Despite large gatherings events and special occasions being put on hold due to COVID-19, there are some things that never get cancelled – such as love, joy and laughter.
It’s still important to celebrate the little and big moments while self-isolating, and we’ve seen some inventive ideas come out of our centres at this time.
Greenwood Frenchs Forest, for example, used Skype to celebrate the birthday of a four-year-old who was staying home. They brought together children in the centre to call in, with children on each side of the computer having a cake and candles to sing happy birthday.
If you are keeping your child at home during a special occasion for them, it’s worth making a call to the centre to see if something similar can be arranged.
For other special occasions, whether they’re big or small, here are some other ideas to make it a fun time without a party crowd.
Create a party house
Like many big moments in life, half the fun lies in the preparation. Spend time with your little one transforming your home into a party house, putting up streamers, blowing up balloons and maybe even tackling a DIY garland for some extra pizzazz. Make you own banner to pin to the wall, cutting out the letters to work those fine motor skills.
The kitchen is one of the best places to combine creative fun and education – think maths and chemistry as you measure out ingredients and cook up a party feast. You couldn’t ask for a better science lab, melting solid butter into a liquid, blending butter and sugar to form a delicious cream, beating runny egg whites into a sweet solid mass of meringue, or the drama that baking soda adds to hokey pokey.
If baking isn’t your forte, there’s nothing wrong with a packet cake mix and a little imagination to make a memorable impact.
Find some great inspiration for fun novelty cakes via the Australian Women’s Weekly website right here.
Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangout and Skype can all be used to bring your child’s friends and relatives together virtually. Try to keep numbers to a sensible size so that nobody feels overwhelmed or left out. If close friends and family have sent gifts, save the unwrapping for a moment that can be shared on video.
In the absence of little friends at the party, you’re it, so it’s best to plan out games ahead of time. The usual fare like pass the parcel, musical chairs and treasure hunt will be perfect if there are other family members to join in. For a smaller crowd, try hide and seek, tag, charades or adopt a theme of your child’s choosing and spend the entire day in character.
Organising a party to please your little one can be hard work but there is salvation if you don’t mind spending a little. There are plenty of party entertainers who have gone online to deliver virtual parties, just have a quick Google to find some Aussie favourites.
Mix it up!
What better way to cap a memorable birthday than to have a sleepover, with all the family sleeping together in the living room or – if you have a tent and a yard – camping out at home!