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Here are a few reasons why I love the month of April, it's FIRST family holiday after Christmas is Easter! I always get so excited seeing families come together over a meal, dressed up in the most colorful attire and decorations coated in bright pastel colors!

The SECOND is that Spring serves as a reminder of the new season. We can shed the beginning of the year and the cold winter, leaving that behind us. From now on, days are filled with sunshine and the smell of flowers growing and BBQing!

The THIRD is all the possible backyard parties we can have! With the weather slowly warming up, you can host a small get-together in your backyard! I love hosting Popsicle parties or donut parties and pairing them with a scavenger hunt or activity kits!

A neat idea is hosting an Earth Day celebration! You can have little planting stations where the children can plant their desired flower or herb. You could even plant a small tree in your backyard and then celebrate by firing up the grill!

Here are some other party ideas to try this April that can be hosted outdoors in the comfort of your backyard this weekend:

Earth day party: They all can plant a new herb, veggie, or flower in honor of Earth Day!

Ice cream party: Create the ultimate ice cream bowl!

Tie dye party: Design their very own tie-dye shirt!

Do you have any other fun April Party ideas? Please share with us by commenting on Facebook or Instagram!

Stay Crafty,
Jaime

Take your virtual baby shower to the next level in just a few simple steps! 

Hosting a baby shower is such a fun celebration! And, yet, planning one (especially when celebrating virtually) can be a little overwhelming. A virtual celebration is certainly different than in person – you can’t touch a mom’s belly and feel the baby kick. Still, here are a few steps to ensure a memorable experience. We’ve taken some of our favorite baby shower moments and replicated them to fit the online space to create the perfect memory for your mommy to be. 

Step 1: Checklist 

My Virtual Party Guide is the template I use when planning a virtual event that will prepare you for these next few steps, helping take your virtual baby shower to the next level, making mom feel extra special. I always encourage asking for help from another close friend or relative from the mom to cover more ground. Note all the steps in the virtual party guide still apply; however, we’ll go more in-depth on some steps with added tips to make the day memorable for the mommy-to-be. 

Step 2: Mommy Wishlist

Begin with a call to the mom-to-be to understand her wishlist, expectations and availability. Understanding her expectations will ensure the party will be a success, but some elements can also be left to a surprise. 

Must Ask Questions

  1. Guest list – names and emails
    1. It’s recommend breaking the party up into smaller groups to allow for a more intimate setting with groups that know each other. 
  2. Appearances
    1. Dad to come by near the end (assuming it’s a woman only party)
    2. Nursery showcase
  3. Preferred date & time 
  4. Gift Registry
    1. There are many online companies online that provide registries that will ship the products straight to the celebrant’s home and will even do the gift wrapping for you. Confirm where so it can be included in the invitation. 
  5. Open presents on camera or separate day
    1. Our suggestion is to open a separate day and to say a generalized thank you at the end of the call.

Step 3: Guest List

The best thing about hosting an online event is more people can participate in the fun as there are no limitations, only a phone and laptop/computer required. Now that you understand the mom-to-be's expectations begin planning the guest list. 

I recommend, if possible, separating your party into smaller groups of 6-10 people, preferably with people who know each other. A smaller intimate group will allow for better flow regarding activities and a more intimate setting with mom. 

Step 4: Theme

Choose a theme. Yes – when it comes to baby showers, a theme is essential! This will come into play in steps 5 and 10. The theme should consist of a theme type and theme color – for example, animals and Blue. Helpful hint: Ask mom if she has a nursery theme and try to plan around the theme. 

Step 5: The Invitation

Send out invitations at least one month before the big event. Luckily, there are a few options online to help you and tons of websites with formal e-vites that can help you track guest lists and send reminders, etc. Alternatively, you can track them yourself in an excel sheet and send an email using a template from Canva. To tie everything together, don’t forget to include the theme. 

However, this is not just your ordinary invite. You’ll need to include two things not typically included in a regular virtual invite which will help set your party to the next level which are the registry details and the address of where the gifts should be sent to.

Step 6: Baby Shower Activities

Here are five easy virtual games to play at the shower. I recommend playing three games at the event. Note: Since the games take place virtually, many of the games will have to be on the honor system unless you have a smaller group and can have each person say their answer. We suggest having some prizes for the winners, such as a virtual gift card (reach out to the winner after ensuring the gift card can be used where they are located).

Step 7: Itinerary

Have an itinerary and don’t feel the need to stick to it but use it as a guideline. Itineraries are great and can help keep things moving and on track but sometimes things change or another great idea sparks in the moment. This is key to hosting a virtual event as there are many variables and so we suggest keep an itinerary with length of time things should take and use this as a guide to keep the fun moving. 

Example Itinerary:

Step 8: Reminders

You will want to send 1-2 reminder emails depending on the response rate. 

Step 9: It’s Party Time! Extras for Mom (morning of or day before)

Since we can’t be together, we like to do this as a nice extra personalized touch for the mom to be so she still gets some of the glitz and glam of an in-person baby shower. We like to shop locally and send a local meal to the parents to enjoy before the party. As well as an at-home baby shower box with the following items:

Step 10: Thank-you card and the Guestbook

Within a week of the event, send mom the guestbook, include pictures from the event. This can also be sent electronically; however, we like sending a good old fashion scrapbook keepsake. Mom to be to send out thank you cards to guests for attending within one week.  And, there you have it, my Crafty Holiday Helper’s ten steps to taking your virtual baby shower to the next level!

Please share any tips or tricks you've learn along the way in planning your virtual baby shower!

We love celebrating Valentine’s Day with the family as it’s a way to shower our children, family, and friends with love and joy while spending a meaningful day together. Plus, who doesn’t love a day with chocolate, candy, and flowers? We’ve planned out a special day for you and your kids, including some of our favorite activities from our latest blog: 24 Valentines Day Activities for Preschoolers. 

Breakfast

The most important meal of the day is breakfast. Why not serve a heart-shaped breakfast as a family treat?And, maybe some heart-shaped strawberries to add an extra touch of love. 

Activity 1: Arts and Crafts

Activity 2: Baking – Cupcakes & Cookies

We found this easy cupcake and cookie recipe you can do with your kids. Our kids love decorating cookies and cupcakes so let them get creative. Remember: no frosting is too much. Try to save these treats for dessert as you don’t want to spoil lunch or dinner. 

Lunch

Edible bread painting for lunch. Make lunch exciting with cute sayings or heart designs for Valentine’s Day. 

Get Active: Chose one or complete all three

Game 1: Walk Around Neighborhood

It’s always good to get some fresh air and go for a family walk. Since it’s Valentine’s Day, play a game of “I spy” something red or pink in the neighborhood. Another fun idea you can do with the kids on your walk, take some of Valentine’s Day cards and distribute them to your neighbor’s mailbox for a pleasant surprise. 

Game 2: Valentine’s Day Musical Hearts

For your at-home dance party, this game will get the heart pumping. Layout a bunch of hearts with different phrases to dance out like “walk like an Egyptian,” “move like a robot,” “do the moonwalk.” When the music stops, each player grabs the nearest heart and dances out the phrase. To make sure your kid doesn’t dance around the same one, take away the used hearts every round. Keep going until all the hearts have been completed.

Game 3: Pin the Arrow on the Heart

Each person will have an arrow. Blindfold each player, turn them around 3x, and have them try to pin the arrow onto the heart. 

Free Time

We included some free time for you and your family to choose or to take a one-hour nap for those with preschoolers. There is nothing wrong with taking a break and resetting before dinner!

Dinner

Whip up a simple dinner where the kiddos can assist you in the kitchen. Turning cooking into a family activity will certainly be a lot of fun especially when its something as easy as taco night! Of course, compliment your meal with the Crafty Holiday Helper Valentine’s Day Table Setting. Lastly, don’t forget dessert – there is nothing sweeter than ending a family dinner with a tasty dessert with some laughter.

End the Day

We love to end the day watching a family movie together. One of our favorite family films is Shrek as it's full of funny moments to get the family laughing with a hint of romance to get everyone feeling the love on Valentine's Day!

Stay Crafty,
Jaime

Just because we are spending more time online doesn’t make an event less special or that it should be on hold. Entering a new year means celebratory birthdays, holidays, and milestones are amongst us. Virtual events can bring family and friends together to share those big moments from all around the world. Here is my ultimate virtual party guide and checklist to ensure your party goes off without a hitch.

Step 1: The cause for celebration 

In the invitation, it's crucial to list the cause for celebration! Are you and your loved ones coming together to celebrate a birthday, baby shower, graduation, engagement? Once you decide on the type of milestone you are celebrating, it's best to find out the date and time that will work for everyone's schedules and timezones! Depending on the amount of people attending we recommend the ideal party length to be between 1.5 to 3 hours. This time frame allows enough time for people to settle in (fix any tech issues), fun activities and good banter.

Step 2: What's the theme?

I love pondering the theme to any party I plan to host (virtually or in-person). The theme can be determined with 1-2 colors used in the invitation, itinerary, and activities which helps deliver consistency with a personal touch! Themes help tie everything together and adds an extra special touch when celebrating from a distance. You can even encourage attendees to decorate their space based on the theme and share who had the best decorations! 

Step 3: Virtual Location

There are plenty of apps and platforms to host a virtual event in today's tech world, depending on how many individuals are attending. However, the two favorites I have used are Google Hangouts and Zoom. The reason is that I can have over a dozen attendees join! The only downside is you would need an account to use these platforms. You can also use HouseParty, which hosts up to eight attendees, and you can play games within the platform. Even Messenger Rooms (no account needed) work as another option, especially if you don't want to ask your attendees to create a new account. 

Step 4: Invitations

Virtual invites are just as crucial for virtual events as they are in person and should be treated as such. They can be both informal (text) or formal (evite or email). We recommend a calendar request also be included with the invitation or when the attendee says YES! The invite should list all the details you would share for any party invite. For example, below is a simple guideline of details to include, but feel free to add more flair than what we did:

Step 5: Activities

Keep the energy going with virtual activities and believe it or not; there are quite a few games you can play virtually. One of my personal favorites is playing Pictionary (using the Zoom whiteboard), a Dance Party, or even a Mad Lib! Stay tuned to our next blog on virtual activities you can play, including FREE downloadable templates. 

Step 6: Itinerary

Itineraries help keep things moving even as the agenda changes. Have a loose itinerary to use as a guideline and use it to keep the fun rolling. 

Here is an itinerary I put together for a previously virtually held event: 

Step 7: Assign a co-host

When it comes to hosting a virtual, one thing for sure is although you can do it alone, you shouldn’t do it alone. Ideally, you want someone organized and tech-savvy – this role will monitor time (keep things moving), assist with tech issues, and set up the games (share screen). The second co-host would be more active as a game leader for instructions and banter (break the ice). 

Step 8: Reminders

Your invitations are out, the itinerary is set, and all the props for your themed event have been ordered! Just one more thing to do is share a reminder for yourself to ensure you begin to set up everything on time without any technical difficulty. 

Step 9: Enjoy & have fun!

You did it - it’s the big day, and everything is all set to go! Now that everything is planned ENJOY and HAVE FUN! Relax and enjoy the time spent together virtually online. Lastly, don’t forget a group picture because this will be one for the picture books.

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