Pandemic Birthday Party Planning: 4 Ways to Organize a Fun & Safe Kids' Birthday Celebration by Andrew Witkin
Our world may have been turned upside down by the coronavirus pandemic, but there is one thing we can find comfort in: birthday celebrations. There is nothing like friends, cake and party decorations to turn a regular day into a special day. And now, in what has been a year that is anything but normal, taking a moment to make your kid’s birthday memorable is exactly what is needed to bring joy and some sense of normalcy back into our everyday routines. Here’s how to keep things fun while ensuring everyone stays safe:
1. Get Outside
If the weather is warm, hosting a day outdoors or in a park while observing guidelines for social gatherings is a great way to get kids outside with their friends in a relatively safe environment. Ample space outdoors leaves lots of opportunities for activities, like scavenger hunts and bean bag tosses.
Up the ante with large-scale versions of classic games like Lawn Scramble or checkers. Want to plan an evening event for older kids? Create your own backyard movie theater with a white sheet, a projector and picnic blankets spaced 6 feet apart.
2. Stay Inside
If you’re having an indoor gathering and limiting the number of people attending, help your guests feel safe while they’re enjoying the festivities by establishing at least one cleaning station. This can be as simple as placing a bottle of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in one location so people can easily access them.
For younger children who may not understand why they must remain physically distant from others, try organizing specific activities like painting and crafts within designated areas. Clearly define these areas by having floor decals customized with each kid’s name or favorite character. There’s no better reason for kids to stand in one place than when they have something personalized and fascinating to look at.
3. Host a Virtual Party
Most of us use Zoom or other video conferencing tools for work, but the same apps can be used to host a virtual party. Invite family and friends to join your kid for 30 minutes on a video chat to help you sing and cheer as he or she blows out that birthday candle. Add another element to the party by getting a magician to wow viewers with magic tricks, or by asking a children’s musician to perform a few songs during the chat.
4. Keep It Simple
Staying home with just the immediate family? Cook your kid’s favorite meal together, bake a cake or get takeout from his or her favorite restaurant. Let the birthday boy or girl choose a movie to watch as a family and set up a DIY concession stand with popcorn and candy to enjoy during the screening. Whatever the activity, follow your child’s lead and do it together.
While the 2020 version of parties may be very different from what we’re used to, birthdays are still great occasions to do something unique. By adhering to physical distancing guidelines and focusing on activities that will make your kid feel special, you’ll be able to plan a fun – and safe – celebration.
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