Lockdown Birthdays – Top 10 ideas to make sure their special day is a day to remember!

Since March 23rd 2020, we have experienced restrictions of one sort or another due to the pandemic. It’s been 10 months of confusion, fear, anxiety and frustration but the world keeps turning and the way families have found ways to survive and have fun during this time has been so uplifting and inspirational!

When it comes to children’s birthdays, I’ve seen so many parents finding ways to make the say special while still adhering to the restrictions. Children are so resilient and can often find joy in the simplest things…they dont need lavish parties or a giant pile of presents. I think if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how important our loved ones are and how we can still enjoy birthdays without all the hoo-harr!

Over the years the cost of children’s parties has risen and some families find themselves paying out hundreds of pounds for a simple party. Want to invite the whole class….fine! But you will need to dig deep for that. And picking and choosing who to invite can also lead to ill-feeling. Parents are feeling under pressure to throw ever-more-fancy parties for kids but do kids really benefit from this “keeping up with the Jones'” way of thinking?

So we’ve had an opportunity now to stop and downscale the parties and create celebrations that are more intimate and really focus on the birthday boy or girl.

We are now looking at children having not one but TWO birthdays in lockdown and so many families have come up with some amazing ways to make the day special. So I asked on social media and here are some great ideas for you! All of these ideas can be adapted to incorporate whatever tier we are in so lots of flexibility.

1. A Zoom Birthday Party

Vick said “I planned a zoom Birthday party with a few of Scarlett’s school friends. I made t-shirts for everyone to wear saying Scarlett’s 5th Birthday in lockdown. The night before the party I went and dropped the t-shirts and a party bag off. We played music and everyone danced and all the children emptied their party bags at the same time! 

Sarah wrote “I made bags that were either dropped off or collected from ours (socially distanced and any travel was either exercise or combined with an essential journey). In the bags there were supplies for a crown or Mario hat to decorate. There was a cupcake, Mario coins, hot chocolate, balloons, bubbles, colouring in sheet and a little paper craft. I wrote an instruction sheet for parents because I did need them to have supplies. I made the bags 72 hours before the party so they were safer to help prevent transmission. We sang happy birthday, the kids all ate their cupcakes together, then we started on the craft. After everyone finished with the craft we did a memory game that was Mario themed. We’ve now reused the decorations to redecorate Ella’s room.

Claire told me “I’m going to deliver a box of crafts and party snacks to her friends houses and invite them to a zoom craft party”

2. A Pottery Painting Party

Canny Crafty offer some great kits to keep little hands (and big ones) occupied.

The items you can choose to paint range from £8-£30 each with popular items such as mugs, plates and bowls being £10-£16 each. The cost includes the price of the paint, glazing and firing process.

10% off for NHS staff too!

3. A Pizza Party

Kids love cooking and who doesn’t love pizza!

You can get pizza kits delivered to your door from Box Pizza and Truly Madly Pizza

4. Hire a bouncy castle

Amy wrote “We hired a bouncy castle for the garden! A very surprised 8 year old”

This might be one of my favourite ideas….who doesn’t love a bouncy castle?

5. A Treasure Hunt

This can be done indoors or outdoors on your daily walk. Depending on the restrictions, you could meet a few others outdoors for a challenge! You could hide presents at each stage. Here are some ideas for clues….

Treasure Hunt Riddles

Treasure Hunt for Children

6. Build a Bear Party

Claire wrote “I bought Sam and three friends these no sew teddy kits and they all sat on zoom together. The teddies are lovely quality”

Claire used Splodge Teddy Parties

7. Indoor sleep-over Tent Parties.

I love this idea and they are great for including siblings too (or anyone in your bubble) and also good for winter birthdays too…maybe team it up with a cinema night and hot choc?

Check out The Event Boutique on Facebook.

8. Outdoor cinema

Definitely one for summer birthdays but this would be so special for any child! We may even be allowed people in the garden when the weather starts improving.

For outdoor cinema hire check out Undefined Group

9. A Garden Festival

Nicola told me “we bought bunting flags for the garden, we set up games like hook a duck, bean bag toss, plate spinning and giant Jenga. I bought face paints, flower garlands, face gems and we made our own tie dye t-shirts to wear. We got some wrist bands made too. We had festival/carnival food like candy floss, chocolate apples, hot dogs and fries etc. It was fab”

10. Involve the neighbours!

I loved this idea from Jennifer “For my daughters 1st birthday, I posted on our village page inviting people to fill our windows up with rainbows, notes etc. It was lovely some people we didn’t know, some kids made birthday cards for her and it just made us feel a bit less isolated”

I also LOVED this photo!

AND FINALLY!

A Cake Smash with Tiny Baby Studio! Celebrate the most special birthday of them all..their FIRST birthay. We can create some fun portraits using your favourite colours or theme. Let them have fun and big brother or sister can join in too. And if everything just gets too messy we can end with a splash. (Photography studios are not able to open in Tier 4 or National Lockdown)

VE Day 75 – Let’s Celebrate at Home!

A few years ago, plans were put in place for this important occasion and even the Bank Holiday was moved from the Monday to the Friday causing havoc for diary suppliers hehe! While celebrations for VE Day will be different to planned this year, there are still plenty of ways to mark the occasion with you family at home. I hope this blog post will give you some ideas on how to mark the occasion at home. Continue reading “VE Day 75 – Let’s Celebrate at Home!”

Teenagers….rare as hen’s teeth in my studio!

Earlier this year my niece turned 14.  We were chatting one day and I was asking her what she’d like for her birthday…..I suggested a photoshoot in my studio and she asked if she could being some friends. I then thought it would be lovely to get their hair and make up done as an extra treat. It was a really fabulous day!

Teenagers seem to be the least photographed in my studio. I am always busy with newborn, babies, 1 years olds and their cake smashes and then I am also used to having older siblings but they are generally under 10. It’s rare to have older children and that’s a shame as I absolutely love teenagers and older children.  They must the the most photographed generation in history through things like Snapchat, Instagram, Tik Tok and god knows what else I’ve never heard of, but when was the last time you had a professional photo of your teen? It’s an important part of their life and we always say babies change so much but teenagers seem to change even more…and faster! Many are on the cusp of adulthood and about to make their own strides in life, for some this might be still far in the distance but I’ll bet their individuality is showing and I’ll also bet they are pushing the boundaries.

In the US, ‘Senior Photoshoots” are very popular. They are taken in their last year of High School and are about celebrating a life stage – for many teens, their entire senior year is filled with milestones, and it is definitely one worth noting and celebrating in many ways.

Our social circle is very important. I think back to my school days and how my close friends would influence my life…my clothing choices or the music I listened to. I do have a few grainy photos from school but I mainly only have memories of those people and they are fading fast with age! Many teens are involved in sporting clubs, dance classes or are part of other organisations. Those friends groups are key to their well being and their growth into adulthood.

So when my niece, Lola, invited her swimming friends along…I was over the moon! They are all super talented swimmers from Gateshead and Whickham Amateur Swimming Club. I was also so happy to have assistance from Claire from Claire Alexander Make Up Artist  and Sophie from Hair and Make up from Sophie  who did a beautiful job of the hair and make up. I asked them to keep the styling very low key as I wanted the girls to look as natural as possible.

I researched some poses beforehand a I wanted to be as natural a possible and gave the girls an idea of what to wear…again very simple. So let’s see a before shot!

Teenager photography

Teenager senior

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a different aspect to the work in my studio and if you would like to arrange a photoshoot for your teen and their friends, just drop me a line!

Karen x

Tiny Baby Studio

Reducing Anxiety : Tips to help with promoting calm and well being during lockdown

As you know my studio is closed and I find myself in a position where I am really missing lots of things about my job. The main thing I am missing is the people who walk through my door! The smiles, the adoration of their new baby, their pregnancy and birth stories and in 6 years I’ve NEVER tired of this, it gives me a real buzz! I was also acutely aware that being pregnant, giving birth and living with a new baby at home, during lockdown, is extremely scary. So I decided I wanted to help.

Continue reading “Reducing Anxiety : Tips to help with promoting calm and well being during lockdown”

Missing your Baby Shower? How about a Sip and See Party?

A little while ago I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw that a friend had held a “Sip and See” party following the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Avaya. My first thought was “What’s a Sip and see Party”? You might be having similar thoughts! It’s definitely not something I’ve heard of before!

Continue reading “Missing your Baby Shower? How about a Sip and See Party?”

16 Free online activities for children during lockdown

This blog post came about after a chat with a friend of mine who is currently in a similar situation to many, stuck at home with two small children. Social media has been a lifeline for many of us, allowing us to keep in touch easily, giving us access to some amazing resources and information being shared by friends and family. But there are some, like my friend, who choose not to use social media or avoid it for personal reasons and it made the think about the amazing resources she might be missing out on!

Continue reading “16 Free online activities for children during lockdown”

Be in the shot! Parents need to be included with newborn photos!

Taking photos of babies is more than just pressing a button for me. The joy I get from seeing the start of a new family is real and gives me a great feeling! I love seeing baby being gently carried into the studio by very proud parents who are dying to show off this cute new arrival.

Continue reading “Be in the shot! Parents need to be included with newborn photos!”

Tips for a Good Newborn Session at Tiny Baby Studio

I love setting up the studio for a session, making the room toasty warm and choosing the props and colour scheme while waiting with anticipation to meet this incredible new little person! But I am aware that from a parents point of view it can seem a little daunting and you might feel a little apprehensive especially as it might be the first time you’ve left the house with your baby. So I thought I would try and put your mind at rest and let you know what to expect and how best to plan for the session. Continue reading “Tips for a Good Newborn Session at Tiny Baby Studio”

What’s in store at Tiny Baby Studio in 2019?

January is always a time to reflect and I’ve done that HERE with a rundown of what’s happened in the studio and also HERE with the 2018 weddings, but it’s also the time when I get out my notebook and brainstorm some plans for the coming year. I do this a lot and it’s interesting to look back at the list I did last year! Continue reading “What’s in store at Tiny Baby Studio in 2019?”

Tiny Baby Studio Recommends the Best Blogs for Parents

My daughter was born in 1992. Just to reflect on that for a moment… that was BEFORE THE INTERNET!! I know many of you won’t even understand what on earth I’m talking about but we got our information from newspapers, noticeboards in shop windows or just from chatting in the queue at supermarkets. Times have changed and now parents have a wealth of brilliant information at their fingertips with just a click, tap or swipe.  Continue reading “Tiny Baby Studio Recommends the Best Blogs for Parents”