kids

The most creative ways to celebrate your child's birthday in the age of COVID-19.

Birthdays are always a special time for families, and just because things are incredibly different right now, it doesn’t mean your child’s birthday can’t be celebrated.

In fact, it’s a great way to bring back some normality to life and to make your kids feel special. Oh, and to spark some joy – something we all no doubt need right now.

Alas, given the two-person public gathering rule and social distancing guidelines, typical celebrations are off the cards. Meaning it’s time to get creative.

Mamamia spoke to Linda Ho, co-founder of Play & Go Adelaide, about all the ways parents can be creative in celebrating their child’s birthday at home.

“For some kids, birthdays would normally be just a school day or parents would be at work, so it will feel special for them to have everyone at home to celebrate together,” Ho says. “And don’t worry if there’s a bit of extra sugar this year.”

Here are her ideas for how to celebrate your child’s birthday during the age of COVID-19.

How to celebrate your child’s birthday at home.

kids birthday coronavirus
Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT

"Balloons are a great way to create atmosphere," Ho says. "Have big number or letter balloons sitting outside their bedroom door so it’s the first thing they see in the morning or fill up your pantry with them overnight so that they fall out on top of them when they open the doors."

Ho says you can use your child's favourite food as a method of celebrating, for example making them special pancakes for breakfast in the shape of their age.

"Let them pick what they would like to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s their day and if they want McDonalds or KFC, then be happy and excited about it – even if it’s not what you’d usually like them to eat," Ho tells Mamamia.

Parents can also hide little presents all over the house and do a treasure hunt for their child. Or, get something delivered on their birthday, like donuts or a chocolate bouquet.

"Who doesn’t like a special delivery?!" Ho added.

Additionally, Red Balloon has just launched 'experiences at home' which is full of creative ideas for making birthdays special without leaving the comfort and safety of the house.

Experiences on offer include Laser Tag at home, homemade pizza and pasta kits, family hula hoop lessons and more.

Side note... Listen to our latest episode of This Glorious Mess: Little Kids, hosted by Leigh Campbell and Tegan Natoli. Post continues below audio.

ADVERTISEMENT

How to keep children connected with their friends on their birthday.

Of course, it's important to pertain to the social distancing and self-isolation rules, so children shouldn't be seeing their friends right now for social reasons.

But that doesn't mean they can't speak to their friends on their birthday.

Ho says it is a good idea to organise a video call with friends so that everyone can sing 'Happy Birthday' to your child on their special day.

You can also ask friends to send a recorded video message to the birthday child.

"A popular idea that’s doing the rounds on social media is organising a car parade where friends drive past one by one in their cars and wish the birthday child a Happy Birthday," Ho adds.

"They can beep the horn, decorate their cars with party decorations and call out to the birthday child who is on the footpath." (Although depending on what state or territory you live in, driving without an essential reason is prohibited. You can read more about this here).

How to keep your child entertained during school holidays.

kids birthday coronavirus
Image: Supplied.

Even if it's not their birthday, keeping kids entertained while we're all at home can be a challenge in itself.

Luckily, Ho has some advice.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Get outside for fresh air and exercise at least once a day if you can – it will do wonders for you physically and mentally (unless you are quarantined or self-isolating and are not allowed to leave the house)."

Ho continued: "Get involved in the ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ activity where people are putting bears at the front of their house or windows so that children can go for a walk around their neighbourhood and ‘hunt’ for bears. It’s a wonderful community initiative to make things a little bit magical for kids who are staying at home during this time."

'Don't put too much pressure on yourself.'

The kids entertainment expert adds that it's important parents don't put too much pressure on themselves during this time.

"If you need to let them have screen time to get things done around the house, or do some work, don’t feel guilty. We’ve got to do what we’ve got to do.

"Don’t forget that back when we were young, most parents did not plan things for kids and there were few school holiday programs and activities, play cafes or entertainment venues. Kids just found things to do. We’re going back to basics and it could be a great way for our children to learn to be self-sufficient, plus be a great lesson in resilience."

And for your own mental health as a parent right now, Ho adds that parents should "lower their expectations of what they think they'll achieve in a day... and then lower them again."

"We need to remember to be kind to ourselves. These are extra-ordinary circumstances and it’s okay to not have everything perfect.

"Kids actually don’t need much to keep them entertained. Let them explore and play using their own imagination – we don’t need to fill all their day with things to do."

Read more on COVID-19:

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.

Feature Image: Supplied.


Sign up for our weekly newsletter For Humans With Kids, where Holly Wainwright shares her parenting nails and fails, and stories from the glorious mess that is family life.


00:00 / ???