With just a week to go until Little H’s 9th birthday I’ve been wracking my brain for ideas on how to celebrate a birthday in lockdown. Not only is she having to celebrate her birthday in quarantine, it’s also her first birthday in Spain away from her family and friends in the UK, so I’ve been trying to think of some virtual birthday party ideas.
Now that lockdown in Spain relaxing from this week we’re very lucky that we’ll be able to get together with my parents who live close by, go for a walk, and get a drink and some lunch out. However, to 9 year old the most important part is seeing her friends and she’s upset we can’t go through with the pool party we had planned. But how can you celebrate your child’s birthday while socially distancing?
Luckily there are lots of creative ways to host a virtual birthday party for kids, so if you have a child celebrating a birthday in quarantine read on for 10 virtual birthday party ideas kids will love.
Tips for hosting a virtual birthday party for kids
Before we get started on what you can do to celebrate a birthday at home, make sure you’ve thought about how to throw a virtual birthday party for kids…
Give people enough notice
Have a chat with family and friends, including the parents of any kids you want to invite, to make sure they will be available. Give them plenty of notice, they may need time to get everything organised.
Help with technology
Check everyone invited knows what technology they will need and help them download and set it up if necessary – especially if you have older relatives joining. Explain your virtual birthday party ideas in advance so everyone involved knows what to do.
Keep it small
Your child might want to invite the whole class but think about how hard it will be to keep up with that many people on a call or online game. Try to stick to a small number of friends and family to make life easier.
#1 Create a birthday video montage
My first lockdown birthday idea that you’ve probably seen lots of people doing on social media is to ask family and friends to send video messages. Send a message to your loved ones and ask them to record a short video clip of them wishing the birthday girl or boy a happy birthday and send it over to you. You could ask people do wear fancy dress or a silly hat to make it more fun, or tell a joke as well.
Make sure you give people enough notice, especially grandparent who might need a bit of help to record a video! Once you have all the clips an easy way to edit video clips together is via Windows Movie Maker or if you want to do it on your phone you can download the Magisto app to create a video montage with music.
#2 Ask for online birthday cards
I’m not sure what the postal service is like where you are at the moment, but if you’re abroad like us you’ll probably find it difficult to get birthday cards sent over in time. If you’re worried about your child not having physical cards to open on their birthday make the most of great free eCard services such as JibJab and SmileBox which both let you send free online birthday cards and animated video eCards. Send the website links to your family and friends and ask them to create funny birthday eCard.
#3 Send online birthday party invitations
To make sure everyone knows the time and date of the virtual birthday party you can send out some online party invitations. You could design your own party invites in Canva using one of their templates, then download and email out. Or websites like Greetings Island let you design and email invites for free – perfect for a virtual birthday party in lockdown. You can choose a template, customise it, and then either download and email or use the website to send via email, text message or Facebook.
#4 Hold a Zoom virtual birthday party
I’m sure you’ve all been using Zoom for work calls and other events recently – we’ve had Zoom dance lessons a few times! Hosting a Zoom birthday call is a great virtual birthday party idea for kids. You can set up an online meeting room and send the link to family and friends. A nice idea is to get everyone else to join first so they’re waiting to surprise the birthday child. Your child will be able to see everyone’s faces, they can all sing happy birthday and watch the candles being blown out, and then have a chat or play games as well. You could even suggest that everyone wears fancy dress for the call.
#5 Host a Netflix Watch Party
If you have Netflix, one of my favourite lockdown birthday party ideas that I’ve seen is to hold a Netflix Watch Party. Netflix Party is a Google Chrome extension you can install to watch movies and TV series with your friends and family online. The extension even allows you to synchronize video playback, so if someone needs to go to the toilet or grab another snack then everyone’s screen will pause and resume at the same time. You can also use the group chat feature to talk about the film with your friends as you watch it.
Why not ask your child to pick a film to watch online with friends and get them to create some party invitations that can be emailed to their friends inviting them to watch the film together.
#6 Play virtual party games
A kid’s birthday party without party games just isn’t the same! It’s a bit difficult to play pass the parcel or musical chairs while you’re socially distancing but there are lots of websites and apps that allow you to play virtual party games online with your friends. A few websites for some fun quarantine birthday ideas include:
Let’s Play Bingo – you can send an invite for friends to download their individual Bingo cards on their phone or tablet and then host a few games on Zoom or WhatsApp.
Let’s Draw It – if you like Pictionary this is a fun game for kids to play online with friends. You can create a free game room and invite your friends. When it’s your turn you just share your screen with everyone else.
Trivia – for older kids you can use the Random Trivia Generator to come up with questions. To answer people can either take turns or type their answer into the chat at the same time.
#7 Find an online entertainer
Our local town hall held a free online magic show a few weeks ago and I thought at the time that would be a great idea for a virtual kid’s party. Do a Google Search for ‘online kids entertainer’ and you will find lots of people offering online puppet shows, online magic shows, online story telling and more. You can even arrange a FaceTime or WhatsApp call with your child’s favourite princess.
#8 Have an online day out
Not at all the same as getting together physically with their friends, but you could try an online ‘visit’ to a zoo or museum. Places like Chester Zoo and The Natural History Museum have created virtual tours on their website. You can also explore the World of Harry Poter on Google Earth. Send the link to friends beforehand and ‘wander’ around together.
#9 Hold an online dance party
A fun virtual birthday party idea you can do while socially distancing from friends is holding an online dance party. Start by creating a playlist on Spotify and set up a video call with your friends. Put the music on, turn off the lights, use a disco ball or fairy lights if you have them, and dance the night away with your friends.
#10 Have a Minecraft party
If your child has been playing Minecraft a lot recently, why not just let them carry on playing on their birthday. You can host a Minecraft party by setting up a private server in the game and inviting up to 10 friends to play. If you’re not sure how to make a Minecraft server, take a look at this YouTube video for guidance.
I hope that these 10 virtual birthday party ideas kids will love have given you some inspiration on how to celebrate your child’s birthday at home. If you have any other fun ideas for virtual birthday parties please let me know in the comments!
Don’t forget to decorate the house and make sure you have all the party supplies you need to make your child’s birthday in lockdown special. Take a look at my list of birthday party supplies you can get on Amazon so you don’t even need to go out to get anything.
Have a great party!