We all want our children to have the most memorable birthdays and their party is always the highlight of their year, so what do you do when your little one’s birthday falls within a global pandemic and nationwide lockdown? Don’t worry, as gifting experts we have put together a few ways to ensure your kid has the best birthday ever!
Whether you feel like you’re missing out on the chance to celebrate that all important first birthday or your child has been planning their party for months, COVID-19 is putting a stop to all fun birthday plans this year. Despite the fact you know you’re doing the right thing by staying home and ultimately keeping your family safe, you can’t help but feel a little bit hard done by that it had to fall on your little one’s birthday. We understand, but we believe that we have some fun ideas for ensuring your child has a birthday to remember in lockdown!
Virtual Birthday Party
None of us can deny how lucky we are to have the technology we do during the lockdown, and using our phones, tablets or laptops we can easily throw our little ones an epic birthday party from the comfort of your own home.
Start by sending an invite by email or text with a link to your chosen video call provider to a selection of their best friends and family members (Be careful not to invite too many people as it can be tricky to hear and can affect the internet connection).
It simply isn’t a party without playing some games, and although pass the parcel may be out of the question there are still loads of fun child-friendly games that can be played on video chat including:
- Bingo ( this will require you sending out some easy bingo cards ahead of time)
- A Disney quiz
- I spy
- Alphabet scavenger hunt ( the first child to return with an item from the house starting with each letter wins the round)
No party is complete without the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ and the blowing of candles. At the end of the party encourage all of their friends to sing-a-long while you bring out a cake and let your little one enjoy the well known tradition.
You may want to order some small gifts for all of the children who have ‘attended’ your party such as sweets or little games instead of a party bag, just be sure to get this delivered directly to their door or to drop off outside their homes yourself ahead of time, and be sure to adhere to all social distancing rules.
Decorate the Home
Just because you’re not leaving the house doesn’t mean you can’t decorate and if anything this is the perfect excuse to go all out. Whether you decide that with all the extra time on your hands you’re going to be a Pinterest Mum and make your own or order them online, we recommend sticking to a theme. Maybe your little one loves dinosaurs and you want to make your Jurassic Park indoors or they’re a princess fan and will want their own palace, be creative and make the home fun and exciting for their special day. Don’t forget children love balloons so filling their ball pond with balloons or simply putting them all around the house is a guaranteed way to make them smile for minimal effort.
Teddy Bear Picnic
You may feel sad that your child will be lonely on their birthday but you have to remember that their toys are real friends as far as they’re concerned. So at lunch time why not have a picnic in the garden or even in the home with all of your little one’s furry friends? The birthday boy/girl will enjoy chatting away to their beloved toys and feeding them their sandwiches. We know imaginative play can be difficult for some parents and that is ok, but if you can try and interact with the toys and ask them to wish your child happy birthday, your kid will love seeing you get involved and will feel like they’re having a real party.
Get the Neighbours Involved
If there is one positive to come out of a crisis it is our ability to have community spirit and this is the perfect time to ask your neighbours to help celebrate while remaining far apart. A few days before your little one’s birthday, pop a note through your neighbours doors asking them to go into their garden or to their front door at a set time on your little one’s birthday and join you in singing the Happy Birthday song. Most people will understand the difficulty you will be experiencing and happily come outside to join in on a song, and your little one will love hearing the street singing to him/her!
These unprecedented times have also come with some pretty unprecedented weather conditions so make the most of the sunshine with a camping holiday in the garden (if you have one). Set up a tent and some sleeping bags outside and enjoy a holiday in your own garden, try and make it as realistic as possible by not going in to use the cooker (why not BBQ instead?) and by wrapping up and telling stories under the stars? If it gets a little too chilly to sleep out you can go back home for bedtime, but they will love making the memories on the holiday at home.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Let’s be honest sometimes when we bombard our children with presents they can seem a little ungrateful opening one after another without even a chance to look at what they just opened. Why not make the present opening last a little longer with a scavenger hunt? Simply hide their toys around the house and write clues to help your little one find them. Your little one will love playing the game and it’ll take a chunk of the day up.
Get Dressed Up
Just because you’re at home this is no excuse to spend the day in your pjs, it’s a special occasion and you need to dress like it. If your little one is a fan of fancy dress all get dressed up at home as characters from their favourite show, or if they were excited to wear their sparkly tutu make sure you all put your most glamorous outfits on! The birthday boy or girl will love seeing everyone in the family making an effort and it’ll make the day feel extra special.
Stick to their Plan (ish)
If your little one is of school age it’s likely they have been planning their party for a while and will be feeling disappointed not to be able to continue with their plans. Although you can’t head out to soft pay or invite their friends over it just means you need to find a creative way to bring their party to your home. If they had an afternoon at laser tag planned why not buy some water guns and have a water fight in the garden? Or if they were excited to have a trip to the cinema to see the new film – have a movie day complete with popcorn and a homemade slushie.
As adults the benefit of having a birthday is having a day off from the mundane tasks such as cooking and organising the house, but remember little ones enjoy helping Mummy in the kitchen. Why not let them bake and decorate their own cake? Create easy homemade pizzas? They can even make their own party decorations and hang them all over the house… Kids will love getting involved and you will have used a chunk of the day.
Take the Pressure off
Remember that we are in completely unprecedented times and that putting extra pressure on yourself to throw the perfect birthday will only cause you to feel more stressed and your little one will know. Don’t compare the party you have thrown to someone else’s on Instagram. We have given you some tips to make the day extra special but all your little one will really need is your presence, time and their favourite tea. You are doing just great!