Sunday, 5 April 2020

PARENTHOOD: How to Make Birthdays Special for Children during Lockdown

How to Make Birthdays Special for Children during lockdown
This is a very surreal time we find ourselves in at the moment due to COVID-19 and our children are constantly having to adapt to the changes, which can be tough. One day they were at school with their friends being taught how to wash their hands properly as the risk of Coronavirus was increasing; then suddenly they were waving goodbye to their friends/teachers and entering lockdown with only one walk a day. It goes without saying that these measures are necessary and so very important to save lives, but it is a lot for us adults to get our heads around let alone the children. My eldest daughter Isabella is the only one of my children at school and despite everything she has handled the change to home schooling/not seeing her friends etc. really well. However, one area that she was getting a bit upset about was that she wouldn't be able to celebrate her fifth birthday with friends/family, like so many children across the world.
 At the beginning of April Isabella turned five years old; originally we had planned to go away for a long weekend because her birthday fell in the Easter holidays, but that had to change due to the national lockdown. There are so many children with birthday's that will fall during this very surreal period of our lives, so I thought I'd share what we did to try and make Isabella's birthday as special as possible from the comfort of our own home. The options were obviously limited, not only as we can't really leave the house, but also from a resources/food/shopping point of view too. Isabella was still beyond excited about turning five years old, so I have to admit I was feeling the pressure to make it super special!
The day before her birthday we had a little pamper afternoon, which included making banana and oat face masks (she also wrote instructions on how to make it during 'academic time' as part of learning at home), setting a spa like theme in the living room (candles, spa music etc.), cucumber slices for the eyes and painting nails. All very easy to do with resources around the house and it extended that birthday excitement for a little bit longer. You could of course do this activity on your child's birthday and extended it slightly by having a bath bomb bath and/or making healthy smoothies.
On Isabella's birthday she woke up to breakfast in bed (who am I kidding?! She was up at 5.30am and when it was a socialable hour I made breakfast!), which was a real novelty and the first time. I think a big part of making the time at home special for someone's birthday is trying to think of ways to either do things you usually do slightly differently or to think of activities that haven't been done before. I made pink unicorn pancakes (not a crumb risk when eating it in the bed) served with pink berry yogurt, a babyccino and brought it all upstairs on a tray along with a birthday badge. It made her feel really special and was the perfect way to kickstart celebrations.

Once we were dressed it was present time, some of which were displayed with balloons and others were hidden around the house. In a treasure hunt style activity Isabella had to find all of her other presents, which as you can imagine was such fun and her little sister loved helping too. During the present opening we FaceTimed family to share the moments with them and make Isabella feel like everyone was there celebrating her birthday with her.
The afternoon's activity was a cinema experience with snacks, tickets and a brand new film (to Isabella). I made some tickets, set up a snack table and gave each child a party bag to be filled with snacks, a drink and popcorn. We then guided them to their seats, snuggled under lots of blankets and watched Frozen 2 as we hadn't seen that before. As we watch films quite often it was hard to make this experience feel different and more special, but by role playing someone working at a cinema, offering a variety of snacks and making tickets it did end up being a lovely way to spend an afternoon at home. Probably the most exciting part of the birthday experience was letting Isabella have a sleepover with her younger sister Poppy. They share a room anyway, but we got the double blow up bed out, set up fairy lights and let them have a sleepover; again for the first time ever. The excitement on their little faces was just the best and again it was a totally free and easy to set up birthday activity.

Do you or your children have a birthday during this social distancing/lockdown time?


Feel free to leave a comment - I love reading every single one :)


Helen x


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15 comments

  1. Ah what a wonderful post. Isabella sounds like she had a fab birthday! My friends little girl is 6 in a couple of weeks and she has been struggling to think of that to do. I have shared this post with her. thank you xx

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  2. LOVE this!! Just a well done and inspired post. Your ideas are fab and I am sure any child would still have a fab birthday with these ideas xx

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  3. Isabela had such a lovely birthday, even if it was in a lockdown. I love how you've thought about every single details, from the pink pancakes to the tipi tent sleepover. So cute!

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  4. Aww what a lovely birthday she had in spite of the current lockdown situation. I can't begin to imagine how strange and stressful it is to have to change plans and still make their day extra special for them.

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  5. Sounds like the best birthday ever for Isabella, loving all your original ideas such as the movie tickets and having the fairy lights and the tent!

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  6. Ah you made it so lovely and that tent with all the lights looks absolutely magical. This will be one to remember.

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  7. Doing a treasure hunt for presents sounds like so much fun, it makes the excitment last that little bit longer. And doing a little spa day the day before is really nice as well as it's a bit of a treat x

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  8. A great post, it must be so difficult for someone to have there birthday during this period, some great ideas though! but you made a great effort and im sure everyone enjoyed it still the same.

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  9. What a lovely birthday you created. It looks so fun. My girls birthday is in July and they're praying they are off lockdown by then as it's their 13th! Mich X

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  10. My son had his birthday and we did a similar thing - we'll always remember it!

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  11. This is such a lovely idea, not sure what we are going to do for Isaac yet as he is going to be 12......definitely thinking pizza

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  12. Theo turns 10 at the beginning of May and we have had to cancel all of his birthday plans to, so thank you for sharing this. Definitely planning on nabbing the treasure hunt idea for his presents!

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  13. This looks amazing. What a really fun way to spend your birthday. This is the sort of thing kids will always remember

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  14. Oh wow this is such an amazing set up and I am sure she was so happy! I can imagine that she was worried about not being able to do anything! I love this idea :-) Cecilia

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