by dressing in their favorite costumes, and have a contest to see who does the best impression of their character. You can even help them reenact a scene from the character’s movies and broadcast it on Zoom.
Homemade Birthday Card Drive
Reach out to friends, family members, neighbors, and virtual class members. Ask them to create special, homemade cards to send to the birthday kid. Imagine your child waking up on their big day to a pile of messages from people who wish they could be there celebrating with your family.
Send a Custom Gift
One of the best ways to make a child feel special is by sending a custom, personalized gift. Puzzle stools, name puzzles, and wooden toy boxes are useful, thoughtful gifts that remind your child that you’re thinking of them as they celebrate their birthday. These gifts will also last longer than cheap plastic toys or video games.