In a year that has been largely uncertain, it’s tough to know how to celebrate birthdays – as per the ever-changing rules and also in terms of what’s sensible and what we’re comfortable with. Whilst the type of celebration we host for our children might be in a state of flux, what we know for sure is that it is important to acknowledge milestones and honour a whole year of growing up. In Montessori schools, it is important for children to be aware of their own development and achievements – this promotes positive mental health and strengthens their relationships with others. We also know that social interaction is the life of any party.

montessori blog on socially distancing tips for birthday celebrations

With this in mind, here are some creative solutions to help you celebrate your child in the midst of a pandemic:

  • Host a virtual party – you can do it yourself and there are even companies that can run an event for you. Some ideas are to choose a theme (pirates, princesses, animals etc.) and encourage kids to dress up. They could learn a dance together, go on a scavenger hunt (set a timer and get the kids to hunt for objects around the house) or play games. You could even have a cake and get all the kids to huff and puff and pretend do blow out the candles together; families could provide their child with a special treat to have in lieu of birthday sponge.
  • Host a garden party – if the weather permits and you can mingle safely (2m social distancing, disinfectant, hand washing etc. – CLICK HERE for government guidelines), you could have an outdoor picnic, organise a scavenger hunt or have a hula-hoop competition. You could even show a movie (with a projector and sheet) with chairs set up according to safety rules.
  • Plan a virtual day trip or theatre event – there are masses of online resources out there at the moment, from safari online and tours of castles and stately homes (the world over) to theatre performances and gallery visits. You could organise a time and share a link for kids to participate in a virtual trip/production together; then have a chat and snacks (provided by each family) after.
  • Do a drive-by – kit your family car with balloons and organise to drive by friends’ houses with a goodie bag or gift; as much as little ones love to receive gifts, they will also enjoy giving gifts to commemorate their birthday. You could also organise for friends and family to post a “Happy Birthday” sign in their windows and then surprise your child with a celebratory drive-by around the neighbourhood.
  • Have a special day at home – decorate your house, dress up, make your child’s favourite meal and do an arts and crafts project together, build a den or create a throne for the birthday boy or girl; the more out of the ordinary, the better!

Any of these celebrations, from staying at home to hosting Zoom party, will require time, thought and lateral thinking from parents but the memories made will last a lifetime – and even go down in history as “that time our family had a party in a pandemic”…

Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash