kids lockdown birthday

13 Awesome Kids Lockdown Birthday Ideas to make it special

Having a kids birthday during lockdown is not ideal.  There is no two ways about it.  There won’t be a birthday party and if you had one booked you will have to cancel it and possibly not get your money back which is what has happened to us; so thanks to that company!  There also won’t be family coming over and lots of fuss being made so there is a potential for your child to feel a bit down about it, but not with these kids lockdown birthday ideas. 


Kids Lockdown Birthday Ideas

With the UK back in lockdown again lets face it we are very unlikely to be able to have ‘normal’ kids birthdays for a good while yet.  This month is birthday month in our house with 5 out of 6 of us celebrating so I have been coming up with kids lockdown birthday ideas to make it special even though we can’t do all the usual stuff…  

If you end up with a sunny day for a birthday you might also like some of these fun family lockdown activities

Or if you need some general fun for the kids during this winter lockdown then don’t miss this post:  15 Winter Lockdown Activities for Kids

There are some awesome ideas over on my other post about Valentines In Lockdown for decorating the house and making it fun.  I wrote this as someone who never celebrates Valentines, but we all need something fun to do right now don’t we?

Kids Lockdown Birthday Ideas

Present Treasure Hunt

Making the present element of the day take longer can really inject some excitement to an at home birthday.  Let’s be honest this is the bit they are most excited about…  So try designing a treasure hunt with presents hidden around the home.  For younger children it could just be done on a hot and cold basis and for older children you could write cryptic clues that they have to work out before running to find the next clue and so on until they reach the gift.

I also recently found a great idea for using painters tape to create large lifesize games boards on the floor and  I was thinking this could work really well as part of the present treasure hunt too.  So using the painters tape to plot a maze for the child to work through.  Hours of fun!  I know my kids would love it.

Spread out present time

As an additional part of the treasure hunt idea I suggest splitting present time up so that more of the day is utilised.  We gave presents from us in the morning, did the treasure hunt for smaller gifts after lunch and then had a birthday zoom call with their grandparents just before dinner and they opened the presents from them during that call.  Spreading this out really keeps the excitement going throughout the day

Mini Sports Day

Use your exercise slot for the day to head to your local green park and have a mini family sports days.
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Ideas include egg and spoon races, jumping races and piggy back races.  It wasn’t for long as we want to respect the rules, but it was something different and burnt off some energy.  If you have a garden and didn’t want to leave the house you could even do this in the back garden.

Water Fight

If the sun is shining on the birthday a great kids lockdown birthday idea is having a family water fight.  Kids do love some water play and this can be so much fun especially if you go all out and create a ‘battle field’.  We use soft play blocks and garden toys to build barricades split into teams and head into battle.  Its a scream and the kids love it whenever we  have done it so it would make a perfect kids lockdown birthday activity if you have a garden and the sun is out.  Perhaps not such a good one for the winter months, but my kids would actually do this at any point – lol

Lockdown Crepe Paper Obstacle Course

With our kids lockdown birthday that we have already celebrated this was probably the biggest hit and the thing that made it feel the most special and different.  All you need is crepe paper and blutack.  You cut strips of the crepe paper and then stretch it across the hallway so that they have to work their way through it to get to their birthday presents

Kids Lockdown Birthday Crepe Paper

Kids Lockdown Birthday Menu Planning

Try letting the birthday child set the menu for the day on their birthday.  If you are going to do  this then be prepared for healthy eating to go out the window for one day, but it will make the day feel special for them if they allowed to  eat things they couldn’t normal.  I have taken a bit of an anything goes approach for this, but would draw the line at chocolate for breakfast.  To give you ideas these are some of the things my children chose and remember they had free reign so don’t panic it seems like even with the choice they don’t go mad:

Breakfast:  Pancakes and Honey

Lunch:  crisps and ham sandwiches, pizza, bacon sandwich

Dinner:  Fishfingers and chips, pasta pesto, pizza

Family and Friends Zoom

We had two candle blowing out sessions on our recent kids lockdown birthday as I scheduled two zoom sessions; one with his friends and then another with family. 

Zoom Birthday chat

You might think about arranging for grandparents to eat the same food or also have a cake at their house so that they can really be involved in the ‘party’. We also arranged for one of my son’s friends and their family to have the same food as us so it was as close to them being at the party as was possible

Movie Night with a friend

For slightly older children (we did this for our 9 year old) why not arrange for a friend of theirs to watch the same movie as them at the same  time and run a whats app chat or facetime call at the same time so that they can talk all the way through the movie and mess about just as they usually do! 

Its the next best thing to a movie and sleep over party.  You could do this with more than one friend, but it might get too hectic.  We found it worked really quite well and my son said it was his best day EVER!! So I will take that as a huge win.

Gaming with friends

Arrange for your child to play their favourite online game with some of their school friends.  This works especially well if you usually don’t let your child play during the day as it feels like they are getting an extra treat

Build them a kids lockdown birthday den

For our eldest I got out the beach tent and used it to create a sleepover I will be getting out our beach tent and creating a sleepover den in our family room. The plan is to surprise our eldest with his movie night with a friend and a sleepover ‘party’ in the family room with his brother. 

Sleepover Den Lockdown Birthday Ideas

If you wanted to go a little more fancy with this a teepee makes a beautiful set up and there are some really lovely ones available that aren’t too expensive.  It can always double up as a reading corner or just a space for privacy after your at home birthday party.  Here is our favourite:


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I know it isn’t quite the same as a sleepover, but I do think the novelty of sleeping downstairs and in a tent feels special and exciting.  I made it like a proper den complete with Christmas fairy lights around the tent and a collection of midnight feast snacks.  Daddy even let them have birthday cake at around 10pm.  They both loved it and have asked if we can do it again even if it isn’t anyone’s birthday.

Crepe paper hair dye

My little girls love mermaids and unicorns.  I know they are not unusual with this so to make their lockdown birthday special I gave them mermaid hair by using crepe paper to dip dye the ends.  

Mermaid Hair Kids Lockdown Birthda

To do this you need brightly coloured crepe paper or tissue paper.  It needs to be one that the dye will come out of so probably the cheaper the  better….

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Then you just put boiling water on top of it and watch the dye flood out.  From there dip the hair into the bowl of coloured water.  I left mine in the bowl for a couple of minutes and then took it out and wrapped each piece in tinfoil for 30 mins. 

When doing it for the kids I just dipped it in and then straight away wrapped in pieces of foil as of course they wouldn’t sit still for the same amount of time.  As you can see it still worked brilliantly. 

Dyeing hair with crepe paper

For an extra element of birthday fun I also did my hair pink, daddy did his blue, their brothers joined in and grandma and their godmother also had rainbow hair for our zoom calls. The girls loved it!! 

The colour washes out after a few washes and looks so effective, but it will not come out straight away so just be warned.  Also I recommend a painting apron be worn whilst you are doing it so that you don’t get the dye on clothes.  I also wore plastic gloves so I wouldn’t have pink hands – pink hair was enough!!

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Pass the parcel

If you have a small gift that you can wrap and some sweets then doing a pass the parcel for little kids can be a great way of making them feel like it is a special and fun day. You could also play some other traditional kids party games like musical statues or musical bumps which always gets the silliness going.

Disco Time

Get those kids pop classics on and have an at home disco.  This is great if your little one likes a dance and dancing releases those happy hormones so it is sure to make everyone smile.  How about a family dance off?

We installed these Novostella lights for the garden so we can create a disco atmosphere.  Also perfect for the fire pit idea below!  They can change colour so are perfect for making a lockdown birthday feel a bit different and then just great as outdoor lights too.  

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Since writing my post originally the weather has changed and so I wanted to add in something specifically for the winter months and that is the idea of a bonfire night as a family birthday party.  So you would need to invest in a fire pit and maybe some fairy lights, but then you are away.

We actually do a fire pit night really regularly with the kids so they probably would be disgusted if I suggested that for their birthday despite the fact that they love it, but if you don’t usually do this and have a garden I think it would be the most awesome surprise for the kids.  

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My suggestion is setting up a fire pit (probably for aged 6 and up. Our twins are 5, but as I say they are used to the rules as we do this lots) and getting marshmallows and toasting forks.  Then holding an outdoor (or indoor) disco.  You could even get sparklers and do those too. 

For a slightly older child you could actually do the whole thing as a survival themed party and also build a den to hide in (not with the fire ;)) preferably out of natural materials that you find locally, but of course that depends on being near enough to a wood.  You could teach them how to start a fire and let them have a go.  My 9 year old probably first helped my husband with the fire when he was around 7-8 years old – heavily supervised of course.

Other survival ideas include actually camping out in a small tent in the garden. The smaller the better for colder nights as you can snuggle up. Hot water bottles and proximity to heating if you get too cold make this possible in the garden later in the season.  You might also think about making bows and arrows, but not sharp ones – you don’t want the birthday to end at A&E…

I hope my kids lockdown birthday ideas will be useful for you making your little ones birthday special even though they can’t be with friends and family.  I was worried that my children might be sad, but having already done one lockdown birthday that just wasn’t the case.  He was still so excited and had the best day.  Just doing some of these simple ideas meant it was different, but in a good way. 

Kids Lockdown Birthday Virtual Sleepover

I would love to hear any other ideas you have for making their birthday special whilst we are staying home.  Oh and one last top tip…  when it comes to the cake whether you make it or buy it stick with a plain simple cake and just pop one of their favourite characters on the top.  It works a treat and when we are all at home it makes sense just to use what we have…

23 thoughts on “13 Awesome Kids Lockdown Birthday Ideas to make it special”

  1. Brilliant ideas, I will have to try the obstacle course. Plus every party needs a dance in it! #DreamTeam

  2. Thank you for these great ideas I especially love the mini sports day, obstacle course and present hunt ideas. It will be my sons 8th Birthday at the end of May so the crepe paper will be on order if lockdown continues x x

    1. The crepe paper was a huge hit with all my kids, but we made it extra hard for my eldest who turned 9 and he just loved it #DreamTeamLinky

  3. Great ideas!! It’s hard for kids. I’ve had friends miss 50ths and 18ths. Just devastating…but I guess just delayed really! #Dreamteam

  4. Shelley Whittaker

    Great ideas – thanks lovely! Mackenzie’s 3rd birthday is in July, so there is every chance that it will have to be a small celebration at home. I’m sure we can make it special for her with some of your suggestions though! #DreamTeamLinky

    1. I do actually think my kids may have enjoyed it more in a way than the big crazy parties that are really quite overwhelming for them in some ways #DreamTeamLinky

  5. Happy Birthday! Hope they had a lovely day. I have to say that your birthday party planning is brilliant. You are so organised! That crete paper obstacle course looks like such a highlight. I think I’m going to have to use this idea for our up coming birthdays. #DreamTeamLinky xx

    1. That was for sure the best bit! The husband and I had fun trying to do it too – well fun laughing at one another. Definitely try it – it made the day #DreamTeamLinky

  6. A few weeks ago we went to a “drive by party” where the birthday girl stood on her lawn and a line of cars slowly drove by wishing her well. I was touched by the amount of people that took the time to do that for her #dreamteam

    1. Yes!! You have to do the crepe paper obstacle course. The husband and I had a go and it was hilarious! #DreamTeamLinky

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