ways to celebrate kids’ birthdays (in the days of COVID)

i keep seeing more and more posts in the facebook moms groups i’m in that ask the same question: “what in the world can i do for my child’s birthday that makes it seem special even with COVID?” and, as someone who cherishes my kids’ birthdays, this question just breaks my heart. because i know these parents are asking because they want to give their littles some sense of normalcy right now.

not that i’m an expert, but since march 2020, we’ve had two kiddo birthdays in our house. one in april and one in may (so, right in the thick of the early stages of the shutdown). and, y’all know how much i love doing birthdays for my boys. we knew there wouldn’t be a big party with thirty kids, but we also knew that there had to be ways to still make it special for them (and bring their friends into the mix – safely – too). so, here’s what we did (and some other ideas too!):

chalk the walk for their birthdays! now, this obviously only works if the weather cooperates, but this turned out to be the best part of both of my boys’ special days. our driveway and sidewalk became a total canvas for chalked birthday wishes, and it turned out great. here’s what we did: i set up private facebook event, and set the times from 9am – 9pm on their birthdays. i was able to snag some new, unwrapped sidewalk chalk (so no one had touched it) that i put out in a bucket at the end of the driveway that kids and parents were free to use (and take after they had used it), or they were invited to bring their own chalk. we also added a sign at the end of the driveway to help direct our friends and family to what the deal was! this literally ended up being one of the best days of a very long quarantine for the boys. we got to sit outside (at a distance) and say hello to the friends who came by, say thank you, and they were able to wish our boys a happy birthday from a distance! isn’t this adorable?!

alllll the birthday decor! i realize what i’m about to say will make so many groan, but even without a party this year, i wanted to try and give my kids some birthday normalcy (for them). normal for them is this-mama-being-super-extra (and if we’re being completely, unfiltered honest here, having something to focus on other than working from home, e-learning, wearing a mask, and being worried about a global pandemic – i.e. going all out for my kids’ birthdays – was super therapeutic for me. some people drink wine, some people read, i craft.) so, even if it’s just your small little family unit, get the decorations and whoop it up. trust me when i say that your kids will never forget it (in all the good ways.) {shameless plug: remember when you’re buying party decorations that there’s a lot of us handmade artists out there who creates awesome one-of-a-kind party decorations…so not only are you making memories for your kids, but you’re also supporting a small business too! win-win!}

speaking of birthday decor… don’t forget the outside of your house. seriously, make sure your neighbors know there’s a  birthday in the house. there’s so many options for doing the large cards and signs in front yards (and to support local businesses when you do this!) for us, we went with dressing up the front door with a fun birthday wreath!

the front door birthday balloon wreath! available now from my etsy shop, customized to your party theme + colors

a very happy birthday parade! birthday parades are another awesome option, and work even when the weather isn’t fantastic! we took part in a bunch of parades in the spring and summer, and we even helped with throwing one for my niece over the summer. we always took a little bit of candy (that we threw out the car window), or a card that we could leave for the birthday kiddo, just to help make it a little more special. and, i have to say, by the summer parades we did, people were getting super awesome with decorating their cars, dressing up in costumes, making posterboard signs, and playing music. (my niece’s birthday parade was complete with darth vader pulling up in an SUV with the “star wars” theme blaring from the car!) get creative with it, let your kids get creative with it, and i guarantee you – the birthday kids will love it and will always remember it for all the best reasons!

i know this year has been so, so tough for us all, and i know birthdays are a time that we just want to give our kids a little bit of fun. it’s totally possible, even while social distancing and staying safe!

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