How to throw a coronavirus lockdown birthday party your kid will never forget
With a little creativity, it’s still possible to give your child an awesome party even if their friends aren’t in the same room.
In fact, she says kids’ parties are not only possible, but it’s also “important to continue these celebrations – even in uncertain times”.
Firstly, party by the rules and set expectations
Government restrictions on non-essential social gatherings mean parties should take place at home, with only immediate family in attendance.
“Before you dive into party planning, it’s important to tailor expectations – both your child’s and yours,” says Jordan, who runs Jordan Weaver Events.
Disappointment is as understandable reaction, particularly for younger children.
“My advice is to explain that we want to keep all our family and friends safe and healthy, so we’ll be having a smaller party,” suggests Jordan.
“Reiterate that it’s still their special day, but it’s just a different type of party this year.”
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Create a party atmosphere
Going all-out is the key to a stellar isolation party, says The Festive Co event stylist Alexis Teasdale.
“You can’t go past the classics like balloons and streamers,” says Alexis.
“Hanging them all around the house will instantly add a party mood.”
DIY decoration projects like homemade pompoms, a birthday banner or a spectacular balloon garland are a great way to involve the family (and keep them busy!) in the lead-up.
Jordan suggests choosing a theme – like your child’s favourite colour or movie – and using that as decorative inspiration.
“Create a young soccer fan’s dream with player posters on the walls, or Elsa’s winter wonderland by hanging snowflake cut outs from the ceiling,” Jordan says.
Games to play
On the big day, Alexis recommends playing classic games like pin the tail on the donkey, Twister and musical chairs – and don’t forget to blast a party playlist.
“A treasure hunt around the house to find their presents is a fun way to make that moment special,” Alexis adds.
For catering, Jordan suggests serving your child’s favourite foods or getting a local takeaway.
And the all-important birthday cake?
“For ultimate parenting brownie points, either buy or make a statement cake in line with the party theme,” says Jordan.
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So I know how epic it’s going to be for a lot of families who are working from home with kids there too. School holidays are coming for who knows how long and with self isolating in the mix, we need to get clever to keep little minds busy and big minds calm. I’ve added some activity sheets to @thefestiveco site like this one (and an indoor version) with lots more to come. Let’s share ideas, share the love and share the load, even if it’s not IRL. Thinking of everyone right now 💖 #thefestiveco #lexgetcrafty
Virtual guests and block parties
There are still ways to get your child’s friends involved in the birthday celebrations, even if they can’t physically join them.
“Ask them to make drawings or cards to display, or have them film a video birthday message,” suggests Alexis.
“You could also set up a Zoom party – and even hire a magician to virtually entertain them!”
To help friends feel even more part of the party, send them kits in the lead-up to the virtual celebration containing party favours like hats, poppers, games and lollies.
Jordan says you could also extend the celebratory atmosphere into your wider community.
“Ask neighbours and nearby friends to create posters with birthday wishes and hang them in their front windows,” suggests Jordan.
“You can even ask neighbours to gather on their front porches for a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday!”
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Party ideas to get you started
- Organise a virtual party via video call apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype or House Party.
- Hire an entertainer to dial into the virtual party, or set up treasure hunts or party games such as bingo, trivia, charades or “who am I?” guessing games.
- Ask their friends to send home-made birthday cards or messages via email or post, or record video messages for them.
- Ask neighbours to put “happy birthday” posters and messages in their windows, or write chalk messages on their driveways.
- Ask neighbours to sing a rendition of Happy Birthday from their front porches at a certain time.
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Online party supply stores
Written by Sharon Hunt.