Getting ready to throw a virtual birthday party for kids? You’re in luck because we’re going to help you perfectly plan your virtual birthday party.
One of the biggest surprises of physical distancing has been the discovery that virtual birthday parties for kids are a lot of fun and that there are all kinds of upsides when it comes to throwing virtual birthday celebrations.
To begin with, it’s not like you have to drive anywhere and you won’t be cleaning up after a house full of little guests, who, while always delightful, have been known to be a bit messy.
You can also include others who otherwise couldn’t join, like cousins, grandparents or friends who live far away.
Even better? Throwing a virtual birthday party for kids is a lot easier than you think. Let’s break out the checklist and go through what you’ll need to plan your virtual party and make sure it’s a roaring success.
You can’t have a virtual birthday party for kids without guests and there are lots of fun ways to invite the little (and big) guests to your party. You can write up your own one and go with a traditional email blast, and if you have artistic abilities splash it up with a colorful design.
Or you can download virtual cards from sites like Greeting Island, they have a wide selection of virtual birthday cards for kids and a lot of freebies as well. I put this together in less than a minute. And for under 10 dollars, I can have the watermark removed. That said, the watermark isn’t obtrusive.
If the virtual birthday party you are planning isn’t for a few weeks, you can go old school and snail mail out the invites. Experts say it’s unlikely that the virus is travelling through the mail, and there’s something extra special about receiving a physical invitation. Your call.
Whatever route you choose, there are some details that have to be included: You’ll want to let your guests know when to log on, provide the meeting ID/link for the party, the date and time, and any additional details on activities you want people to participate in.
We also find, that with very young kids it’s a good idea to dedicate a certain amount of time with each of the child’s friends. Video chats with several split screens are difficult for kids. Some direct attention helps them avoid sensory overload.
How To Plan A Virtual Birthday Party – The Tech
We’re big fans of Zoom and do all our shows through it. The free forever current plan allows you to:
- Host up to 100 participants
- 40-minute maximum group meetings
- Unlimited 1:1 Meetings
- That said, we have a paid account because we never want to rush a party because Zoom’s free call is about to cut out
Quick tip: Add a password to your Zoom party to prevent unwanted guests.
If you’re a little unsure how to use Zoom, check our this video primer on how to work Zoom.
If Zoom isn’t your thing Other options include:
Google Hangouts, Google’s longest-running messaging and video chat service. Heads’ up: As of June 2020 this service will only be offered to consumer accounts, which is basically anyone with a @gmail.com or @googlemail.com email address.
Messenger Kids a kid-friendly video chat platform with a group chat option that includes parental controls and fun face filters.
Skype allows free video calls for up to 50 people on most every mobile device, tablet or computer.
For Apple fans, FaceTime is free for up to 32 people.
One thing all of these applications have in common: you’ll need a good internet connection.
And don’t forget that you’ll need a webcam (some laptops have them built-in). Your video quality will depend on your camera. We use the Logitech Brio (it’s pricey, but we want to have the best video quality available). Then there are the extras for more professional lighting such as a webcam ring light that clips onto your webcam.
One last thing: We highly recommend that your camera has a privacy cover. It is possible that someone could snoop on you when you’re not using your camera without you knowing, and so a cover prevents anyone from seeing what you’re doing.
How To Plan A Virtual Birthday Party – The Test Run
You can’t go wrong with a test run. A day or two before (preferably two in case you encounter real problems) get some friends to call in, and make sure that your setup is working. Test out any music, video or virtual backgrounds, make sure your lighting is right, and troubleshoot any issues that occur. Once that’s done you can rest assured that you are tech ready for you the party.
In all likelihood your webcam is capturing you from the waist up. So, you can probably get away with the sweatpants but a festive top and/or fun hat will certainly add to the virtual birthday party fun.
Including party decor in the background will also add to the festive feel. And nothing says Birthday Party quite like colourful balloons and banners. Theme parties are tons of fun. If you don’t have the time or creativity to do it all yourself, help can be found online from companies like Party City. You can also source creative printable party supplies at Etsy.
Hiring Online Party Entertainers
Like us! Or, not us and something else. There is a wide variety of entertainers offering up their services from Princess Parties to Science Parties to Magic Parties to Adventure Parties to… well, you get the point.
Games and Activities
Our show includes simple but fun games such as Dance Freeze Tag (to a groovy dance beat) and Simon Says. The kids love playing them – and so do we! As mentioned, we also like to spend a bit of time with each of the guests and our virtual birthday party always ends with reading our book and singing Happy Birthday to the boy or girl.
And it’s always fun to take kids on big adventures, and you can too!
For example. One of our shows is a virtual outer space birthday adventure. We arrive to read our book I Got You A Present! (published by Kids Can Press) but soon discover that Susan has left it on Planet Birthday Party. No problem! We hop into our spaceship and take the birthday child and their guests on a hilarious, fun-filled journey to Planet Birthday Party! With help from the kids, we find the book and read it to their new friends. Plus, every birthday child gets a copy of the book!
Check out our promo video here
You can write your own adventure and take the kids with you. You have to create your own virtual backgrounds to pull this off and you might need an actual green screen.
As previously mentioned, if you book through us, every birthday boy and girl is gifted with a copy of I Got You A Present! As for other gifts… We’ll let you choose your own!