As lockdowns continue, more and more children’s birthday celebrations are taking place at home in a much simpler way. In fact they are very much like the parties I had as a child and I, for one, think that’s a good thing! Trends come and go but some things are just too good to ever go out of fashion; pass the parcel, musical statues, cheese and pineapple hedgehogs, and jelly and ice cream to name but a few!
If you’re unsure where to start or just want to be sure you have all bases covered, check out my top lockdown birthday party tips!
Party Theme and Decorations
A birthday tea at home is the obvious choice for a lockdown celebration. Add in a fabulously decorated house, present opening, video calls from family and friends, party games, an at home cinema treat featuring your little one’s favourite film along with their favourite snacks and it’ll be sure to be special!
My niece had her best birthday ever in lockdown because it was full of her favourite things and she didn’t get lost in amongst everyone at a large party.
Choose a theme! If you’ve followed me for a while, you’ll know I love a theme and kids do too. A fabulous looking themed party table makes a great centrepiece, is perfect for an at home tea party, and an ideal backdrop for Zoom calls and taking photos to share with family, so concentrate your theme here. Themed tableware, a colour matched tablecloth, themed food labels, themed toys from the kid’s toy boxes, and fun themed food with your cake as the centrepiece will do the trick!
Sleepover set ups and pamper parties are also very popular and are perfect for theming. Great if your little one’s have siblings they can enjoy an extra special sleepover with.
Balloons really make an impact. Helium filled foil balloons are fab and children love them. Go for an age balloon along with some balloons matching your theme. Lots of companies provide deliveries direct to your home. Place the balloons next to the pressies and you’ll create a wow
from the moment the birthday boy/girl comes downstairs! And don’t forget to add some birthday balloons to the front door too!
Personalise everything you can to make things extra special. Balloons, party bags, your birthday cake, cake toppers, cupcakes, banners, tea party menus, and birthday cards can all be personalised with your child’s name and age.
Check out what’s available on the web. Of course, you can get lots of items online (my shop is a great starting place!) But also check if your chosen theme has a website. The Hey Duggee website, as an example, has lots of tips to help you plan a Hey Duggee party at home and most of it’s centred around making items using free downloadables from their site – a great family craft activity while you’re all at home together.
Also see what you already have at home. If the theme is L.O.L Surprise Dolls and your little one has lots of them, they can be used to help decorate the party table and the house. You might even be able to use them on the birthday cake too.
Don’t forget to raid your birthday box. Most of us have a box with leftover stuff from previous parties that we keep, just in case. Balloons and bunting can be used and modified to fit the theme. It might even be worth taking a look to see if you have any Christmas decorations that could work.
And get crafting! Get the children involved in making things like party bags and decorations. Paper chains are really simple to make by colouring in plain paper, cutting into strips and linking together and it’s another great activity to keep the little ones busy!
If baking is your thing or something you like to try with the kids, get them involved in making their own birthday cake, it will all add to the fun and can be classed as a home schooling cooking lesson.
Alternatively, why not add a birthday cake to your weekly shop along with some candles too, if you don’t already have them. Tesco has a great range of themed birthday cakes including Spider-Man, Peppa Pig, Frozen, and Harry Potter to name but a few!
Party Games and Activities
Get your children involved in choosing party games to play. Pass the parcel, musical statues, treasure hunts and hide and seek are still firm favourites with all the children I know, as are many popular board games too. They may even be inspired to devise their own new party games for their party!
Crafting is another great activity for a lockdown celebration. Crafty Party Box have the perfect mini crafts which come in lots of different themes so you can match them to your tea party theme. All crafts come with instructions and an activity sheet. Visit the Crafty Party Box website
Make a playlist. If the theme is Moana, for example, download the film soundtrack and be sure to have some tracks saved for the party games!
It’s not a birthday without a few gifts but your child’s birthday wish list may be a little harder to come by with shops closed. If you can get what you need using home delivery – great! Be sure to order well ahead of time as many deliveries are taking longer than normal. If items are hard to come by, how about printing out a photo, making it into a card, and wrapping it up as a promise to buy it when things return to normal. Finally, homemade presents can be lots of fun. I made pom-pom sheep as Easter presents and they were very well received, along with a good few chocolates of course!
Add Friends and Family Using Technology
Entertainment can be added to Zoom parties so everyone can enjoy the party together. Ella Bellas Parties is just one company who have taken their party entertainment online with great results!
Visit the Ella Bella Parties website
Be sure to also schedule calls with grandparents, aunties, uncles, and cousins to make the day feel even more special.
Even if your party only includes those in your household wouldn’t it be nice to send out invites and more importantly for the birthday boy or girl to receive homemade RSVPs? I think so and let’s face it, it’s another great activity to keep everyone busy on a rainy afternoon!
Don’t forget to take photos. This party, for many reasons, will be one to look back on and one your children will talk about with their children in years to come!
Have fun making some great memories!