Is your baby turning 1 soon?

Are you looking for ideas that will help you make this very precious moment memorable… even with current restrictions?

Well… look no more! 

Here are my top suggestions to make sure you and baby have a day to remember. 

Hold a virtual birthday party

There are great many online platforms that will facilitate this, allowing you to host online calls with more than 2 participants.

Zoom, Google Meet, Skype… and even Facebook (I am sure you have used at least one or two of them…)!

Once you are all set for your call, here are some things to consider:

  • Decorations – if you want a theme running through your virtual celebration…
    Pinterest is a great source for inspiration and Tantrum Events (add link) is a great source locally for balloons and decorations. If you are having a virtual party with family and friends then consider arranging with them beforehand for them to use similar decorations in their homes.
  • Food – This is a great excuse to have a lovely wee afternoon tea, you could suggest a menu that your guests prepare beforehand to enjoy together.  
  • Gifts – Many local business like Kid-Nap are offering a click and collect service (add link) or you could create an amazon wish list for this and your guests could arrange to have them sent to you before the day so they can see you open their gifts.
  • Record the moment – Throughout the party you and your guests can take images from their perspective with a view to putting together an album or a guest booking using an app, Free Prints is easy to use and their service is generally very quick!  Also keep a note of all those who attend its amazing how quickly we forget these small details!!

Girl celebrating her first birthday with a white ONE sing balloons and bunting

Video message

This may be a little time consuming and will take some forward planning but I am sure it will be much loved and appreciated.  

Ask your family and friends to give baby a video message by recording it on their phone before sending it over to you – this could include any significant moments, first time they met, funny stories. 

You can then use one of the many free apps such as iMovie, Adobe Spark, Wevideo (find one to suit your skill level and device) to bring all the messages together and display then on a tablet or if you want to make a real occasion of it surround your tv with balloons and banners before playing the messages. 

You could even record baby’s reaction when they first see it – just keep the messages short and ask the speakers to use babies name often to keep their attention. 

Be sure to store the compilation somewhere safe and also make backup copies! 

Paint a picture…

Painting a picture with your baby is a simple, special and creative way to celebrate their first birthday which will result in a beautiful keepsake for them as well.  

This is an easy activity to organise, all you need is some paints (make sure they are suitable for tiny hands).

Something to paint on, I would recommend using a stretched canvas for the print if you planning it as a keepsake.

Something for baby to wear – an old t-shirt or shirt is ideal

Somewhere to paint – give yourself lots of space and cover the floor in an old sheet or newspaper that is easily cleared up 

Once set up you can let baby freestyle with either their fingers or a paint brush or you can lead the painting by drawing their favourite animal for them to colour it.  

You could also Include a hand and/or footprint which will add a very personal touch and be sure to write the date on the finished artwork so you know exactly when it was done. 

Create a birthday time capsule

However you decide to celebrate your child’s birthday in lockdown, you may love this idea of creating a memory box or a birthday time capsule.  

Document your child’s special lockdown birthday by gathering keepsakes and place them in your child’s birthday time capsule. You can either bury this time capsule in a safe place and dig it out when they turn 18, you can hide it and wrap it up for a special birthday or other occasion when they are older, or you could bring it out each year and add to it.

Include as much if as little as you want from the day to preserve the essence of the day, the mood, the laughter and happy smiles, the whole atmosphere. 

Here is a small list of things you could include in the time capsule:

  1. Photos – lots and lots of photos. As a parent, play the role of a fly on the wall and capture as many details of your kids special birthday as possible. 

    Print them out and pop them in the time capsule so your child can re-live all the memories when they get older.  
  2. national newspaper from the day of their birthday and your local newspaper for that week. 

This will provide great context for when your child opens the time capsule in years to come. Having a birthday celebration during lockdown during a global pandemic is not something that happens every day on every birthday and so providing this context will help understand your kids about the time of their lockdown birthday party.

  • Include a drawing they’ve done on the day, or a lovely hand print artwork.
  • Keep some of the balloons or banners in the box.
  • Keep the birthday cards and wishes your birthday boy or birthday girl will receive in the time capsule.
  • Special letters from mum, dad, siblings (where applicable), grandparents and best friends.
  • Party hat and confetti if you had them on the day.
  • A poster for your child’s favourite TV character 
  • Current map or google earth printout of your home.
  • Make a list of people, family members and friends who helped make your little one’s lockdown birthday special.
  • If you opt in for having a take-away from your local, include the menu and circle the food your birthday boy or birthday girl enjoyed on their birthday.

If you would prefer something a little more straight forward…


Weather permitting take a family picnic to the park or the beach if you have older siblings you could encourage them to dress up as their favourite character to make it extra special.

Plant a tree or shrub in the garden which you can tend to through out the year and decorate on their birthday. 

Special Outfit

Order something special for them to wear then once it is too small have it framed (your local framer can help with this) or made into a teddy which I am sure they will treasure for years to come! 

What ever you decide to do make sure that you enjoy the day.  

In all likelihood baby won’t remember any of it but you will and it is your memories that you will pass on to them so try to stay positive and make the best of these very strange times and once baby is asleep treat yourself and your partner you deserve it!!! 


If you would like to keep up to date with what is happening at Fiona McKean Photography please follow me on Facebook or Instagram and if you would like to know more about a Fiona McKean Family Portrait click here…