As we enter the second phase of Covid-19 measures, kids birthdays in lockdown are happening all over the world.
For a child, a birthday is HUGE.
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, the odd missed birthday party isn’t the worst thing happening right now.
There will plenty of other celebrations during lockdown that also won’t go ahead and will be sorely missed. Friends, families, celebrities and even Her Majesty the Queen will have to cancel plans over the next couple of months.
When you are little however, birthdays, parties and everything that goes with them are such a big deal. It’s such a milestone and with everything from taking sweets into school or nursery for their friends to a mention in assembly, such an exciting time.
So with the prospect of this year’s kids birthday parties and days out being cancelled because of social distancing, how can you still make it memorable?
Kids birthdays in lockdown
Unless it’s with immediate family who live with you, there won’t the usual parties. Distance however, doesn’t have to mean that loved ones can’t share birthday celebrations.
With so many video calling apps available, we can virtually connect with people all around the world. Multi-person video chat platforms such as WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype, Zoom, Houseparty and Facebook Messenger all provide options to bring people together to share moments.
If that all sounds a bit complicated though, you can use one-to-one FaceTime to get together.
Children often talk about their birthday all year around. Lockdown doesn’t mean that their parties can’t go on.
Children’s entertainers have been rethinking their businesses from day one when the measures were announced. Toddler groups and events have been held online, so why not parties?
There won’t be any group photos of kids parties or relatives this year, so ask people close to the child to send short video messages or photos to make into a montage or photobook. You could even ask them to record themselves holding a message, or dress up for the occasion.
And don’t forget that there’s lots you can do to mark the occasion at home too. Take lots of photos, make your own funny videos, make birthday cards into a scrapbook and make permanent reminders of the occasion.
Have a pamper party
If painting nails, hairstyling and pampering are your child’s thing, why not recreate a spa at home? Cut up some cucumber, don the dressing gowns, pop on a face mask and make a DIY foot spa to treat your child.
Order balloons and partyware in advance
You might need to plan ahead to make sure that they arrive on time, but a lot of eBay sellers are running business as usual. So this is your ideal place to look for party accessories and wrapping paper that you might normally pick up at high street shops.
Just make sure you order ahead because increased demand and less postal workers are causing longer delivery times.
Have a themed day
Kids love a theme so what could be better than a whole day dedicated to their favourite character or theme? Perhaps it could be a day of superheroes, princesses or even just based around a colour. Whatever you choose, the kids will love it.
Plan a whole day of activities to distract children from what they might be missing out on. Think about downloading episodes of a favourite TV show, wearing silly clothes, creating a themed lunch, playing games, dancing to songs and making fun drinks. The day will certainly be one they won’t forget.
Ask neighbours to give them a wave
If you live close to friends and family, why not ask them to give a wave as part of their daily activity?
Let them help to make the cake
The kids are at home and they love baking, right? So forget what it might look like at the end (it’s for them anyway) and let them get involved with the making a decorating of the cake.
Alternatively, pick up a readymade cake, some toppers and candles from the supermarket next time you go.
Go on a virtual day out
With lots of museums and attractions offering access to their content over the internet, it’s easy to ‘take’ children out to interesting places.
Check out these ways to take your child on a day out without leaving the home:
Or perhaps go on a Google Earth adventure…
Get a shout out
The TV channels are also facing social distancing restrictions, so the usual Cbeebies and Milkshake birthday cards aren’t being received via post. They are however offering the chance to still feature as part of the birthday shout outs via email.
Also try Tweeting the child’s favourite celebrity, author, illustrator, or even just ask your regular online group or class to give them a mention at the start.
Have a tea party
One of the best thing about kids parties is the party food (that they mostly leave and the adults eat). Whip up some jam sandwiches, pizza slices, cheesy Wotsits, and cocktail sausages. You could even posh it up by popping it onto a cake stand or having it as a picnic.
Have a movie night
Dim the lights, pop on a favourite or new movie, and open the popcorn. Kids love a movie night, so it’s sure to go down a treat. If you have some little cardboard containers, make up your own ‘cinema’ food for them to munch on too.
You could even use technology to coordinate watching the same movie with friends too. Look up Netflix Party for more details.
Make party bags
Believe it or not, little bags of tat with some squished up cake inside are one of the parts that children look forward to most at parties. If you have time to order some little favours in, make up a few of your own for the kids at home.
If it’s safe and easy to do so, you could even drop a few bags at nearby friends and video calling afterwards too.
Buy in some treats
If you can’t get the food that your family loves to recreate a favourite birthday meal, ask around to see what local restaurants and pubs are offering takeaway options.
Baking not your thing? Why not check out local cafes or bakeries who might be able to make you an epic birthday cake to remember? We love the look of these ones from Olivia’s Coffee House in Rugby.
And local brownie maker Baked Brownies who offer collection or delivery.
Have a disco
Order in some glow sticks, face paints and disco lights to make your house into a disco.
If you need a bit of extra inspiration, look at live family raves such as Big Fish Little Fish to stream the fun right into your living room.
Take them ‘out’ for dinner
There won’t be any special birthday dinners out for a while.
If your child has a favourite place to eat out, bring it to their own home instead.
And of course, don’t forget to play party games!
Have fun and make it a memorable one.
Read more: 70+ ways to entertain kids during lockdown.