Hi folks, I’m writing this on Sunday evening in a cold but sunny town in Northern Italy. The summer
may be over but along with the rest of the Baby and Toddler Awards team, we like to have fun things
to look forward to over the winter (as well as Christmas!) and working with companies who feel as
passionate about giving babies and toddler the best start in life certainly keeps us busy and excited
when our trips outside are limited!
My region, Lombardy, once again is in full lockdown and though it doesn’t feel quite as full-on as it
did back in spring, we’ve celebrated my son’s Frank’s nineth birthday under restrictions which
prevent us from celebrating with friends and family. I thought I would give you an insight into our day so you can see how we made the most of my child's birthday, despite the lockdown restrictions. Maybe it will give you some ideas if you have a child's lockdown birthday coming up.
That’s hasn’t stopped us from having a great weekend though. Friday night was tough, while the kids
were asleep we blew up what seemed like 100 green balloons in order to prepare a green, dinosaur-
jungle themed archway. Before I knew it, a couple of hours had passed although admittedly I’m not
the best or fastest at practical tasks! However, it’s a great pack, and gives the whole living room a
celebratory vibe. When the boys saw it in the morning they couldn’t contain their excitement, both
being dinosaur fanatics. I thought my dinosaur knowledge was pretty good, but I realise now I can
only name ‘the Big 5’)!
At lunchtime, we tried his new bike. His last few bikes have been hand-me-downs so we were all
excited to see how he would get on with his snazzy, brand-new wheels. After several hours in our
local piazza (like I said, this lockdown is a bit softer), we realised that we’d missed lunch (probably
due to stuffing our faces with sweets all morning). We headed home and after much discussion
about what and when to eat, we finally agreed on Ragu, Frank’s favourite.
A big Harry Potter fan, his aunt sent him a Newt Scamander (from JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts)
costume while his little brother put on his Harry Potter cloak and glasses. We then watched the first
half of the movie ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ before they both succumbed to
tiredness. Dressing up for the home cinema was a lot of fun though and it's something we’ll definitely
So I guess here are my top tips for a lockdown birthday:
1)Do go all out on decorations. Balloons, banners, candles, the whole works. If you are celebrating at home it will make it more special.
2) Try to go out for a walk or a bike ride. Obviously this depends on the regulations on the lockdown where you are, but it is a great way to get out the house and have fun without breaking any rules.
3) Movie night - as the cinema is out of bounds, why not dress up as a favourite character, or get in popcorn and pretend it is a real cinema. It will make it so fun for your kids
4) Facetime family and friends - this will be great for your kids to feel like they shared their lockdown birthday with more people
5) Use online delivery companies - get presents sent to you - this way it doesn't matter if you can't reach the shops
6) Why not bake a cake yourself - your kids will be really touched by it!
While we didn’t have a party or see any of his friends and family, it was still, hopefully, a birthday to
remember for us all. Thinking back to when the first lockdown was announced eight or nine months
ago, I recall feeling sorry for those who would endure a lockdown birthday, especially since this year
most of my school friends turned 40. Back then, I couldn’t conceive the pandemic lasting through to
my own summer birthday, let alone until this winter.
As we rode our bikes in endless circles around the piazza, Frank turned to me and said that this had
been his best day of the year. I think it was for me too.
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