“Mumma… I want to have a party on my birthday… pleeeeasee!!!”
Normal Scenario : “Yes beta. Who all should we invite? Let’s think about how we should celebrate.”
Lockdown scenario: “Uh-oh! “
Stuck at home? That too on your kid’s birthday? Can’t invite friends or family? This doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate his special day. In a grand way.
Basically, you need to have a cake, some music and oodles of fun activities. These activities depend on the age of your kid and the number of family members.
We had a party just like this when my son was 8 years old. We had 15 people including my son. Of course there was no Corona lockdown at that time, so all our extended family members were invited. But this can be fun with 4 people too. (Alternatively, you can make an exciting treasure hunt.. as explained in my post ‘No Birthday Party‘ or throw a virtual party detailed in quarantine birthday party).
Please decorate the room with balloons (if you have some at home) or even coloured paper circles/stars/flowers.
“Arre yaar! Hamare ghar par koi nahi khelega. Everybody is into their gadgets”
Common complaint. At least try. I will tell you what. Even at my home 2-3 people always back off when some common playtime is suggested. But then, it was everybody’s pampered member’s birthday. How can they say no?
What I did was, arranged some fun team games with nothing but items kept at home only. We divided people in 2 teams. I was the game keeper so I didn’t play. Boys vs Girls. The age old rival teams.
Both teams had to arrange themselves in increasing order of their birth months. The first team to do so, will get 1 minute advantage in the rest of the tasks.
I had already set the tasks to be done, in two rows, on each side of the dining table. So one team was standing on the left side of the table and the other on the right side. After arranging them, each member had to do the task set up in front of him/her. The catch was, that a person cannot start his task until the previous team member has finished his.
The team that won in step 1, would start first and the second team would start after 1 min.
Now, the scheduled tasks were –
– Colour coding:
I had 2 packets of M&Ms at home. So, I divided them equally in 2 glass jars, beforehand. The players had to sort them in colours and put in separate cups. Make sure that M&Ms (or cadbury gems) are not the type which easily melts. You can put them in the freezer till just before the start of the game.
Then, I had small puzzles (of 10-12 pieces each). The next player had to complete the puzzle fast.
The next challenge was the Jenga block tower. Players had to make a single block tower using jenga pieces with just one hand. It’s not as easy as it seems.
– Bangle branching
I have a collection of bangles. So, I mixed many bangles together and divided them in 2 bags. Same number of bangles and same design in each bag. The players had to sort the bangles according to their design and put them on inverted glasses. Mind you, no other team member can help this player. So, there was a lot of cheering and shouting but whew..
– Chug chug
For the next challenge I kept 1 ltr of drinking water and an empty glass. The player had to finish all the water by drinking it. But this may increase bathroom breaks for him. He he..
– Cookie course
A biscuit (Parle-G kind) was kept on the player’s forehead. He/she had to eat that biscuit by sliding it down to his mouth with only head movement. He couldn’t use his hands. (Yes. This can be done. https://youtu.be/u5-G_7XFVM8)
– The equilibrium
Each player had 1 TT racquet and 2 ping pong balls. He/she had to balance one ball on the racquet and bring it all the way from the end of the table to the front and throw it in an empty basket at front. All the while making sure the ball doesn’t fall otherwise he would have to start again.
And the final task was to build team unity. I divided the hall in 2 parts using a coloured tape. Red balloons were in the boys’ area and blue balloons were in the girls’ area. Both teams had to push all their balloons in the opposite team’s area AND they should keep their own area clear of any balloons. Time limit was 1 minute. The catch was that they could do so only with their feet. No hands and no pushing each other. The team that completed the majority of the tasks along with this balloon challenge, wins.
You can customize these games as you wish. For example, if you have less number of players, just give the player 2-3 tasks each.
Believe me, it was sooo much fun. Everybody was laughing, enjoying themselves. It was more fun than a big lavish party at a restaurant. We practice Sahajayoga Meditation. So, next we cut the cake ( made at home), in front of Shri Mataji’s photo. (You can look for easy recipes online. Better still, involve your kid in the cooking). Also, while cutting the cake, have a Zoom or Skype party with all the relatives and friends online. Imagine the look on your kid’s face when everybody is singing “Happy Birthday” on the screen.
For food, just ask your kid what he wants to eat. Because there was only family at our party, nobody was in a hurry to go home. So, we played dumb charades and sat drinking and eating snacks. Kabir even played his guitar for all of us. That evening was one of his most memorable birthdays.
For younger kids, like toddlers and pre-schoolers, you can coax your family members to play some of the following games –
– Musical chairs
– Newspaper dance
– Tug of war
– Pass the parcel
– Put bindi on the forehead of a cardboard cutout of a woman
– Carrying marbles on spoons in mouth
For teens and older kids, you can have a virtual party. I can just give you some ideas, as I myself haven’t implemented any of these.
– Buy any game online, like Jack in the box party game. Go to Google Hangout and share the screen with friends who have already been invited a day or two before the party.
– Challenge your friends to Monopoly or Uno online games. This will be fun and many friends can play it together.
– There is a free version of Mario Kart tour available online which can be played by upto 7 people.
– Have a zoom or skype video conference and turn it into a sleepover kind of party. But everyone will be in the comfort of their home.
Please do some research for this. What game your kid and his friends would like to play, what video chat platform will you use etc.
Make him his favourite food and let him enjoy. But please don’t hover over him when he is with his friends.
I got my son a small digital camera as a gift as he is a little keen on photography. But if you can’t step out or order any gift, I suggest you make him a coupon booklet like this. Older kids may be gifted an online amazon voucher.
So, go ahead. Make the most of this lockdown. What’s more.. You can even plan this type of birthday for any adult family member too. Just plan the activities right.
P.S. You can also look at the following videos for more games ideas. But make sure that they are not that difficult to do and also the things needed should be easily available at home. Also, limit intellectual games and don’t make the games too long. Everyone should be left wanting more of this.
Disclaimer : I, in no way, endorse or am affiliated with zoom/ skype or google hangout, and have mentioned them in a purely suggestive way.