14 ways you’re celebrating your kids’ birthdays in lockdown

lockdown birthday inspiration header

Inspiration and ideas

Ten pin bowling, virtual parties, Covid cupcakes and DIY hair dye - these are the creative ways parents are celebrating kids' birthdays during lockdown!

When we wrote this feature in April last year, we didn’t think it would still be relevant today (sob!). As the pandemic goes on, most parents have celebrated a child’s birthday in isolation – and you’ve proved you can still party in style and with a sense of humour! Scroll down to see how families are making lasting memories at home and on a budget.

Quick tips for a lockdown children’s party

  • Choose a theme to help you plan the decorations, cake and games – does your child love unicorns, dinosaurs or Frozen? Scroll down to see some inspired Covid-19 themes!
  • Make your child’s birthday feel different to other days spent at home. Use skittles to create a bowling lane, dress up, make afternoon tea or even sleep in the living room together. 
  • Set up a Zoom party so your child can see family or friends. 
  • Involve your child in making their cake. We love BBC Good Food for showstopping creations or try these homemade cake hacks.
  • Enjoy it! It’s just you guys this year, so stay in your PJs, eat cake and enjoy not having to host.

1. Go all out for family fancy dress​

Anna wanted her birthday boy to have a day he’d remember forever and would stop at nothing to put a smile on his face. So she created Power Ranger fancy dress for the whole family using delivery boxes and paper mâché. “It was difficult but worth it,” she says. Then adds, “I think it’s the only occasion I will get my husband to wear leggings!”

Browse these brilliant step-by-step fancy dress ideas for favourite book characters, spooky costumes and more.

Photos: Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook
Power Rangers fancy dress
Coronavirus birthday cake

2. Make a Covid birthday cake

Lora’s smallest turned 5 and asked for a Coronavirus cake. The creative result went viral on Facebook and Lora says she is wowed by the response. The cake also spawned some mini Coronavirus cupcakes. 

Coronavirus cupcakes
Lockdown birthday idea: bake Coronavirus-themed cupcakes!
Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook

3. Order a bouncy castle for one!

We all know the worst part about bouncy castles is waiting for other people to have their turn – or getting bounced on by someone bigger than you. So what better treat than an inflatable you can have all to yourself? Now the weather has turned colder, look for an indoor option like this dino bouncer from Little Tikes. 

Bouncy castle
DIY Bowling alley at home

4. Make a bowling alley at home

Tiffany’s son was supposed to be bowling for his birthday, and she wasn’t going to let isolation stop him scoring a strike. She used a bowling set from Asda, masking tape and Christmas lights.  

Photos: Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook

5. Ask people to send birthday messages

Your family are ok, but it’s nice to get a bit of extra attention on your birthday. So, Liana put up this sign asking passers by to toot their horn.

Meanwhile, Beki’s neighbours put up happy birthday signs for her to see when they went for a walk.

Birthday sign

Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook
Birthday sign
Tissue paper hair dye

6. Try a makeover

Cassie tested an Internet hair hack to die her daughter’s hair for her birthday. 

She says, “This is what I did. Boiling water in bowls, add the tissue paper – make sure it’s tissue paper that will run (some say on the packet the colour won’t run). Add a little salt and leave to stand for 5 mins. Remove and squeeze tissue paper out – wear gloves as it stains hands – and then add hair. Leave for 30 mins and tada! Strong colours work best.

I’m well impressed, turned out amazing and I have one very happy little girl.”

Tissue paper hair dye method

Tissue paper hair dye

  1. Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook

7. Throw a tea Party

Most kids (and parents) will agree that the best bit about birthdays is cake. So Rebekah made – well, loads of them. And created a tea party with a Mad Hatter’s theme.

Browse easy baking ideas.

Photos: Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook
alice in wonderland tea party
Coronavirus pinata

8. Covid piñata

We’d all like to kick this virus. Failing that, you can do what Louise did for her kids’ birthdays and make a Coronavirus-themed piñata out of papier mâché. Then you can legitimately whack it with sticks and all it will give you is sweets.

Photos: Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook

9. Plan a virtual family gathering

When our social lives moved online, it had to happen – the family party complete with a birthday cake that everyone else had to watch you eat!

If you’re planning a virtual do for friends or family, keep children at the screen with one of these – fun games to play on Zoom with kids.

Virtual family party
Children's Zoom entertainer

10. Hire a video call entertainer

Pre-2020, most weekends were spent in church halls, sipping warm squash, watching magicians and princesses work their magic. Now, those children’s entertainers are online hosting virtual parties for birthday boys or girls and friends can dial in, too. Katherine chose Gilbert Giggles – a repeat booking after her son talked about him non-stop for a year. Meanwhile, Emma’s daughter turned 5 with Rapunzel. Lucy Sparkles hosts themed parties including princesses and more.

Zoom princess party
Invite a princess by Zoom to your child’s lockdown party.
Photos: Family Lockdown Tips and Ideas Group / Facebook /
Gilbert Giggles

11. Learn to facepaint

When Sara asked her 4-year-old what she wanted to do on her birthday, she said facepainting. Snazaroo facepaints come with plenty of easy-to-follow designs. Inevitably, the whole family will end up being painted. You’ve been warned!


Spa day at home

12. Have a spa day

Lisa arranged a pampering evening for her 6-year-old with manicures, pedicures and Free Willy. 

13. Have an epic family party!

Glastonbury’s 50th birthday may have been cancelled this year, but Lee-Ann brought Covid-Fest to her back garden for her son’s 14th birthday. Bring the fun indoors during winter. What child wouldn’t love a disco complete with mirror ball? 

Covid garden festival

14. Make some brilliant biscuits

Lego, monsters, flowers – whatever your child loves, we’ve got an easy biscuit design to match. As Louise points out, “My daughter loves biscuits and when there’s less of you at the party, it just means there’s more biscuits to go round!”

Or, if it all feels a bit much, hide in a box this year. As kids know, they’re the most exciting part of presents anyway.

Child in a box

Brilliant birthday present ideas

Numberblocks blocks toy
 The bestselling Numberblocks  gift set is an exciting way for children to learn maths!

We’ve researched toys for every budget to being you this list of the 10 best birthday presents for under-5s.

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10 socially-distanced party ideas that will make your child’s day!

We know how you’re feeling. You want to throw your child a brilliant birthday party – but, you’re confused about what’s allowed – let alone what other guests will feel comfortable with. Take your pick from these 10 themes, from a fairy party in the woods to a football party in the park. They should keep everyone happy – especially the birthday boy or girl.

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