Let’s Party: How to Make Birthdays Special During the Pandemic

Celebrating Birthdays at Home

Blow out those candles and throw that confetti – we hear someone’s celebrating a birthday! As the pandemic continues, we’re adjusting to having birthdays with a little creativity. Special days can still be fun and memorable. Party or not, your kiddo is amazing and deserves to be celebrated! Here are some extra special ways to celebrate their birthdays from home!

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Cook an Incredible Birthday Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day (aside from dessert of course!). Serve a special breakfast for your kiddos by including their favorite dishes and a special treat. From cheesy scrambled eggs to sweet french toast piled sky-high, this is such a tasty way to start the day. If you’re ready to up the ante, whip up a batch of Funfetti Pancake Pops from scratch!

  • 1 1/3 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 box Pillsbury Funfetti Cake Mix
  • 1/3 c. Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 1/2 c. Milk
  • Extra Sprinkles
  • Cooking Spray
  • Candy Sticks

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix. Next, add in the oil, eggs and milk and fold in the sprinkles. Heat a griddle on low and spray with cooking spray. Ladle the batter onto the griddle, place a candy stick and flip once bubbles start forming in the batter. Serve with various flavored syrups, fresh butter or melted cream cheese frosting!

Have a Mighty Feast

Allow the birthday kiddo to choose the menu for the day! Cook together as a family or order in from their favorite restaurant. The possibilities with this are endlessly fun and you may just be eating ice cream breakfast, candy for lunch and pineapple pizza for dinner. It’s all about the element of surprise!

Glow & Get Funky

Create a energetic playlist full of popular beats on Pandora or Spotify. Next, gather up some glow sticks, hit the lights and challenge your family to a dance off!

Stay in for a Movie

Using a cardboard box, markers and construction paper, create a car for each kiddo and line them up in the family room. Create a table of concessions with popcorn, pretzels, candy, pop and other goodies and invite your family in for a funny flick!

Build a Fancy Fort

As a family, build a fort out of blankets, couch cushions and pillows and decorate with Christmas or faerie lights. Gather in the fort and swap funny stories and jokes. Don’t forget the snacks!

Host a Virtual Birthday Party

Thanks to technology, your kiddo can still party like a rockstar! Using apps like Facetime, Zoom, Skype or House Party, assemble your squad and connect. Seeing family and friends virtually makes celebrating a birthday even more fun. If family and friends ask to send your kiddo gifts by mail, setup a free online birthday registry through places like Target or Amazon. Gifts can be sent directly to your home and your kiddo can open them up during their virtual party. Don’t forget to sing happy birthday as a group!

Make a Prank Cake

If you have a jokester in the fam, this birthday prank will be the icing on the cake – literally! Blow up a balloon with air and tape it to a plate or tray and tape on a few candles. Using cool whip, generously cover the balloon and add sprinkles and cake decorations. When it comes time to celebrate, have your child blow out the candles then allow them to cut the cake. Be prepared for a mess but also a lot of laughs!

Schedule a Character Call

Does your kiddo love Dora, Paw Patrol, Blaze or SpongeBob? Surprise them with a call from their favorite Nick Jr. character! Signup for the Nick Jr. Birthday Club – it’s free. Simply select a character, schedule a time and enter your phone number and surprise your kiddo with a special birthday call!

Bounce in the House

Bring on the bounce! Setup a bounce house in your yard or living room and spend the afternoon bouncing around. Not only is it fun, it’s great exercise! After all, just because you can’t leave the house, doesn’t mean you can’t bounce in it!

Organize a Present Scavenger Hunt

Send the birthday girl or boy on an amazing adventure as they hunt for clues to lead them to their present! Place clues around your home and yard, including cryptic ones like word scrambles, crosswords or riddles. Not only is a scavenger hunt fun and entertaining, your kiddo will be excited for their prize at the end!

Par-Tea in the Afternoon

Pour some tea, bake a fresh batch of cookies and make yummy sandwiches for your special birthday girl! Arrange dolls or stuffed animals around the table and use pretty heirloom dishes to make it even more fancy. Enjoy your tea, darling, and try some of these delicious kid-friendly tea sandwiches:

  • Peanut Butter, Honey & Bananas
  • Ham and Cheddar Cheese
  • Raspberry Jam and Cream Cheese
  • Tuna, Mayo & Relish
  • Chicken Salad with Grapes
  • BLT’s and Mayo
  • Grilled Cheese and Tomato
  • Egg Salad with Paprika
  • Almond Butter & Marshmallow Creme
  • Nutella and Strawberries

Gear Up for an Orbeez Balloon Fight

No birthday is complete without backyard fun or an Orbeez balloon fight! Fill balloons with dry Orbeez beads and fill the balloon with water. As the beads swell, drain any leftover water and tie the balloon shut. Fill a bucket with the prepared balloons, head outside and let the friendly fight begin!

Party with Pizzazz

Pizza is a classic party food – order your favorite or make it from scratch and create a buffet of pizzas for the family enjoy. From traditional pepperoni and sausage to unique creations like savory BBQ chicken, there are so many options for your pizza parlor at home. You can even forgo cake and make dessert pizzas or homemade cinnamon sticks with frosting! Yum!

Break out the Games

It’s time for a game night! Get your game face ready and challenge the birthday celebrant to a game of their choice! Kids love games – from Monopoly to Twister to an endearing game of Scrabble – nothing is more fun that bringing out the classics. Mix it up and try out one of these other fun, family-friendly games:

Paint it all Pretty

Embrace the world of art and get painting! Pickup individual canvases and line them up on an easel at the table. Setup each station with an assortment of paints, a water cup and a brush. Create your own version of the birthday kiddos favorite paintings, or pick a theme and go for it! For a 3D painting effect, paint with puffy paints or sprinkle in some flair with various colors of glitter!

Beat the Levels

Hit the switch, grab a controller and settle in for a fun night of gaming! The birthday kiddo picks the game and snacks and their family can join in on the fun! Mix it up by playing some active features classics like Wii golf or bowling. At last, a safe way to sport indoors! Check out more of the best video games for families:

Conduct a Birthday Interview

This activity will leave the birthday kiddo feeling like they’re in the spotlight and will give parents a sweet keepsake! Make a list of questions to ask the birthday celebrant and jot down their exact answers. Ask questions like their favorite food, what they want to be when they grow up, their favorite book, favorite song, best memory so far etc. Ask these same questions each year and compile them in a scrapbook. This will make an amazing gift on their 18th birthday and will be fun to see their answers change as they grow!

Swing at a Pinata

Birthdays are filled with fun and treats – combine both with a pinata! Choose your child’s favorite animal, character or select by a theme and fill it with lots of goodies. Pinatas can be filled with more than just candy – consider adding in packets of fruit snacks, stickers, removable tattoos, playing cards, hair accessories, nail polishes, car toys and more. Swing, swing, don’t miss!

Fill a Birthday Jar

Even though friends and family are celebrating from afar, they can still chime in with birthday wishes! The week leading up to your child’s birthday, ask family, friends, teachers, neighbors and classmates to write a wish for the birthday boy or girl and to include their name and a special message. Print off the wishes and cut the paper into strips. Fold them and place in a jar and secure it with a giant ribbon. When the big day arrives, present the jar and have your child read the wishes out loud and record it for the well-wishers!

Go on a Virtual Trip

Celebrate and go all out by traveling the world! From the comfort of your couch of course! Check out a virtual field trip or tour on a tablet or computer and choose a related activity to do alongside it for added fun. Have your child read a themed book, do a craft or recreate a tower they’ve seen on a tour. Here’s a list of 45+ Virtual Field trips to enjoy from home!

Bake a Delicious Cake

In true birthday form, celebrate with heaps of decadent cake! Dig up a cherished family recipe or find one on Pinterest or among recipe sites online. Mom and dad – step in to spend some extra quality time with your birthday kiddo, and together, create wonderful memories of baking. Gather up frosting and various cake decorating elements like sprinkles or m&ms and allow your kiddo to creatively decorate their own cake, too. Don’t forget to take their photo with their creation!

Become a Master Chef

Put on an apron, it’s time to cook! The MasterChef Junior Essentials Set is a fun kit that is inspired by the show that will teach your child how to create three amazing recipes while providing all the necessary tools. Choose from various kits including baking kits, breakfast kits and pizza kits – these all will give your kiddo a fun chance to be a master chef on their special day!

Channel a Famous Character

Using notecards, have each family member write out their favorite characters from books, movies and cartoons. Fold up the papers and place in a bowl. Players will take turns acting out the characters on their cards – with a twist! They can give one hint about their character if the hint rhymes with or includes the age of the birthday kiddo! And to think you thought charades was easy!

Sing the High Notes

Setup a stage and grab a hairbrush for a mic, it’s karaoke time! Divide the family up into teams. Each player will take a turn signing a karaoke song. They, however, will omit one sentence of the song and the fastest team to finish the lyrics wins a point! The team with the most points after everyone has sang three songs – wins! Also, don’t forget to sing happy birthday, too!

Rough it in the Yard

Put up the tent, grab a sleeping bag and lots of supplies for smores and head to the backyard! Spend time as a family swapping spooky stories, chatting and playing games. When it gets dark, peek out of the tent to lookup at the night sky to admire the stars and see how many constellations you can find! For a list of constellations, click here!

Relax with a Spa Day

Birthday fun can take its toll – sit back and relax with an at home spa. Gather nail polishes, lotions, bath salts, a water basin, towels, infused water, snacks and soothing music and create your own oasis! This is especially a fun idea for moms with daughters as they can do matching mani’s and pedi’s.

Walk in a Fashion Show

Have each member of the family grab 5-10 pieces of clothing from their wardrobe like hats, shoes, scarves, etc. and place them in a bin. The birthday kiddo can then dress up and put on a fashion show to fun tunes. They then select the person to model next!

Smile for the Camera

If a fashion show leaves you inspired, create a one-of-a-kind photo booth with props! Simply find a blank space on your wall or hang up a decorated poster board. Create props from clipart online or find everyday items around your house. Strike a pose and snap a photo! Savor the memories forever with 101 free prints when you signup for a free account with Shutterfly!

Scoop up Fresh Ice Cream

Have fun making homemade ice cream to accompany the birthday cake! This recipe is super simple and best of all, kiddos of all ages will have fun helping make it! Get creative with flavors or go the traditional route, either way, scoops up!

  • 1 c. Whole Milk
  • 2 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. Vanilla
  • 1/3 c. Kosher Salt
  • Toppings of Choice
  • 2 Ziplock Bags

Directions: In one bag, add in the milk, sugar and vanilla. Place the salt in a second bag and after securing the liquid bag shut, place it in the salt bag. Shake, shake, knead and flip until ice cream hardens. Remove from the bag and add the toppings of your choice! You can also make chocolate ice cream by using chocolate milk or simply adding chocolate syrup.

Hear it from a Celeb

Surprise your child with birthday greeting from their favorite celebrity! For a fee, parents can order a personalized video message on a site called Cameo, which connects celebrities to their fans. The site features thousands of entertainers and public figures like authors, athletes, comedians, singers and more! Talk about getting the star treatment on your birthday!

Say it with Balloons

Don’t forget party decorations! Fill up balloons with helium and attach a long string. Write out messages to your kiddo in honor of their birthday and tape them to the strings. Gather the balloons carefully – and quietly – release them in their room while they sleep. In the morning, they will wake up to a room full of sweet messages, wishes and love!

Decorate their Door

Shower the birthday kiddo with extra love and decorate their bedroom door! Write messages in hearts, add streamers, pictures or balloons. Be creative, decorate as a family, and make it a fun tradition to do as surprise the birthday boy or girl!

Broadcast it on Air

Make your child glisten with excitement when they hear their name called on air! Contact their favorite radio station and ask for a birthday shout out. Most radio and some news stations will gladly wish your kiddo a happy birthday on air!

Keep the Theme

Did your kiddo have their heart set on a special theme? Tweak it and find a way to keep it! For example, if you can no longer visit the Build-A-Bear store because the mall is closed, make furry pals at home with the portable Build-A-Bear Workshop Stuffing Station instead! Not only is this a special way to keep the theme, but the birthday kiddo will enjoy it on a more personalized level!

Belate it with Vouchers

Birthdays are all about creating memorable experiences! As a family, sit down and create a birthday voucher for the birthday kiddo for an activity that you will all do at a later date. Whether it be a visit to the zoo or going out for ice cream, each family member can plan a unique outing. It will give everyone something to look forward to and allow for a dual birthday celebration for the birthday kid!

Seek Out New Traditions

Birthday traditions are wonderful! Put a twist on a current one or start fresh with one of the many ideas below!

  • Take a family selfie
  • Conduct a birthday interview
  • Record their height and age on the wall
  • Watch home videos of past birthdays
  • Write in a wish journal
  • Bake a new cake or dessert recipe
  • Sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in a different language
  • Make a birthday time capsule
  • Have a cake fight
  • Have each family member write a birthday poem

Regardless of happenings of the world on the outside, birthdays can still be special! Celebrating your child and loving them to pieces is all that will matter at the end of the day! In all, be creative, be happy, have fun and here’s to making memories without stepping foot outside the house. Happy birthday, my friend!

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