14 Ways to Celebrate Your Child’s Birthday During COVID-19

This April 2, Connecticut Children’s celebrates its 24th birthday – and we’re thinking of all the kids out there who have birthdays around this time too.

From school to sports to shopping, some of your child’s favorite activities may have already been sidelined by the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing efforts. Unfortunately, a traditional birthday party is also off-limits.

But this is no time for the birthday blues. You can still put a new spin on the day to make it super special.

Here are a few ideas:

  • Birthday parade: Invite friends to create signs, decorate their cars and cruise by your child’s house for a birthday parade.
  • Video parties: Plan a virtual event using a video chat app like Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Skype. Invite your child’s friends to participate in a birthday singalong, dance party or group chat. Want more ideas? Our developmental pediatrician shares 23 video chat activities.
  • Treasure hunt: Hide presents around your house and give your child clues to find them.
  • String hunt: Wind a long piece of string throughout your house, attaching presents along the way. Have your child follow the string to collect their presents, and find you at the end of the line!
  • Scavenger hunt: Send your child on a scavenger hunt around the house or yard.
  • Spa day: Plan a day of at-home manicures, pedicures and hair styling.
  • Game day: Spoil your child with a fun-filled day of board games, card games and video games. (Need help selecting a video game? Read 5 Steps to Choose a Kid-Friendly App.)
  • Bake a cake from scratch: Spend time with your child making and baking their favorite birthday dessert.
  • Chef for a day: Have your child choose and prepare their favorite meals for the day. (For inspiration, try these Healthy Delicious Lunch Ideas.)
  • Movie marathon: Relax on the couch and watch your child’s favorite movies.
  • Campout: Set up a tent, either indoors or outdoors, for a birthday campout.
  • Request cards: Invite family and friends to make cards for your child and mail them in time for the big day.
  • Request video messages: Ask family and friends to send video messages. Bonus idea: Ask your family’s tech guru to splice all the messages together into one big montage.
  • Do a good deed: Encourage family and friends to do a good deed in honor of your child’s birthday, such as donating supplies to a food pantry, housing agency or first responders, and share a picture.

You may find that your child appreciates their pandemic party even more than a traditional one, and it will certainly make for memories that last a lifetime.

You can always reschedule that traditional party – perhaps to mark a half-birthday – once the coronavirus crisis calms down.

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