Keep it small. Obviously, large gatherings are off the table right now. But birthdays can be just as special with immediate family members. Research shows kids find these birthdays just as meaningful and memorable as a big, expensive party.
Create anticipation. Build up to the big day - present your child with seven envelopes, each containing a small privilege (15 minutes of extra screen time, 30 min. later bedtime, etc.) He can open one each day in the week leading up to his birthday.
Celebrate the night before, too. This is a great way to help your child reflect on and feel proud of another year of life, minus the distraction of presents. Take this time to give them some special attention instead of material things.
Surprise decorating. Decorate with balloons, streamers, and signs while your little one is sleeping. It will be a fun surprise and a great photo op in the morning!
Entertainment via Zoom. Parents can book a virtual professional magic show or a video chat with Elsa. Check out Send In the Clowns .
Go for a birthday cruise. Deck out your family car with decorations and special messages written on the windows and drive around town! Your child is sure to get lots of honks and happy birthdays from passerby.
Go on an outdoor scavenger hunt. Divide into teams with one adult and one or more kids each, and set out with a list of items and some phones or digital cameras. Have each team snap photos of a purple flower, someone with a stroller, a house number with the birthday child’s age.
Give them a “Yes Day.” Let the birthday child choose all the day’s meals and activities (within reason of course).
Let them create their own cake. The birthday child chooses the cake flavor, fillings or frosting, and decorations. It will be all the more special because it was their creation.
Big-kid smash cake. If you don’t mind some clean-up, put a twist on the traditional toddler smash cake and let the entire family eat cake sans utensils. Laughs guaranteed!
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