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Planning a Birthday Party at Home

When we realized we would be celebrating my daughter's birthday under lockdown here in California, I definitely started to feel extra pressure to make the day special. Like many kids across the country, my daughter has been struggling these past several weeks with not being able to go to school or see her friends. She's too young to understand what this means (do any of us really?) but she's old enough to realize her life and routine have been majorly disrupted. And let's be honest, some days that has led to meltdowns, sadness, and sometimes anger. When it dawned on her she wasn't going to be able to have the birthday party she had been dreaming about for months, she was pretty upset. But with a little extra planning, creativity, and help from our closest friends and family, we were able to pull off one of the most special days she's ever had! The day was jam-packed with waffles, cake, dance parties, friends (in social distance style of course), Zooms and FaceTime chats galore, and ended with a family movie night and sleepover in the living room.

So if, like us, the COVID-19 Pandemic has thrown a wrench in your party plans, we’ve gathered a list of 8 fun ways to celebrate your child under the current state of affairs.

Birthday parade

Ask friends and family if they can drive by your house with balloons, music playing, and birthday signs. Your child will get a kick out of seeing everyone drive past their house all for them. Alternatively, you can ask neighbors to put up birthday signs in their windows for your child to view while on a neighborhood stroll.

Balloons (lots and lots of balloons)

Have you ever made a balloon arch? Oh Happy Day will show you how here: 

Build Your Own Cake:

Bake a cake and then set out frosting, sprinkles, candles, etc. and decorate it TOGETHER for a fun activity. 

Surprise Video Call

Organize a surprise zoom call with friends and family. If it’s too hard to pick a time that works for everyone, you can request that they send videos to you via email instead. You can then play little warm wishes for your little one throughout the day.

Another fun idea is to facetime or video call with family members while your child opens their gifts. Grandma and Grandpa will love to be able to see the smile on your child’s face while they open their gifts. 

Backyard Campout

Set up the tent, roast smores, and sleep under the stars.

Scavenger Hunt

Arrange for your birthday boy or girl to follow clues to find their birthday loot. They’ll have a blast trying to find their presents, we promise, and you’ll have fun watching their anticipation as they get closer and closer to their prizes!

Backyard Movie Projector

Rent or buy a projector, pop some popcorn and watch their favorite movie in the backyard with the whole family. 

Facetime a Character 

Did you know that your child can actually Facetime Anna from Frozen? For just $5, your little can get a birthday wish from Princess Anna at @annaofathens on Instagram. Other companies offer similar services with other Disney characters! Here are a couple of our favorites: and




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