Six Ways to Celebrate Birthdays During While Social Distancing

CC BY Flickr user A♥

This may seem trivial to worry about. We are all feeling weighted heavily by the state of the world right now and the very difficult problems and choices we’re dealing with. But there are kids out there missing their friends very much, and even moreso when their birthdays roll around, and they can’t celebrate them the way they’re used to. So not only will this be a bright spot for them, but a great way to distract you for a bit from the pandemic by finding a creative way to bring a little more happiness to your family in a difficult year. 

Request a video from a favorite character

Cosplayers for Birthdayers is a project I started last week with this very problem in mind. Here’s how it works:

  • Cosplayers submit their contact info and kid-friendly/appropriate characters they’re willing to send videos dressed as.
  • Parents request a birthday video by filling out the form with their email address, child’s birthday, and requested characters or fandoms.
  • If a matching cosplayer is available, I will send their email address to the parent to get in touch. 

Many of you are both cosplayers and parents — feel free to submit yourself on either or both lists! 

Drive-through birthday party

I’ve seen a few videos of these already! Invite your kids’ friends to drive by your house at a certain time. They can make signs or yell birthday wishes from the car. 

Our local elementary school did something similar just yesterday–a parade of teachers drove the school’s bus routes honking their horns and showing signs that said, “We miss you!”

Birthday scavenger hunt

We do a Christmas scavenger hunt every year, but I’m likely to do a birthday one this year as well! Some themes lend themselves perfectly, so if your kid was planning a party based around video games or a movie like Jumanji that would lend itself well, you’ve got a great base to build on. 

Make an amazing cake

How many times have you seen a video for a really awesome cake and thought you’d like to try but just don’t have time? Well, chances are good that now you have time. Try the galaxy cake, the kind covered in sprinkles, or one of these colorful options.

If you’d like to try some sculpting techniques, you might have trouble getting store-bought fondant, but you can make your own with marshmallows. (And it tastes great!)

A different kind of costume party

Throw a party! Have your favorite snacks and a cake. But every so often, someone in the family leaves the room and reappears as a different “guest.” Use your old Halloween costumes or do some closet cosplay. It could be as little as a hat and a funny voice or a mustache drawn on your finger!

Video chat birthday

Why not throw a virtual party? Invite everyone into a video chat on Zoom, Hangouts, Facebook… whatever your preferred service is these days. (Zoom will let you record for up to 40 minutes, so you can preserve your virtual party!) Figure out a plan to fit the theme. Perhaps it’s a show-and-tell party where everyone presents their favorite [item that fits the theme]. You could play some games that would work over video chat. And of course, at the end, everyone sings happy birthday!

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