Your child’s birthday can still be a happy one despite the current situation, and here’s how to ensure that.

Here’s how you can celebrate your child’s birthday during the lockdown

Birthdays come once a year and make us feel special and loved. But for children, birthdays are even more precious. It’s the one day they know they can ask for anything and won’t be refused. They can do whatever they want, ask for anything they like, and binge on their favourite dishes. However, coronavirus has made 2020 a sad year by turning everyone’s lives upside down. For your children too, it’s taken their summer break away and any fun travel plans you may have had. 

In such circumstances, it would be too bad if their birthday were cancelled too! While the lockdown has been lifted, it’s still not safe to go out and carry on with life as before. In fact, coronavirus infections in India are higher now after the easing of restrictions. So, going out to celebrate or throwing a huge birthday bash won’t be possible. Even if your child’s birthday is going to be home-bound this year, there are ways to ensure they have a great time. Read on to find out how you can make the most of the occasion. 

1. Bake together 

A birthday without a cake is no birthday at all. Ask your child what kind of cake they would like to have this year – chocolate, red velvet, fruit, ice cream, etc. – and bake it with them! Nothing brings families together than doing things together, and baking is one of these activities. Put on their favourite music, pour them their favourite juice or milkshake, pour something for yourself, and have a little fun baking party. The day before their birthday is the perfect time to do this. 

2. Order gifts online 

Unless you’re living in a containment zone, you should be able to order goods online. You may already be familiar with your child’s wish list. Depending on their age, it may include toys, electronics, books, clothes, etc. Make them a care package and include some items from each category. You can gift-wrap using cloth, newspaper, or repurpose old wrapping paper. You could also make them a card or write a note to let them know that they are doing well; that COVID-19 will end soon and everything will be okay. 

Related: Managing a child’s financial expenses: A mother’s perspective

3. Host a virtual party

You can reach out to your relatives and your child’s friends well in advance and set up a video call at a specified time. Have a separate video call for their school friends, cousins, grandparents, etc. Space it out throughout the day so that the wishes and love keep coming in. You can prepare two or three tiny cakes to cut for each ‘virtual party’. For those friends and family who can’t make it to the call, ask them to send a video recording with their wishes. 

4. Invite their neighbourhood friends

If your child has close friends in the same building or neighbourhood, you can talk to their parents and see if they are okay with sending them over for some time to your home. Even 30 minutes can make a difference and mean a lot to your kid. Make sure you supervise them to ensure they follow all the essential coronavirus precautions such as washing their hands and maintaining social distancing. But make sure it’s only two or three friends and not a whole lot because it won’t be safe for anyone then. 

5. Hand out ‘future coupons’ 

Chances are your kid wanted to do something for their birthday that won’t be possible now. For instance, throwing a pool party and inviting all their classmates, or going to the amusement park. For these things you can quickly make DIY ‘future’ coupons and hand them out. For instance, ‘A trip to the amusement park due on demand’. This is like making a promise to them and ensuring they are not let down – after all, their plans are not cancelled, only delayed.

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6. Cook their favourite food

Food is a central part of any celebration and birthdays are no exception. Not being able to go out or order in due to the coronavirus pandemic can be a real bummer for children. But you can set up their birthday menu in such a way that each meal they eat – from breakfast to dinner and everything in between – involves some of their favourite dishes. In addition to the main course, think of their favourite drinks, desserts, snacks, etc. Try to get the ingredients well in advance so you don’t have to compromise on any dish. As for the recipe, whether it’s pani puri or lasagna, you can look it all up online. 

Related: 7 Fun ways to keep your children engaged during the lockdown

7. Make DIY party decorations 

A birthday can’t be a birthday without party decorations. It would be great if you have decorations left over from previous birthday celebrations, but even if you don’t, that’s okay. You can get balloons and streamers from your local stationery store if it’s open or order it online with the gifts. Look up how to make DIY birthday banners that require only coloured paper and string. Similarly, you can also make party hats.

In the end, what’s going to make all the difference is the time and effort you put in and the love and attention you shower on your child. And we know that as a mother you don’t need a birthday to do that – you do it every day anyway. But birthdays call for going the extra mile – even a little over the top! Read this to understand how to manage your money differently post the lockdown.