Hello everyone hope you all have had a nice week? There is some gorgeous sunshine out there today and lots of people are out and about enjoying the sun. Also signs of spring are showing which is always exciting after a long winter specially on lockdown. In other news, we had a great announcement from the UK PM that the kids are to go back to school on 8th of March which is just another cherry on the cake!
Talking about cake, last weekend was quite eventful for us, our little lady turned 5 and celebrating a lockdown birthday has been a completely new experience. I am going to list down everything we did to throw a successful kids birthday party on lockdown!
It all sounds so strange to have a party on lockdown but from all the positive feedback we got from parents and children who attended the party (virtually) I would happily do it again!
So let me break it down for you on how this party was organised and how it went down. Usually I would hire a hall, decorate the place, arrange food for all the guests (kids and adults included) arrange all the party favours, organise the photo props and hire party entertainment. Which would pretty much be a good 1 hr 30 min party for under 5’s.
Since this year was different we decided to do a virtual party with a little twist. We had been to a number of virtual parties since last year and thought not being able to participate fully was a let down for the kids and doesn’t it just suck having to sing birthday songs on a virtual call while someone cuts the cake and not actually having any cake or party food? I have had to make sure to get some cake for my little person when she attends one of those virtual parties so she could enjoy that too.
So we decided we will elevate everyone’s experience by personally delivering packed party food and party favours for all the children invited so everyone could eat together and have the same party favours as you would in an actual party. And let me tell you going that extra mile has made it a memorable experience for everyone.
In this post
So here is my 10 step guide for organising a successful lockdown party for kids or adults.
Step one was to come up with a theme. It is easier when kids know what they want in our case it was mermaids and rainbows. This would be your starting point to everything – the Invite, the décor, party favours and cake.
Step two was creating the invite. Believe me when I say I couldn’t find a nice template out there that was free so I decided to create my own and this is what I came up with. I will add a free template under here for you so you can use it if you would like to.
Right click and save below as an image then edit in a photo editing app or Power point to add your details. Or if you are going to hand write the details please add image to a word document. add the image twice on a word doc and then print them out. It would give you 2 good size invite copies per page.
NOTE: *FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. DO NOT COMMERCIALISE*
3. The Décor
Correct me if I am wrong but no party is complete without balloons and confetti. I love making my own balloon arches and this one was from amazon. It contains 100 balloons and comes with a arch maker. So you just blow up 100 balloons (so easy) and stick them into this see through strip of tape that keeps the balloons together. I also glued on some smaller balloons to fill the gaps.
Pro Tip: Do not use hot glue gun, use a cool melt glue gun instead. Hot glue will burst the balloons. This is the cool melt glue gun I use.
Do this the night before so you are not rushing around like a headless chicken on the day. You do need good 2 hrs to get the arch done. I find it easier with a balloon pump and a little helper.
4. The Cake
For the cake I knew I wanted Marks and Spencer’s Rainbow cake which is what we had before. It was a lot bigger last year but this time we went with the medium version that was about £30. I believe they have a smaller version of the cake too.
I’ve used these gorgeous mermaid themed cake toppers on the cake which are from Cakey McCakeface on Etsy. Kat who is the owner and the artist at Cakey McCakeface custom makes each one by hand. I would highly recommend Kat’s store as there are so many amazing cake toppers she makes and everything is so well packed when it arrives. These toppers do stay on for a long time (roughly a month) and are edible. But they look so nice I didn’t want to eat them!
This is the mermaid cake topper I used. Do give Kat’s work a look if like me you like to decorate your cakes too. Over the years I found that buying my cake separately and getting a nice topper saves me a lot of money to spend on other things.
Not only the cake is delicious the inside is a rainbow surprise and was a perfect fit for our theme. Marks and spencer’s always deliver excellence when it comes to cakes , I have ordered different cakes from them over the years and each one of them is so nicely made. The balance of sweetness and the flavours is just right. I would highly recommend them for cakes. You order a week or two before for the date you want to pick up and collection is seamless and free.
5. Birthday Girl’s Outfit
For the birthday girl’s outfit we went with a costume party dress instead of something expensive which I usually keep a separate budget for each year. This year my little one wanted to pick her own and after much deliberation (and I mean much) she picked Disney nutcracker’s sugar plum fairy costume from TU.
6. Party Bags
For our party bags we decided to use Party delight’s rainbow party bags. The contents of a party bag always have me thinking but this year was so much fun.
We found some cute mermaid suncatcher kits from hobby craft and some non drying playdough sticks called Plasticine along with crayons. Also we found some mermaid pencils, stickers and notebooks along with some cute mermaid party hats from Party delights which is really my favourite place to go to when it comes to party supplies.
7. Party Food Delivery
For the party food we basically picked individual boxes of cocktail sausages or veg bites with preferred kids pizza along with a packet of crisps, a fruit bag , Bear fruit bites , mini party rings, cupcakes, fruit shoot, the cutlery, shell plate and mermaid napkin.
We made a click and collect reservation at our local supermarket a day before the party, got everything back home and wiped the packed food with antibac wipes just to be safe and then added these to individual boxes to be personally delivered to everyone’s houses.
We reused our amazon and other shopping cardboard boxes for basically carrying everything together. We then delivered each box to the attendees of the party at a social distance. The excitement builds from this time onwards when children are expecting a delivery for themselves and I had not anticipated meeting so many excited children. It was a welcome change.
Below is an example of a single child party box. Anyone with siblings would have got a double of everything.
8. Virtual Party Details
Once the food and party bag delivery was done it was time to get to the technical details. We used Microsoft teams for the party as its got no time limit for free calls but Zoom , or the house party app, skype are also some good options. It’s important to test to link before you send it out to everyone.
9. Planning Party Games
Last but not the least no party is fun without some games. With younger children it is hard to keep hold of their attention for a long time so the games need to be short sweet and easy.
We played 3 small games in this party
- Dance and freeze – we put some music on everyone has to show their best moves and then freeze when the music stops. You must give compliments to all the children to keep them going !
- Guess the animal – we had some animal flash cards that we showed to each child one at a time and they had to guess the animal.
- I spy colour game – so you basically say I spy something “colour” and the kids have to run and find something of that colour in their house. Everyone must return to the screen before you finish counting 10.
All of these games are simple but fun none the less, remember to appreciate every child.
10. On the day
We started off the party at noon with all the children eating and having a chat while we let everyone in the meeting. It is also a good time for one parent to check up and help anyone who cannot get in sort out the technical issues.
TIP: Parents keeps a few conversation starters handy just in case the kids go quiet.
Once the food is done with its nice to have a little warm up to shake the ants in the pants and get everyone ready for the games. Once the games are done its time to cut the cake, make sure to set up your camera on a tripod with an automatic remote before hand to take pictures so that you don’t have to rush around. Once the cake is cut everyone can have their cupcakes while you have some cake. We did put extra cupcakes in each party box so children can have more than one.
It went down smoothly and the party was beautifully finished off in 45 mins. We had so many lovely messages and the kids were still sharing their wonderful experience on their school video call the next day.
I think this plan would easily work for adult birthdays , hen parties or any other celebration where the participants are local.
So have I managed to inspire you to plan a party on lockdown?
In an year of cancelled plans, don’t cancel joy- Pooja
Hope you enjoyed my post, I shall see you next week.
Thanks for reading the blog Xx
All items listed below are the exact things we used for the party décor, party bags etc. Please click on the photo caption to follow the link. No affiliate links.
Prerna Shah says
Very well written Pooja, and a good resource for someone who wants to do the same.
Thank you so much Prerna Xx