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.
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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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 are our favourites:
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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.
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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.
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!!
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.
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.
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…
Last update on 2021-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API