(Family Features) A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, finding safe ways to celebrate special events like birthdays can provide a boost for mental health. Whether you’re celebrating a kid or a kid at heart, planning a socially distant birthday party is a way to enjoy some camaraderie and honor life’s important milestones.
Younger partygoers may be more difficult to corral than adults who have a better understanding of social distancing guidelines. That’s why it’s a good idea to host kids’ parties outdoors.
* Art Far Apart – Use the sidewalk or driveway as a canvas and have each kid (and parent) spread out. Provide trays of supplies like chalk or washable paint and encourage kids to interact with sing-a-long songs and games.
* Driveway Performance – Many kid-friendly entertainers who made a living with special appearances at schools, libraries and other family events have modified their performances to accommodate small, private crowds. Look into local musicians, magicians and other kid-friendly performers who might set up in your yard or driveway while guests lounge on blankets and chairs from a comfortable distance.
* Birthday Parade – If getting together isn’t practical, you can still make a little one’s day special by hosting a drive-by parade. Allow the birthday boy or girl to dress up in his or her birthday best and create a throne to sit on while watching friends and family drive by and wave from cars decorated with streamers and balloons. (If you live in a smaller community, check with the local police or fire station to see if they’re willing to get in on the fun with a guest drive-by appearance.)
Like kids, many adults are simply craving personal interaction, so even the simplest of gatherings can make a birthday feel special.
* Wine Tasting – Set up a series of seating areas around the backyard where same household groups can gather. Use disposable shot glasses to serve flights of wine samples to each group or ask guests to bring their own and use flowerpots filled with ice to keep bottles chilled.
* Pool Party – While kids young and old are likely to enjoy a party set poolside, an older crowd is more likely to keep some distance in the water. Scatter some shade umbrellas around so each group has its own home base and plan on single-serve refreshments or ask guests to bring their own coolers.
* Driveway Dinner – Simply hanging out feels like a treat these days, so set up lawn chairs and let everyone place a delivery order. Add some background music and individual desserts then let the good times roll.
Look for more entertaining advice in a COVID world and beyond at eLivingtoday.com.
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