How to have an amazing birthday party at home for kids

Here are ten tips for how to still make a fantastic birthday party even with the restrictions of social distancing and lockdowns.

I have always had big birthday parties for our girls, with often close to 15 kids and their parents in our house or garden. Lots of food and drink and party games galore. But this year my daughter's seventh birthday happened during the lockdown - so instead of a big birthday bash we had a socially distanced birthday party online. 

The restrictions were easing just a little bit and I did not feel comfortable with trying to organise a birthday party for her and her friends in a park or anything - and figured the other mums might feel the same. So I organised an online party but I also got her in the party mood by making her day home special.

I've written down some of my own experiences of what worked and what didn't and I've also asked fellow bloggers for their experiences. Now as lockdown eases, it is likely that social distancing will continue for a while and many parents will feel uneasy with their kids meeting other kids, so hopefully these tips will help in making the most of the big day in these unusual circumstances!

lego friends party bags

party bag goodies

1. Let them be the boss for the day! My daughter is going through an Egyptian phase so she wanted to be treated like a pharaoh for the day - so we did all the kinds of things she wanted on the day. This included letting her skip homeschool and letting her choose the evening meal, even if it did in the end involve a 1h wait in the McDonald's queue... 

2. Host a virtual birthday party! This is exactly what we did. I organised a Google Hangout session for my daughter and her five best friends, with party games and a party bag with snacks and a crafting activity. We also had her extended family members belting Happy Birthday and joining in on a present opening session in the morning of her birthday.

Yvette from Uplifting and Inspiring Content did something very similar and had a whole extended family joining the party via Zoom, dressed up and drinking and eating together, sharing jokes and singing. Rowena from My Balancing Act on the other hand got her son's pre-school friends and parents together to sing Happy Birthday and throw balloons via Zoom. 

3. Play a game during the virtual party. We did hide and seek, which worked surprisingly well but did need the assistance of a parent. Each child got a turn at hiding somewhere in their home. The children would then guess where in the house this was, and their parent would give hints and reveal where the child was when the right answer was shouted. The kids loved this activity!

Scavenger activity, where you ask everyone to find an item or a specific colour item from their home works well for a virtual party as suggested by Jennifer from Rice Cakes and Raisins. Quizzes could work for older kids or adults, or if you are sick and tired of quizzes, Emma from Emma and 3 has shared a scattergories games idea, often played in her family. Bingo could also work, and memory game, where you show a set of items to all, then cover the camera and remove one, and everyone has to remember what item that was was suggested by Katie from Mum of 2.5.

online birthday party

4. Have a joint crafting activity at the virtual party. I ordered my daughter and all her party friends matching bracelet sets from Cotton Twist, easy for kids to complete on their own. They were a great hit! Leyla from This Day I Love ordered pottery kits from a local company who delivered them and the children loved the activity. 

5. Have a socially distanced meeting or wave from the window. My daughter went out on a socially distanced bike ride with her best friend, and that was the highlight of her day. Carla-Marie from My Bump 2 Baby on the other hand had the grandparents pop by their window to see presents being opened and say congratulations - with Zoom cake later. Now that social distancing rules have been relaxed even still you might be able to meet up with one or two additional friends, especially outdoors!

6. Bake a cake together. We made a chocolate cake, and Michelle from The Willow Tree made a  special "lockdown birthday cake" with her daughter. Both our kids loved the activity even if the cakes didn't end up looking too great...

7. Enlist the neighbours in on it. We didn't do this, but a surefire way of making a birthday extra special is to get friendly neighbours joining in. Clare from MyTunbridge Wells neighbours hang Happy Birthday posters and pictures on their windows, and let the parent know their house number so they can walk past the display with the child. Amy from All About a Mummy had all her neighbours come out and sing Happy Birthday - and said this really helped lift the community spirits.

bracelet craft

8. Make a video message! I enlisted to send my daughter a short Happy Birthday message, which she loved! Or you could get friends to help - Jenny from Peak District Kids asked the friends of her 5 year old to send a 30 second happy birthday message and a joke on Whatsapp, making the birthday very special indeed. 

9. Do something out of the ordinary. You could build dens, or have a foam party, or maybe a home disco, with blackout lights and Kids Bop!

For example, Erica from Incidental Parent organised lots of special activities for her child - with den building and playing with bubbles - which sounds like a great fun day in! Naomi from Not a Perfect Parent on the other hand planned a home cinema, and a hot dog and ice cream stand for the kids, and even allowed his kid to sleep downstairs, and Raimonda from Cosmo Mum decided to go camping in the garden! Sophie from Mama Mei organised a Zoom disco for her kids, and decorated the house just for them. For the littlest ones, a cake smash suggested by Nita from Mummys Wishes would be great fun...

10. Make a theme out of it! Kellie from My Little Babog on the other hand made quarantine the party theme for her one year old and had the funniest images of her little one in the play pen! On a more traditional note, Kerry from Blissful Domestication had a pirate-themed party (and here she shares lots of tips for that theme!), and  Jennifer from Mighty Mama Bear did a sports-themed party for her 11 year old with football, basketball, and egg and spoon races.

Our theme was Lego Friends -I decorated the party bags with Lego Friends stickers and stuck loads of Lego Friends figurines on the cake - easy!

birthday balloons for seven year old

So all in all - you can totally have a great birthday party even if you can't be present in person! My personal favourites include a virtual party and a shared party bag, with a craft activity or a virtual party game, and also gathering video messages from friends. Lots of idea to choose from, so I hope you have a great party!

You might also like: 10 simple and easy ideas for a toddler Paw Patrol party and 10 quick and easy ideas for a bunny party

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.

How to have a fantastic birthday party home, even if it is online or restricted due to the lockdown or social distancing.


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