Amidst shelter in place directives and social distancing, birthday parties all over are being cancelled, and rightly so. We are all doing our best to figure out how to proceed with life while doing our part to flatten the curve. I had a train themed birthday party planned for Lawson’s second birthday, but with the big CV happening in our world, I quickly realized we would need to cancel. I didn’t want the day to be a complete bust for Lawson, so I decided to proceed with a social distancing birthday party. I have to say- I’m pleased with how it turned out and I want to share our best social distancing birthday party tips with you!
Tip 1: Gather Decorations | In my opinion, decorations make a birthday party. Just because you’re having a social distancing birthday party doesn’t mean it has to be boring! Scout your closets and craft rooms and find anything that can be used for decorations. Don’t have anything? Have your kids get construction paper or computer paper and make chain link garland! Cut out pictures of balloons or your party theme for decorations. I keep a stash of leftover party supplies in our guest closet and found a Mickey Mouse tablecloth, plates, cups, napkins, and even streamers! Gather what you have or make what you don’t- don’t fret about it being perfect. The fun is what matters anyway!
Tip 2: Make Your Birthday Dessert | Many people have stocked up on essentials like flour, eggs, sugar, etc. We happened to have 2 different boxes of cake mix in the pantry, as well as some cream cheese and raspberries in our fridge. I always keep a box of cupcake liners in the pantry, but if you don’t have any you can cut parchment paper squares or just bake a cake! Get creative with your cake and use jams or jellies as filling, holiday sprinkles, or food coloring to help make your social distancing birthday party cake more festive.
Tip 3: Wrap Your Gifts | We we’re lucky that we had gifts at our home already for Lawson’s social distancing birthday party, and I made sure to find as many cute birthday bags from our guest closet as possible. I’m not the only person that saves birthday gift bags am I? Don’t have gifts? No problem! Order some fun energy burning indoor toys online ahead of time or print pictures of what the gifts will be and wrap those! Another idea is to purchase a movie like Disney + Pixar’s Onward on Digital as a gift and print out fun activities for it and wrap them.
Tip 4: Have Guests Drop Off Their Gifts | Many of your original party guests will still want to be a part of your social distancing birthday party if it is possible. Invite guests to drop their gifts off on your porch! You can wait for them to leave, sanitize their gift, and then open the gift. I have even seen people get creative by leaving a big box in the driveway and inviting guests to drive by in a little caravan with posters and fun signs to drop their gift off. Everyone stays in their car and can even sing Happy Birthday with the windows rolled down. Not to mention, both ways allow for your guests to participate in social distancing which is great for everyone.
Tip 5: Utilize New Ways to Sing Happy Birthday & Open Gifts | Since no one should be having social gatherings right now, it’s time to get creative with singing and opening gifts for your social distancing birthday party. You have lots of great options to try! FaceTime is an amazing option. Did you know you can make group FaceTime calls now? We were able to call both sets of parents so we could all sing Lawson “Happy Birthday” and it was great! Everyone felt involved and loved joining on the call. Zoom is also another way to stay connected during this time. Give everyone a Zoom link and a specific time to join so you can have many guests participating! You can also record as your child opens their gifts and text it to the gift giver as you say thanks.
More than anything- my biggest tip for the best social distancing birthday party ever is to just make the most out of the situation. Things are hard right now. They’re really hard. The more you are thankful for the opportunity to celebrate this birthday, the better it will be. You will get through this and you will be stronger because of it. This moment is defining parenthood for many of us and defines the childhood of so many. Your mindset is so important for your kids. Let them remember that this was the most fun, creative, and silly social distancing birthday party ever. They’ll remember how much mom and dad tried to make it so special despite what was going on in the world.