If you'd asked me a month ago what the plans were for our eldest daughter's 8th birthday, I would have said that we would be having a party, with lots of friends over at our house - likely a pool party - and there would be CAKE!
Cut forward a few weeks, and "social distancing" is the buzz word, and "social isolation" is a thing...
When it came to our daughter's birthday, we knew she would be upset when she realised she couldn't see her friends for her birthday. She was dealing with some pretty crazy changes to her day-to-day routine, and very unsure as to why dad wasn't at work for the long hours that he usually was.
Our priority was to ensure she didn't feel left out, and to encourage her to see the positives. We were also concerned that we may not be able to get to the shops to get her a present.
We went on a Treasure Hunt!
After asking our school community for some ideas, we decided upon a Treasure Hunt:
we would map out the addresses of all the friends and family she would want to see for her birthday, and then visit their homes, collecting cards or pictures from their letterboxes
(NB. we're still allowed out the house, given we're not congregating in groups of 2+. Abide by your local regulations).
This is the process we used:
- List all of the names and addresses of the people you'd like to visit.
- Figure out the best route - we chose the locations that were furthest away first, and also prioritised the ones with the highest risk/greatest isolation requirement first.
- Calculate the distances from house-to-house in minutes. This will give you a rough idea on how long the route should take, and can be done quickly in Google Maps. Ours was calculated for 2.5 hours.
- Invite "guests'" to the party electronically, giving them enough notice to finish drawings and cards.
- We used bath crayons to decorate the car, with a "birthday girl" message!
- Once you set off, let the next person know how far away you are. We found that some friends came out to have a socially distanced chat from their front door to our car in the driveway. These "driveway chats" really made the day very special.
- Don't forget party favours! You could make cupcakes and hand them out, but a great germ-free solution that works for boys and girls is a bow! We see lots of our Bowties for Boys, and girls' bowtie hair ties or clips heading out as party favours. This option comes individually wrapped and ready to hand out.
Once we returned, we invited family on to a Zoom meeting to sing happy birthday and blow out the candles on the cake.
All in all, it was a great success:
Driveways had chalk messsages written on them.
She felt immensely loved.
As a keepsake, we printed off a Treasure Map, so she can look back in future and remember the time that birthday parties stopped, and the world went topsy-turvy. We've made it available as a free printable for you:
Get a copy for your birthday girl or boy, delivered straight to your inbox.
Shop online for gifts to save the hassle of the shops
If you're searching for a fun AND practical gift, or just a party favour that's not plastic and bound to end up in the bin - or a sugar rush - bows are the best choice!
They're affordable, colourful... and always need replaced! Here's some of our fave gift box solutions and party favour options, to save you a tonne of hassle. We can even post direct to your birthday girl's home address - just enter her address as the shipping address when you get to the cart.
The most popular choice at the moment are our Personalised Bows. They come in 2 styles, and 3 font choices. They're quick and easy to order online, and will be in the mail in no time at all!
Good luck with the birthday party planning! Wishing your little one a magical day,