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I hosted a Zoom party for my kid – here’s how we did it

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If there’s one thing I hate, it is a party pooper. And that is what Covid-19 is to most kids right now, a great big party pooper. It has caused millions of children to be out of schools, playgrounds and theme parks to be cordoned off and many celebrations canceled.

Even though we are now in the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) phase and there are a lot fewer restrictions, I feel safest at home, much to my sociable son’s dismay.

We recently hosted a birthday party for him, ‘Corona-style.’ Even though he didn’t like the sound of it in the beginning, by the end of the day, he was grinning from ear to ear.

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Here’s how we did it:

Have a virtual feast

Instead of the usual party invites, we sent Zoom invites and arranged for everyone to come online at a particular time. Prior to the date, we had made arrangements for all the ‘attendees’ to receive a small cake, so it won’t be just us chowing down on cake after singing Happy Birthday together. If you want to have a virtual feast, many companies can do food deliveries. Check out makchic’s list here.

Set the place up

To change the mood at home, we put up some decorations. Pinterest and Etsy are a treasure trove for party decoration ideas. You can also find lots of editable printables to suit your theme. There are also many party planners who can help with home decorations at this time, so make sure to shop around.

Photo credit: Hadley Design

Let the games begin

My son is a big fan of Minecraft, so I organised for him to play a session with his friends. Before you dismiss online-gaming, Minecraft is a family-friendly game that encourages creativity, teamwork, problem-solving and much more. There are many other games that you could play online, such as Fortnight, Roblox and Animal Crossing; it depends on your family’s likes.

Activity boxes

Recently, I saw an acquaintance hold a zoom birthday party for their son. They had sent activity boxes to each friend beforehand. On the day of the party itself, everyone called in at the given time and did the activity together with the birthday boy! I thought it was such a great idea too. Wish I saw this earlier!

Photo credit: Atom & the dot

Make a keepsake

We’re living through a historical event and I want my son to preserve the moment. I video interviewed him and asked questions like how does it feel like celebrating under these circumstances, what does he think about not seeing his friends in person, how does it feel growing older? Easy stuff. This would be a great memento to keep for when they are older. It would certainly be interesting to look back and reflect on it.

Having people over

Right now, there are no restrictions on having small gatherings if that’s what you wish. As we are still advised to practice social distancing, plan ahead to make the best use of your space and to ensure your guests can move around comfortably. It may be a challenge to keep the kids apart, so do try your best to manage the number of attendees.

Instead of serving food buffet-style, it might be a better idea to serve individual meals like burgers, bento boxes or packed nasi lemak. And instead of a birthday cake, perhaps you could get cupcakes or cake pops.

Photo credit: Kue by Kek

There are also plenty of games you could play that doesn’t involve contact like charades or treasure hunts.

As for party favours, why not pack a bag filled with Covid-19 essentials? Things like hand sanitisers, facial masks, small bottles of soap and gloves are perfect right now and might even teach the kids a thing or two about hygiene. If that sounds too boring, you can find ideas for party favours that kids (and parents) would love here.

Do what you can!

This coronavirus has left us with enough on our plate. Don’t stress too much about having the best party for your kids. What’s important right now is that our family is healthy, happy and safe.

 

Diana is a stay-at-home mum to a young storyteller who has delusions of becoming a pro snowboarder.

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