22 Oct Organising a birthday under lockdown
To all the little ones who are wanting to celebrate their birthdays, and to all the parents who are worried to tell them that their birthday as they expected will not take place, we have found a solution!!
It’s possible to celebrate your birthday in the middle of lockdown! But how? you may ask. Let us explain!
This is a difficult time for all of us around the world, little ones included!
Having a routine is essential to continue to live somewhat normally, so for birthdays, how do we keep it normal?
Of course, we aren’t going to organise a birthday party, of course we are going to stay at home, so we are bringing out the big guns to celebrate the birthday of your little one and give them a confinement-friendly party!
Skype, Facetime or House Party, you can download whichever of these applications you prefer and get 5 or 6 little ones together, friends or cousins, to see one another, dress up, dance, sing, and celebrate your little one’s birthday!
How to explain lockdown to your little ones?
You can do it with the delicateness of Leila Slimani who in her confinement journal for le Monde from the 19 March 2020 writes: “To explain the principle of lockdown to your children, you could tell them that it is a bit like Sleeping Beauty. So that the princess doesn’t die after pricking her finger, the fairies have put her, and all of her closest friends, to sleep, for a hundred years. Us too, we are going to have to take a bit of rest, stay home, and one day, just like the prince who saves Sleeping Beauty with his kiss, we will be able to kiss one another again”.
If you’d prefer to take an approach that is a bit more rooted in the real world, we recommend you to read this article by Télérama. Whatever it is, whilst we wait to see one another, to kiss one another, to touch one another again, we are still going to have fun, but differently from before!
If life continues in spite of coronavirus, then parties can continue too! What is life without parties? There’s no need to feel exiled in your own home. You don’t have to cancel that birthday party you have been waiting for for about 364 days!! Yes, you could push it back…but you could also take a different approach! Why not make use of HouseParty, Meets, Facetime, any application you like to unite with some of your friends just like you have been doing for your classes of yoga and meditation…Le Monde has a list of applications in this article on which you can reunite with your loved ones. Why not have a virtual get together for your birthday this year? It will take a bit more planning but it’s possible!
So where do we begin when we want to plan a birthday party at a distance? At a distance meaning, if you don’t already know, everyone at their own home behind a screen! Let us guide you, we will explain our vision! Off we go, let’s get moving, it will do us good!
A few days before the party:
1-Have your child choose a theme for their party and get them to make an invitation card. The more elaborate the longer they will be occupied! Thus, cutting/sticking/coloring recommended (click here for inspiration). Once the masterpiece is finished, take a photo of it or scan it on to your computer and send it by email or text to the parents of your child’s friends explaining that there will be a party on this day/at this time/on this application. You can’t be late for a virtual birthday party! Make sure you have the application downloaded in time! Choose the application that best suits the number you have coming to the party. For example, House Party is perfect for 8. The ideal number for a birthday get together.
2-Next send out a list of necessary materials so that all the kids can play at the same time (nothing crazy, no need to worry) + explain to their parents how the virtual party is going to work so they can be prepared
3-Decide the games that you are going to play, those in this article have been chosen for little ones of 4/5 years old; you can choose others if you prefer, adapted to the age of your child. Browse our blog for inspiration. It’s good to know that with games you will be able to make the virtual party last for at least an hour!
4-Prepare a playlist (to help you we have plenty of ready-made playlists here)
On the day of the party, do as you would normally and get the party set up with the help of your little one who will be celebrating!!
3 possibilities for decoration!
1: there is nothing in the house, you have to place an order online, and thankfully the post is still working! you should try and place your order the week before to make sure it gets to you on time!
2: do it all yourself: make your own garlands, cut out confetti from coloured paper, bake a delicious birthday cake…home made tastes better!!
3-recycle decorations that you have kept saved over the years! get the old garlands and napkins out of the drawer, anything will do!!
Now it’s time for the party!
- Send out a text reminder!
- Get dressed up, it will help put you in the party spirit!!!
- Get together all the necessary materials such as the speaker with the music!
- A few seconds before, glue yourself to your screen
- As it by magic, everyone is there! If it has worked as it should, 8 heads should appear on the screen!!
It’s party time!!
- Give your little one a phone and balance it in a place where they will be well seen, and do the same for yourself on a different phone
- The same advice goes for the invitees. The idea is that everyone has a screen in front of their faces (I never thought I would be writing that) and things should go smoothly from there!
- Introduce yourself and explain that this year the birthday party is a little different that you are going to try and play games together.
- Ask the little ones if they are ready (expect a bit of commotion in the beginning as they all start to talk at the same time)
- Here’s the first activity for you: we are going to make party hats ! Yes, because a party without a party hat is a bit like a birthday cake without candles: a lot less fun!
- You look wonderful! Now it is time to stretch those legs! We are going to play musical statues. Yes yes you will see it is more than possible to play musical statues at a distance. I am going to put music on and you are going to do the same movements that I do. When I turn the music off, turn yourselves into statues. Every time the song changes, change your pose! Are you ready? (The idea is that you get someone else to film you whilst you’re doing this. If you are all alone, you can try a selfie stick!)
- At this stage you’re probably a little tired; so we will play a bit of a calm game. I ask you to sit down, imagining that we are all in a big circle, everyone cross-legged. We are going to play the game My Favourite Characters. I am going to show you a character and Jules (the birthday boy) wont look. He will then ask you questions to guess who the character is. You can only respond with yes or no. When he has guessed it is someone else’s turn! (Their mum has to show a photo of the character that they have to guess).
- Now it’s time to blow out the candles! Do you remember the birthday song? Try and sing along!!
- I now propose you a game of Pictionnary! Do you all know this game? I draw somebody (or an object) and you try to guess what it is. Then, your friend has a turn, so that everyone has a go at drawing something for the others to guess!
- Let’s now play A Short Fitness Game?! I put the music on and you copy my movements. Try and not get too wild or you might knock the phone over!!
- And now let’s play the Missing Object game ? Everyone sit cross legged, I am going to show you 10 objects. I will give you 10 seconds to memorize them. Ok, now close your eyes (take two or three objects away). Open your eyes! Which objects have disappeared? (You can play this tree or four times, every time taking different objects away!)
- And to finish My Favourite songs! If you wish sing along to some songs, and if you know what your friend is singing, join in with them like you are their groupies! Off we go, if you want I will start. I am going to sing: I Will Survive. Because well, it’s appropriate for these times we are living in!
So obviously, it is a different kind of birthday party this year, since there aren’t any real presents at the end… But the parents could maybe organize a little surprise birthday gift beforehand : if every little one draws a picture of Jules (the birthday boy) then they can send it and look at them all together! And then you can give it to him when everyone gets back together again!
It’s over, have a drink to celebrate!!
PS: You will probably be deaf/overwhelmed when the hour is up because the little ones will all be talking at once but don’t forget the reason why you’re doing this: memories, love, and joy!!!
PS: During the party don’t forget to take some screenshots!! Then you can share the photos under #nothingwillstopthisparty #dailydoseoffiesta
PS2: One good thing is you wont have to clean up afterwards…the glass half full!!!!!
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