This time of social distancing is hard enough, but what if you have a birthday to celebrate? One thing that I know to be true from living in Haiti for six years is that when there aren't a whole lot of entertainment opportunities, you look for EVERY excuse to celebrate. Last year, we had BIG plans for my daughter's 13th birthday. Unfortunately, the country (Haiti) was shut down due to political instability and violence. We were not aloud to use the roads. But that didn't stop us from making it memorable! Birthdays are special...especially for our kiddos! So, here are some ideas that you can use to make their birthday one they'll never forget!
1. Send Cards in the Mail
A week before the big day, ask your friends and family to send a card in the mail. If they don't have a card, they can make one! If they don't have stamps, have them send an email and you can print it off.
2. Make a Scavenger Hunt
Take all the cards and hide them all over your house and yard. Give the clue to the first card and send your kiddo hunting!
3. Host a Virtual Party on Zoom
There are many ways to host virtual parties! Zoom is one easy and high quality way to spend time virtually with a group. Set up a time and send out an invitation with the link to your friends and family. You could even play games like Pictionary or Charades. Why not amp up the fun and ask everyone to wear their favorite hat do a crazy hairstyle?! While you can't share your dessert with your friends, they CAN all sing Happy Birthday before you blow out your candles.
4. Order Dessert
This is a great time to support local businesses! Choose a local bakery or a restaurant with amazing desserts and buy something sweet like a cake or cookies. Or, find something that you have on hand - be creative...it doesn't have to be a cake!
5. Take a Trip
One of the perks of this nation-wide quarantine is that many museums, zoos and theme parks all over the world are giving FREE virtual tours. If you've been waiting to take a trip to Paris, France to see the Louvre...now is the time! Here is a list of virtual tours all around the world.
6. Get Creative
A 13th birthday is a big deal. We needed to do something that would make it something Morgan would remember forever. We decided to have an initiation to her teenage years. We started a campfire and then without her knowing, surprised her with a little crazy face painting ceremony. Be silly. Be creative. Create memories for your kiddo. Show them that it doesn't cost a ton of money (or planning) to have fun and make a day special. You never know, you may come up with a new family tradition!
And - if you have a friend or family member who is celebrating a birthday during this time, here are some ideas for you to make their day special without risking interaction...
1. Drive by their house and do something special. We are legally aloud to leave our houses. Make a poster or blow up some balloons and head over to the birthday house. Honk your horn and hold your signs up through the window. Sing happy birthday and drive on.
2. Send a gift. Plan ahead and send a card or a gift in the mail. Support a local business, or find a gift on Amazon. Many businesses are offering discounts right now since they are relying on virtual sales to sustain their businesses.
3. Send a video. Record yourself singing happy birthday. Send it privately, or make a public declaration of those long distance birthday wishes on Facebook or YouTube.
4. Make a phone call. Not a text or email or Facebook message. A real, old school phone call means a lot.