Lockdown birthday ideas for kids: 21 ways to celebrate and make it special

A young blonde girl wearing a birthday hat and smiling as she prepares to blow out some candles during a lockdown birthday for kids.

While children's birthday parties (opens in new tab) as we used to throw them aren't currently possible, you can still throw a memorable celebration for your family with these fun lockdown birthday ideas for kids.

From a video call with their friends packed full of kid-friendly Zoom games (opens in new tab) to puppet shows, pizza-making, party games (opens in new tab) and treasure hunts - there's plenty of ideas for activities that are sure to spread some cheer here.

So bring out the children's party decorations (opens in new tab), light the candles on your homemade kids' birthday cake (opens in new tab) and make the most of an at-home celebration for your special birthday boy or girl with these brilliant lockdown birthday ideas for kids.

Lockdown birthday ideas for kids

Bouncy castle

Surprise your little one with a bouncy castle set up in your very own back garden. A perfect way to mark the day with the whole family. Bouncy castle hire companies are allowed to operate (opens in new tab) under current lockdown restrictions (opens in new tab) if they follow strict government guidelines to safely deliver their soft fun play during lockdown for private use only. This includes contactless delivery and  disinfecting the bouncy castles before set up and after collection.

Search bouncycastlehire.co.uk (opens in new tab) to find your local company.

A close-up of a young blonde boy smiling whilst on a bouncy castle.

Credit: Getty

Teddy bear tea party

Get out your best crockery and assemble your child’s furry friends for a special birthday tea party. Keep it make believe or go all out and create your own at-home afternoon tea (opens in new tab) spread. If it’s a nice day, take the party out in the garden and make it a proper Teddy Bear’s picnic.

A young girl with a tiara on having a pretend tea party outdoors with her teddy bear.

Credit: Getty

Zoom party

No lockdown birthday would be complete without a Zoom call from our nearest and dearest. Organise a sweet video call with all the family so they can sing Happy Birthday. Or invite a number of school friends to hop on and play some kid-friendly Zoom games.

You could go one step further and hire Captain Fantastic for a lockdown birthday they won’t forget. The children’s entertainment company offers a range of exciting themed Zoom parties packed with magic, music and games. Perfect for the mini pirate, princess or science fan in your life.

Captain Fantastic online parties (opens in new tab), for kids aged 2-7 and 7-11. Packages start from £80.

https://youtu.be/g7fVhfRFgDY

Magic

Inject some much-needed magic into any kid’s lockdown birthday. Gift them a fabulous magic set complete with a wand, cloak and all the usual magician’s kit. Or hire a Magician over Zoom for the whole family to sit and enjoy together.

Heyzeibo Kids Beginner Magic Kit (opens in new tab), £13.99.

A young boy in a wizard hat and cape learning some magic tricks from Youtube with cards.

Credit: Getty

Family Talent Show

If you’re a family of entertainers or just fancy a laugh then consider a birthday talent show. Prepare a song or dance, try some kid-friendly stand-up or show off your best party tricks. Nominate the birthday boy or girl as the head judge and have them crown their worthy winner. To make it extra special, consider having distant family members ‘Zoom in’ and share their own talents on screen.

Two sisters singing and dancing together. The blonde sister is holding a microphone whilst the brunette sister is playing a kid's guitar.

Credit: Getty

Birthday themed breakfast

Get their big day off to a special start with a breakfast fit for the birthday king or queen. Be sure to prepare their favourite first meal of the day and decorate the kitchen with balloons, bunting and colourful crockery. La Di Dah London designs have beautiful ready-made decoration boxes for mermaid, jungle, space and pirate themed parties. They’re sure to jazz up any kid’s lockdown birthday.

Party at home Mermaid box (opens in new tab) by La Di Dah London designs, £68.

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Movie Night

Organise a magical movie night and celebrate your child’s birthday from the comfort of your front room. Have them pick out a favourite Disney film (opens in new tab) and set up a cosy blanket fort with quilts and cushions for them to snuggle up in. Dim the lights to recreate the cinema experience and be sure to serve popcorn as a snack.

A young sister and older brother watching a film whilst eating popcorn.

Credit: Getty

Arts and Craft

An arts and crafts afternoon is another firm favourite in our lockdown birthday ideas for kids edit. Cover your kitchen or dining table with card, sequins, pipe cleaners and other craft items and see what they construct or get inspired by one of our easy craft ideas for kids here (opens in new tab)! For something extra-special gift them a brilliant toucanBox on the day. They have special Under the Sea, Safari and Space Explorer themes to satisfy any birthday child. 

'Under the Sea' craft box (opens in new tab) and 'Safari' craft box (opens in new tab) by toucanBox, £12 each

A young brunette girl sat at a table and making something, surrounded by crafting materials such as wool and card.

Credit: Getty

Board Game Marathon

Have the whole family come together for an epic afternoon of board games. Set up camp at the dining table and play your way through classics such as Monopoly, Cluedo, Connect4 and Operation. Or why not select one of the top voted best board games for kids from this list (opens in new tab)? Have the birthday boy or girl choose what games they want to play and be sure to stock up on snacks to fuel a few fun-filled hours.

A young girl playing a board game at a table with her dad.

Credit: Getty

Karaoke

Birthdays are something to sing about - so gather the family together and prepare a playlist full of the birthday boy or girl’s favourite songs. Grab some hairbrushes and sing along to the songs. Or if you’re after a more professional setup try Lucky Voice’s at home Karaoke kit. Plug into your TV or computer and have the family enjoy access to over 9,000 anthems.

Lucky Voice Karaoke Kit (opens in new tab) with microphone, £60

African american family enjoy singing karaoke at home, having fun.

Credit: Getty

Birthday walk

If you’re lucky enough to have relatives and school friends that live just around the corner, consider a birthday lockdown walk. Having a walk with one person from another household is currently allowed under the government's lockdown exercise rules (opens in new tab). Get out with the birthday boy or girl and pop-by people’s doorsteps to wave and chat from a safe 2-metre distance. To make it extra exciting, ask in advance if they can hang out some balloons or have their card ready.

A young Caucasian girl wearing a tutu and rainbow colors, sits on top of the garden gate with her mother standing beside her, they wave to their neighbour at a safe distance.

Credit: Getty

Pizza party

What birthday boy or girl doesn’t love tucking into a tasty pizza? Make an occasion of it and have the family set up a DIY pizza-making station. You can shop the ingredients yourself and find some pizza recipe inspiration (opens in new tab) online. Or pizza restaurant chain Franco Manca have launched their at-home letterbox pizza kits.

Franco Manca's Pizza in the Post kits (opens in new tab) start from £12.50.

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Puppet show

Staging a puppet show is one our favourite inspired lockdown birthday ideas for kids. Either buy some finger puppets or invest in a full Punch and Judy style set-up online. You can even make your own puppet theatre (opens in new tab) if you’re feeling creative. To make it extra fun, have two separate puppet shows - one put on by the birthday child and another by the parents. The show that secures the most laughs wins.

Twister CK’s 16 piece Finger Puppets Set (opens in new tab), £12.99

Simba Kids Classic Puppet Theatre (opens in new tab) with 4 Detailed Puppets, £23.12

Shot of two little siblings sat facing and watching a puppet show at home.

Credit: Getty

Present Scavenger Hunt

Turn present time into a fun activity by hiding them around the house. Have the birthday boy or girl hunt them all down before unwrapping. For older kids, consider writing clues to help them guess where their gifts are hidden.

A young blonde boy searching in a box of toys during a scavenger hunt.

Credit: Getty

Baking

If your child loves nothing more than making a mess in the kitchen then organise some birthday baking. Be it some cute children's cupcakes (opens in new tab), biscuits or the birthday cake (opens in new tab) itself, they’ll enjoy the time together creating something delicious to eat. If they’re serious about their baking in general then consider gifting them a baking kit they can use again and again.

JoJo Maman Bebe Woodland Tin Baking Set (opens in new tab), £22.

A young blonde boy kneading dough with an adult.

Credit: Getty

Escape room

An at-home Escape room is a great lockdown birthday idea for older kids. Have the family crack a number of clues, padlocks and puzzles together with Epic Escapes Escape Room in A Box package. The set includes three different games to test your abilities from the easy Crime Escape Room to the higher-level Hijack one. The boxes also include self-help hint cards for when you need a little assistance.

Escape Room In A Box (opens in new tab) (3 in 1) from Epic Escapes, £99.00.

A family assembled around a computer in an Escape Room trying to solve the clues.

Credit: Getty

Sports day

Take advantage of a sunny day and celebrate their birthday with an old-fashioned sports day. Tiny athletes and competitive dads will enjoy getting active outside with running races, timed circuit challenges and of course the classic egg-and-spoon race. Buy some bean bags and hoops ahead of the day and don’t forget to order some trophies to give to the deserving winners.

LATERN 16 Pieces Nylon Bean Bags and Plastic Rings, (opens in new tab) £11.99

Baker Ross P670 Gold Trophies (Pack of 6) (opens in new tab), £4.99

Family playing piggyback races in the garden for a sports day.

Credit: Getty

Dress up

What kid doesn’t love an excuse to dress up in costume? Surprise the birthday boy or girl with an exciting kid's fancy-dress costume to open on the day. Then set aside some time to play pretend with them in their fairy tale world. We also love the idea of the birthday boy or girl crafting their own costume. Play Projects At Home have a brilliant DIY superhero letterbox kit which lets them make a shield, sword and masks for all the family.

Play Projects At Home Superhero DIY kid's costume kit (opens in new tab), £12.

Playful mother and daughter in superhero costume against window. Woman is kneeling with arms outstretched by girl standing in kitchen. They are enjoying at home.

Credit: Getty

Camping

For birthday kids who love the outdoors, consider setting up a cute ‘campsite’ in your garden. Pitch up some tents, get out an instant barbecue or fire pit and toast some marshmallows together. If it’s a beautiful clear night be sure to do some stargazing too.

Two children playing in a yellow tent at night in their garden.

Credit: Getty

Face Painting

Bring the fun of traditional children’s parties to your household with an at-home face painting kit. Put your artistic skills to the test and recreate the birthday boy or girl’s chosen face design - be it a butterfly, tiger or bear - with some paints. Or cheat a little bit with Face Paintoo’s transferable face mask designs.

Face Paintoos Party Pack (opens in new tab), £8.50

A little girl wearing bunny ears having her face painted like a rabbit.

Credit: Getty

Treasure Hunt

This at-home Treasure Hunt kit is our activity of choice when it comes to lockdown birthday ideas for kids. Perfect for budding pirates and explorers, the set comes with a clue sheet and 10 wooden checkpoint tokens to hide around the house. After seeking out each checkpoint, the birthday boy or girl must solve the puzzle and make a note of the answer. At the end of the hunt, have your child enter all the answers into the accompanying app for one final challenge.

Play at home kid's Pirate treasure hunt kit (opens in new tab), £14.99

The contents of a kid's at-home treasure hunt box.

Credit: Checkpoint games at Etsy