How To…Make A Quarantine Birthday Special

A boy in safari fancy dress looks through binoculars in front of safari partyware

It’s the problem we’ve all been facing this year – how do you make someone’s birthday feel special when they can’t go out, see their friends or even get a hug from their nan?

For those of us with children it’s been particularly difficult, but worry not, we’re here with a whole host of ideas for how to celebrate those important milestones.

Virtual Parties

A year ago, I don’t think anyone would have considered throwing a child’s birthday party online, but for now they’re all the rage! Once you get through the awkwardness of talking over each other and learn to effectively mute everyone else, they can be a fantastic way of bringing everyone together.

If your area has a good internet connection, there are all kinds of things you can do, such as:

  • Everyone dresses up to a theme (e.g. superheroes or animals)
  • Hide and seek – a parent turns off their webcam while the child hides. When it’s turned back on, the other children shout guesses of where in the room they’re hidden
  • Scavenger hunt – send the kids on a scramble through the house to find items like wooden spoons or soap
  • Play bingo
  • Have a themed activity, such as everyone building their own blanket fort
  • Pay for a princess, superhero or other entertainer to appear

5 today banner with space-themed balloons

If you’re unsure about your connection, or want to plan some activities in advance, you could:

  • Tell everyone coming to prepare a joke
  • Get friends to suggest songs for a virtual dance party, then play them all
  • Depending on age, ask each person visiting to say something special about the birthday child
  • Get all attendants to send a video of themselves singing “Happy Birthday” and edit together
  • Organise a virtual movie night
  • Fake a restaurant by sending out images to use as a virtual background – everyone buys or makes food that could be eaten there, and you order in for the birthday child

Decorations

It can be hard to know if and how much to decorate a party that no one’s attending!

However, if you’re using a video chat for the party you could add some small decorations behind the birthday child. Things like scene setter backdrops, banners and balloons really add to the party vibe – and let’s be honest, we know that the kids want balloons whether their friends are over or not!

For older kids this could be as simple as bringing in a few themed balloons, but if you’re marking a REALLY special birthday – like a 1st birthday cake smash – then you can really go all out with the decorations, so you’ll have gorgeous pictures to treasure forever.

A baby in tutu and crown stuffs cake into her face in front of an Oh Baby banner

Visits

We want everyone to remain safe and at home if possible – but if friends live near your house, there are a few things they can do to make your child feel like everyone’s celebrating their birthday!

A car parade is one adorable way of showing them how much their friends care. Ideally you would set a time in advance, so that all of your kid’s friends are being chauffeured down the street in their own cars at the same time.

They can wave banners and balloons, play the birthday boy or girl their favourite songs, and could even get out to leave birthday presents outside the house – with everyone watching from inside, of course.

A hand holding a bouquet of Happy Birthday balloons in different colours

If they live near enough, visitors could simply walk over to your house and leave chalk birthday wishes on the pavement outside. Make it easier by preparing some colourful chalk in advance, and if you’re feeling generous you could make party bags for guests to take home.

This year, birthdays are going to be a little different, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be special!

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