Many children find it difficult to adhere to social distancing. It is, after all, an entirely new concept that feels contrary to our instincts. Holidays and birthdays make keeping your distance even harder, especially if it means no birthday party.
We have good news! You can hold a socially distanced birthday party for kids that is exciting and fun. As long as everyone engages in safe practices, like sanitizing often and wearing masks during close contact activities (like singing “Happy Birthday”), outdoor spaces are a great way to get around some limitations while still being safe.
When done well and with enthusiasm, a social distancing birthday party for kids can be better than any indoor party! The kiddos may not even realize they are being socially distanced from one another (although having a chat at the beginning about safe practices is a good idea). If you are looking for maximum birthday fun with minimum contact, we collected five great ideas for the best 2020 birthday parties.
1. Set Up a Campsite Party
Camping is fun, educational, and fantastic for the whole family. You can easily turn a camping trip into a socially distanced birthday party for kids of all ages. Create outdoor activities to get up and moving and make games out of preparing the site:
- Who can set up their tent the fastest?
- Who finds the biggest fallen branch for firewood?
- Who makes the tastiest s’more?
- Who tells the scariest ghost story?
Even in outdoor spaces, you do not want dozens of attendees. You could just make it a family affair. Alternatively, a few friends could spend the day, and another family from your “support bubble” could set up their own tent and spend the night.
If you only bring your immediate family, use the time to bond, laugh, and create special memories outside your home. If friends share your outdoor space too, make sure to encourage frequent hand sanitizing and mask use in close quarters.
2. Schedule or Make Your Own Paintball War
If a paintball center is open nearby, you can enjoy an outdoor, adrenaline-filled adventure for all. Paintball is a team game, but each individual is encouraged to spread out across a forest or outdoor space. Additionally, the rules of paintball generally dictate maintaining a specific distance to take a shot — forcing players to pay attention to distance for a reason besides COVID-19. Genius! Social distancing is effectively built into it.
If you do not live near an open paintball center, you can easily create something similar in a large outdoor space. Instead of paintball guns, you can use paint-filled water balloons (or just water balloons, depending on how you plan to do it) and throw them at one another. You can even create obstacles for hiding and ambushing.
Again, despite using an outdoor space, make sure your guests respect safety precautions and encourage mask use during team huddles to plan attacks. If you use real paintball guns, make sure to wear appropriate protective gear too.
3. Throw a Horse Themed Birthday Party
Does your kid love cowboys or cowgirls, horses, unicorns, or horseback riding? A pony party could be just the ticket. The Pine Hill Ranch offers several different themed packages for up to ten participants, including:
- Cowgirl or Cowboy Parties,
- Princess Pony Parties, and
- Happy Trails Riding Parties.
Custom parties are available, although prices may differ. For fewer guests who are prepared to socially distance, Cowboy or Cowgirl birthday parties and Princess Pony birthday parties are a great option for treats, games, and pony fun.
A horse riding birthday party, on the other hand, is naturally socially distanced. Each child has their own horse while riding the obstacle course, learning to groom and care for their mount, and experiencing a day in the life of a horse. It is also a great way to get kids out and moving!
4. Create a Nature-Themed Party
Throwing small parties in an outdoor space is probably the best way to socially distance. Hanging out in the fresh air is good for growing minds and legs, too. When you are using the great outdoors as your venue, the options are virtually unlimited. Depending on the kind of geographic area you live in, you could have a treehouse or fort building competition, sand or mud castle build-off, or a snow sculpture tournament.
A gigantic game of hide and seek spreads the whole group out. A scavenger hunt is a nice way for small groups to work together without too much crowding. Have a bonfire, a picnic, an outdoor fairyland tea party, or an animal-themed costume party!
5. Make a Group Film or Dance Video
If your family is socially isolating or high risk, you may not wish to party even in an outdoor space. Drive-by parades were all the rage at the beginning of the pandemic, but this gives you a virtual forever keepsake.
Send invitations for friends to join a hilarious and creative virtual game from their own homes. With the help of apps like TikTok, each child films themselves either acting out a scene or dancing. An adult or older teen then combines all the videos, creating one long film or “group” dance.
You could create your own music video to your kiddo’s favorite song, recreate their favorite TV show, or even write a new song or short film together. Using collaborative platforms like Google Docs will let the party engage in the writing too! This is a great opportunity to be inventive and gives the kids something to remember long into the future.
Make Safety Precautions Fun
No parent likes feeling like a killjoy at a birthday party. There are gentle and creative ways to explain social distance birthday party rules to children.
You could. for example, send out a birthday invitation (either in the post or via email) with fun, silly images and gently remind the invitee of the social distancing rules. Be clear about your expectations beforehand.
Child-friendly signs around the venue can also be helpful, as well as ample access to soap, hand sanitizer, and optional disposable masks. You can also encourage them by awarding prizes: Best Sanitizer, Longest Mask Use, Most Socially Distant, etc.
Sometimes due to unforeseen circumstances, parents need to turn to Plan B. In the delightful times of the coronavirus, you could easily end up on Plan E.
At any time, the rules of your state can change. One day you can go shopping, plan parties, and see friends. The next day, everyone should follow strict guidelines. If you are planning any of the above socially distanced birthday parties, make sure you have a Plan B. Plan B should be something you can do even if a strict lockdown occurs. Some ideas might be:
- An indoor picnic at home,
- A garden party with immediate family,
- An at-home cinema experience, with all the popcorn and candy you can eat,
- A drive-by parade, or
- A virtual party online with friends.
For More Information
Planning ahead is best right now, especially given the limitations of venues. Your safety is our priority, and we are following approved guidelines to ensure you can enjoy your socially distanced birthday party with us.
Book a world class birthday experience with The Pine Hill Ranch, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you as soon as possible with more information on planning a socially distanced birthday party for kids.
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