KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 23, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy families prove that there are plenty of ways to celebrate their children’s birthday parties during the pandemic. While many have put large-scale kid parties on hold, these Katy families prove that they can make a kid feel like royalty on their special day.
Thank you Katy Moms Group Facebook page for sharing your great ideas for this story.
Getting Creative in a Pandemic
Katy moms have been getting creative at throwing some of the best kid birthday parties during the ongoing pandemic. Some are keeping it small, just to family, while others are utilizing technology to incorporate family and friends near and far.
“All three of my daughters have had their birthday during COVID-19,” says Katy Mom Arielle Haysmer. “They all had birthday parades and have loved them! It has been their favorite birthdays ever!”
Yard signs and flamingos were fun before the pandemic, but now kids are really enjoying these “announcements.” Everyone knows about their special day, and the signs offer a great backdrop for pictures during car parades and outdoor gatherings. For more excitement, families have set up a picnic or cake out among the signs.
“We did a yard sign and a car parade,” says Mandy Egan. “For the car parade we dressed her up like a queen and made her a throne out of cardboard to sit in. I also made her a cool cake even though it was just grandparents that stayed to have some.”
“We did a yard sign, car parade at her request,” says Sarah Jones. “We live on a cul-de-sac where our friends are like family so we gathered in the middle with them and ate cake.”
Princess for the Day
COVID-19 shook up little Kaylin’s birthday. First the family had planned to take their Frozen-loving daughter to Disney World and then that was canceled. Then they scheduled a birthday party at a gymnastics facility, but they chose to cancel over concerns. So, Katy mom Kathryne Pruitt had to get creative. She also got to work with her husband's birthday as he and their daughter share the same day!
Photo credit: Kathryne Pruitt
“I’m a big-time planner and tend to buy things months in advance,” says Pruitt. “I figured out mid-March when things started shutting down that Charlie and Kaylin would likely spend their birthday in quarantine. I started to look for anything Frozen 2.”
The entire Pruitt family dressed up for the occasion. “When she woke up that morning, I helped her get dressed and did her hair. She was so ecstatic that I looked like Anna from Frozen 2.”
Dad Charlie was dressed up as Kristoff and the family enjoyed a “feast” in total Frozen 2 theme. They made a Frozen themed scavenger hunt, and in the afternoon, friends participated in a car parade.
“This is the best birthday ever!” said Kaylin.
Surprise Video Calls
While a normal summer birthday would have been hard for out of town guests to make, technology has offered families options to surprise children with out of town guests. (Photo credit: Kathy Penney.)
“We celebrated a friend’s son by having a visitor/surprise/call every hour of his birthday,” says Alysa Kowis.
With this party idea, “guests” can also leave presents at the door and honk their horn, or send gifts via email when they call in. It’s another great way to make a birthday special and unique while incorporating out of town guests who normally would have been unable to attend a party.
“We reached out to friends and family to send cards or well wishes video,” says Tiffany Diane. “He was so excited receiving all his messages. Then he spent the day playing games and eating what he wanted to!”
Virtual Birthday Kits
Some businesses are offering virtual birthday party options. Parents can choose from different themes and virtual experiences. These activities or entertainment are 100% online so parents can have their child experience it with family or a small group of friends of their choice.
Katy mom, Kathy Penney reached out to the popular Katy Moms Group Facebook page when she wanted a virtual magician experience for her son.
“I had the idea and posted if anyone could recommend a magician doing Zoom performances and someone suggested Mr. Leo,” says Penney. “He did a phenomenal job doing a custom show for my son.”
Idea Lab Kids is offering virtual birthday experiences as well. Families can select a theme and pick up a box of supplies. They will host a Zoom session where a member of their team will walk kids through do-it-yourself projects. Learn more here.
Decorating with Mail
Kids love getting mail and this Katy mom really capitalized on that.
“We teach our kids that love and friendship is more important than gifts,” says Januari Jones.
With the pandemic, a lot of Jones’ ideas for a party weren’t doable so she got creative and designed a “Unicorn Party By Mail.”
Photo credit: Januari Jones
“I messaged everyone and gave the date of when I needed them (mail and drawings) by,” says Jones. She encouraged family and friends to color or draw unicorn pictures in addition to cards.
“It was so nice and we enjoyed it so much,” says Jones. “My oldest turns 7 in July and wants the same kind of party. Hers will be a Surf Beach Party.”
Car Parade with Hot Summer Twist
Car parades have been a Katy favorite now for several months, but some families are finding ways to kick it up a notch.
Photo credit: Macy Lima
“We organized a car parade and since it’s summer added some water toys to make it extra fun and interactive,” says Macy Lima.
Families can also get creative with foam parties or painting parties to give the birthday kid something to do during the car parade. This is also helpful to avoid any pauses in the parade and to keep the action going.
Air Brush Instead of Face Painting
Face painting has always been a fun birthday party activity, but with concerns of physical contact, some artists are thinking outside the box and finding ways to still offer a similar service.
“I’m now offering airbrush tattoos with minimal contact,” says Valerie Leveck Vela, who did traditional face painting at parties. “Safety procedures are in place with masks. Sanitation is my priority.”
This shows how Katy moms can rethink a popular birthday party activity and see how it can be adapted during this time to still provide the service while staying safe.
Many of these great ideas came from the popular Katy Moms Group Facebook page. This is a great local resource for moms.
What other fun and unique birthday party ideas have you planned during this pandemic? Let us know!