08 October 2020 (updated)

10 Ideas for Kids Birthday Parties During Social Distancing

Looking for ways to make a birthday special for your little one in the age of social distancing? Here are some tips and ideas for having a safe and fun COVID-19 kid's birthday party!

Celebrating a Birthday During Coronavirus

Back when coronavirus first hit the scene, I remember a video circulating. It started with a man sitting in front of his birthday cake wearing a mask. His friends are singing, "Happy Birthday," and just as the song ends, he pulls out his blowdryer and blows the candles out. His friends cheer, and as the camera pans over, it's revealed that they're all on Zoom on six different devices. It made me laugh at the time, but as time went on, it became much more real. Birthdays just look different these days.

Sadly, you probably won't be able to go to sky zone or race go-karts this year. Although, there are still plenty of ways to have an exciting and unique birthday like no other. It's all about how you frame it.

8 Tips for a COVID-19 Kids Birthday Party

Before you get started, here are 8 things to consider when having a party this year.

  1. Consider your different options. It may be a better idea to have a smaller group rather than a large party this year.
  2. No matter what you decide, make sure you're following your state's guidelines. These guidelines and laws are based on expert knowledge and statistics.
  3. If you're feeling sick, showing symptoms, or even just feeling a little abnormal, it's best to be cautious and cancel.
  4. Let parents of guests know how many children are attending. It's best to be honest and open as possible. Don't take it personally if guests decline because they're uncomfortable.
  5. You could ask your guests to wear masks and avoid engaging in close contact activities. Be sure to keep sanitizer handy for guests to use.
  6. If attendees are traveling in the 2 weeks leading up to the party, consider asking them not to attend, especially if they've been out of state.
  7. Encourage parents of guests to monitor their child for any symptoms leading up to the party and encourage them to stay home if they're feeling even a little bit off.
  8. Instead of a typical dessert table, consider serving individual snacks like cupcakes and pre-packed food instead of one large cake. It can minimize contact and contamination.

Ideas for a COVID-19 Kids Birthday Party

Now that we have all that out of the way, here are some ways you CAN safely have a kids birthday celebration this year.

  1. Drive-By Birthday Party: If you want to be extra cautious, having a drive-by celebration can be a safe option. For this, ask friends and family to deck their car out with balloons, washable paint, posters, and festive decorations. Have them blast music, honk their horns, and drive by the house for a birthday parade!

2. Virtual Gatherings: One of the safest options for you and your family is to not invite anyone over in person, and instead make all interactions virtual. You could have a game night with their friends over Zoom!

  1. Make it an Outdoor Gathering: Pool parties are a great option, as they can keep everyone cool in the summer heat. Gathering outside can also make it easier to social distance.

COVID-19 Kids Birthday Party Ideas: Activities

  1. At the Movies: Whether it's their favorite Disney movie or a family classic, your child will love pretending like their spending a night at the movies. Set the scene with candy, popcorn, and drinks. You can maybe even set up menus and prices for a fun added touch. If you have a projector and a plain white bed sheet, you could even set it up outside!
  2. Party Games for Kids: Kids have lots of energy and often need organized activities in order to stay engaged. Games like "Simon Says," "Freeze Dance," and "Red Light, Green Light" are great games that require little to no contact between players.
  3. Create a DIY Outdoor Obstacle Course: With simple objects like hula hoops, pool noodles, PVC pipes, and balloons, you can turn your backyard into the ultimate physical challenge. Beat the clock against family and friends and see who makes it through the fastest!
  1. Have a Scavenger Hunt: This is a great outdoor or indoor activity that gets everyone involved! Create a list of things to find around the house, for example, "something blue," "something that sinks," or "something you can write with".
  2. Have a Treasure Hunt: Set up a series of clues and riddles that lead to the "treasure." This can be a fun gift or even chocolate coins! Have fun with the clues! One example of a clue could be: "I can take you to places you've never seen. But first, type your password in on my screen (the answer would be "computer," and you could tape the next clue to the bottom of the computer).

More Tips for a COVID-19 Kids Birthday Party

  1. Go All Out with Decorations: No matter what size group you have, a party theme can set the tone. A fun theme like Space Adventure or Wild West can make their special day a little more creative and exciting. Check out some of our other party theme ideas.
  2. Order from Their Favorite Restaurant: Whether it's the best pizza spot in town or even something fancier, the birthday boy or girl will love ordering from their favorite restaurant!

Making the Most of a Birthday During COVID-19

Talk to your child about why their birthday is a little different this year. Just because all of their friends can't come over, it doesn't mean they're loved any less! Talk with them about why things are different this year. No matter how you celebrate, be safe, courteous, and weigh the risks and options. If you have any ideas for a socially distanced birthday for kids, let us know in the comments. And be sure to share your birthday party memories on FamilyApp!