Celebrating Holidays From Home in 2021

It’s no secret that the world has changed a lot in the past year, and so many aspects of our lives are different—from the way our kids learn, to the ways we interact with family and friends, to the ways we celebrate holidays. 

I wanted to share my ideas on how to make holidays at home special for your kids, even when gathering with others outside your home isn’t possible. Whether you want to plan a virtual Easter party, make a lockdown birthday special or just find ways to celebrate everyday occasions with your kids at home, I hope you find some inspiration and ideas! Because just like when the Grinch tried to steal Christmas, and the Whos in Whoville celebrated anyway, you might just find your family connecting even more to one another and discovering new meaning behind your favorite holidays.

Ideas for virtual celebrations with kids

Planning a virtual party with friends and family? Here are a few Zoom-friendly ideas for things to do with kids. (Not going virtual? Scroll down for my ideas on what to do at home, screen-free.)  

Play a virtual game!
There are no shortage of kid-friendly games that can be played virtually as a group! Most games work best if one host shares their screen while everyone else participates along with them. Here are a few game ideas that will have everyone laughing no matter how old they are: 

- Mad Libs: The host can type in the words that everyone suggests, then read out the wacky story you all created together! 
- Bingo: You can create a custom bingo game, then email a bingo card to each guest or family to use during the call. 
- Trivia: The website Kahoot! has tons of pre-made trivia games on all different themes, or you can even create your own custom quiz.  
-Virtual freeze dance: Want something with little to no prep needed? Put on a fun playlist, have everyone dance along, and freeze when the music stops—the silliest pose wins!

Cook or Bake Together!
Choose a recipe ahead of time and email it to each participant or family, so you can cook together on video and then enjoy the meal at the same time. You could choose a fun new dinner dish or even make it simple, like decorating cookies

Want more ideas on hosting a virtual dinner party? I found this handy guide from The Family Dinner Project. 

Choose a Video Call Theme!
Have the kids help you choose a theme for your virtual party, and have everyone dress to suit the theme! The possibilities are endless—you could have everyone dress in green for a St Patrick’s Day celebration, dress in florals for a spring or Easter party, wear their most fancy outfit, or wear a silly costume. 

*Tech Tips*
Coordinating a call with multiple friends or family members? Designate one or two people to be the “tech coordinators.” They can help find a time that works for everyone—Doodle is a great tool to easily find others’ availability—send out invites and joining instructions for your call, share their screen for activities and games, and be a go-to troubleshooter if Grandma has trouble logging in. This is a helpful list for learning about the different video call platforms.

Fun ways to celebrate holidays at home with your family

Not planning a virtual celebration with others? There are still tons of ways to make COVID-19 holidays fun for your kids. Here are a few ideas: 

Brainstorm a List of Wacky & Fun Activities!
Let your kids’ imaginations run wild: let them think up activities they’d love the whole family to do. A few thought-starters: making slime, making an epic pillow fort, eating ice cream for dinner, a family talent show, a backyard obstacle course, having a treasure hunt, or inventing your own board game. Put all the ideas in a hat, then choose a few to do during your at-home celebration!

Find even more ideas on this list from Today's Parent!

Make it About Giving Back!
Have a discussion as a family about the importance of helping others. Are there ways you can give back as a family to help others have a special holiday too?

You could take on a virtual volunteer project together—like checking in on neighbors who are elderly, have disabilities, or might otherwise need help with things like grocery drop-offs. Or you could organize a food drive by spreading the word online and having people drop off donations on your porch to give to the food bank. You could even just write positive, encouraging messages in sidewalk chalk on your driveway. Even the smallest things can make a big difference!

Find more virtual volunteering ideas here.

Learn How To Make Homemade Decorations!
You could make dyed eggs for Easter, shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day, or paper flower garlands for spring. Let the kids decorate the house any way they like to make your at-home holiday extra special.