Last month, my niece Neve celebrated her 5th birthday. Can you believe she is five already?! I cannot. Since we are still in the middle of a global pandemic, my sister kept the celebration small. They came to our house for the weekend, and then expanded the party to her friends virtually. No, it was not quite as memorable as her 4th birthday party at American Girl Place in NYC, but still lots of fun. One main pandemic takeaway is that little kids are pretty happy with whatever it is you put in front of them. As long as they get cake, presents and all the attention, it’s a birthday party!

My sister and her family arrived on Friday, spent the night and then the kids woke up bright and early to start the festivities. Harlow woke up first and ran downstairs to bake the cake in time for the virtual party, which for some reason, my sister scheduled at 10:30am.

In case, some of you think cake isn’t a proper breakfast food, you can rest easy. We also had a giant box of Funfetti cereal, which is infinitely more nutritious. Neve poured it on a plate and ate it dry with a spoon. As one does.

Since the party was early, the kids decided they would be attending in their pajamas. Everyone except Harlow, of course, who will take any excuse to put on a fancy dress.

Neve put on a unicorn horn to complete the look.

Before the virtual party started, they decided to have a pre-party dance-off to the Hamilton soundtrack. To be fair, interpretative dance to Hamilton is what Harlow has been doing 24/7 for two solid months, ever since she saw the show on Disney +, so this might have had nothing to do with Neve’s birthday. It’s hard to tell.

Mazzy used our new 3D printer to make Neve’s present— a kitty cupcake. We’ve had our 3D printer since August and it never occured to me that it would be an excellent solution for last minute gifts. Pretty sure I know what I’ll be getting for my birthday, every holiday and Mother’s Day from this point forward.

At 10:30am, Neve’s official party started, hosted by So Fun City, which I really recommend if you are planning a socially distanced gathering for kids online. They did live entertainment for birthday parties and schools in pre-pandemic times and have since pivoted to virtual parties. I’ve been to three parties hosted by them and they are always so engaging and fun. They do a live session with all the kids, facilitate interactive games, teach magic tricks, lead crafts, host a trivia game show and bring a ton of energy to their events.

First up, the kids made colors with food coloring and glue.

Once the colors were made, they painted them onto a plastic bag with a paper template inside. After it dries, you should be able to peel it off and stick it to a window.

Meanwhile, Mazzy was on cake decorating duty in the kitchen. She lined the edge of the cake with pink flowers and then wrote out Neve’s name in sprinkles, which looked super cute. Harlow is the family baker, but Mazzy definitely has some design skills up her sleeve. They would make a a good baking team on a kid version of Sugar Rush!

While Mazzy was putting on the finishing touches, So Fun City was challenging everyone to hold up a paper plate to their face and draw Neve’s face without looking. This may not be a party classic, but it really should be. I can see it working equally well at a kid’s birthday party and a college dorm.

It was pretty clear that Neve cheated, but seeing as it was her birthday party, we gave her a pass.

Next, the kids had to put Post-its with the letters of Neve’s name on their face, and then they had 30 seconds to shake the sticky notes off without using their hands. This is harder than it looks! Good thing her name isn’t Alexandra or Elizabeth or something. That would be a lot of wasted post-it notes!

Once the kids wrapped up their games, we presented Neve with her cake. Did I tell you this was all before lunch??

Happy Birthday, NEVE!!!!!

You might notice that Neve’s slice is rather giant and aggressively cut out of the middle of the cake. She wanted the piece with her name on it, as she should. If this isn’t the face of a child who got exactly what she wanted for her birthday, I don’t know what is.

After cake, So Fun City showed a video montage of all Neve’s friends wishing her a happy birthday. Grammy and Sammy made a cameo in Disney costumes.

It all wrapped up by 11:30am and did I mention that we didn’t even have to leave our house to celebrate?

Any kid’s birthday party that wraps up by noon is definitely a success.