We have some great tips for virtual birthday parties. February is birthday month at our house because we celebrate three of our boys and my husband. We usually go completely overboard, because I’m THAT mom that loves overdoing birthdays. But, how can we do that during a pandemic when we have to limit our interactions?
Here are some great options for virtual birthdays
Google Meet Pictionary
Each participant needs a Gmail account. Then, during the meet someone creates and shares a Jamboard. It’s basically a virtual whiteboard. This is much easier to use if you have a touchscreen.
We provided: Pictionary words for “things that were orange” when we dropped off a party bag so the kids had three things to choose to draw. Then, the other participants could guess what they were drawing.
On this website you can make your own quiz for participants. Then, when we had a zoom meeting we put the link to the quiz in the Zoom chat and kids all got to answer the questions.
We asked 20 questions about the virtual birthday party boy. It was fun to see who knew what. It was also fun for the kids to learn more about Oliver. The questions could be multiple choice, multiple answer, true/false, etc.
We provided: a link to the quiz. Feel free to check it out. How well do YOU know Oliver?
The Grimm Escape – a virtual challenge similar to an escape room
We selected a story about a witch putting a curse on an enchanted forest. The participants had to work together to break the curse. There were a couple of different codes and puzzles to work out. The adventure had an hour time limit and there was a guide who offered help along the way.
We did this one with a group of 12-14-year-olds and they had a great time. It wasn’t easy, but I think the opportunity to do something as a team, using their brains creatively, was really fun.
We printed some handouts ahead of time for everyone. Participants needed access to Zoom as well as paper and pencils. It was handy to have an extra monitor but not necessary. It was definitely easier to navigate on a desktop or laptop vs a mobile device.
Online escape rooms can be a variety of prices. This one was $25/participant.
We provided: the handouts and also snacks for “brain food” during the adventure.
Virtual Magic Show
We hired Robert Baxt to do a personalized magic show for a virtual birthday party. He was funny and engaging. His magic show lasted about 40 minutes. He tailored it specifically to our son and even included the other brothers in the show.
While we wouldn’t typically spend quite this much money on a birthday, when Robert said we could invite up to 100 people, we were able to include our son’s friends AND their families. During a pandemic where everyone is desperate for some fun, we decided it was worth it.
He was very easy to work with. We just needed to have a Zoom account to set up the invite for friends.
We provided: the link and periodic reminders to attend a few days prior.
Watch Party through Amazon Prime Video
Our 12-year-old watched a James Bond movie with his friends for this virtual birthday party. It was really easy and fun. Each of the viewers has to have an Amazon Prime account for this to work.
Son: “Mom, are all James Bond movies the same? Shooting, running, kissing, more shooting, some talking, running, more kissing, more shooting, more running, more kissing?
Free. Well, included in your prime membership unless you want to rent a movie not included in prime, then you have to rent the movie for each participant.
We provided: popcorn and movie candy.
Finding the fun in Virtual Birthday Parties
I searched high and low for fun virtual birthday party ideas. It broke my heart when I asked my kids what they wanted to do. One boy said, “Mom, I just want to see my friends. To be by them and play and joke around.” And then he started to cry.
I really wanted to give him a really great day. The day after his birthday, I knew the planning had been worth it: “Mom, I had a really special birthday. Thank you so much.” #parentingwin