With local lockdowns and tighter rules on social gatherings, lots of us are having to rethink our little ones’ birthdays. But you can still celebrate!
Being in lockdown for a birthday doesn't have to stop the fun! It may not be the day you’d imagined but lockdown isn't going to stop the celebrations (with your fellow bubble pals of course!). Your not alone if you have to keep the party celebration to immediate family only.
Take a look below to see how parents are managing to make lasting birthday memories while at home in 2020.
1. Family FANCY DRESS!
Every parent wants their child to have a day they'll remember forever on their birthday and will stop at nothing to put a smile on their little one's face. What better way to do it than to fancy dress for the whole family?!
"Our son turned three during the lockdown. For months he had had his heart set on having a superhero party with his nursery friends and had even picked out the outfits he and his friends would wear from his selection of dressing up costumes.
But during the lockdown his nursery closed due to financial difficulties and we had no way of contacting his friends parents for a virtual party due to data protection! Not only had he lost his friends but we couldn't have a family party either when the household restrictions were put into place. BUT WE HAD AN IDEA..."
"My husband and I aren't ones for dressing up but we decided that we would make the effort for him and my goodness it was WORTH IT!
The smile on his face when he saw his sisters, my husband and I dressed up as his favourite superhero characters was the most heart melting sight! I'm sure he will remember it forever... and it was fun too!"
You can even DIY your outfits using cardboard boxes, paper mâché and lots and lots of craft tape! Kids will love to make their own costume. Or shop local and visit places such as H.O.P.E Retail Gifts, Fancy Dress & Vintage for some brilliant ideas.
2. Birthday VIDEO MESSAGES
As we’re all trying to adapt to this new world, everyone is pulling together and offering support to friends, family and within our local communities to ensure our children don't feel the overwhelming impact the pandemic is having on our wellbeing.
Technology means that we are able to keep in touch with our loved ones and ensure our children are not isolated, helping to nurture them while still keeping them safe.
To make sure they still have a special birthday, you could ask your family members to send special messages to the birthday child. Tell them a story or share a special memory. It can be a lot of fun to laugh about silly little things and see pictures you may never have seen before.
"Our daughter was about to turn five and had invited all of her school friends to an LOL party that we planned to be having at our home in April. Then in March the pandemic hit the UK and we were put into lockdown making any contact with family and friends limited to online. By the time it was her birthday the children had been off school for over a month!
I reached out to her friends' parents on a school WhatsApp group asking for a birthday message from them. I was inundated with video messages from the children! My daughter loved it!! It really made her day. Even the other children liked seeing their friends in the videos on the group messages. She sent them a thank you message reply too."
Some parents are simply involving those who can help in their local community. Their are some brilliant local entertainers that are bringing the party to your door or as a virtual call such as Wild West Pony Parties.
3. Plan a VIRTUAL PARTY
Since the lockdown was implemented and our social lives moved online, we've all become experts in the art of virtual calling, whether for a work meeting, a catch up with friends or the Friday night family quiz! So why not host an online party for you little one too?
Invite your family or your kid's friends for a virtual party on Zoom or Houseparty. Dress them in their best party clothes and prepare a small cake for them. Everyone can sing 'happy birthday' to them (albeit out of sync) and watch them open presents!
You can have a little disco or even play musical statues with everyone! There are more possibilities than you think.
4. Hire a VIRTUAL ENTERTAINER
Before lockdown, most parties were spent in church halls, drinking warm squash, watching magicians 'work their magic' on the children. Now, those children’s entertainers, like many in the entertainment and hospitality sector, are finding themselves struggling to keep their businesses alive!
For this reason, many party entertainers have taken the party online offering special birthday messages for your child! Your child can have a personal message from your party person's favourite character; Cinderella, superheroes, pirates and more. Or do a live call!
They are also hosting online virtual parties that multiple households can dial into. For a small fee a scientist or magician can entertain your children for an hour or so as they would have done in person.
Even animal lovers can still learn and have fun with animal encounters with virtual parties from local animal discovery centre Zoo2U.
5. Decorate your HOME PARTY
Make an extra effort to decorate your home in an over-the-top way! You could choose the traditional theme or one based on your child's favourite character - but go ALL OUT and give them a party to remember!
You could buy a PARTY BOX that includes everything you need to decorate your home from a party stylist such as Florriemae Events. They include a range of party tableware and decorations to ensure your child's birthday is a magical occasion for the whole family!
Or try your hand at DIY decorations such as paper bunting from craft paper (there's an abundance of ideas on Instagram and Pinterest these days!).
6. Balloons, balloons, BALLOONS!
Nothing sets the scene better for a party than balloons! Whether it's one stand alone balloon or five dozen cascading from the ceiling, a party isn't complete without balloons!
Balloons are taking the party world by storm and making a huge impression with elaborate balloon walls, intricate garlands, personalised gifts and even cake toppers!
No matter what you're celebrating, balloons make it a real party! With everything from confetti balloons to number balloons, there are so many options out there to transform your home into the birthday spectacle your child dreams of.
Suppliers are also making it easier for parents for to make these beautiful balloon arches at home with the help of balloon tape, dots and hangers, meaning even those parents that are less creative can provide a birthday party at home as good as a stylist.
There are many companies that specialise in balloons decorations include local suppliers Cheshire Party Packs who can help set your scene with their huge range of party balloons!
For an extra special idea, you could add prizes to the inside of the balloons. The birthday child collects the prizes as they individually pop each balloon. If you don't think you could handle the 'popping' of hundreds of balloons then simply ask your balloon supplier for a giant balloon with a soft toy or toy gift inside.
Some balloon artists can model your child's favourite character out of balloons!
You can also make party games using balloons. Balloon race, balloon tag - balloon keepy ups is always a favourite - cheap, cheerful and entertaining!
7. At home SIBLING SLEEPOVER
If your child has been looking forward to that sleepover party you promised them this year, believe me it can still be fun to do it with family!
Have a sleepover with the people in your household or create a special sibling sleepover for your children – you can join in if you can bare sleeping on the floor (or sneak back to the comfort of your bed once the kids have gone to sleep!). Set up 'beds' in the living room with duvets and sheets to make a comfy den.
You could even make it extra special and hire teepees from a local party company such as Sandbach Party Supplies who have party packages in a range of themes.
Or if your lucky enough to own a camping tent that's in the shed gathering dust then brush it off and camp in the garden (depending on the weather of course). If it's a bit nippy you can always come in when it's time for bed!
"My daughter had been looking forward to her first sleepover party this year. Unfortunately we knew it would no longer be possible once the schools closed indefinitely in the spring. As her birthday was in the summer, we decided to hire a bell tent for our garden from a local party company and had a sleepover in the garden!
Florriemae Events decorated it in a tropical theme with fairy lights and flamingo decorations and we bought blow up mattresses and all enjoyed watching movies and having a 'midnight' (well 9pm) feast! It was magical!"
8. 'Drive-in' CINEMA MOVIE NIGHT
You could take the family to a drive-in cinema. Several have been popping up around the UK and we even have one near Sandbach in December hosted by Small Town Big Screens.
Or you could recreate the experience at home in your lounge or garden! Choose your child's favourite movie (even if it means watching Frozen 2 for the 16483729th time!) and prepare your cinema snacks - popcorn, nachos, chocolates and even s'mores go down well!
You could even make a DIY car from a cardboard box adding a cushion or a pillow to make it cosy, a paper plate steering wheel and not forgetting a little a snack holder!
You could even go all out to create the experience and hire a cinema screen from a local company such as Monkey Business Party Hire.
9. Drive by BIRTHDAY PARADE
This idea requires a little more preparation and cooperation from your fellow parents/family, but bare with me...!
Plan a specific time, and organise your child’s friends and family to drive by to wish your child a 'happy birthday'! They can give them a special message from an appropriate distance. Make it fun with music, balloons and banners (it may be a good idea to warn the neighbours beforehand - but hey, they can join in too!).
You could even hire a local drive-by party if your family don't live near by such as the one from local company The Bees Knees Balloon Company.
"The best thing I have seen is a video online of a whole street going out to their front door and singing Happy Birthday to a little girl on their street. It melted my heart, you should have seen this girl's face!"
10. Try a new skill - FACE PAINT
Children love a bit of face paint! It's a cheap and cheerful way to bring your party character to life and can feel like a real treat. Luckily facepaints are easily bought online from your local craft shop and brands like Snazaroo facepaints come with plenty of easy-to-follow designs.
Inevitably, the whole family will end up being painted. You’ve been warned!
Hopefully these ideas have inspired your imagination to make a lockdown birthday both special and memorable! We hope you have a fantastic party!