Celebrating with little ones in lockdown
A birthday in Lockdown may not be what you’d envisaged but we think it’s still really important to mark the moment. Follow our handy tips to celebrating these most important of family milestones together at home.
Planning is key for any party, whatever the circumstances. First, decide whether you’d like to make your celebration an intimate family affair, or invite more guests to join via video
Decide on a date and time
If you’re inviting guests, decide which video platform you will use – Skype, Facetime, Whatsapp, Houseparty, Zoom, or Google Hangouts are just some of the free platforms available. Choose one which everybody has access to and set up a meeting ID to distribute if necessary
Issue a handmade invitation to each member of the household – you can use our template here and ask your little ones to decorate them.
Get in touch with friends and family in advance to invite them to record a special birthday message or song, especially if they can’t join you on the day. They could also send photos of themselves or of pictures or cards that little ones have made for the birthday child. Play the videos or photos on your family TV or computer at the beginning of the party so the birthday child can see how many well-wishers they have .
Send out your e-vites via email, Whatsapp or text message – you can use our template here. (INSERT LINK)
Choose which room you would like to ‘stage’ your party in – the larger the room the better! Push any furniture you don’t need to the sides to give yourself a nice big space in the middle, leaving some seats around the edges of the room for grown-ups. Arrange a mat or rug in the centre and place cushions around it to make comfy seats for little ones and the grown-ups who are able to sit on the floor!
Theming is important! Ask your little one to think of some different themes they might like. As resources are limited, you may only be able to add small touches of a theme, but chances are they will choose something they already love and so will have some toys, books or stickers which tie in to this theme already! Set out any toys, books or posters that you already have to enhance the theme, and don’t forget to make a playlist!
We’ll even help you out with mail order theme kits. Choose from our selection here (INSERT LINK) and we will send you balloons in your chosen colour, theme bunting and even special name bunting for you to hang. All you need are pegs and some string!
Your little one can help you make the decorations and decorate the space, which will all help build the excitement! You can make fabric bunting out of old scraps of colourful fabric cut into triangles and hung from strings with pegs or cut up old magazines or pieces of coloured or wrapping paper to make paper chains. You can also cut out shapes from card, like stars or balloons, and ask your little one to decorate them with colouring pens or paint and stickers or pieces of shiny paper, then hang them from the ceiling like baubles.
You may choose to set up the food in a different room, but if you are having a virtual party online we recommend you eat ‘picnic’ style in the main space so you can all eat together.
If you are having a theme, make sure you tell your virtual guests to dress in the appropriate costumes!
Depending on the time of your party, consider what food and drink you need. At Maggie & Rose, we keep our food for the little ones simple, as usually they are too excited to pay much attention – pizza, crudités and popcorn work well, or you can make our savoury mini muffins using the recipe here. (INSERT LINK)
For dessert, try our easy recipe for oat cookies and chocolate milk – and don’t forget the cake! (INSERT LINK)
When you serve the cake, add candles as usual and ask your guests to sing over the video, then help ‘blow’ the candles out!
Message other guests in advance of the party and see if you can coordinate so that little ones can enjoy the same treats. Send our oat cookie recipe alongside the invitation in case they‘d like to join in – they can even help make them!
Here are our top tips for party games at home (INSERT David’s activities here)
This can be a little more daunting for a virtual party but there are a few classic activities that still work well:
– Musical statues
– Musical bumps
– A classic Maggie & Rose bubble disco! Set up the music and bubbles in your home and ask all friends to dance along and blow bubbles if they have them
Your little one can make thank you notes for all their family members that attended, using our template here. They could even do some more cooking in order to give each family member a little present – like our recipe for chocolate truffles.
Send virtual thank-you notes to all of your attendees – use our template here. (INSERT)
If your little one has their heart set on something that you haven’t been able to order online, make a home-made voucher and explain to them that because we have to stay indoors at the moment, their present will be coming a little bit late, but we can still celebrate their birthday all together and enjoy the party with our family.
There are many ways that people can still give a gift to the birthday boy or girl. Here are just a few:
– A gift voucher for their favourite toy, book or clothing store
– A personalised book – Wonderbly have a fantastic range
– A group collection towards an item or list of items such as Kinderlist
– A donation to a charity that you hold dear – our partner charity Little Village