Quarantine Birthday Party Ideas during Coronavirus
With the coronavirus keeping many of us quarantined at home, how do you celebrate a birthday and still make it fun and special for the birthday honoree? Well we’ve come up a variety of quarantine birthday party ideas you can use during Covid-19 lockdowns and stay at home orders.
Birthdays during the coronavirus crisis, can be difficult as the birthday person was most likely looking forward to this day for months. Consider asking if there is anything that they would like to do (while being safe) for their birthday and then see if any of our quarantine party ideas can help you make this birthday a memorable one for them.
Our Quarantine Birthday Party Ideas consist of:
1. Outside the House Ideas
2. Inside the House Ideas
3. Ways to Connect
4. Birthday Game Ideas
5. Other Birthday Activities & Ideas
1. Outside the House
For many birthday party celebrations have moved outside the house, and with social distancing in mind everyone is being mindful to do activities that keep everyone safe.
Gathering to Sing Happy Birthday
Friends, family and neighbors are invited to come over at a specific time, bring a Happy Birthday sign and space themselves out on the front lawn or sidewalk, you can set up markers to be at least 6-8 feet apart so people know what the safe distance is.
We like the idea of trying to distract the Birthday Star until everyone has arrived and then let them know that this is something out front they should see. Once the birthday honoree comes outside everyone can yell, “Happy Birthday!” and well wishes. Then the parents can lead everyone in singing Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday Yard Signs & Sidewalk Chalk
If it is tough getting everyone together at the same time, another idea is to invite friends and family to make Happy Birthday yard signs that can be left in the yard or leave sidewalk chalk to allow friends to leave birthday messages on the sidewalk.
If possible ask friends to place them in the yard early in the day so when the guest of honor wakes up they will be surprised by the signs that are there and by all the messages.
One of the most popular new activities to celebrate birthdays during the quarantine are Birthday Parades. This is where groups of friends are invited to meet at a place near the birthday boy or girl’s house, make birthday signs and then at a specific time drive by the birthday honorees home. From the car guest roll down the windows, honk, present their signs, shout Happy Birthday and celebrate in a safe but festive manor.
Some of these Birthday Parades have involved local police and even firemen.
Neighborhood Birthday Scavenger Hunt
Kids love scavenger hunts, so consider a neighborhood birthday scavenger hunt. Ask Friends and Neighbors to put up birthday signs in the window so that the Birthday boy or girls knows they remembered.
Have a list of those friends and neighbors that said that they would participle and go on a Birthday Scavenger Hunt to see if the birthday boy or girl can find the signs. When they spot the sign in the window they will be so excited.
Plus, you can call or text that friend or family member to let them know they found it. If home, they may be able to come outside to say hello, talk on the phone, or come to the window to wave.
2. Inside the House
Start their day by creating a balloon trap on their door. If their door is always open wait until the go to the bathroom for a shower and then set it up. You’ll need balloons and something to trap them. People often use garbage bags, tissue paper or streamers to trap the balloons. You can also do dangling balloons or a balloon avalanche where they are fall from the ceiling.
Birthday Signs & Notes
Hide and place Birthday Signs and Notes everywhere they will go on their birthday. Shirt drawer, bathroom mirror, in the refrigerator, in the hall outside their room, on the game console, kitchen table and so on. Have a variety of signs and notes. And they will have fun discovering them all during the day!
Okay there may not be a party, but make it feel like one by decorating with balloons, streamers, hats and even Christmas lights if you have them. It can still be a festive day and with the virtual chats and live streaming you can still share the big moments with friends and family.
3. Ways to Connect
Video Birthday Parties
Social distancing birthday parties have now gone virtual, ever since quarantine and stay at home orders have been issued. Parents are hosting video chat parties with the help of apps like Zoom, Houseparty, Google Hangouts, Skype, Facetime (Group Facetime) and others. These phone, iPad, and computer apps allow multiple people to hangout online and celebrate your event together.
Here are a few Important Video Party items to review before your party.
a. If you have never used one of these apps, download and test before the birthday party. Some work very well, while others have had issues with freezing up because of the surge in traffic. You want an video app that allows everyone to enjoy the event and see everything.
In some cases, you may need to send an invitation room code for your event. Doing some trial runs before the birthday party, should allow you to work out the kinks and be ready for the party.
b. Set a starting and ending time for your event. Just like a real party, there should be a designated start and end time. This helps everyone plan and make sure that they can attend the birthday celebration.
c. The Host needs to lead the Party. Just like a real birthday party, the host must lead the event or it can quickly turn into chaos with people talking over people.
Determine before your event whether you plan to play games, read a story, do a Happy Birthday singalong, present openings or do any other activities.
d. Consider More Than One Video Birthday Event
This may sound odd at first, but grandma and grandpa and family members often want a different kind of birthday event then your son’s or daughter’s classmates. Family tends to want to see the emotion and joy that occurs at the birthday celebration, and opening gifts, blowing out candles and singing Happy Birthday are paramount, while kids want fun, games, entertainment, and laughter.
Both groups can sing Happy Birthday and watch as the birthday honoree blows out a cup cake after the song, (Or a cake, but cupcakes are safer during quarantine.) but two separate events allow you to keep your virtual party reasonable in size and better target your guests. Consider around 30 minutes for each event.
e. Consider a Theme
Party themes are fun and entertaining and can make the virtual party a lot more fun and entertaining. Plus this gives younger kids something fun and exciting to do. Being that everyone is at home, we recommend simple themes like superheroes, animals, silly hats, or something creative. Then guests can dress in costume, do face painting, or wear something that goes along with the theme.
Facebook Birthday Live Stream
If you can’t do a virtual birthday party, consider a Facebook Birthday Live Streaming event, where you send out invitations for friends and family to join you during a live event on Facebook.
A live streaming event allows you to share the birthday celebration live and allows those watching to comment. These are often best when set up on an iPad or laptop so that the birthday honoree can see and read the comments as the happen. This live streaming event tends to be 10-15 minutes and includes a welcome, presenting of the cake, singing Happy Birthday and can include opening of gifts.
One of the best parts of the live stream is that the birthday boy or girl can say hello to people who join the live stream and text hello and happy birthday. This acknowledgement often makes them feel extra special and it also lets those watching know that they know they are there.
Video Birthday Greetings
If you are unable to host a video birthday party or if guests cannot attend, ask them to send a Birthday Video to the host for the birthday boy or girl. Then share these birthday greeting from friends and relatives throughout the day or before or after you have cake.
Character Video Birthday Greetings / Virtual Party Host
We are seeing a lot of personalized character video birthday greetings, where parents, friends or actors dress up as Spiderman, Elsa or Anna, Batman and others and create a personalized birthday wish for you birthday honoree. This is a fun way to make them feel special.
In some communities, you can also get Character Party Hosts that will run your online virtual birthday party. These are fully dressed characters that may play games, do a sing-a-long, read a short story and entertain the kids for 15-30 minutes.
4. Birthday Game Ideas
Can you still have birthday games at a birthday party while quarantined? The answer is yes! It make take a little planning but there are a variety of games you can play that range from birthday quizzes, online games and games while on video chat.
Party Game Ideas makes games like “Who Knows the Birthday Star, Birthday Boy and Birthday Girl. These party games allow the focus to be on the birthday honoree, as guests try to answer the questions the way the birthday person would answer them.
If you want to play a birthday quiz game like this, purchase the game and then send the questions to your guests and ask them to complete the sheet before the game. Also have the birthday honoree complete the game sheet as well but let them know not to share her answers with anyone.
Before the party, print out the answers and see who the winner is (but don’t share it). Then during the party play the game and reveal the answers and the at the end the winner.
For older kids (8+) – You could ask that everyone attending the virtual party have a pen and paper. Then they could write the answers in real time, like a game show and everyone could flip their answers at once. Then you share the answer and score the game live.
Live Action Video Chat Games
Simon Says – Start with the Birthday person and have them be Simon. Then have then state “Simon Says” statements like “Simon says touch your chin”, they will also say statement like “Touch your nose” without say Simon says.
All players need to do things that “Simon Says” and ignore statements that don’t start with “Simon Says.” Failure to follow the rules means that they are out of the game. A parent should be there to judge if someone makes a mistake. The winner of the game becomes the next Simon. Play several rounds.
Dance Battles – Ask everyone to get two pieces of paper. Write a number 1 on one piece of paper and a 2 on the other. Select two players to do a Dance Battle and each will do their best dance to the song that you play for 20 seconds. Before the music starts identify who is contestant 1 and who is contestant 2.
Once time is up, all the other players must judge who did the best dance. On the count of three, the judge will show their selection by showing a number 1 or 2 on the screen. The player with the most points wins. Play until each player has taken a turn. If you want you can play playoff style and crown a dance battle champion or just play for fun.
Charades – Take the classic game to your virtual party. This may be best for kids 10 and older. FYI – You will need each person’s cell phone number in order to send the charades to them.
Here is how to play. The Host places a bunch of charades in a bowl, we offer a variety of themed charades that can work, and the host picks a charade for a player and texts a picture of the charade to that person.
That person must then read the charade and then start acting it out. Rather than have everyone yell out answers, guest must raise their hand. When the hand goes in the air, the person acting out the charade stops, the Host calls on that person, and that person guesses the charade. If they are correct – they earn one point and if not zero points and they cannot guess during this charade.
Play to a specific point total or until everyone has had 1 or 2 turns.
Scavenger Hunts – This version will have guests scrambling to find different items around their house and return to the computer with that item within a time limit (30-45 seconds) in order to earn points.
This can create chaos, so know your audience as you don’t want anyone to slip or fall while going to find a roll of toilet paper, a quarter, or other items that may be birthday related or general house items.
Interactive Online Games
Depending on the size of the group, you may be able to play some interactive online games, but they may not directly relate to the birthday honoree.
Roblox – Play Together Games from Roblox offers games for kids and there is a way to get private server space for an event just for your friends and family. You’ll need a VIP Server for a private event. To get this you must go to an individual game page on Roblox, click on the servers tab, then select VIP server. From there you should get a server name and a link to invite others to play the game.
FYI – Roblox VIP Server may opt you into the Subscription Service, so be sure to double check this and cancel after your event.
Jackbox Games – Offers a mix of party games that tend to be geared towards those 16 and older. There are parental controls and games that are personalized to the group but I didn’t see any that are focused on someone celebrating a birthday. These are more social distancing games for game nights.
Houseparty app offers a Pictionary like game, trivia and cards against humanity like game, but these games skew to be teen and adult oriented. The only issue is when the app freezes up and you must log back in, it can be frustrating.
5. Other Birthday Activities & Ideas
Here are some other Birthday party ideas and activities you can do with your friends while quarantined. This are just meant to be fun and allow the birthday boy or girl to hang out with their friends to celebrate the big day.
Turn up the music, flash the lights on and off and invite everyone to enjoy a dance party in their house. Dance parties have been shown to help easy stress, elevate moods, and get kids having fun.
Be sure to ask for a list of your son or daughters favorite songs and then create a play list for the birthday party. Rather than play the full song, try to mix them up so you get a minute or two of a song and then jump to something new, however it may not fly if something like Baby Shark is on the list! Enjoy for 5 – 10 minutes. This is a fun way to thank everyone and end the party on a high note.
Learn / Teach TikTok Dances
This is a great activity to do before a dance party. Have kids try to learn new dances found on TikTok. I am not sure how that all works, but if you are a parent I have a feeling you already know more about this than I do.
This takes some planning as everyone needs to have the craft to make item. It is a great idea if you have crafty friends, but can be tricky for younger children, as they may lose interest if they aren’t making progress or having fun.
Invite Guests to Ride a Virtual Rides
Did you know that you can virtually ride Frozen Ever After at Epcot, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World and more. Well you can share a link with your friends, invite them to ride the ride (watch the video) and then come back and share their thoughts. Enjoy sharing 2 or 3 rides with your friends as an after cake treat!
You can find virtual rides for Disney, Universal and various theme parks all across the US on YouTube, so everyone can have fun while never leaving their home. We find some of Disney’s favorite virtual rides here.
Virtual Zoo Trips
If you kids are more into animals, then consider spending time researching several zoo webcams and invite kids to check out select zoos and if any of the animals are out. The San Diego Zoo and Smithsonian National Zoo have webcams and/or recorded footage of animals. You can also search YouTube for animal videos too.
We hope the need for quarantined birthday parties is short lived and that soon we can all be hanging out together wearing silly hats, yelling surprise and singing Happy Birthday to You, but until then we can make these birthdays special.
It will take some time to organize a party, prep time and support of friends and family, but together we can make it happen and make happy memories that will last a lifetime.