Just because we have to stay safe at home doesn't mean that your child can't have the magical princess party they've been dreaming of!
Set up a zoom link for your princess party and invite guests
Zoom makes hosting virtual parties easy, and it is the platform I recommend. Create a "meeting" on zoom at your desired start time and share the link (or meeting ID and password) with the friends you'd like to invite. If you are using a free account, you can invite up to 100 guests and your party can be up to 40 minutes in duration. Everyone will need to download the zoom app or computer application prior to the party.
tip: If you are new to zoom, check out https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us for videos and articles on how to use the platform.
Choose your child's favorite Princess to invite to the party
Invite your child's favorite princess to come to their zoom party! Send an inquiry
to check availability for your desired princess and secure your a performer for your desired date and time. You will be able to share with the princess information about the child's favorite things (hobbies, songs, shows, etc) that the princess can incorporate into the zoom party. Share your zoom link with us, and we will pass the link on to the princess.
tip: You can book the princess for either 15 or 30 minutes, but 30 is recommended for zoom parties.
Should everyone be muted or un-muted during the party?
I recommend leaving everyone muted throughout the party except the host account (you) where the birthday child will be, the princess's account, and the one other account that is talking at any given time. If you leave everyone un-muted there is WAY too much extraneous noise and no one can hear or enjoy what is happening. But, you can leave everyone un-muted for the first few minutes as guests trickle in and "unmute all" for the "Happy Birthday" song.
Plan your activities and itinerary
We suggest inviting the princess to the virtual party about 5 minutes after the party starts to allow guests the chance arrive and settle in. When the princess arrives, she will unmute herself and say hello to the birthday girl or boy. She will then talk to the birthday celebrant about their favorite things (and whatever personalized information you have provided). She will sing a popular song or two from her movie or story, and then, if time allows, open it up to questions and "hellos" from other guests and children.
tip: When the princess wants to talk to one child at a time, she will ask you to unmute them by their "zoom name" (the name displayed below their picture). You are the only one who can unmute and re-mute people because you are the host.
When there is ~5 minutes left in her time, she will lead everyone in singing "Happy Birthday" before saying goodbye.
Giving your guests time to shine
If you need a time filler before, after, or while the princess is there, one fun idea is to unmute guests one at a time and give each family a turn to say something to the birthday girl or boy. Here are a few ideas:
Have each person say a simple "happy birthday" to the birthday celebrant
Have each person say one of their favorite memories of the birthday celebrant
Have each person say a compliment or one of their favorite things about the birthday celebrant
A few words on singing "Happy Birthday"
Set your expectations low when it comes to the birthday song 😂. Will the birthday song sound good when everyone is singing all together? No. But that's not the point. The point is to have everyone join together in a communal moment to celebrate the birthday child. Right before singing happy birthday, use the "unmute all" button, which you have control over since you are the host of the meeting.
tip: If you would like to have the birthday child blow out their candles, make sure you have the cake and candles and a lighter on hand and nearby before the call begins, so you can bring over the cake for this moment.
Then, whoever is leading happy birthday (you or the princess) should count everyone in ("Let's sing happy birthday to ____ on the count of 3! 1-2-3") and then start singing. Everyone will be singing at different times, and it's okay!
tip: Whoever is "leading" the happy birthday song should just keep singing at their tempo, instead of listening to others or slowing down, so that everyone can follow one person.
Thank everyone for coming and say good-byes
Once "Happy Birthday" has been sung, guests will naturally start to leave the party unless you give them clear instructions previously that something more is to come (which is totally up to you!) But if you're wrapping up with "Happy Birthday" I recommend using the "mute all" button right after singing so that you can quickly thank everyone for coming, say your final words, and wish everyone well. When you are ready to end the meeting, simply click the "leave" and then "end meeting" button.
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