When I started planning my daughter’s first birthday party, I was overwhelmed as I tried to make a Zoom first birthday party & virtual cake smash a fun activity despite the limitations. However hard it would be, I needed to have a birthday party to commemorate our first year of parenthood and to celebrate my first year of motherhood and to — in some small way — enjoy the significance of the milestone despite the pandemic life limitations.
A little determination, a lot of thinking outside the box, and some flexible goals combined to create a party that was as good as it could’ve been inside such tiny parameters.
A Zoom first birthday party is not what I wanted for my daughter, but it was worth the effort.
Inspired by the Hallmark Christmas Movie Bingo Card that I had purchased for a virtual movie night, I created Zoom Cake Smash Bingo. Cake Smash Bingo proved to be the most fun part of our Zoom First Birthday Party and the highlight for the guests, keeping them entertained while watching my daughter feed us icing.
For instant access to Zoom Cake Smash Bingo, click here. It worked so well for us, I’m glad to give it away for free to you. =)
I chose to deliver party-in-a-bag to each (local) guest’s doorstep and emailed the Zoom Cake Smash Bingo to faraway guests.
The party-in-a-bag brought the fun to each home, despite not being able to gather in person.
- hot cocoa
- party cups
- party napkins
- cake pops
- party poppers
- Bingo Card
Everything the cousins would need to have a party in their own living room while on Zoom. (It was a rousing success, too! I’ll have a whole page of photos in my baby book just of the photos of each family member’s party setup!)
I set up a Zoom party backdrop (was the same backdrop as her one year old photoshoot — those photos are below!) to add an air of festivity of beauty to the screen and – voila! – we had a virtual first birthday party!
Guests were told ahead of time what to expect from this less-than-one-hour party; both to eliminate as much awkwardness as possible and to make sure I stayed on task and didn’t get distracted by talking with all my favourite people!
“As you log onto Zoom, we will be running a Slideshow of Photos (many of which are never-before-showcased!). Once everyone is logged on, the baby will be in her high chair for her Cake Smash (and you’ll be playing Cake Smash Bingo). After the smash you’re welcome to log off but if you want to stay a while, you’ll play a little baby girl trivia game (based on her Instagram posts – start studying!) while we clean up a bit. She’ll then open gifts (for as long as her attention span allows) before heading off to play!”
Start to finish, the party was less than one hour long. The best part? Multiple guests told me how fun it was, how surprisingly unstressful it was, and how much they appreciated being able to be part of the celebration even from far away.
A Zoom First Birthday Party and Virtual Cake Smash is NOT the ideal way and is definitely NOT what I would have wanted, but we made the best of it for our pandemic baby and have photos and memories to cherish.