26 Mar Parties in lockdown
While the whole world is home isolating, there are little kids all around the world who don’t understand why they can’t have their birthday party. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ve probably spent hours picking their theme, planning their cake and listing all the presents they want.
So, the big question is, how do we manage the disappointment?
By having TWO birthdays. One in insolation (because we’re all busy saving the world), and one with your friends, at your party, as soon as the world is healthy again.
Here are a few ideas to try and help your little one have the best day possible!
Nothing says a party like decorating the house. This is the time to get creative, hunt through the cupboards for balloons (if you’re lucky enough to be in a country who are still doing online orders, stock up on any decorations you can find) for those of you like me, in NZ, who no longer have any access, get creative.
Hang them from the ceiling, throw them on the floor, it doesn’t really matter, kids love balloons. You can even thread cotton/string through the end to create balloon bunting.
Remember paper chains? Hang them from the corners of your room, or cut up card/paper into bunting shapes. If you’re lucky to have time on your hands, then cut out your child’s name, or age. Maybe your kid is crafty and wants to help make them.
Get the Christmas tree out of the garage and turn it into a birthday tree. If you don’t have a faux tree grab the fairy lights and add a little extra sparkle.
Most kids choose a party theme, so why not make a day of it.
Choose something that your kid loves – princesses, mermaids, pirates, football and slot it into everything you do.
Dress up, have a princess tea party, make a cardboard pirate ship, turn the garden into a sports field. Match your food to the theme, make crafts, even ask grandparents to dress up for a birthday FaceTime.
When we’re housebound, all the days seem to blur into one. Try and think of something that separates it from the rest of the days.
Entertainers all around the country are embracing the internet to stream to your living room. There are many packages popping up, from Disney princesses to magicians streaming to the birthday child and their friends. Watch this space for a list of Kiwi entertainers coming soon!
Cover the lounge with cushions, beanbags and make your own movie cinema. For small children you could even decorate cardboard boxes to make their own special space. Turn the lights down, pop the popcorn and treat them to sweets or have a pizza/movie night.
This is a great activity for birthdays or any way to survive isolation, pitch your tent up in your garden and have your own campout. Use candles, eat under the stars, toast marshmallows and play boardgames.
My daughter has been asking for me to have a sleepover in her room for the last few nights. In lieu of friends, set up mattresses for the whole family in the lounge, build a huge fort, have midnight snacks, uses torches and tell silly stories from your beds.
Get together a playlist, turn it up, dress up and get dancing. Younger kids love props, so fairy wands, ribbons, scarves all add to the fun. Search for Just Dance on youtube, and get everyone to follow the actions – dialling in Grandma for this is defiantly worth a few giggles.
Younger kids always love traditional games, while you don’t have may guests at the party, it doesn’t mean you can’t make your own pin the tail on the donkey, play Simon says, duck duck goose or even create your own piñata.
Girls love an opportunity to dress up, why not have facials, paint your nails even try out a makeover on Dad!
For older kids, why not have a yes day. Ice-cream for breakfast? Why not! Stay up late? Yes! While there are all sorts of things they might try and ask here – let them roll with as much as they can.
Princess Aria from the Princess Academy is one of many princesses who are offering birthday messages/parties online
Everyone will be missing their friends, have a zoom party, make it a surprise! Ask a cluster of friends to try it out the day before to really make it special.
If you’re lucky enough to still have a little freedom to travel in your country, ask friends to do a drive by, or walk by, honk your horn, yell out the window, anything to make the birthday kid think that they’re special. Please only do this if you are allowed to travel, Kiwis, stick to online!
Ask in advance friends to send you a video message so you can create a gallery online. If you’re able to still post – ask friends and family to post special letters or packages.
Unless you’re super organised or have access to online shops still, it’s likely to be a bit quiet on the gift front this year. Wrap up a few small items, even if you can only purchase them from the supermarket. Wrap it in several layers, in a small box and a big box just to extend the excitement. Make a scavenger hunt or a challenge that has to be completed to get their gift.
Ask friends to send you photos of a virtual gift – I’m sure you’ll get some funny ones! Or ask smaller friends to make a card and send a photo.
Remember, isolation isn’t going to be forever, although finances may be a lot tighter after this, you can always make vouchers and IOUs to cash in at a later date.
LET THERE BE CAKE
A birthday isn’t a birthday without cake. Let older children create their own, let them browse Pinterest, and have a go! Otherwise just keep it simple, cover it in sweets and sprinkles and you’re going to guarantee they’ll love it.
Why not pop a candle in birthday pancakes to start the day off?
Some kids would rather choose their own favourite meal, but for others you could always make your own Mcdonalds, cook home made fish and chips, wrap it in paper and have a picnic in the garden. Decorate your own pizzas, or opt for your own grazing platter full of all their favourite treats.
For a lot of little kids, they wait patiently all year for their turn at kindy to have a play dough cake and a birthday crown! Let them decorate their own crown make them a play dough cake and take a photo to send to their teachers, they’ll be just as upset as your kid is. School kids still love these too, get the glitter and glue out, and just let go of the mess. There are some gorgeous looking templates out there too!
The ideas are endless… let us know yours!