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P&K How To: How to Make Your Child’s Birthday Special During a Pandemic

A birthday is usually one day of the year a child looks forward to most. Balloons, cake, and presents—what’s not to love? Although this year’s party prospects are bleak, a birthday under quarantine doesn’t have to be totally boring! Check out these tips to make your child feel extra celebrated this year. 

There are lots of activities that are still allowed right now—why not visit a park and set up a birthday picnic? Bring bubbles, jump ropes, or a frisbee to throw. Make an afternoon of spending time outdoors as a family—you could even try a scavenger hunt for a birthday present. If weather doesn’t permit, spend the day inside with a board game or movie marathon, complete with a pillow fort. Download the “Netflix Party” app to watch a movie with friends. Let the birthday boy or girl be “king or queen for the day” and choose all meals, movies, and games. Let them stay up past their bedtime!

Ask loved ones to record short videos with birthday messages to your child. It’s easy to put all of the clips together in a software like iMovie, and it’s totally free. This video is something your child can watch again and again, and it will be fun to reflect on as a family years from now. Of course, you could also ask family members for birthday cards. Who doesn’t love receiving mail?

Birthdays are a wonderful opportunity to support local businesses, and there are plenty of ways to help. Consider rental services, like birthday yard signs or bounce houses. Even if it’s just for your own family, imagine how cool it would be to wake up with a bounce house in your back yard! There are also several local services that can place signs in your yard to let the whole neighborhood know you’re celebrating a birthday. You could even hire someone to create a balloon arch around your front door in honor of the birthday boy or girl. Don’t forget about restaurants and bakeries—give yourself the day off from cooking and order dinner (and a birthday cake) from your child’s favorite restaurant. 

Try to keep up any other family birthday traditions such as opening presents together or having cake and ice cream after dinner. This will help your child cope with this birthday being slightly different than others. 

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