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This isn’t the blog post I wanted to be writing today. See today my sweet, mischievous identical twin boys are turning five. What I was planning on doing was one of those adorable puppy adoption birthday parties, complete with little friends and adorable blog pictures. Now I’m writing about ways to make kids feel special on their birthday during COVID-19.
10 Ways to Make Kids Feel Special on Their Birthday
Like many families, being on lockdown thanks to the novel Coronavirus has ruined quite a few birthdays. (On a personal note, my 30th birthday is Monday and I had my party cancelled too.) With everyone stuck at home and no friends or even extended family members to come and visit, how do you make kids feel like it’s actually their birthday?
Celebrating a birthday during COVID-19
These tips are some of the best things that I did (or wish I had) to throw the best social distancing birthday ever. Don’t let COVID-19 ruin your guys’ fun! They’re specifically made for kids, because we know they feel differently about birthdays than us grown ups and don’t understand why all this is happening in the same way.
Decorate like it’s a party
Even if it’s just you and your immediate family you can still make the party look like a party. Dig out any old party decorations or order some online. Most little kids enjoy having streamers, banners, and balloons for party decorations so you can keep it pretty simple.
You can also look online for birthday party printables if you’re not able to get something from the store.
Make sure there’s cake
It might not be the extravagant bakery cake you buy every year or even the best cake you’ve ever made, but cake is cake and birthdays need it. Do whatever you can to make sure there’s some kind of cake or cupcakes to seve at your makeshift birthday party.
Don’t forget the candles!
Play party games
Kids often don’t have a great understand of what a birthday even is. Mostly they’ve seen it on cartoons where the characters often play classic party games. So find (or DIY) a pin the tail on the donkey set, or play games like charades and pictionary with the family.
Set up a Zoom call or birthday facetime
If they can’t be with friends or family during their birthday it’s still nice to get Happy Birthday wishes. For young kids, video calls work a lot better than just talking on the phone. It helps them put a face to the voice and feel like they’re special.
You could also set up a group call on something like Zoom so everyone can attend the ‘virtual’ birthday party.
Arrange a birthday party drop off
This is a great idea if you have close friends or family members who live in your area but can’t come over due to social distancing. Have everyone bring a portion of the party and gift to your home. (Assuming they’d want to participate, of course.)
Once all the gifts, balloons, and other party accessories are outside and ‘guests’ have left bring the birthday child outside to see their ‘surprise party’.
I also saw people doing birthday drive by parades with decorated cars!
Make the whole day a birthday party
The best thing about birthdays when there’s no school is you don’t have to wait until the afternoon to celebrate! Start the morning with a birthday themed breakfast and continue the celebration all day long. You could also pamper your child all day long which would make them feel really special.
Get siblings on board to make kids feel special on their birthday during COVID-19
If you have multiple kids in the house, get the siblings on board to help make the birthday child feel extra special. Make sure they’re wishing them “happy birthday” all day long and arrange for some party games to play together.
You could also have all the siblings pick out a gift (online) for the birthday boy or girl and have them wrap it up. That way it’s even more like a regular party!
Offer an IOU
Little kids probably won’t be able to handle this but an older child might appreciate postphoning their birthday celebrations until they’re able to hold them properly. Have a small party at home and plan to do something fun with friends later on.
Even if the other gathering isn’t really a birthday party it’s still fun to have something to look forward to.
Get a few extra gifts
Yes, we shouldn’t spoil our kids just because they’re disappointed, but this is a unique situation. If they’d normally have a big birthday party consider spending the money you save on not hosting that on a few extra gifts.
For a fun twist, have your child open them throughout the day. Like once every hour or few hours, or after each meal.
Arrange a call from someone special
If your child is missing a certain family member, friend, or teacher see if you can arrange a phone call between your child and that person. That way they can get some extra special birthday wishes.
If you can’t think of anyone or want an extra special touch, you can also purchase one of those recorded calls from popular characters that wish young kids a happy birthday.
These are easy ways to make kids feel special on their birthday during COVID-19
So most families should be able to implement at least a few. The most important thing about celebrating a child’s birthday right now is that you’re celebrating at all. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures! Just because it’s not a traditional party doesn’t mean you won’t want to remember their birthday – even it was during COVID-19.