How to Celebrate Birthday in Quarantine

Birthdays are one of the highlights of childhood.  Children wait for them as they do for Christmas and Chanukah.  Some even celebrate their half birthdays or plan for a birthday week.  I know in my home we plan our parties way in advance with guest lists, themes, party favors all mapped up with particularity and precision.  Celebrating a birthday during social distancing time can be so difficult. Is anyone actually invited?  Can younger children enjoy a virtual party?  How does that work exactly?  Who is eating the cake, cutting the cake, blowing out the candles?  So many things seem wrong or off during this turbulent time of Coronavirus.  Many children are missing out on important events and milestones as the world is on pause, and we know it can be disappointing. If your child has a birthday during this quarantine, here are some ideas to help them celebrate so their birthday is still a  great day, albeit different than last year!

1. Obstacle Course, Scavenger Hunt, and Escape Room 

While fun entertainment establishments like trampoline parks, escape rooms, arcades, and laser tags are closed, try recreating these fun activities on your own for your child to enjoy! Create your own obstacle course or escape room in your own home. Establish a goal at the end of the activities, such as your child’s present awaits!  Keep the birthday theme going through the entire house for added fun! Create a laser dodging obstacle out of streamers by taping each end to one side of a hallway in crisscross patterns, so your child must climb through them without touching them. Create tunnels to crawl through by lining up chairs or boxes and drape them with sheets and string lights. Have children hop through a maze of hula hoops on the floor. At the end, have your child’s presents set within reach, so they can win them when they come to the end of the activities for a fun prize!  Create a scavenger hunt by hiding their presents throughout the house, giving them clues to use to track them down. Everything is up to you, and you can do any combination of scavenger hunts, obstacle courses, and escape rooms depending on what your child likes the most! You can even get your child’s friends involved by giving each of them a clue. Have your child contact them each one by one by calling them or video chatting them to help them get the answer and go on to the next step. 


2. Drive-by Birthday Party


This is a new idea that has arisen due to the current pandemic and has been one of the good and uplifting things people have begun to do during this difficult time. Drive-by birthday parties can be so fun, even if they are not like a typical birthday party, and can make your child feel so special! Send out an invite to all friends and family. Give them a specific time to come slowly drive by your house to create a parade for your child! Ask them to decorate big birthday signs to hold out the window, and do any other fun ideas they can think of, such as tying balloons or streamers on the car, blowing bubbles, playing music or honking their horn. You and your child will sit outside and watch as all your friends and family drive by for a fun—but safe—birthday party! Don’t forget to set out balloons and decorate the front yard so it truly feels like a party! 


3. Virtual Games


Gather the family for a fun night of board games! Have your child choose their favorite games you own to play with the family and make a nice night in out of it. Your child can also have a virtual party online with friends and play plenty of classic board games! Uno, Scrabble, and Boggle are all free and available on the Google Play store. You can also get Monopoly and the Game of Life for just a few dollars each. Send out an invite to all your child’s friends to join them on your chosen video chat program, and have your child choose a few games for them to play together!


4. Bake


Bake and decorate a cake or your child’s other favorite dessert with them! Find a recipe for your child’s favorite dessert and learn how to make it from scratch! Make a fun day out of it; spend some great time bonding with your child on their special day, and also teach them more about baking! Decorate the kitchen with streamers and balloons, and put on some fun party music to dance to while you bake. Once the cake cools, have your child decorate it to their heart’s desire. Use fun sprinkles, colorful frosting, and whatever else they love! After that, gather the family and light the candles for a traditional birthday cake celebration. Enjoy!

5. Dance party


Turn down the lights and turn up the music! Decorate the living room or playroom with lots of fun lights. Line the walls with string lights, get out any disco balls or disco ball lamps, and any other fun lights you have around the house. Grab some glow-sticks for extra fun! Have your child pick their favorite music or tune into a channel with plenty of upbeat dance and pop music, then turn off the overhead lights and have some fun dancing! This is fun for the whole family, not just the birthday kid! Dance parties can also be held virtually with friends. Make sure everyone has some room to dance, then have one person share their music, and all the kids can dance together from their own homes!

6. Campout


As the weather gets warmer, many people are excited to spend more time outdoors and go camping. But with the current state of the world, many campsites are not open. Have your own summer fun by camping out in your backyard! Set up a tent and make it comfortable with pillows and blankets. Create a small fire and cookout on it for a birthday dinner. Celebrate with birthday s’mores or cake for dessert! Have a nice, relaxing, and fun night with your family, sitting under the night sky, star gazing, and telling fun stories! This is a great idea for kids who love camping or being outdoors. Especially in this time when we aren’t able to go out as much as we used to, an outdoor retreat is just what they may need! 

7. Spa Birthday


This pandemic is like nothing we have ever experienced before, and kids are all being taught remotely for the first time in history. It has been a very stressful time for teachers, parents, and even children, who have had their schedules uprooted during a very scary time. Pamper your child and help them de-stress with a spa day on their birthday. A spa day between you and your daughter was one of our favorite ideas we featured in our Valentine’s Day article and includes wonderful ideas on how to create your own spa at home! This is a great tradition, to begin with your daughter; you two can bond while having some fun and relaxing together! 

8. Style Her Hair

Empower your daughter by making her look her best. Style her beautiful curls in a way she will love! Try out a hairstyle your child has always wanted to be done, or search for a new one just for this special occasion. Check out some of these amazing special occasion styles for curly hair. You can also add some extra fun by finishing off the style with some glitter hairspray or hair chalk. Check out our article on how to dip-dye your child’s hair with kool-aid!

9. Movie night and Sleepover

Get on your favorite pajamas and make a pillow fort or get comfortable on the couch with lots of blankets and pillows! Have your child choose a few of their favorite movies and watch them together as a family for a movie night. Have extra fun by camping out in the living room and having a slumber party! Grab plenty of blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags and lay them out on the floor. Get comfortable and watch some movies and remember to bring plenty of your child’s favorite snacks. This activity can also be done virtually with your child’s friends. Have everyone dress up in their pajamas and log into video chat. Have your child share their screen as they watch one of their favorite movies. Have all the kids get comfortable in their beds and it will be like a real sleepover, just make sure they don’t stay up too late! 

Atara Twersky, Author of Curlee Girlee is a TODAY Show Style Icon. Her mission is to teach girls to embrace the beautiful curls they have with power and confidence. Join us as together we change the “coarse” of curly hair. Don’t forget to check out our recent article on What to Do or Say if Your Daughter is Showing Signs of Hating Her Curly Hair.

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