Why Gift Giving in important – even for Virtual Parties

“Mom, does COVID mean I won’t get anything for my birthday?”

It’s the question you’re dreading if your child has a birthday coming up. You want the day to be special—to include things that can help them feel normal and safe, but it isn’t easy, is it? 

So what do you do?  

If your kids are like mine, they’ve been planning their birthday all year long. Not only do they look forward to their own birthdays, they eagerly anticipate attending their friends’ birthday parties and making them feel special.

 Virtual parties and drive by greetings are a great solution.  These are amazing ways to pivot the traditional birthday party and help kids feel celebrated, special and—most importantly—loved.

Giving Gifts, Safely 

Just because it’s a virtual party or a drive by greeting, doesn’t mean the birthday kid needs to forego their gift. Giving is important, it’s their birthday after all!

At Wish & Give, we get it. It really is better to give than receive. (Though receiving is pretty good too!) Giving gifts isn’t only important for the birthday kid; it’s important for guests too! But actually going to a store these days can seem like taking your life in your hands. 

Great News

Here’s the thing: Wish & Give’s invitations have always been virtual! Our invitations mean that your guests can virtually contribute to an amazing group gift and, to keep that goodness going, a donation to charity.  It’s win-win for everyone! Your birthday kid can choose the gift or experience they really want and experience the joys of kindness and generosity by fundraising for their favourite cause.  

The Birthday Kid Wins:
  1. Lets your child know they are loved and remembered by friends near and far
  2. They’ll receive the gift or experience they actually want
  3. Teaches them how to support a cause they care about
  4. Feels like they’re part of something with their friends, supporting a common cause
 Guests want to give!
  1. Feels good about giving a gift in a safe, meaningful and easy way
  2. Opportunity to support charity – a dose of happy hormones!
  3. Stress-free giving – (no masks, gloves or hand sanitizer required!)
  4. Saves time – no shopping, no wrapping

Parties may have changed a little, but kids still need a chance to celebrate and be celebrated. While we all look forward to a swift resolution to the crisis this pandemic has caused, in the meantime, you can help your kid feel amazing.  

 Get started with your Wish & Give invitation at www.wishandgive.ca  and don’t by shy to ask your guests for gifts!  They want to give.

5 Zoom Backgrounds for your Virtual Party

Introducing background photos and videos for your virtual birthday party!  As if a Zoom party wasn’t fun enough, we’ve brought it to the next level with these fun background images and videos.  Get your party hat on!

Click on each video or photo below to download to your computer and lets get the party started!

We’ve created  5 fun images or videos below to enhance your virtual party experience!  Share with your guests ahead of time to make the party even more entertaining!  Don’t forget to take a photo or screen shot of your party and share on social media.  Tag us, we’d love to see how you celebrated virtually!

Party Hat Fun

Add a party hat to the birthday kid or grown up with this fun download!  Email the video to your guests so everyone can where a virtual party hat!  Don’t forget to take a picture of everyone or a screen shot to remember this special occasion.

Cheers

Have a virtual cheers with your friends!  Download this video and share it with your friends before your Zoom party.  Everyone can change their background for a virtual cheers. Don’t forget to take a screen shot of everyone!  This is definitely Instagram worthy!

Party Pop

Having a super hero themed virtual party?  Download this video to make your party pop!  Share it with your friends too for a super fun party experience.

Donut Fun

Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by virtual donuts?!  Be sure to share with the photo with your friends so everyone can enjoy one!

Zoom background photo for your next virtual party

Sweet as an Angel

Have some angels in your party?  Share these fluttering wings with everyone and turn your party into a dream!

How to Change your Zoom Background

If you are the party host, set up a Zoom account, schedule a meeting and share the link with your guests via your Wish & Give invitation.  If you have purchased a party package through Petit Party or All Wrapped Up, you will receive a Zoom link from the entertainer to include in your invitation.  If you are the guest, click on the link and enter the party.

Once logged into the party,  find the video camera icon, usually in the bottom right corner if you are on a laptop.  There is a little up arrow to the right of the video camera icon, click this arrow and it will give you the option to change your virtual background.  In the pop up box, click the little ‘+’ to choose your own photo or video as the virtual background.  It will then allow you to browse your computer and select your own photo or video.  Find the one that you saved from this blog and click open,  it will automatically appear as your background!

For more help click here .

Don’t forget to Share

Have fun and Happy Birthday!  Don’t forget to take a screen shot or photo of your virtual party and tag us (@wishandgive)!  We’d love to see how you use these backgrounds to celebrate your  next party!

And check back for more photo options!  We’ll add to this post regularly.

3 Birthday Party Trends – That are here to stay!

Birthdays are a big deal!  And should be celebrated!  Here are 3 trends that we hope/know are here to stay!

1. Group Gifts with a Charitable Donation

No more shopping!!  Woohoo!  This trend is here to stay.  Parents can set up their invitation online through Wish & Give (www.wishandgive.ca) and the guests contribute toward a group gift and to the charity of hosts choice.  A win-win.

Doing everything online saves the guest parent at least an hour, maybe more, from having to drive to the store, pick out a piece of nonrecyclable plastic, find the wrapping paper, wrap it…you get my point.  Plus, it’s environmentally friendly.  The birthday kid can use the cash gift for an experience, one larger gift or save it and learn the value of a dollar.  And we all get to feel great about giving to a local charity.

And don’t forget it’s a great way to teach both the birthday kid and the guest kids the importance of giving back!  Special events turned into important life lessons.  A win-win!

Create your personalized invitation at www.wishandgive.ca

2. Sustainable Loot Bags

What kid doesn’t go giddy over a tiny plastic jar of slime or a plastic slinky, but then it just ends up tossed to the side after a few hours of entertainment.  Not to mention the environmental waste plastic causes.

Candy is another sticky subject.  Do kids really need more sugar after a party?

A few sustainable options we love for loot bags:

  • Books
  • Tee shirt or pajamas
  • Gift card to a local café, ice cream store or bookstore
  • Upcycled plastic toys from www.tinytoyco.com
3. No Cupcakes at School

Save the treats for the party and at home! With 20+ kids in the class, kids are getting extra treats almost every week at school!  Passing out treats is one more time (20 more times) kids with allergies are ‘different’ and can’t partake in the celebration.  A few years ago my school banned treats and I’m all for it!

Still want to do something at school? Have your child pick out a new book for the classroom.  Or talk to the teacher about how they mark this special occasion.  There are lots of ways to make each child feel special without treats involved!

 

How to Reduce Clutter, Prevent Lego-Related Food Injuries and Make a Better World

Maybe you’re the world’s most organized person. Maybe your house is always clean, the laundry is always done, and the children’s toys are in labelled compartments, neatly stored in their rooms.

Or maybe your house looks a little more like mine with a healthy sprinkling of LEGO, books and miscellaneous art projects on almost every surface. I love Christmas, but there is a part of me that looks with unspeakable dread at the piles of toys knowing that more ‘stuff’ has just landed into my home.  The feeling is compounded with one birthday in the fall and the second in late winter! It would be easy to shake my fist at the toy companies, but the problem is that I’m partly responsible, too.  I can’t blame all the stuff on the grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, I also like to shop for them and spoil them on birthdays and holidays.

But sometimes, countless gifts aren’t the best way to show love. Instead of excitement, kids can quickly get overwhelmed by too many choices, bouncing from one gift to the next until they’re sitting in the middle of a pile of toys saying, “I’m bored!”

While it’s amazing and fun to celebrate each other at birthdays (and we should), do we need to celebrate with more stuff?

In October 2017 I launched WISH & GIVE —a different way to celebrate (and save your feet from stepping on discarded toys)!  Each event supports a local charity or non-profit.  It’s not only for children’s parties but grown-up parties too.

By using WISH & GIVE for birthday parties, children still receive a gift, but guests are asked to contribute towards one bigger, more meaningful, gift and to give a donation to charity on the child’s behalf. Imagine this: Instead of your child opening yet another stuffy that will collect dust one day, your child gets something they actually wanted, and they get to feel good about giving back.

What you support is completely up to you! I’d encourage you to sit down together to choose a charity or non-profit to support. You search by postal code to find a charity near you. It’s a great way to discover the amazing things happening right in your backyard. All 86,000+ charities in Canada are on the site and any non-profit can be added (just contact me at info@wishandgive.ca).

By refocusing celebrations, starting with young children, we will raise a generation of thoughtful, caring individuals who are just as concerned about the world around them as they are their own wellbeing.  I’m seeing the fruits of this with the kids who have already used WISH & GIVE for their birthday.

So here is to less stuff (and foot injuries and clutter) and more giving!