I went to my first kids zoom party this week. Two parties, in fact, both within the space of 24 hours. I had a child bouncing off the walls and a budgie that had perfected the art of gate crashing by the end of them.
Both parties were a great success and I take my hat off to the parents who organised them. There was still all the preparation and then the co-ordination on the day.
For instance, party invites needed to be sent beforehand with the platform link details. A bag is physically dropped off at your house before the party begins. This contains the food and anything needed for the games, like pass the parcel and bingo, along with the end party bag.
A smaller number is invited to virtual parties primarily because everyone needs to fit on the screen I’d imagine (or else the poor host would just spend their time toggling between on screen pages), and then we’re off and boogying when we press ‘join’.
With the world the way it is at the moment, you have to learn to adapt quickly. A moping child in the house because of having no birthday party has the potential for weeks of misery! This way, they have everything very similar except they’re not physically in a room with their friends. That’s the main downside.
But we had pass the parcel, a quiz, bingo, guess the sweets in the jar, a bit of dancing with the balloon, sweets to win, happy birthday to sing and a cake to cut. A lot was packed into these two parties!
Nice touches made it feel like a normal kids party, like cutting the cake and then everybody immediately having a piece to eat. Or the constant chitter chatter among the host and guests.
The budgie gate crashed way before the cake was presented – at both parties. He knew when the sandwiches came out. As soon as he’d finished eating his allocated crumb, he did a splendid job of mimicking that adult who goes to a party, eats and drinks everything, and then falls asleep on the sofa. The budgie took up residence on the PC keyboard after scoffing his steal, most pleased with himself as he puffed up and went to sleep.
He had it sussed and was right on ‘queue’ at party number two as well.
With this new era of adaption, I asked my child if she enjoyed the different parties. She said they were great and would be even better if they combined things. I said what do you mean? Well, she said that the first party had pass the parcel where they all were told which ‘direction’ the parcel was to follow, so they knew that one person would ‘throw’ them the parcel to catch, and then they would ‘throw’ it to the next person. That was fun.
But she said the second party had more layers to unwrap, and everyone got a little prize at the end (at the first party, there were two layers. Everyone got a turn to unwrap a layer when the music stopped at them. Then everyone unwrapped the second layer. One person got the prize and the others got some sweets). Not a bad combination, so parents reading this, if you have a virtual party with pass the parcel, you could try combining the ideas and let me know how it goes.
We could all start swapping kids zoom party successes because nobody knows when we’ll get back to the old way of party-in-a-hall or somewhere similar. I personally found it nice to sit back and listen instead of be at a works meeting on zoom. The only downside was that I wasn’t sitting at my desk so couldn’t get away with the PJ bottoms.
I wonder how much more we could achieve by combining ideas to get through difficult and unusual times, and come out the other side just as successful because of it?
I sign off this week with a happy child from seeing her friends and getting some treats to eat, and a party-animal budgie who now keeps a closer eye on the laptop.