Here we are: March. Round two of Covid birthday celebrations for our spring birthday kids.
The first time through, we did birthday drive-bys, threw toilet paper in jest and well, necessity, and created fire truck parades. Now we are a year in, exhausted, and looking for safe, novel ideas for our kids and families.
Try on some of these ideas for Covid-safe birthdays:
Pin the Tail on the Donkey
This doesn’t have to the exact game – spice it up. For my husband’s birthday, we made a “Pin the Tongue on Venom” game, but this could easily be “Pin the Mask on Sarah,” instead.
Again, why not bring back this treat? You can easily buy bandanas (note: later can be used as a second layer for a mask) and take turns swinging at a pinata. They are super easy to make, so you can utilize those old diaper or Amazon boxes.
Arts and crafts
Instead of having a shared table and art materials, make the supplies the actual “goodie bag.” Spread individual blankets out, spaced apart, with the canvas and materials for each to use already on the blanket. This allows a natural, “find your blanket,” and designated space for each person. This same concept was how we managed to host a socially-distanced, safe pumpkin-decorating party with two families, yet kept the kids feeling connected.
If you want to gather a couple of families, consider purchasing cheap instant print cameras and each family can complete the scavenger hunt within their own unit. This option works great if you want to have a unique experience but not hang out forever in one unit.
Print clues, pre-plant items, or make a list of items needing to be accomplished. The camera picture is proof they completed the list. Let families know you are doing a scavenger hunt birthday so they know ahead of time they won’t simply be at the birthday party.
If you do not want to physically leave the party, you can do the same concept individually by planting objects around the yard or using those items found in nature. Depending on how you want to achieve it, you can either make these with a camera or without.
Minute to win it covid-safe games
RedTri compiled a list of Minute To Win It games that are covid-friendly, for the most part. Consider the blanket idea to maintain space. Each blanket can already contain all of the materials needed for the games.
Decorate a face mask
This can seem cliche but what better way to make sure the guests are actually wearing a face mask? Pre-buy surgical masks and white cloth masks. Explain the surgical masks will go under the decorated face masks so you “don’t get marker on your face.”
Alternatively, you can print masks with the birthday boy/girl’s smile on the mask. If you have a shy child, consider putting the snouts of various animals so as not to embarrass them. Whichever way, have fun with it and it will make it more likely the kids will actually wear the masks.
Set out an abundance of yard games that allow for spacing. Corn hole, frisbee toss, yard bowling, bocce ball, Kan jam, Spikeball, badminton, Flickin’ Chicken, and lawn darts are all perfect for social distancing and still having a blast. Many of these are not necessarily games for younger kids but hey, we have tweens, spouses, siblings, parents and friends we may be celebrating.
When it comes to planning your party, where you have it directly affects how you plan the party. Take into consideration the place to prepare the best route of keeping everyone safe.
Virtual birthday parties
A virtual party is obviously the safest option. I will include a birthday drive-by in virtual because although is not via the internet, it still is not in-person. If you are opting for an online celebration, make details specific so guests don’t just stare at each other.
You can do kids’ scavenger hunts online or play Among Us. You could also plan a pre-set Steam game, like Clue, while Zooming to see each other. All the guests could make a “Happy Birthday” sign ahead of time to show the guest-of-honor while singing.
At a park
If you plan on utilizing local parks, research if you need to rent out picnic tables and shelters. Some have a fee for using the parks while others are simply first-come, first-serve. Many have bathrooms, but be mindful of when they are unlocked. Others use port-a-lets.
Many parks have playgrounds, while others have walking paths. Consider what you are okay with. If you have young kids and there is a playground, you should be prepared for them to flock to it, making physical distancing a nightmare. Others may be busy parks with soccer games and baseball fields, making any privacy for your party impossible. Research to ensure you are able to cater your party to the park.
With a backyard, you have the most control over the elements. Whether this is how spacing looks or what types of food are served, you can regulate each aspect. With this option, though, you have to be willing to set ground rules to keep guests safe.
Consider prepping the invite with the things you consider non-negotiables: not coming if sick or exposed, mandatory spacing, and mask-wearing. Ask parents to explain to the kids why protocols are in place ahead of time. Because there are limits to gatherings at the present time, you have the ability to not invite those who won’t abide by these guidelines.
At a venue
Venues typically take a lot of the guesswork away. They plan out food and activities, sometimes even supply the cake. Check each venue’s policies and ask questions on how they are keeping patrons and party-goers safe. Pass that information onto the parents, as some may be concerned about how their kiddo will be safe attending.
Stay tuned for part two of my Covid birthday checklist.