Yes, that's a question mark and an exclamation mark in the title of this blog. Why? Because 2020 has been full of emotional ups and downs due to the coronavirus pandemic but I wanted to share how I found joy in organizing a Zoom party for my daughter's birthday celebration this year!
A month before my daughter’s 5th birthday, I decided that her celebration would be simple. I settled on the idea that we would sing, eat cake, and open a few gifts. About a week later, I received an invitation to a Zoom party for one of my daughter’s friends. The invitation was very specific but fun! It included the theme, date and time, when the Zoom link would be sent, and that a party pack will be delivered to our porch a day before the party. Sure enough, everything happened as planned. We opened the party pack to find glow sticks, confetti, candy, a small toy, and an individually wrapped cupcake. Then, it was party time! The host shared her screen, let the music play, and the dancing started. We had a great time! It made me so happy that my daughter was still able to connect with her friend from a distance and participate in an important moment in her life.
The party was such a great experience that I used the same model to plan my daughter’s birthday. Here’s some tips you can use to plan the ultimate 2020 Zoom party:
Before the Party
Invitation – Decide on a theme, date & time, and create your invitation. You can also just text, email, or call your invitees with the date and time. Set the RSVP date for a week before the party so you have time to check addresses and distribute party packs if you choose to do so.
Pictures for Sharing – Gather digital images of the person being celebrated and create a slideshow using Microsoft PowerPoint, Prezi, or Google Slides. You can even download a song from Freegal to embed in your presentation. Give yourself a few days to do this.
Party Packs – It’s not necessary to distribute party packs but I noticed that it helped my little one remember something important was happening. Include homemade confetti and a small treat or make it as elaborate as you like. These can be delivered the day before the party if all of your invitees live nearby.
Zoom – Create your link and distribute it no later than a day before the party. You can host up to 100 participants for 40 minutes for free! No one had to travel and we successfully maintained an appropriate social distance by having a Zoom party.
Song List – Include your little one in the planning and let her pick out her favorite songs to share with her friends. 5 songs is plenty for a 40 minute party.
The Day Of
Decorations – Pick an empty wall and create a Zoom background. Since my party girl is only about 4 feet tall the decorations only went halfway up the wall. Give your little one some paper and crayons or markers and you’ll have a beautiful background in no time!
Content to Share – Get your picture presentation and party songs loaded on the computer before the party starts so they can be ready to go when you share your screen. Play the presentation in the first few minutes of the meeting as guests are joining.
Zoom – Log in to Zoom, start the meeting, share your screen and....HAVE FUN!!
Don’t forget to leave a few minutes at the end for the birthday song or to let participants share messages.
This format can be adapted for a variety of occasions. Put your own spin on it and stay safely connected!
Check out these videos for party planning ideas:
Make your own confetti with tissue paper. Cut larger pieces for less mess!
Learn the basics of Prezi to share pictures during your party!
Here's an idea for an easy backdrop that will make your background festive and fun!