OK, so we know lockdown isn’t over yet, but we like to plan for the future!
If your child’s birthday falls from July onwards, you’re probably already wondering how you can celebrate! And of course, there will be many of you who’ve postponed parties and want to reschedule.
With social distancing looking like it’s here to stay for a good while yet, it’s fair to assume that all social gatherings, including children’s parties, will be a little different to how they were before and will take even more thought and planning.
Just one week before lockdown was announced, we held a party for my 7-year-old nephew. It was a close call as to whether his party would go ahead but in the end most parents were happy for their children to attend. Armed with disinfectant and hand sanitiser, it’s the cleanest kids party we’ve ever been to!
For parties post-lockdown, much will depend on the rules laid out by the government but with talk of garden parties being allowed soon, we thought we’d get a head start and give you a few of our top tips!
Close Friends Only
There will almost certainly be restrictions on the number of people allowed at gatherings for many months to come, so cutting down the invite list to close friends only won’t be quite as awkward as it was before, especially if at previous parties you’ve felt compelled to invite the entire class! There’s nothing to stop you holding a Zoom party the next day for a larger audience.
In or Out – Shake it all About!
If the weather permits, having a gathering outside will make social distancing so much easier and it looks like garden parties may be added to the list of things we are soon allowed to do. Set up a treasure hunt or host a “bring your own” picnic.
If it’s raining, a garden party can still be fun; invest in a good quality gazebo and take cover!
Whether inside or out, make sure you set the party table with lots of space between each person.
The “No Share” Buffet
Buffets as we know them are no more! Individual portions are the way forward. At my nephew’s party my sister served individual crisp packets in a range of flavours, boxed raisins, individual fruit skewers, and wrapped chocolate bars and they went down really well. Themed paper plates, cups, and napkins are a must, along with a disposable themed tablecloth. It’ll make clearing up a whole lot easier too! And don’t forget to personalise your straws with either names or initials so everyone knows which drink is theirs.
Individual cardboard lunch boxes are also a good idea and can be personalised to match the party theme.
Add a wrapped wet wipe, in addition to a napkin, next to each place setting.
Socially Distanced Games
How about making an activity the main event, such as “make a bear”, where everyone can get involved but remain a social distance from one another. Teddytastic is just one company worth checking out. Their make a bear activity pack is delivered to your door and includes a bear of your choice, stuffing, a wishing heart, a birth certificate, a colouring sheet and crayons, and a surprise gift. Order one for each child and they will have something to take home with them too!
Games can still be part of the fun but perhaps a treasure hunt or musical statues would be preferable to pass the parcel to avoid children sitting very close together and passing their germs around in a circle!
Keep it Clean
Sanitise everything before guests arrive and again after they leave! Be sure to clean high touch services such as door handles, light switches, handrails, mobile phones, counter-tops, and, of course, toilets.
Position some hand sanitiser dispensers next to the buffet table.
To limit the number of germs brought into your home, we recommend a shoes-off policy. If it’s a garden party, suggest people wear easy to kick off shoes for when they inevitably need to pop inside to use the loo.
Have Your Cake and Eat It!
Never has the idea of a child blowing out candles on a cake, before you eat it, been less appealing!
If you are intending to serve birthday cake to guests then we recommend either putting a layer of clingfilm over the cake before you put the candles on it or have a separate cake for blowing out the candles, let’s call it the photo-shoot cake, and then another one for eating.
We also suggest individually wrapped cupcakes for your party bags.
Most parents regularly check their children’s temperature, but it may be worth reminding parents to check the temperature of their little ones and themselves in the 2 weeks leading up to your party.
Not Your Average Party Bag
Party Bag Online is your one-stop-shop for party bags. Take the hassle out of this time-consuming task that will require you to browse multiple shops, either online or in the high street. You’ll be supporting a small business and providing something a little bit different from the average party bag. They have lots of themes to choose from and can personalise bags for you too.
Strike a Pose!
Don’t forget to take photos. This party, for many reasons, will be one to look back on and one your children will talk about with their children in years to come!
Have fun making some great memories!