Over the past seven months, we’ve seen a drastic shift in how we celebrate our kids’ birthdays. We’ve had to say goodbye to big parties with all of their friends, outings to their favourite places, and even blowing out the candles on a cake.
We’ve scrambled to find ways to celebrate our kids on their birthdays to keep the world as “normal” for them as possible. The virtual birthday celebration was quickly followed by the drive-through birthday party and physically distanced gatherings in larger outdoor spaces.
But here’s the thing—our kids are missing their friends. As much as we’re missing the normalcy of heading into the office or dropping the kids off at school, our kids are wishing they could be spending time with their buddies. And their birthdays are a reminder of just how much they miss them.
So how can you make your child’s birthday extra special during a global pandemic—with and without friends? Here are 7 ways to make it birthday’s a big deal for your kiddo.
I can’t stress this enough—kids LOVE balloons! And streamers! And banners! Go crazy and decorate your house the night before their birthday so when they wake up in the morning they are greeted by a birthday bonanza. It’s the perfect way to set the tone for an amazing day.
Get a gorgeous cake in their favourite flavour
If your child has a sweet tooth, picking out the perfect cake for their birthday can make a real impact. And the best part is that there are a lot of great bakeries in Toronto and the GTA that offer delivery (and curbside pickup) so you can keep things physically distanced and safe.
Take them on a drive-through adventure
There are a lot of amazing businesses that have gotten creative when COVID-19 made itself known. One of the innovations that we’ve seen is the drive-through event. These are a great way to do something different and fun for a birthday celebration without worrying about needing to wear masks or keep 6 feet apart. Check out our list of the best drive-through experiences happening in Ontario.
Host a birthday parade
While more and more attractions and events are opening up, there is something so wonderful about rounding up your kids’ family and friends to have a drive-by birthday parade. Encourage kids to bring signs, balloons, and homemade cards to make sure your child gets a chance to feel celebrated. It’s a great way for them to see and have a quick, physically distanced visit with all of their friends.
Plan a special outing or party
Now, while having 10 to 15 of your kids nearest and dearest in your home or at a playground might not be the best idea during the current times, when you lower the numbers it starts to become more manageable. Invite one or two of your kids’ closest friends and plan a special outing or a fun party—by keeping the numbers low, you’ll be in much more control of physical distancing, hand washing, and whatever other measures you need to abide by. Check out our list of the birthday party venues that are currently open in Toronto and the GTA.
Invite your bubble for a backyard party!
We’ve all been living with our social bubbles for a few months now. While your bubble may be mostly family, inviting your social bubble is a great way to have a bigger party to celebrate a birthday. Look for at-home party entertainers who can safely come to your home (or backyard!) and have a princess, a superhero, a balloon artist or even a magician.
Let them have free rein
Another trend we’ve been seeing a lot lately is letting kids have a “yes” day. This boils down to letting your kid make all the decisions for that day. From what you eat to what they wear to what you do—they get to decide exactly what they want to do. Maybe they want McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or maybe they want to go to the car wash. Think of it as a pick-your-own-adventure bi