Planning a kids’ birthday party can be challenging in the best of times! Social distancing and the COVID-19 crisis have added a whole other level of difficulties. If your kiddo has a birthday coming up in the next few months, you might have to find some new ways to celebrate. And, we’re here to help you out! We’ve rounded up a few ideas to celebrate kids’ birthdays in the time of the coronavirus.
Here’s a few ideas to celebrate your child’s birthday while social distancing:
Birthday Fun at Home
There are a ton of ways you can make kids feel special on their birthday. You can keep it low key or go all out. Here’s just a few ideas:
Decorate Their Bedroom Door: Use whatever you have! Post-it notes with all the reasons you love your child, fun pictures of their favorite characters, streamers and balloons – anything.
Make the Presents Fun: Build a scavenger hunt around the house and/or yard for presents to make it even more exciting! Or, consider letting your child open presents for the week leading up to their actual birthday.
Make a Special Meal: It could be birthday waffles complete with sprinkles and whipped cream for breakfast or pizza and ice cream for dinner.
Put Out Yard Decorations: Make DIY birthday signs for your birthday kid. Don’t have the boards or supplies? If you have time to allow for shipping, you can order them online or from a local sign company.
Have a YES Day: You may have to include a few caveats with this one, because we’re all a bit restricted these days, but there’s still lots of things you can say yes to. Chocolate and peanut butter roll-ups for lunch? YES. Afternoon movies in pajamas – YES! Kids will remember a day filled with their favorite activities more than anything!
Enjoy the Great Outdoors: If you have a kid that loves the outdoors do something outside. Decorate the backyard, have a picnic, do some backyard camping, build a backyard fire, make s’mores and enjoy each other’s company.
Stick to Their Theme: If you were planning a themed birthday party, like a Harry Potter Party, Space Party, Spa Party, Mad Science Party etc., let it guide your activities for the day. Do an on-line Harry Potter Escape Room, get out the telescope and look at the stars, indulge with some home spa treatments or do some science experiments.
Birthday Fun with Friends and Family
Even though we’re social distancing, technology is a great tool to help us maintain our connections and relationships. Here’s a few ideas to involve friends and family in a little birthday fun:
Plan a Birthday Car Parade: This is quickly becoming a hot trend. Invite friends and neighbors to drive by your house and wish your child a happy birthday. You could also do a “reverse parade” and drive your child past neighbors and family that are holding up birthday signs in their driveways. If you live in Waukee, you can call the Waukee Fire Department and they will drive by complete with flashing lights. Other Des Moines area fire departments will also participate in birthday parades if they’re available, so it’s worth a call to your local station to find out!
Create a Video or Photo Montage: Have friends and family send in short video clips or photos along with birthday wishes and then compile them into an epic birthday montage.
Host a Virtual “Party”: Schedule as many video calls as you can (via House Party, Skype, Facebook, Google Hangouts or Zoom) with classmates, family and friends. You can ask friends and family to participate in an activity of your child’s choice, whether that’s a specific costume theme, reading a story, a slumber party etc.
Go Old School with a Card Shower: Plan for your child’s friends and family to snail mail cards to your home ahead of time to share on their birthday.
Ask Friends and Neighbors to Leave Birthday Notes: They can use chalk to leave a message or drawing in the driveway or walkway. You could also try getting your hands on some window markers or dry erase markers and have people write notes on windows.
Throw a Sky Zone Virtual Birthday Party: Sky Zone is offering FREE virtual birthday parties. Your kids will get to see and interact with their friends through an online network. Plus, the Sky Zone team will guide them through 15-20 minutes of games, active play, and singing “Happy Birthday.”
Throw a DIY Virtual Birthday Party: Anders Ruff Workshop in Ankeny offers DIY Virtual Party Kits. Order your party kit on-line. Kits include all materials including stencils, wood, a Primary Paint Essentials Kit, brushes and instructions. You will have the option to add extra tools and paint sets to complete your party kit.
Support Local Businesses That Offer Birthday Services
There are several ways you can support local business, while celebrating your child’s birthday.
Order a Birthday Cake: You can still order cakes and other goodies from local bakeries for curb side pickup or delivery. Some good choices are Sweet To Eat Bakery and Cake Shop in Ankeny, Crème Cupcake in Des Moines or Nothin Bundt Cakes in Clive.
Hire a Party Entertainer: If you would typically hire a party entertainer for your child’s birthday party, you still can. Contact them to see if they would be willing to modify their “act”. Local Musician B2wins are surprising fans and their neighbors with a pop up, birthday concert from the street! Message them on their Facebook page to book a mobile concert!
Order Your Child’s Favorite Food from a Local Restaurant: If your child has a favorite restaurant, order food from them for your child’s special birthday meal.
Shop Online and Pick Up Gifts Curbside from Great Local Stores: Make it a point to order as many of your child’s birthday presents locally as you can.
Purchase a Gift Card Now and Use it Later: If your birthday kid had their heart set on a big birthday party with all of their friends, why not just postpone it? Purchase a gift card for the party now and celebrate at their 1/2 birthday or another time that works best for everybody.
Donate in Your Child’s Name: In lieu of gifts ask your family and friends to make a donation in your child’s name. Places like ARL, The Science Center of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, will be in need of donations now more than ever.
Got more social distancing birthday party ideas for kids? We’d love to hear!