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Party Planning During the Pandemic: A Guide for Parents

Your child’s birthday is always worth the celebration. Parents are always preparing for their kid’s special party in advance, scrolling through Pinterest for venues, giveaways and themes. All preparations are on hold or scrapped, however, due to the pandemic. To reduce the transmission of the disease, everyone is encouraged to stay at home and practice social distancing.

If you’re one of the parents who planned early for the party, to say you’re disappointed is an understatement. Is it still possible to celebrate your child’s birthday with social limitation in place?

Yes!

Just because everyone is practicing social distancing and self-isolation, it doesn’t mean the family can’t have a little fun. Celebrate your child’s birthday at home (and in style) with the following ideas.

Before you brainstorm ideas, make sure you can buy a majority of your needs online. Visit online quality fabric shops, party favor stores and more instead of dropping by the physical stores. Should you need to go out of your home, wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Virtual Parties and Messages
When the pandemic shut down schools and offices, Zoom and Skype became household terms. Your children may be using these platforms for their virtual schooling; why not use it for their birthday party?

Zoom, for example, allows users to sign up for free and grants them access to video conferencing for 40 minutes (per session). Create a Zoom room and send a private code to your child’s friends to invite them to a live party. To hype up the celebration, send formal invitations and arrange an online activity the participants can do while on the call. There are plenty of online games that you can share on Zoom, so use these games to add fun to your child’s virtual party.

The kids can also work on crafts while on Zoom. They can work on jewelry, woodcraft and beading kits, which you can find in dollar stores and online. If you’ll buy these kits, purchase them a week before the celebration and send them to the children in advance.

Whereas Zoom offers a live party experience, platforms like Loom and VidHug allow friends and family to record messages, which you can show on your child’s birthday.

Host a Fancy Dinner at Home
Just because you’re stuck at home, doesn’t mean you can’t be extra or fancy. Send invitations to everyone in the family and have them wear their fancy clothes. If there is a theme, encourage your other children to follow the dress code. Set up the table with fancy décor and add a menu. Play music and treat the birthday celebrant as the guest of honor of your fancy dinner.

Front-Yard Celebrations
It’s easier to practice social distancing in open spaces. If you have a front yard, use this space for some birthday fun.

If you have more space in your budget, rent a treat truck or ice cream truck for the family. Or arrange a camp birthday party by setting up some tents, a movie screen and projector and a fire pit for s’mores. Add a dash of coziness by scattering blankets and pillows around the yard.

Since extended family and friends can’t join in on the fun, a drive-by birthday parade is a great idea. Have your child sit in the front yard in a chair decorated with balloons. Add a sign nearby for the guests to read. For example, write “Honk for the Birthday Celebrant!” so that friends and family can honk as they pass by in their cars. If the guests offer gifts, prepare a box, so they can drop the presents instead of handing them over to you.

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt
If your kid has friends in the area, give the birthday celebrant clues and take a walk to hunt for gifts or greetings left out in their driveways. Leave out clues, like “She was your partner in fourth-grade science class” or “He shares your love for Peppa Pig,” which can spark wonderful memories and encourage your child to share stories during the hunt.

Consider Other Outdoor Options
The great outdoors offer plenty of options for fun yet safe birthday celebrations. For your older children, gather a few of their friends (limit the number up to five) and arrange a biking or hiking trip. Find hikes and bike trails appropriate for your child’s ability and age online. Some parks are open and have social distancing measures in place. Make sure you  follow safety precautions while biking  or hiking.

The pandemic shouldn’t keep you from celebrating your child’s special day. Throw them the best birthday ever with help from your family and friends!

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