Before the covid lockdown our children`s birthdays followed a similar path. Apart from first birthday of course which is special and worthy of a grand party. You set a time, invite family and friends around and everyone catches up over some nibbles and drinks then you have a cake and tea/coffee. Generally what follows is some jovial singing before everyone gradually filters out leaving us drained and ready for the clean up before you get to relax.
We are at the lucky stage where our children are not old enough to want parties at soft play and they don’t want everyone from their school class round, with the odd exception or two. Those days will come soon enough and may be a blessing in regards clean up, despite the cost. So as our big girl turned 6 we had to plan what to do as hopefully it`ll be a unique experience for us all. A covid lockdown child birthday in itself made it special. This was just another parenting challenge in light of our unprecedented situation http://www.funkydaddy.net/blog/covid-parenting-in-unprecedented-times/
The morning followed the normal birthday routine of presents and breakfast before getting ready for the “party”. Instead of setting a time for everyone to come to ours however we had arranged individual times for either video calls or visits from relatives who live locally. They could come along and visit as part of their daily exercise within social distance guidelines across the footpath. The interaction was surreal, conversation and catch up from afar as presents were left at a neutral distance, like a hostage and ransom being handed over in a bad 1980`s spy movie.
The other surreal element was the cake, a beautiful princess cake on which she blew the candles out several times, each time on a smaller cake. The first chunk cut off after our first visit at lunchtime finished by the last candle blow out around 6pm. By that time we had the remaining section ourselves. The video call relatives didn’t get any, sorry!. By this stage we were all knackered with the back and forth throughout the afternoon and in all fairness it was probably more tiring than having a “normal” party.
The evening routine was dictated by the birthday girl and we had a Dominos pizza party. Nothing too different or unusual there although I have no doubt had restaurants been open she would have had us out for dinner. This would have been after some gradual persuasion from me of course. The biggest positive for me though was the contact with her school friends and their parents through Whatsapp and other social media (on our phones of course) . Numerous little videos and messages really brightened her day and distracted her from a very obscure birthday, not that she will have noticed too much.
This was just our experience and everyone will have their own ideas but of you are reading this searching for inspiration why not have a read of this article in the Guardian which has some fantastic ideas, https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/apr/18/celebrate-childs-birthday-lockdown-party-coronavirus. Or have you had child`s birthday party during covid lockdown and what did you do differently?
Stay home and stay safe