Life doesn’t stop just because we are spending more time apart. Our most important moments, from first birthday to communions to weddings, have simply taken a virtual form. In times where we are remaining socially distant, the world has adapted to new ways of communication, celebration and connection.
For your children, life’s milestones are especially important. Birthdays are momentous moments to be celebrated, especially for first time mamas of the 21st century who are looking to document every moment and share it online. Fortunately, the internet and its forward-thinking technologies. has made it easy-peasy to enjoy every moment with the ones that you love most. Think about the number of Zoom interviews and meetings of the year passed. Now, channel that energy into creating a birthday celebration for the books!
Similar to planning an in-person event, however, there needs to be some legwork done in the background to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible, allowing everyone to have fun. The more prep, the less stress the day of the event. Here are some of our favorite tried-and-true, expert vetted tips that will make everything run easy-peasy.
Create the perfect themed invite or poster
Forget the standard, boring email invite. Today’s party planning extraordinaires take things one step further because image is everything. Your invite or poster is the first impression that a guest will have of your event, unveiling its theme and details with beautiful imagery.
Try out PosterMyWall, which is a free graphic design tool, with thousands of templates that make it easy to make a statement. Watch your birthday poster come to life with pictures, text, music and more. Then, save or share on social media.
Share an agenda
As the celebration approaches, it’s likely that your guests will want to know the details about what’s going to happen at the virtual event. Think about the activities that will appeal to the general interests of all attendees. There’s a lot you can do online for the little ones. Some of our favorite ideas include:
1. Guessing games
5. Talent shows
6. Dance parties
An agenda chock-full of exciting, innovative but most importantly, interactive ideas will let guests know that you are still the best party planner, even as the world transitions online. Sometimes organic conversations can be a little bit awkward online, so guiding guests through various online activities can keep chatter flowing and ensure that everyone is having fun, no matter their interests.
Make a playlist
We all know that no good party is complete without an awesome DJ – or Spotify playlist to keep it budget-friendly. While beginners tend to simply play the music in the background of the screen, this will also make it hard to hear what you have to say. In case you didn’t notice, your voice is important as the host of the event!
Sharing music can be more challenging on Zoom than Google Meet, where you can cast your music from Google Chrome using YouTube or Spotify. Here is how you can easily set it up using Messenger Rooms:
- As a host, click ‘Share Screen’
- Choose the screen that you would like to share
- On the bottom left, click ‘Share Computer Sound’ to enable second audio input from the computer
- Connect headphones to ensure the computer microphone does not interfere with the tunes
- Click ‘Audio Settings’ to adjust the volume of either input
Don’t forget, choosing the right party playlist isn’t all about what you like to listen to. To keep guests moving and grooving, ensure that you mix it up from classic sing-along songs to modern-day bangers. People often grow tired of listening to one type of music. And if there are mostly children in the crowd, there are many kid-friendly, profanity-free playlists at your disposal, like this one from Romper.
Download a virtual background
The cost of decorations can surely add up. When you celebrate virtually, traditional event planning costs can be drastically reduced. Fun, innovative Zoom backgrounds are all the rage right now and can be found all over the internet. The Party Room has 20 fun-filled backgrounds available to save and upload to the teleconferencing platform.
If you are unsure about how to upload, Zoom makes enabling a new background and swapping one in-and-out fairly intuitive. But just in case:
1. Open the app
2. Click on your profile picture
3. Then go to ‘Settings’
4. On the left, click on the virtual backgrounds tab
5. Browse through Zoom backgrounds or upload your own
6. Voila – all set!
Decide on a menu
And make it a competition while you’re at it. While food is optional for virtual celebrations, it’s definitely a bonus. After all, the tastiest dishes are what make a party oh-so-memorable.
Many party planners are now sending ‘make-your-own’ kits to attendees and making cooking or baking a fun part of the party. Think sending a pizza kit with dough, cheese, tomato sauce and the fixings or a cupcake kit with mix and just the right colours to reflect the party theme.
Now, imagine as the pizza or cupcakes come to life on camera as you host a fun-filled and friendly competition to showcase those decadent creations. Yum!
Plan your look accordingly
Now comes the outfit planning. After all, it’s all about making a statement! Choose something that will pop if you have decided upon a neutral background or apt for a more neutral look if the background is busy.
Another fun idea is wearing costumes that coincide well with the chosen theme, encouraging guests to do so, too. Fun theme ideas include superhero, luau, summer camp or Harry Potter.
Take that theme shared on the birthday invite one step further by reminding attendees to rock a look to remember. Or let them know about the costume idea the day of, asking them to only use items available around the house. Offer an award for the best costume and effort!
Pulling it altogether
Spending time at home safely doesn’t mean that you should stop celebrating. In actuality, the fact that you are doing the most responsible thing means you should celebrate even harder.
Many of our children have struggled with the sudden, severe changes the pandemic has brought forth. Maintaining some sense of normalcy in their lives through birthday celebrations will make a big difference in their mental health.
From the moment that inspiration is sparked, you have the potential to create a celebration that is truly unique. You don’t have to stop the party just because it has transitioned online! Thanks to online programs like PosterMyWall, you can create invites or posters with ease that reflect your theme to a T.
Next comes all of the behind-the-scenes prep to make the magic happen. Plan ahead with the agenda, playlists and menu, but don’t forget that fun themed background, either. Finally, bring it all together with an outfit to remember on the special day. Enjoy the party!