Top Tips for throwing a virtual birthday party for the under 5s

Our children’s birthday is the one day of the year which stands out above the rest. A day solely focused on them where we get to celebrate them as individuals, and they get to share their joy with their friends and family.

With schools closed and play dates abandoned, it is harder to find ways to socialise but that does not mean the party needs to be cancelled.

Here are our top tips on how to create a wonderful, interactive virtual birthday party, where your children can experience a fun birthday with their friends, while still social distancing.

The Invitations

Set the tone by sending out a fun invite over email. There are plenty of providers to choose from and the best thing about them being paperless is that you can choose interactive ones that the kids will love choosing and receiving! Here are some examples from paperless post. Include how you are planning to host the party (whether it be via zoom or another video conference platform) as well as anything they might need to have to hand in order to take part in any games or activities and food arrangements (see below).

The Decorations

Create a backdrop for the birthday child to sit in front of whilst they are video chatting with their friends. If you have a theme in mind, keep it as your inspiration and get creative with the decorations.

Having a theme can also double up as a crafting session for the birthday child who can help out with making the decorations in advance. These ‘how to build a space rocket’ decorations from ‘hello wonderful’, can be done with minimal fuss for a space-themed birthday, for example. Share the activity with other parents, should they wish to join in with the crafting fun, or you could even make it one of the games for the party (see below). To make the backdrop really shine on screen, dig out the Christmas fairy lights and use them to add a touch of sparkle and excitement.

Party Food

Party Food is such a central part of any birthday and so you might want arrange with other parents to have the same snacks available to all kids taking part in the birthday. If people have time, it can be fun to keep to the theme of the party by making party-themed snacks. For example, if your birthday child is wanting to head to outer space for their birthday, you could share the recipe for fruit space rockets with other parents to do if they wish. Keep it simple and optional.

Birthday Games

There are so many amazing virtual games you can play as a group to keep any age occupied. Here are a few of our favourites:

  • Birthday Bingo - here is a digital print out of the game from Paper Gem Printables which works a treat!

  • Group art/craft - ensure everyone has pens and paper or other simple craft materials and give them a theme to focus on around the theme of your party. They can share their results with each other at the end.

  • Dance - Play some music and have everyone dancing. If you are super organised your could send a playlist out to parents a few days prior, ready to set some TikTok inspired dance challenges.

  • Toy hunt with a twist - Arrange for the parents involved to hide a small number of toys around their house, each child then has to race off to find them and the first one back to show everyone wins.

  • Lego challenge - for all the Lego lovers, set small challenges for the party children to build and then they can share their creations at the end. Check out Snapology for inspiration, their blog is full of ideas to get the creative juices flowing.

The Gifts

With the current limitations on buying a physical gift to give, should a friend or relative wish to buy something for your child, why not point them in the direction of Little Starts Gift Cards?

People can send them as an e card over email or physical gift card by post and you can choose which classes to spend them with either online during lockdown or with physical classes once they resume. You can find out which classes you can use them with here.

Once everyone has said their goodbyes and the technology falls silent, keep the party going at home with some extra special celebrations. This is a perfect time as a family to create some truly wonderful memories, ones you and your child will never forget.

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