We’ve been living in Sacramento for almost a year now, and the one thing my younger son has been asking for and looking forward to since the move, was celebrating his birthday at home and having his friends come over. Well, enter COVID-19 and the age of “social distancing,” and there went that idea.
At first, I tried to wait it out thinking, maybe things will get better and open up, so I reserved a bounce house with a water slide thinking we’d keep the gathering small to less than 10 people. Of course, I realize everyone has different situations and comfort levels, so I didn’t expect too much. However, as the date crept closer, I started to feel like it was irresponsible to proceed as planned.
That’s when his Dad came up with a great idea! We could rent a dunk tank and his friends could just stop by and keep the distance, but still celebrate in person. It was easy enough to switch my reservation with the bounce house company and rather than a birthday parade with honking and drive by guests, they could come to the house to try and “slam dunk” the birthday boy!
It really worked out well and everyone was pretty impressed by such a creative idea. Plus, it was lots of fun as everyone took turns trying to hit the arm and dunk him…which isn’t as easy as it looks, but unlike a carnival where you have to pay for tickets for a throw…at our slam dunk part, everyone’s a winner!
The way I phrased the invite, I gave a time window for guests to come by and say hi. We set everything up on the front driveway and we gave out pre-packaged birthday cupcakes and other snacks for guests. Also, it turned out our guests came in waves, so while people did stay for a little bit, there was never too many hanging out…and did I mention the high this day was 107 degrees! It was hot!
And, of course we had to have a piñata, which technically promotes social distancing, because you always have to stand back, so you don’t get hit! Now thinking about that day, it was totally worth it to rent the dunk tank, and we wouldn’t hesitate to do it again.
If you’re trying to think of ways to social distance and still “party” with the young ones, I have a few more ideas. Sidewalk chalk greetings and drawing in front of your home are fun, freeze dance or a hula hoop contest could also work. Another idea I gave to a friend was setting up an obstacle course on the front lawn and having guests do the course when they stop by.