How to Host a Virtual Birthday Party

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No parent wants to tell their child that their birthday party is canceled. But with recent changes, that is exactly what we have had to do. My birthday boy is younger (turning 4) and doesn’t quite understand why his bowling party can’t happen. So to cheer him up, we have decided to do a Virtual Birthday Party. All of his friends and family that we were planning to invite in person, will be invited virtually instead. They will get to see him open up his presents and blow out his candles.

You're Invited to a Virtual Birthday Party

Are you in a similar situation? Here are some tips and tricks to host your own Virtual Birthday Party as well.

How to Host a Virtual Birthday Party

  1. Send out invites – We are still sending out the invites (virtually since this is how we usually do it anyway). I always create a Facebook event. The nice thing is that you can invite people that aren’t on Facebook either just by entering their email address. There are plenty of other options online as well, like Evite or Paperless Post. If you want to still have the feel of an in-person birthday party, create real invitations (maybe have your child color them!) and hand-deliver them to your guests’ doorsteps.
  2. Have a fun theme – Our theme will not change. We may have less decorations but we are still going to give our 4-year-old the Monster Jam theme he wants. Get creative and have fun with this! Plan to paint or draw together for an Art Party, set up a a tent in the living room for a Camping Party, or host a virtual cooking show!
  3. Create a gift wish list – We’ve been asked several times what our son would like for his birthday so we started an Amazon Wish List for those that wish to send gifts ahead of time.
  4. Eat some cake – Order cake, cupcakes, or donuts locally if you decide you don’t want to make them. Support a local business! Of course, the birthday kid will get to blow the candles out, but if you are able to deliver cupcakes or birthday treats to your guest before the party, that will make it extra special. Take it up a couple notches and send an InstaCake Card, a cake in a card! From a safe social distance, you can send a birthday card that includes everything the recipient needs to make a slice of delicious cake to enjoy in celebration. What a fun concept!
  5. Host your party online – Your child can still feel the love from their friends and family. You can do that by utilizing Google Hangouts or via Zoom. Dedicate a special date/time for their party just like you would if friends and family were going to be coming to your house. Seeing lots of faces and hearing people sing Happy Birthday will definitely put a smile on their face. Want to up the festive level even more? Use a fun Zoom Virtual Background to make it look like you are broadcasting from somewhere awesome!

It may not be what we (or they) are used to, but we can still make their day super special during these unknown times. 

Here is how you can set up a virtual party:

  1. Utilize Zoom
    • You will need to sign up (it’s free)
    • Your free account (Basic plan) has a 40-minute time limit on ‘meetings’ with 3 or more participants. You can host up to 100 participants. If you choose to talk to your family 1 on 1, you have unlimited time.
    • Go in and set up a meeting and invite users. This way you can have something scheduled ahead of time and send out the invite early.
  2. Utilize Google Hangouts
    • You will need a Google/Gmail account for this.
    • Click on ‘start a hangout’ and invite people by entering their email addresses or copy the link to share.

Celebrating virtually requires a little bit of creativity, but the social connections are worth the extra effort. Happy celebrating!

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