As schools remain closed and we continue to stay home, the chances that little ones born in April, May and maybe beyond will be celebrating their birthdays on-screen seems more and more likely
While several months ago we may have told a white lie so we could stay home and binge Netflix, nowadays we’ve worked our way through the streaming service and are regretting all those Friday nights in.
But thanks to video calling programs and apps such as Zoom – first launched in 2011 – staying in has officially become the new going out with people between building towers and across borders alike uniting through their screens to chinwag, quiz and even workout.
So if your child has a birthday coming up, then you may want to start to think about throwing them a digital children’s birthday party. No clue where to start? Then follow our guide of tips and inspiration for a birthday party to remember.
Tips for planning a digital kid’s birthday party
Send out party bags as invitations
Given you’ve planned far enough ahead, why not help build the pre-party excitement (for both your birthday boy or girl and their invitees) by putting together a party bag to have sent out to guests?
As well as detailing the hour and virtual space ahead of time, such party bags could also include any games or props to be used throughout the online celebrations, too.
Don’t skip the decorations
Just because no-one will physically be coming into your home, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dress it up for the occasion.
Fill the space with balloons, banners and bunting galore to help your little one get in the spirit, and make sure the party hats go out with the invites.
Make it fancy dress
Because all parties are better in costume… Whether setting a theme and asking kids and parents to get crafty beforehand or simply letting little ones lose in the fancy dress box – everyone has one, right? Adding fancy dress to the mix will prolong the fun by giving guests something to do before all the screens are switched on, allowing for funny – and no doubt cute – moments between friends as their outfits are revealed.
Make the costumes go a little further too by doubling it up as a game – do the other kids have to guess what they are, or will they be in character the entire time? Sending out a prize to the best dressed post-party will put a smile on a little one’s face while they stay home too.
Call in outside help and stream entertainment
Had their heart set on a magician? Just because they can’t make it out to their favourite entertainer – be it a magician or the real life (ahem) Elsa stopping by for a visit – call in the help of a professional to keep the kids on each screen entertained.
Adding them to the video call as a surprise will surely result in an outburst of excitable high-pitched screams.
Pre-plan your games
Whether you’re a ‘planning is key’ kind of person or you live by the rule ‘organised fun is no fun’ – you have to admit that excitable six year olds grouped together with no sense of structure is a recipe for chaos – iPad or no iPad.
So avoid a herd of children screaming down a microphone and pre-plan some games. Some classic party games can still work, such as Simon Says, Musical Statues and general trivia questions – but the more inventive you can get, the better!
Set a crafty challenge
If you’ve got a little one who loves getting their hands dirty, make this part of their virtual celebrations. Set a challenge for the kids (with the help of mums, dads, siblings, aunts – anyone!) to create something from paper mache or clay, do some drawings or perhaps even do a painting for the birthday girl or boy.
Kids will love chatting along together as they get creative and are given a dedicated time and space for messy play.
Order-in party food
We’re not sure about you, but the most exciting thing about going to a party when we were kids was all the food that came along with it. Actually, not much has changed as we moved into adulthood, either…
You could throw a pizza party and send a delivery box to pals’ homes so they can eat, play video games and chat together. Or ask their guardians to get in a few of their favourite snacks (favour to be returned later down the line, of course). Making sure the party rituals such as snacks, drinks and a slice of cake are still included will help it rival in-real-life get togethers.
Need more ideas for the annual date? Here’s how to plan the perfect kid’s party at home, from themes to food.