Celebrating a Birthday in a Time of Social Distancing
From balancing work at home while navigating through lesson plans, and managing cabin fever, there are many things that families are trying to work through. A single day can feel like it’s crammed with a week’s worth of challenges (definitely a week’s worth of coffee). But while all of this is happening, so are birthdays.
I’ve had the privilege of managing birthday parties at Kidspace for the past two years. I say it’s a privilege because it is so meaningful to be a part of a child’s special day, and to work with a family to bring it all together. For a child, (and many adults), birthdays are a really important thing. It’s something they look forward to all year. So how can we celebrate a birthday during a time when we’re being asked to stay apart?
Here are some ideas on how to keep a special day special:
• Virtual party: Plan a virtual “party” with family and friends. There are many platforms that allow group video conferencing, like Zoom. Planning a time to sing happy birthday, or for your child’s friends to have a virtual face to face with the birthday child, is a great way to let friends and family connect and celebrate a special day.
• Plan phone calls: Kids love to talk on the phone! It’s amazing how long my son can stay on the phone with his friends, and family. From Pokemon to sports activities, he has a captive and willing audience to chat to. Because he does not have his own phone, he sees having access to mine as something special. Scheduling calls with loved ones throughout the day will create little surprise moments for your child to look forward to.
• Ask friends to send special messages: This can be in the form of a written text (there are some kid friendly message apps available), a picture of a card or note, or an e-card. There are a few greeting card companies that offer free e-cards through their websites.
• Something special at home:
– Create “coupons” for your child to redeem throughout the day for a special activity. This can be something like “let’s watch your favorite movie” or “breakfast for dinner.”
– Make a magical moment at home by filling a room with balloons, having a bubble party in the backyard, or streamers down a hall or in doorways they can walk through.
– Come up with a birthday scavenger hunt that leads to a gift.
It’s never too late to celebrate a birthday. If it’s a month or more after the actual date, when the time is right, friends and family will still want to be a part of it. And after going through a challenging time, there’s nothing like a slice of cake and being with the people we love to bring some joy back into our lives.
Please visit our Kidspace-At-Home: Virtual Learning & Play Resources for blogs, videos, and helpful links.