Planning a party at home during Covid-19

Family enjoying a lockdown birthday party

Parties in 2020 are clearly very different to previous years. Although as adults we are able to adapt to the ever-changing situation, for children it can be a confusing time, with normal routines a thing of the past. A birthday is one of the most important days for children, so let's not put this on hold too. Let's make sure they have one to remember! We're here to help you celebrate in a slightly different way... lockdown style!

Planning

Yes, it will take a bit of planning, just like any other party. A good starting point is to ask your child how they would like to celebrate; they might surprise you and suggest something you hadn't thought of. As part of your day, plan activities and games which allow your child to rest and burn off any excess party energy. Keep your plan simple and flexible and let your child guide you through the day. This way you won't feel stressed that you're not on 'schedule' and your child will enjoy their day, without the emotional tears which birthdays can often trigger.

Choose a theme

Children love a themed party and it can help create a focus for the day. Ask your child what theme they'd like and then plan your decorations, tableware, food and games around it. To make life easy, explore these party kits. Children love to dress up and let's admit it, so do adults! You don't have to wear fancy dress for the whole day. Dress up whilst playing the games, having tea or extend the idea to the virtual party guests; how much fun and laughter would this create?

Food, food, food!

Food is very important for children but it doesn't have to be full of sugar! Discuss with your child their favourite breakfast, lunch and dinner with maybe a snack. There are plenty of theme related food ideas available online, so have a quick look for inspiration. Start the day with their favourite breakfast. If possible, set up the table the night before and add any themed toys. Imagine your child's face, as they discover a t-rex trying to get inside the cereal box or a superhero holding their cup! The joys of having a small celebration, is that you can transform the party tea into a picnic! Invite teddy's and toys to be your child's guests. Obviously, the birthday cake is central to the 'Happy Birthday' ceremony. If your choosing to make your own, why not get your child involved in the planning, making and decorating.

Virtual party

In our current situation, technology has certainly helped us all to keep connected. Birthday gatherings have now turned digital and platforms such as Zoom, Skype and Houseparty lend themselves well to virtual parties. In advance, check through the requirements of each platform around the group size, time allocation and Privacy settings. Every party starts with an invitation, so why should this birthday be any different? This year, let's make them personal and ask your child to draw their own invitations. Either create one and print copies or make one for every guest. A fun and easy alternative, is to use your phone and record your child inviting their guests to the party. These can then be sent digitally. Whilst you wait for everyone to join the 'room', play a few songs for the guests to dance along to. Children love receiving a party bag at the end of the party. Even though we are celebrating virtually, we can make sure that your guests are not left disappointed. In advance, drop off a bag to every home. Just imagine all their little surprised faces, when the party comes to a close and they are handed a party bag by their parents!

Games and entertainment

Plan a couple of games, activities or book a virtual entertainer into the day. Alternatively, hire equipment, for example a bouncy castle; imagine a bouncy castle all to yourself. Wow! A fun and relaxing activity, is to create a cinema in your lounge. Get your child to choose their favourite film, close the curtains, grab some popcorn and a drink and your all set.

Involving friends, family and neighbours

There are a few ways you could ask friends, family and neighbours to help celebrate your child's birthday. They could record a message and send it to your phone for your child to watch. Ask everyone to make a birthday card this year, rather than purchase one. Your child will love it! An idea that is currently trending with neighbours, is for everyone to collectively sing 'Happy Birthday' from their doorsteps.

Pressie time

A pile of presents can be overwhelming for children. Do they truly appreciate everything they have been given, if it's a continuous conveyor belt of gifts? Here's some suggestions to making present opening a little different. The good thing about this party, is you have all day, so spread it out. Why not hand out one present every hour? This gives them time to explore and play with their new toy. Plan a 'present' hunt! Your clues can be as simple or as creative as you want. For younger children, you could write 'Find a pressie next to the telly' or 'Find a box near your socks!'. If your having a virtual gathering with family, get them to read out the clues and then take the whole 'party' on the hunt. What fun! An idea that is currently trending, is to replace presents for day trips to your child's favourite places.

Bedtime

Children love a sleepover party, so why not organise one as a family? Either set up a tent in the garden or have one in the lounge. Decorate the area with fairy/Christmas lights, read the bedtime story by torchlight, snuggle in with all the teddies and don't forget to plan a midnight feast (well, maybe an early one!). We know that a calm bedtime helps stimulate sleep, so start the camping/sleepover early, as this is going to be really exciting!!!

Remember it!

This is going to be an epic birthday and certainly one to remember, so take lots of photos and videos.

Although you don't have to do every tip we've suggested, with some planning, children will absolutely love this new way of partying! Just think about it, a normal party lasts a couple of hours but this way your child celebrates all day!

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