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Celebrating Your Child's Birthday While Social Distancing

Celebrations can seem hard right now, but if your little one's birthday falls while social distancing, it's important to still acknowledge and celebrate it. Here are seven ideas to celebrate your child's birthday at home.
make your child's birthday fun during social distancing
Updated: December 1, 2022

Much of the world has been thrown into lockdowns, told to shelter in place, and instructed to practice social distancing. Even though all of this is out of our control and was totally unpredicted, this is still a disappointing time for a child with a birthday. Of course parties can always be postponed or rescheduled, but if your little one’s birthday falls during this time it is still important to acknowledge and celebrate it.

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Perhaps the silver lining as a parent is the elimination of pressure to host the perfect party.  Think of all the time you just gained back that you can instead focus directly towards your child.  Making memories at home does not need to be extravagant, and you don’t need to run out for a bunch of supplies to make your child’s birthday still feel special. Sure, they might be missing their friends and family, but here are seven ways to make this an unforgettable birthday despite the inconvenience COVID-19 poses for gatherings. In fact, you may even make some new birthday traditions.

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Movie Night

Many streaming services have released movies early knowing that families will be spending more time at home, which can make a movie night even more exciting. Let the birthday child pick the movie, pop some popcorn, surprise them with their favorite movie theater candy and extend bedtime for an extra-special treat. You can easily create a movie theater feel in the comfort of your own home, while still making it feel more special than just another movie on the couch.  Looking back on this birthday, your child will remember how special they felt.

Indoor/Backyard Camping

If the weather cooperates where you are, pitching a tent in the backyard can feel like a big adventure! However, a tent in the living room is still just as exciting, so don’t stress about the weather. S’mores, flashlights, sleeping bags, and special stories are definitely going to make this a memorable birthday. Set up a scavenger hunt or an obstacle course for additional fun.

Party via Zoom

Whether you decide to call in family members or your child’s friends, Zoom videoconferencing is a great way to still celebrate together. The people most important to your child can share their birthday wishes and together sing a rousing Happy Birthday! Many families are also creatively finding ways to play games via Zoom; it’s the next best thing to having friends and family over.

Sundae Bar

Just because you can’t visit your favorite ice cream shop doesn’t mean you can’t bring the fun to your own home! Stock up on special toppings and let your child stack their special sundae just the way they want it. Calories don’t count on birthdays, right?

Fancy Dinner

There might not be anywhere to go, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress in your finest and make your birthday child feel like royalty!  Don your fanciest clothes, light the candles and break out the nicest dinnerware. Serving their favorite meal on the special plates or having a toast with fancy glasses is a great way to celebrate this special occasion.

Family/Friend Drive-bys

Coordinate a time for those that live close by to drive by while your child stands on the front lawn. Holding signs out the car window, shouting birthday sentiments and special car honks don’t need to break any social distancing rules! Your child is sure to feel like a celebrity as the excitement of each passing car showers them with love on their birthday.

Minute to Win It Games

Minute to Win it games are fast, fun, and sure to spark some family competition. Most Minute to Win It games involve limited materials and little to no prep time. Depending on the size of your family you can decide to compete individually or on teams.  Come up with an enticing prize (winners get to pick the next movie, losers do the dishes for a week?!) and everyone will be even more motivated to play.

When all of this is said and done, life will hopefully go back to normal. Your child will be filled with the knowledge that their family loves them, and with a host of memories to last a lifetime. If you do decide to reschedule a birthday party, perhaps try celebrating on their half-birthday. Pick a new milestone that can be just as special. After all, it really is just an excuse to celebrate another trip around the sun!

Looking for ways to keep the kids busy and learning during social distancing? Sign up for the Prepared Parent, a daily newsletter filled with everything to help mom and dad in their roles as teacher-parents.

Jennifer Caffelle

About Jennifer

Jennifer is currently working for a US-wide health care system, and has worked… Read more

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