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How to Celebrate Your Birthday While Social Distancing

two handfuls rainbow sprinkles

Though the Berkeley area is gradually reopening, social distancing as much as possible will remain a smart idea until a COVID-19 vaccine is found and is widely available. This can be a bummer for those who have to stay at home on their birthday. It can be especially rough on kids in quarantine.

COVID-19 is forcing all of us to get creative. Fortunately, creativity is the key to launching an amazing socially distanced birthday party! Here are six ideas to get you started.

1. Launch a Socially-Distanced Birthday Parade

You’ll need to recruit family, friends, and neighbors to support your loved one on their birthday. Have them decorate their cars with streamers, happy birthday posters, and whatever else their creativity can come up with.

Then ask them to drive by the house. Have each person bring one balloon, and you’ll have one big birthday bunch at the end.

This idea is especially great because it gets to the heart of what a birthday celebration is all about: showing someone that they’re loved! It doesn’t take a huge party to accomplish that, and the effort it takes to organize and turn out for a parade does such a great job of communicating the sentiment while making the recipient feel special.

2. Go Big on Yard Decorations

backyard birthday celebration chocolate cakeIf you’ve got a yard then put it to use! Go big with large-letter signs, posters, balloons, and more.

You don’t have to be the sole source of these decorations. Ask friends and loved ones to stop by and add giant cards to the mix. Your birthday person can read the cards when it’s time to return the yard to normal.

Going big can be hilarious and can make your loved one feel extra special.

And how about a night of backyard camping?

3. Get a Cameo

Does your loved one have a favorite celebrity? If so, they might be on Cameo.com, especially right now. This site accommodates everyone from Instagram influencers to Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Phil Coulson in ABC’s “Agents of SHIELD.”

You’ll find celebrity chefs, reality show stars, rock stars, and baby animals all waiting to make a video, especially for your loved one.

Each star sets their own cost. When the video is done you get a link, which means you can send it to them by email, text, or via your favorite messenger program. For the true fan being personally recognized for a short video can be an absolutely thrilling experience, and may entirely make up for being stuck at home.

4. Party By Mail

birthday cardsThis is an especially effective celebration for family and friend groups who are scattered across the country, especially if video chats aren’t an option. Pick out one thing your loved one really enjoys: bears, frogs, teacups, unicorns, whatever.

Then, use social media or email to recruit as many people as possible into sending pictures, cards, and small tokens on this theme. These don’t have to be expensive! A teddy bear picture or construction-paper cut out can be just as meaningful as an actual teddy bear.

Try to arrange this all about a month before the birthday so the mail will all come in at once.

This is especially lovely for younger children, who are often absolutely enamored with the idea of receiving any kind of mail.

5. Participate in a Global Scavenger Hunt

small white dog outside with birthday hatIf you haven’t heard of GISH yet, now might be a great time to check it out. GISH stands for the “Greatest International Global Scavenger Hunt.” Usually, GISH takes place for one week every year and inspires people to do things like create giant replicas of board games or to do silly things in costume out in public, all while earning money for the charity Random Acts, which has gone on to do a huge amount of good all over the world.

Right now GISH is hosting 24-hour quarantine “hunts” at home, and each scavenger hunt item is designed to be do-able at home. Some involve Zoom chats, others involve making art, and still, others involve making funny videos. At the moment, all funds are going to keeping kids fed during the COVID-19 crisis.

If your birthday person’s special day happens to fall on or near the next hunt, you could form a team of family or friends and spend the day competing to finish as many items as possible. It’s a great way to bring everybody together while making a difference…and yes, younger kids can participate too!

6. Host a Virtual Party

virtual birthday via zoom showing two dogs on zoomVideo chats have become the coronavirus go-to for social interactions of every kind. How can you turn it into a party?

One way is to get everyone to dress up. Have a princess party, space party, or zombie party by having everyone dress up. Host some good video-chat party games like charades or Pictionary. Or just get together, have some good food, and chat.

If you need a little more structure you might try a karaoke party. If you have Discord or another streaming platform you can share party games like the ones put out by Jackbox Games.

The Netflix Party app is another awesome option, allowing your family and friends to watch a movie together while commenting in a shared chat.

Plan, Get Supplies, Go Nuts

child celebrating quarantine birthday with cakeThe specifics of what you do don’t really matter. What matters is showing your love for each other on your birthday, spending time together, and having some fun. Think outside the box, gather some art or party supplies, and try not to let your disappointment over not having “normal” birthday activities bring down the mood.

Still, don’t forget to order some ice cream and cake via delivery. We don’t want to throw all the traditions out the window just because this virus might be around for a while, and cake is sacrosanct.

Come on by!

Starting May 9th, 2020, Paper Plus is offering all your party supplies, as well as some essential items, in a properly socially-distanced environment. Grab your mask and visit our store to stock up on all your birthday needs. We are located at 1629 San Pablo Ave in Berkeley, CA. Question? Give us a call at 510-525-1799.

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