It’s 4 days until my baby turns 7. That little person you see in the photo above. A whole 7 years of having him by my side. This birthday will be like no other, but we will see it as a successful one so long as we can recreate that gorgeous smile throughout it. We usually celebrate his birthdays with a garden party. Sometimes we hire in a bouncy castle, we put on a big BBQ, we invite all our family over, our best friends come and we all celebrate his gorgeous little life and it is one of my favorite days of the year. But this year, we’re in lockdown. To say he is less than thrilled is an understatement so I have had to try and devise a plan to make him, above anything else, feel special and celebrated. I thought it would be nice to share some ideas I’ve had on kids lockdown birthday celebrations.
Lockdown Birthday Celebrations For Kids
I want to run through a couple of ideas we will be doing to celebrate Leo’s lockdown birthday and include some others that I have seen and heard from friends and the good old internet.
Lockdown Street Party
As mentioned, usually we’d be surrounded by friends and family on Leo’s birthday but instead this year we are going to have a ‘street party’ style get together with two of his friends. The hope is that they will be able to chat, maybe kick a ball from a safe distance to each other and sing happy birthday to him. We toyed quite a bit with whether that is something we should do or not but as it has been encouraged over the last few weeks for special occasions such as VE day, we thought that it was a fun but safe thing to do for him.
Present Treasure Hunt
I can’t for the life of me remember where I saw this but someone was setting up a present hunt in their garden as a different activity to what would usually be the birthday morning norm of razing it downstairs and tearing into gifts. I thought it was a really great idea. Not only does it fill up some extra time but it might perhaps make them drink in each individual gift a bit more, maybe even tug on their grateful strings a little so that they feel more appreciative of every gift.
Garden Nerf Wars
Prior to lockdown, Leo had floated the idea of having a laser tag party with a few friends (something that we might try and arrange for him post lockdown) so instead we are planning to set up a nerf battle in the garden. Plotting out different base camps and seeing who can get the most hits – there might even be cake involved for the winner. Mommy may well skew the scores if that is the case.
FaceTime anyone? We’re going to need fully charged phones for the day that’s for sure. This is arguably the most difficult aspect to navigate for us as each year Leo has been surrounded by his friends and family on his birthday. We’re going to attempt to make sure that we have a connection for grandparents for when he opens gifts from them – and anyone else who would like to see him open his gifts. And then later in the evening, we will have a big cake blowing out… ceremony (?😆) where we call his grandparents and aunties and uncles and we all get to sing to him together.
This one is being handed over to Leo. We will let him decide on what we should be eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and with all the usual snacks thrown in and obviously extra cake.
Here’s where I contradict myself. Remember that fully charged phone I as just talking about? The aim is to have it away for the day. Except for those instances where he is and wants to be, speaking to friends or family or we’re taking a photo or two. It’s very rare that I don’t have a phone in my hand, I use it for work and you know, all the meme sharing and I know it’s an issue. So that’s sort of my biggest gift to him. Ditching it for the day.
I have a confession to make. I am a terrible player. Or more accurately, I feel tired and overwhelmed a large portion of the time and struggle to find the energy to ‘play’… Ninja Turtles just aren’t my jam you know? But obviously my kids are so I do try but find myself very easily distracted by much simpler/robotic tasks, such as putting the washing on or eating a digestive whilst hiding in the dog’s bed. But not on his birthday. Oh no no no. I will force my inner player-hater to step up and play with all the new things. Luckily I know what he has coming and at least 40% of those toys can be played sitting down. He is also getting a new bike (how fast do they grow!) and a new scooter (FYI – such a worthy investment. He got his current one for his 4th birthday and he has pretty much used it every day since then – it’s especially great for getting them to school in a speedy fashion) so I’m hoping we’ll have a really decent amount of time spent outdoors.
Lockdown Birthday Sleepover
If you’re a long time follower of RMF then you might know of my struggles with non-sleeping children. Leo has always been a late-to-bed, reasonable riser kinda guy. He just doesn’t seem to require that much sleep. I used to beat myself up about him not getting that much needed ’12 hours plus naps’ sleep a day when he was a babe. He always lived on between 9 and 10 hours total. He was genuinely just never… tired. And things haven’t changed much. He always has been, and probably always will be a night owl (get’s it from his Dad). He’s productive in the evenings, has good concentration, and finds himself getting frustrated when he’s asked to go to bed and then can’t get himself to sleep. So we’ve just stopped throwing it all at him and putting the onus on him to ‘just go to sleep’. Whilst we’ve been in lockdown he has been largely doing his homeschooling from around 8:30 pm, meaning is bedtime is more often than not closer to 10pm. So we thought we’d take advantage of all having an early night together and having a sleepover in our room. I envisage us all piling into the bed, fashioning a screen from a laptop hooked up to a monitor (we don’t have a TV in our room), watching a movie and falling asleep wrapped in each other’s arms. I’m aware that the reality is likely to be we’re all slightly cramped, they have got popcorn in my sheets which will drive me mad, I fall asleep halfway through the film and moan and his Dad to kindly shift him back to his own bed as soon as he’s fallen asleep. But you know, we’ll thoroughly enjoy the first 20 minutes.
So that’s our plan for throwing a memorable kids lockdown birthday. I’ve got a couple of days to go so any other ideas you’d like to throw into the mix would be really welcome. I have also started a thread for this over on our free forum so if you wanted to go over there and chat more please do. If you’re not signed up yet, all you need is an email. The forum is completely private and has the welcoming non-judgemental vibes you’d expect from the Rock My Family community.