Posted on Leave a comment

Ideas for Virtual Birthday Party Games

We’re going to keep offering up ideas for virtual birthday party games until we are completely dry.  And then we’ll try and think up some new ones.

Why? Because the more variety and options of virtual birthday party games you have to offer the more possibilities for tailored fun you have.

Variety being the spice of life and all that.  

And hey, kids are dealing with a lot right now and it’s tough for the younger ones, especially to socialize outside of the house. Moms and dads are doing all they can to bring normalcy to their lives and that means finding fun ways to celebrate birthdays.

So here are more ideas for virtual birthday party games.

Ideas for Virtual Birthday Party Games We’re going to keep offering up ideas for virtual birthday party games until we are completely dry.
Ideas for Virtual Birthday Party Games

Snack and Paint Party

This one is pretty straightforward. The key is coordinating with other parents. You provide the kids with the same snacks to enjoy. Up next, you all watch the same YouTube video that walks them through a drawing or painting project. Watch the video in advance to make sure you and the other parents have all the art supplies needed.

Movie Party

So many apps so many possibilities. It’s never been easier to have a movie party with friends while social distancing. There’s Netflix Party, Kast, and TwoSeven, and many more. Don’t forget to bring movie snacks!

Craft Party

This is one that you can DIY or use a company like The Lanyard Ladies who mail out craft kits and set up online meetings for kids to do it together.

Book Reading Party

Yeah, so we’ll talk about this one again because it’s what we do and a book reading is fun and stimulates kids’ creativity. And all of our special birthday kids get a free copy of I Got You A Present! 

Pictionary

Pictionary is fun, fun, fun and a simple game that can be played at any virtual birthday party.

You can virtual birthday party theme it up and create a list of birthday party words like: birthday cake, balloon, candles, presents, party, candles, etc.

Posted on Leave a comment

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books

Okay, today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for  kids.

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books

For many households, giving picture books as a birthday present is a time-honoured tradition. And with good reason: Books encourage reading and storytelling – and they are lots of fun! A great picture book is a gift they may very well remember forever.

I know I feel that way about I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sellew.

We’ll be sharing more picture books in the future but today we are going to look at 5 Picture Books about Birthdays that we love.

Happy Birthday to You!

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

The Great Birthday Bird will never be remembered in the same breadth as The Grinch or The Cat in the Hat but this book is still packed with Dr. Seuss goodness. That means lots of wacky words and rhyme schemes. This book is flat-out fun!

Scaredy Squirrel Has a Birthday Party

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

Scaredy Squirrel’s birthday checklist includes: “Confirm date of birth; pick a safe location; choose party colours; get tuxedo dry-cleaned; prepare cake recipe; practice breathing (to blow up balloons/blow out candles); mail party invitation to myself.”

Yup, there’s only one guest at his party – and that’s Scaredy Squirrel. Fortunately things don’t go according to plans.

Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

A charmer. ‘Rule no. 1: It must be your birthday. Or close to your birthday. Sometime in the last or next week, your age should have increased by one. Unless you are a beetle, bug, or insect…’

A warm, funny and absolutely delightful set of birthday rules.

when’s my birthday?

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

This book perfectly captures the anticipation leading up to the big day. The prose is marvellous  and the illustrations are wonderful.  

I Got You A Present!

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

Surprise! We’re plugging our book! We think it’s a great birthday book but if you don’t believe us, check out the rave reviews for it.

Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books. Today we are talking about picture books and Virtual Birthday Party Picture Books for kids.

One Last Thing!

There are so many great birthday books that capture a kid’s attention and imagination. During your virtual birthday party, you can read a hard copy, or share your kindle, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you can scan the book’s pages, put it into PowerPoint and share your screen for an even more visually sumptuous experience. We’ve found that kids really respond well to that.

Posted on Leave a comment

Virtual Birthday Party for Kids Checklist

Virtual Birthday Party for Kids Checklist. Getting ready for you kiddy’s big virtual birthday party? You’ll want to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes.

Getting ready for you kiddy’s big virtual birthday party?  You’ll want to make sure you’ve ticked off all the boxes on our Virtual Birthday Party for Kids Checklist.

Here we go, from us to you, you’re very own virtual birthday party for kids checklist.

1ST

Budget

Choose A Party Theme  

Put Together A Guest List

Date/Time/Video Chat Service

Entertainment

Décor

2ND

Invitations

Plan games and activities

Start Your Shopping List

Plan Menu

3RD

Follow up On RSVP’s/Confirmations

Confirm any online booked entertainment

Prep party games

4TH

Video walk-through/rehearsal

Check all tech is working properly

Make sure room is ready

5TH

Celebrate Good Times

Virtual Birthday Party for Kids Checklist.  Getting ready for you kiddy’s big virtual birthday party?  You’ll want to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes.

While You’re Here

We’re available to perform at your kid’s virtual birthday party…

Give your Child an Awesome Virtual Birthday Adventure!

When award-winning book authors Mike & Susan forget the “I Got You A Present!” birthday book, they hop into their spaceship and take the birthday child and their guests on a hilarious, fun-filled journey to Planet Birthday Party! With help from the kids, Mike & Susan find the book and read it to their new friends. Plus, every birthday child gets a copy of the book! There’s a party package for every child, including very little ones and the adventure-adverse.

Posted on Leave a comment

Gifts for Virtual Birthday Parties

Today we’re talking gifts for virtual birthday parties.  Even at the best of times, gift-giving can be, um, tricky, and gifts for virtual birthday parties can be even trickier.  

And a virtual birthday party doesn’t mean there can’t be presents and celebration.

You can, of course, go the traditional route and send gifts, or you can get creative…

For instance, you can always…

Gussy Up the Front Yard

Let the street know it’s your wee one’s big day and decorate your front yard with balloons, streamers, posters, chalk drawings.  If you live in a building poster up that window or decorate that balcony.

Ask friends of the birthday kid to come by (when no-one else is around) and add their own messages and pictures outside in chalk.

Parades!

Your virtual guests could decorate their own door and you can drive your birthday kid around to their friends’ houses to see the decorations. It’d be even more fun if their friends could be outside to cheer or sing or yell happy birthday as you drive by.

Gifts for Virtual Birthday Parties – Suggestions

Well, there’s our birthday book, I Got You A Present!

So, there have been a slew of rave reviews for it and we couldn’t be happier about that. And the book is about more than just birthdays. It helps kids navigate the difficulties of setbacks and failures while inspiring them to understand what’s really important: friendship.

Gifts for Virtual Birthday Parties. Today we’re talking gifts for virtual birthday parties.  Even at the best of times, gift giving can be, um, tricky...
I Got You A Present! by Mike Erskine-Kellie & Susan McLennan

Looking for ideas for gifts for virtual birthday parties? Good Housekeeping has a truly awesome list of the 75 ultimate gifts for kids in 2020.

There are tons of amazing suggestions over at Fat Brain Toys.

Family Education has the top birthday gifts for kids 6 – 10.  There’s a great list of gifts in the under $30.00 range.

Leave Your Presents at the Door

Amazon does it. So can you!

Posted on Leave a comment

Virtual Birthday Party Games for Kids

Virtual party games for kids are a big part of the virtual birthday party experience.  Who doesn’t love a fun game?  

And even though we are living in “interesting times” there are still lots of enjoyable virtual birthday party games for kids as well as many ways to celebrate with friends and family. Added bonus? You don’t have to be an experienced party-planner and tech geek to make the good times happen.  Here are 5 fun virtual birthday party games for kids to help them celebrate another spin around the sun. 

Now that you have planned your virtual birthday party for kids, it’s time to throw it!

Musical Dance Freeze

We play this virtual birthday party game for kids a lot because it’s a big winner and it gets them up and moving.  Plus it allows us to talk to every one of our little guests and add in some personalized touches so each boy and girls get to feel special.  The rules are pretty simple. Let the kids know you are going to play some music and that once it starts that they should start dancing to it. Then let them know that once you stop playing the music and shout out “Freeze” they are to freeze in their fun dance positions. 

Once the rules have been set, turn on some music with a great beat for dancing and ask your guests to start grooving and bopping. When you stop the music and shout “freeze” you then tell the kids what kind of dancing statues they look like.  For our space show, we use space-themed examples, “You look like an action-packed astronaut!”  “You look like a totally Funky alien!” “You look like a super-duper sky dancer!” It’s a really fun game, easy to stretch out, and the kids get some exercise and have a blast. 

Pro Tip: Sharing your speakers on Zoom is easy peasy, just have to make sure you do it with each set-up. Just click  the green arrow on Screen Share and a pop-up box appears. In the bottom left corner, click on “Share computer sound” and you’re good to go.  

Simon Says

It’s an oldie but a classic.  We put our contemporary spin on it by changing the name to “Space Captains Mike & Susan Says!”   

There are also therapeutic benefits from playing the game. They include:  Developing Body Awareness and Motor Development, Developing Sportsmanship, Following and Giving Directions, Developing Sequencing Skills and Learning to Use Past Tense Verbs.

Book Readings

During everyone of our virtual birthday parties for kids, we read a copy of I Got You A Present!     

There are, of course, so many books to read. You may want the books to match up for the event. Or not. It’s all good.  One thing is for certain, there’s nothing like a good book to capture a kid’s attention and imagination. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can scan the book’s pages, put it into PowerPoint and share your screen for an even more visually sumptuous experience.  We’ve found that kids really respond well to that. 

Virtual Birthday Party Games for Kids. Here are 5 fun virtual birthday party games for kids to help them celebrate another spin around the sun.
From: I Got You A Present!

A Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Yup, another variation on a classic. Think up a list of household items for kids to hunt for throughout their home. Set a timer to make it a race. Once the game is done award everyone some kind of “Prize Title” for playing. 

Pro Tip: Be sure to check with other parents that there are no safety hazards that may get in the way of this activity and ensure all objects are safe and easily accessible for the kids. 

A Virtual Field Trip 

We take our guests into outer space but thanks to the internet, you can take them almost anywhere. Just send a link to your tour and invite your guests. 

There are so many virtual tours available right now. Want to go to Africa to check out some elephants? tour the grounds of Versailles for a princess-themed birthday party? Or what about a safari-themed party, where you can opt for a walking or boating safari that’ll take you to the African bush to spy on elephants and hyenas? You can do it here.

There are plenty of other virtual ideas here.

Posted on Leave a comment

How to Plan a Virtual Birthday Party

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. 

Invitations

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. 

how to plan a virtual birthday party and ideas for virtual birthday party ideas for kids

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 PartyThe 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 PartyThe 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. 

Atmosphere

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.   

Gifts 

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! 

how to plan a virtual birthday party and ideas for virtual birthday party ideas for kids
Susan and Mike getting ready to land on Planet Birthday Party.