The lockdown to prevent the spread of the coronavirus has closed and cancelled every public gathering, but one celebration has to continue: the humble birthday.

Well, they were perhaps not meant to have been humble but now, without a party with throngs of friends, people around the country are enjoying their birthdays with those in their bubble.

That's left a lot of explaining to do for parents of young children still coming to grips with being locked inside their home for four weeks.

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George Stevens was meant to have a big party for his fifth birthday today.

About 50 friends were to join him at his Auckland home.

Mum Nadia ordered a big cake for the occasion but that had been put on hold until after the lockdown has been lifted.

"He wanted an Angry Birds party, and of course I hadn't been able to order anything Angry Birds. We just explained to him, 'mate, because of the lockdown and coronavirus, we can't have a big party but we'll have it later'.

Birthday boy George Stevens, 5, with older sister, Violet, 6. Photo / Alex Burton
Birthday boy George Stevens, 5, with older sister, Violet, 6. Photo / Alex Burton

"We had to literally make it up today."

She was thankful for how organised she had been with his present - spying a deal for a new bike online a few weeks ago.

It had meant just leaving a few last-minute treats to buy at her local Countdown in recent days.

"We're making a cake today but there was no flour at the supermarket, so I've had to buy a cake mix. Things like that, it's quite funny."

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Despite all the stress Stevens had put herself through, her son was none the wiser, she said.

"He doesn't realise but I feel bad for him.

"The poor little guy was supposed to start school today, but he's not. Instead, he's home with his sister."

Asked what he wanted for his birthday, apart from an Angry Birds theme, George had told his parents: chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, bacon and egg pie for dinner and a chocolate cake.

"Typical 5-year-old thinking with his stomach, but that's quite good."

She said her children were aware of Covid-19 but they'd had enough of it now.

"The kids have said to me a couple of times they can't wait for the coronavirus to go.

"I think they realise there are limitations because of it. But I think he does get it, that it's a different kind of birthday, and he's not unhappy at all.

"He's being fussed over."

Technology was helping him stay in touch. A Zoom party had been organised with daycare friends this morning, and another with family this afternoon.

The day would be topped with a family screening of the Angry Birds movie.

Baxter Scott, 5, with his new birthday present and his teddy bears at the dining table ready to party on Saturday morning. Photo / Chelsea Scott
Baxter Scott, 5, with his new birthday present and his teddy bears at the dining table ready to party on Saturday morning. Photo / Chelsea Scott

Baxter Scott also missed out on a big party for his fifth birthday on Saturday.

However, mum Chelsea said although her son didn't get to experience what they had planned, he still had fun.

"He was going to have a big party with his mates but then we cancelled when we could see what was coming.

However, they had a few surprises for him, including tying a piece of string from his door handle around the house ... finally leading to his present.

Baxter Scott, right, with older brother, Monty, 8. Photo / Chelsea Scott
Baxter Scott, right, with older brother, Monty, 8. Photo / Chelsea Scott

They'd also decorated the family dinner table with his teddy bears wearing party hats.

It was topped off with waffles for dinner and a family dance party.

"Considering I thought it might be a bit of a downer, it was actually just a really nice day for everyone to lift the spirits.

"He just loved being the centre of attention and had a really cool day anyway.

"We told him next year he can have a really big one. Here's hoping that's the case."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website