9 Creative Ways to Celebrate Birthdays in Lockdown

9 Creative Ways for Celebrating Your Child's Birthday Under Lockdown

With the national lockdown set to continue for some while longer, there will be many of you with children who are going to have to go through the extremely unusual experience of celebrating their birthday without the physical presence of friends and family. While that thought may be distressing for both you and your child, there are plenty of ways to get creative and make sure that this birthday is one that they’ll never forget.

We’ve looked at birthday celebration ideas from across the world to bring you a list of the most exciting activities you can try with your children to make their birthday special.

1. Virtual Birthday Party

Just because friends and family can’t physically be there with you, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be there in some capacity. Thanks to the advent of video conferencing technology such as Zoom, all of your friends and family still attend the birthday party virtually.

Why not make things interesting by allowing your child to choose a theme for your virtual birthday party? Why not ask all attendees to dress up as superheroes, for example? You can even pay for a well-known Disney character to show up to your virtual party. Which young child wouldn’t want to spend 30 minutes with Elsa from Frozen on their birthday?

You can also play games such as musical statues and have a disco remotely, before collectively singing “Happy Birthday” when the cake appears.

2. Play Video Messages from Friends and Family

For those of your friends and relatives not comfortable with Zoom technology, a video message may be the perfect method of passing on best wishes to your child. Better yet, you could also ask those creating these messages to get creative too.

Why not ask each sender of a birthday video message to include a clue regarding the location of a present hidden within your house? Upon the discovery of the present, your child then receives the next clue and so on.

3. Birthday Scavenger Hunt

Fresh off the back of a socially-distanced Easter, your children may well have developed a taste for home-based scavenger hunts after taking part in one for their Easter Eggs. As mentioned, you could ask friends and relatives to chime in with video messages that present clues or you could spend time drawing maps and printing off illustrated hints to help children work out the location of their presents.

With the explosion of “breakout” or “escape” rooms in the UK, kids will love the similar thrill of sleuthing through hints and tips to unveil presents. Not only is this activity fun, but it’s also educational as children can improve skills such as map reading and comprehension.

4. Let Your Child Choose Dinner

Reaffirm to your child that this is their day by letting them choose the menu for their birthday meal. Even if you cringe at the choices they make, such as a chicken nugget and ice cream combo, allowing them to make these choices will give them a sense of empowerment that the lockdown has deprived them of.

Why not get them involved too? Cooking dinner together can bring your closer together, and they’ll gain a deeper understanding of the rigmarole you go through every night to put their food on the table!

5. Bake a Birthday Cake Together

Your child will likely feel a great sense of achievement after tucking into a birthday cake of their own creation. Make sure to remind them that they baked it themselves, even if they had a little assistance from their sous chefs!

Part of the process of getting them involved in the kitchen could be to help make their own birthday cake. Start by running through some possible cake choices, such as chocolate cake or lemon drizzle, before allowing them to help find and use ingredients during the baking process.

While all of these are fantastic alternative birthday celebration ideas, why not implement some of the following traditions from around the world to give your child’s birthday celebration a creative and international feel?

6. Make a Russian Clothesline

In Russia, children celebrate their birthdays with a clothesline birthday party tradition. This is an activity where the adults hang up clotheslines littered with small gifts (as opposed to clothes), and kids pull each present down one by one.

It’s certainly something that they’ll have never seen or experienced before, and it’s an excellent alternative to the traditional sofa full of presents.

7. Go Mexican with a Piñata

If you wish, can up the ante by blindfolding your child, but be careful to guide them close to the piñata and ensure that they don’t come to any harm while wildly swinging their weapon of choice.

Most adults know what a piñata is, and yet so often we choose other options for fun activities at children’s birthday parties. Bring a little Mexican fiesta flavour to this year’s celebration by stuffing a piñata full of sweet treats, hanging it up, and giving a broomstick to your child to try and knock it down.

8. Karaoke Like There's No Tomorrow

You can even try to create a makeshift stage for your child’s performances (yes there will be several performances as they’ll become hooked), and dress up in fan attire of your favourite artists. Karaoke is another option for your virtual party mentioned above, allowing you to all sing your child’s favourite songs together. A top tip here is to limit performances to a maximum of one minute (one verse, one chorus) so that your child and their guests don’t get bored halfway through a song.

Why not exert a little Japanese influence on your celebrations by introducing some karaoke to your birthday party? Karaoke often forms an integral part of birthday celebrations in Japan, as wannabe superstars take to their imaginary stages to try and sing along to their favourite songs.

9. Make Your Child Australian Fairy Bread

If your child interested in baking with you, you can always take it upon yourself to create a culinary treat yourself to make them feel extra special. In Australia, children are greeted by Fairy Bread on their birthdays, which is just buttered bread sprinkled with “Fairy Dust” (hundreds and thousands).

You can even try to create a makeshift stage for your child’s performances (yes there will be several performances as they’ll become hooked), and dress up in fan attire of your favourite artists. Karaoke is another option for your virtual party mentioned above, allowing you to all sing your child’s favourite songs together. A top tip here is to limit performances to a maximum of one minute (one verse, one chorus) so that your child and their guests don’t get bored halfway through a song.

Make this Year's Birthday Celebrations Extra Special By Doing Something Out of the Ordinary

In need of breaking up the boredom associated with lockdown? Why not take a look at the best free language learning apps for you and your children?

While the gravity of the current situation may bear heavily on adults, many of our young children are blissfully unaware of the tragedy unfolding outside their front door. Many will also struggle to understand why they can’t spend their birthday with friends and family like they always have done.

But despite this backdrop, you can make this a birthday to remember. By thinking outside the box and including the traditions of other countries and cultures, you can make this year’s birthday the best one yet!