23 ideas to make your family Zoom holiday party actually fun

Games, activities, conversation starters—plus, how to choose the right platform for your fam.

virtual holiday party ideas for families
@ivi_lichi/Twenty20

In this pandemic holiday season, we're missing our friends, family and "framily" (friends who feel like family). We can't get together in person, even for a simple family dinner, with those who matter so much to us. But as the loneliness of social distancing and the anxiety of the crisis set in, getting together can feel more important than ever.

So how can you manage to safely share a meal when you can't be in the same place?

Here is a step-by-step guide to connecting virtually for a family holiday gathering during the pandemic—or any time when you can't get together in person.


Setting the scene for a virtual family holiday gathering

When everyone's sitting in front of their individual screens, it can be hard to figure out how to settle into a rhythm—and even harder to know when to log off. Try choosing a way to start and end your virtual holiday gathering so the beginning and end are clear.

For example, you might start with everyone doing a show-and-tell of their food, or ask "If you wrote a newspaper article about your day, what would the headline be?" To wrap up, you could ask "What are three words you'd use to describe our dinner tonight?" or "What's one thing you're looking forward to the next time we do this together?"

And remember: The typical family dinner is only about 20 minutes long, so you don't have to spend hours online together (unless you really want to). When you set up your virtual dinner, choose a time frame that's ideally 60 minutes or less, and try to keep expectations clear during the event. "Now that we've all had dessert, how about we play one last game and then sign off?"

7 games + activities for virtual family holiday gatherings

Seeing your friends and family members, even on screens, could be fun enough all on its own. But it can also be difficult to communicate and interact quite as freely in the virtual world as you do in real life. Having a game or two ready can provide a way for everyone to jump in and participate in a truly memorable virtual dinner. With the current pandemic and social isolation being so stressful for many, you might want to start by checking in on how people are doing before introducing a game—but on the other hand, a game could be the perfect distraction.

Here are a few game ideas that are especially video-chat-friendly for getting everybody involved:

1. Two truths and a tall tale

This is game is fun as an opener or ice breaker for your gathering. Each person takes a turn telling three "facts" about themselves—but the twist is that one of the "facts" is actually untrue. The others have to guess which statement was a "tall tale."

2. Rose, thorn and bud

Each person takes a turn telling about their "roses" (things that they're grateful for or that make them happy at the moment), "thorns" (something that's a disappointment or a difficult moment from the day), and "buds" (something they're looking forward to or hope to do). If you get the feeling that people are really having trouble finding the bright side due to the pandemic, you might change it to "Cactus Flower" and let everyone name things that are really difficult, along with a few things they're looking forward to when the crisis has passed.

3. Charades

Playing Charades is perfect for online gatherings. To make it easy for players to come up with ideas, you can try using a theme, like "book titles" or "movies." Or you can pass around the link to an online Charades generator, which will suggest ideas for players to act out.

4. Photo caption contests

As long as you're meeting online anyway, get some inspiration from the internet! Take turns sending images that you've found online, and ask each person to submit a funny caption. Vote for your favorites or just enjoy the laughs.

5. Story by sentence

This game is especially good for mixed age groups, since even young children tend to be good at coming up with stories. Have one person begin telling a story. After they've spoken a sentence, another person continues the story with their own sentence. Keep going until someone says "The End." When you're doing this online, it's important to have an order established ahead of time to avoid confusion, so assign each person a number or use another method like going in age order or geographic location (East to West for example, or North to South).

6. Name that tune

As long as your audio connection is a good one, you can play "Name That Tune" online or even over the phone. One person hums a tune without the words, and others have to guess what song they've chosen.

7. Online trivia

Sometimes a good old-fashioned trivia contest is an easy way to pass the time together. If your group likes to play trivia, you can either ask each person to gather any trivia cards they might have on hand, or send links to different trivia sites. The goal would be to try to have each person using a different set of questions, so nobody has the answers right at their fingertips!

Opt for free apps like Saga to help record and share stories together, from anywhere.

15 conversation starters for virtual family holiday parties

In the excitement of gathering for your virtual meal, you probably won't have too much trouble finding things to talk about. However, every dinner party has its moments of silence. And because sustaining a multi-person conversation online can be tricky, with more opportunity for people to talk over one another or monopolize the chat, it's a good idea to have some conversation starters chosen ahead of time. Posing a good conversation starter or two can help everyone to feel invited to contribute and keep the communication flowing.

You can get a fun and thought-provoking selection of conversation starters served up by visiting the conversation page on Family Dinner Project and hitting the "Start the Conversation" button. Each time you click, you'll see a new idea.

Or use one of the tried and true conversation starters below! The questions here work for many different age groups and could be appropriate to ask a newer friend, or your closest family member.

  1. Talk about a time you stood up for someone else. What happened? How did you feel?
  2. What is a trait of someone in your family that you admire?
  3. If you could invite any historical figure, living or dead, to dinner, who would you choose? What would you serve? What would you want to ask them?
  4. Tell a story of a time you learned something unexpected from someone else.
  5. When people talk about you 100 years from now, what do you hope they will say?
  6. What's the most unusual gift you've ever received?
  7. What was (or is) a favorite toy or game from your childhood? What made it special to you?
  8. What's something you've always wanted to learn to do?
  9. If you could make money doing anything in the world, what would you do?
  10. If you were a season, which season would you be and why?
  11. If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, what animal would you choose?
  12. What would your dream vacation be?
  13. What was the happiest day of your life so far?
  14. What's something you did this week that you can be proud of?
  15. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you want to live? Why?

Which platform is best for virtual family holiday gatherings?

Deciding how to connect is at once the most basic and the most complicated part of the evening. We recommend that you designate a host for the evening. That person should invite the guests and make sure that each person is able to connect. There are lots of virtual platforms you could choose. Here's a short list of options that we know have worked for various virtual dinner parties:

1. Facebook or Instagram Chat

Pros:

  • Free
  • Easy to access as long as people are already Facebook or Instagram users

Cons:

  • Not accessible if guests don't have Facebook or Instagram accounts
  • Doesn't work well for groups of more than 5 or 6 people

2. Facetime

Pros:

  • Free
  • Allows about 30 people on chat
  • High quality and fun filters

Cons:

  • Only available to Apple users

3. Google Meet/Google Hangouts

Pros:
  • Free
  • Allows up to 25 people
  • Guests only need a Google account to join
  • Allows guests to join by phone if video is not an option
Cons:
  • Video feature can lag or freeze
  • Works best in Chrome browser

4. Skype

Pros:

  • Free
  • Allows up to 25 people

Cons:

  • Users have to download the Skype app and create an account to access, or use "Meet Now" with app installation if they don't have an account

5. Zoom

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Good video quality and chat feature
  • Allows users to join by phone if video is not an option
  • Allows up to 100 guests and has features like "breakout rooms" that can be used with smaller groups for games or side conversations
  • While free accounts usually only allow up to 40 minutes of connection at a time, Zoom recently announced that there will be no time limit for meetings on free accounts on Thanksgiving Day.

Cons:

  • On days other than Thanksgiving Day 2020, free accounts only allow up to 40 minutes of connection at a time
  • For meetups lasting longer than 40 minutes, you'll need a paid account (starting at around $15 per month)

Need a little help getting kids to practice gratitude?

Gracious Gobbler bundle

Gracious Gobbler bundle

Enjoy this bundle that includes a plush turkey, a picture book and a pack of 28 note cards to help little ones create a world of kindness.

$40

A version of this post appeared on Family Dinner Project

How one company is making a huge difference for LGBTQ youth

Take notes, all you other brands, this is how it's done

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

This article is sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

We spoke to Chris Bright (he/she/they), Director of Public Training at The Trevor Project, who works closely with H&M. Chris shared with us the Trevor Project's important mission, and what all brands should do to best support LGBTQ youth today.

1. For those that do not know, what is The Trevor Project's mission? What is it all about and its impact on society?

The Trevor Project is the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people, and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. Our mission is to end suicide among the estimated 1.8 million LGBTQ youth under the age of 25 in the U.S. who seriously consider suicide each year.

Founded in 1998, The Trevor Project launched TrevorLifeline, the first 24/7 national lifeline supporting LGBTQ youth in crisis alongside HBO's broadcast of the Academy Award-winning short film Trevor. The first calls were answered that night. Since then, we have grown from reaching several thousand LGBTQ youth per year to becoming the preeminent resource for LGBTQ young people in crisis, directly serving over 200K LGBTQ young people in the last fiscal year alone. We work tirelessly to save young lives by providing support through our free and confidential crisis programs on platforms where young people spend their time — online and on the phone. In addition to TrevorLifeline, we offer 24/7 digital crisis services including TrevorText and TrevorChat, as well as TrevorSpace, the world's largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth.


H&M + The Trevor Project

2. Can you describe the nature of the relationship/partnership the Trevor Project has with H&M?

Our collaboration with H&M has been remarkably successful, with H&M driving awareness of The Trevor Project and our services among its audience while also demonstrating its strong support of LGBTQ young people. H&M first partnered with us in December 2020 during our "Every Single One" holiday campaign, where they donated $250K in matching funds for Giving Tuesday. This helped The Trevor Project have our best-ever Giving Tuesday moment.

Our work together has had extensive impact, allowing H&M to engage employees, customers, and community members in conversations about LGBTQ Allyship through Trevor's resources and mission. We're thankful for H&M's support, which helps us continue to operate and improve our 24/7 life-saving crisis services so we can serve more LGBTQ young people.

3. Why was H&M the right company to partner with?

H&M is an established yet relevant brand that has the attention of young people, and we're always so thankful to partner with youth-facing brands that can not only spread messages of love and support, but also can increase the awareness of our crisis services and resources. We know that H&M genuinely cares about creating a better future for LGBTQ young people.

4. What do you see as the biggest challenge or struggle for LGBTQ kids today?

LGBTQ youth are incredibly diverse, with so many intersecting identities and unique experiences — making it difficult for me to pinpoint what might be the single biggest challenge or struggle for all LGBTQ youth today.

What I can say, however, is our research reveals numerous challenges or struggles that may be more prevalent across the board for LGBTQ youth. According to our 2021 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health, which captures the experiences of nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13 to 24 across the U.S., nearly 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth. Over 94% of LGBTQ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health and more than 80% of LGBTQ youth stated that COVID-19 made their living situation more stressful.

What's clear is that while there is no single biggest challenge or struggle for our LGBTQ youth today, it's critical that we find ways to uplift and support each and every LGBTQ young person that we can.

5. Since it's back to school time, are there stressors or situations that are uniquely heightened for LGBTQ youth, other than the standard new school year jitters, that people don't necessarily know about?

Our research has found that LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one LGBTQ-affirming space had 35% reduced odds of attempting suicide in the past year, with LGBTQ-affirming school environments having the strongest association with reduced suicide attempts. Since the onset of COVID-19, the volume of youth reaching out to us has significantly increased, at times nearly double our pre-COVID volume. Feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anxiety have been heightened as a result of the pandemic, further emphasizing the need for LGBTQ youth to have access to spaces that affirm their identities, such as gender-neutral bathrooms, trans-inclusive sports, and positive extracurricular activities such as Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs).

LGBTQ youth who reported having at least one accepting adult — whether it be teachers, coaches, or counselors — were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. The Trevor Project created the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention, which includes requirements for teacher training, mental health instruction for students, and policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention. Now, more than ever, it is crucial that as in-person learning returns, schools provide LGBTQ students with safe learning environments where they can feel empowered, supported, and accepted by their peers and educators.

H&M + the Trevor Project

6. In what way is the support that The Trevor Project provides crucial to LGBTQ youth, especially as it pertains to suicide prevention?

The support that The Trevor Project provides is so crucial because suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people — and LGBTQ youth are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight or cis peers. LGBTQ youth reach out to Trevor because we are LGBTQ-affirming and a trusted provider of crisis services. All of our volunteers are highly-trained to answer calls, chats, and text from LGBTQ youth 24/7 when they are feeling suicidal or need a safe, non-judgmental place to talk.

Almost three-quarters of youth stated that they either would not or were unsure if they would have another service if The Trevor Project did not exist. We aim to be there for every young LGBTQ person in crisis with a clear message: you are loved, your life has value, and you are never alone.

7. What do you think the responsibility is for brands to be involved in pro-social, activism-related work?

Everyone can play a role in creating change and building progress in our society. Brands — especially those with large platforms and influence — have a responsibility to fulfill that role as well. We recognize H&M and our other brand partners for helping spur progress on important issues, and we encourage others to follow suit. Beyond the essential financial support that brands can provide to nonprofits like The Trevor Project, there's also a direct benefit for the community when brands are loud about their support of Pride; we've found that more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community positively impact how they feel about being LGBTQ. Finally, it's important to remember that Pride doesn't begin and end in June — the opportunity to support Pride is 365 days a year. We are thrilled to have H&M as a year-round partner for The Trevor Project, demonstrating their authentic support for our work.

8. What is one of the biggest impacts or positive results you have seen come from the partnership between The Trevor Project and H&M?

We wouldn't be able to do the work we do and make the progress we've made without our brand partners like H&M. The Trevor Project has experienced significant growth in the last few years with the implementation of our five key program areas: crisis services, peer support, research, education and public awareness, and advocacy. Since 2019, we've been working to scale our volunteer training to increase the number of crisis services counselors on a yearly basis. In addition to original, intersectional monthly research briefs, our research team launched the world's largest survey of LGBTQ youth mental health in 2019, and has released a total of three national, annual reports. We've ramped up Trevor's advocacy work on the local, state, and federal levels to protect the rights of LGBTQ people, including bills to protect LGBTQ youth from conversion therapy that have been in introduced in 40 states. H&M's partnership helps us advance this work by raising significant funds and awareness for our mission. During June 2021, when H&M served as one of our key Pride Partners, our crisis counselors served over 19,500 crisis contacts with free, confidential support via phone, chat, and text.

9. How important is it for LGBTQ+ youth to see allies in popular culture, be it a celebrity or high profile person, mainstream brand, etc.?

LGBTQ representation in the mainstream media is extremely important as it makes LGBTQ youth feel seen, validated, and confident that they are not alone. Over 80% of youth said that celebrities who are LGBTQ positively influence how they feel about being LGBTQ, and more than half of youth said brands who support the LGBTQ community have a positive impact on their LGBTQ identity. As we continue to see increased visibility for marginalized communities in popular culture, diverse images will become normalized, which in turn creates a safer, more accepting world for all of us.

10. For people who want to get involved with a cause like The Trevor Project, what is the best way to make a difference?

There are a number of ways to get involved with The Trevor Project – from making a donation (TheTrevorProject.org/Donate) to applying to be a volunteer (TheTrevorProject.org/Volunteer) to spreading the word about our resources.

Affirming spaces and support systems work to save young LGBTQ lives. People can be active in their communities to ensure that more safe, affirming spaces are available and thriving. Even making an effort to respect someone's pronouns and encouraging those around you to do the same can make a huge difference. Our research has also found that LGBTQ youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt. If you get the opportunity, be that one person for a young person in your life.

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project's trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat www.TheTrevorProject.org/Help, or by texting START to 678678.

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This incredibly soft comforter from Sunday Citizen is like sleeping on a cloud

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

When it comes to getting a good night's sleep, there are many factors that, as a mama, are hard to control. Who's going to wet the bed at 3 am, how many times a small person is going to need a sip of water, or the volume of your partner's snoring are total wildcards.

One thing you can control? Tricking out your bed to make it as downright cozy as possible. (And in these times, is there anywhere you want to be than your bed like 75% of the time?)

I've always been a down comforter sort of girl, but after a week of testing the ridiculously plush and aptly named Snug Comforter from Sunday Citizen, a brand that's run by "curators of soft, seekers of chill" who "believe in comfort over everything," it's safe to say I've been converted.


Honestly, it's no wonder. Originally designed as a better blanket for luxury hotels and engineered with textile experts to create this uniquely soft fabric, it has made my bed into the vacation I so desperately want these days.

The comforter is made up of two layers. On one side is their signature knit "snug" fabric which out-cozies even my most beloved (bought on sale) cashmere sweater. The other, a soft quilted microfiber. Together, it creates a weighty blanket that's as soothing to be under as it is to flop face-first into at the end of an exhausting day. Or at lunch. No judgement.

Miraculously, given the weight and construction, it stays totally breathable and hasn't left me feeling overheated even on these warm summer nights with just a fan in the window.

Beyond being the absolute most comfortable comforter I've found, it's also answered my minimalist bed making desires. Whether you opt to use it knit or quilted side up, it cleanly pulls the room together and doesn't wrinkle or look unkempt even if you steal a quick nap on top of it.

Also worth noting, while all that sounds super luxe and totally indulgent, the best part is, it's equally durable. It's made to be easily machine washed and come out the other side as radically soft as ever, forever, which totally helps take the sting out of the price tag.

My only complaint? I've slept through my alarm twice.

Here is my top pick from Sunday Citizen, along with the super-soft goods I'm coveting for future purchases.

Woodland Snug comforter

Sunday-Citizen-Woodland-Snug-comforter

The bedroom anchor I've been looking for— the Snug Comforter.

$249

Braided Pom Pom Throw

Because this degree of coziness needs portability, I'm totally putting the throw version on my list. It's washable, which is a must-have given my shedding dog and two spill-prone kiddos who are bound to fight over it during family movie night.

$145

Lumbar pillow

sunday-citizen-lumbar-pillow

What's a cozy bed without a pile of pillows?

$65

Crystal infused sleep mask

sunday citizen sleep mask

Promoting sleep by creating total darkness and relaxation, I've bookmarked as my go-to gift for fellow mamas.

$40

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Motherly created the flexible online birth class moms need

The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.

Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you've been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn't as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, "Where will this tiny new human sleep?" And before you know it, it's the third trimester—and, well, then you're in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!

All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.

And that's why we created The Motherly Birth Class. The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.


Think you'll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!

Due date's next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!

Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.

Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote "The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama"), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We'll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it's time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.

When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you'll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you'll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)

Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.

Pregnancy is wonderful—but it's a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.

You've got this.

Sign up for The Motherly Birth Class today!

The Motherly Birth Class

pregnant-woman-looking-at-her-belly

Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We'll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.

$79

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it's warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it's cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.

So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these indoor outdoor toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.


Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don't think it will be put away too often!)

$139

Secret Agent play set

Plan-Toys-Secret-agent-play-set

This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Stepping Stones

Stepping-stones

Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.

$99.99

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Sensory play set

kidoozie-sand-and-splash-activity-table

Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$19.95

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Foam pogo stick

Flybar-my-first-foam-pogo-stick

Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord "stick" is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don't let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.

$16.99

Dumptruck 

green-toys-dump-truck

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It's made from recycled plastic milk cartons.

$22

Hopper ball

Hopper ball

Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it's thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.

$14.99

Pull-along ducks

janod-pull-along-wooden-ducks

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$16.99

Rocking chair seesaw

Slidewhizzer-rocking-chair-seesaw

This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.

$79.99

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$79.99

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$24.75

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18 stylish-but-comfy pieces to refresh your wardrobe this fall (and everything's under $75!)

From school pickup to working from home, these pieces will freshen up your closet without breaking the bank.

Freedom Company

What is trending in the world of fashion changes every year. Keeping up with what's in style is challenging when you're a busy mama who's constantly cleaning up, preparing meals and working all day. That's a fact, so how can you possibly be expected to keep up with the latest clothing trends?

During the height of the pandemic, many of us became comfortable dressing down, going braless, and saying goodbye to snug jeans. But who says we can't tackle a look that is cozy and polished? From 2021-2022: biker shorts have begun replacing short-shorts, bright colors are trending, tie dye and retro patterns are making a major comeback, and let's not forget, joggers are the new skinny jeans. The accessories you choose will help others determine whether or not you're lounging around town post-yoga class or preparing for a job interview.

Replacing your entire wardrobe every year, however, is too expensive. But purchasing a few clothing items within your budget will help boost your self-esteem and keep you feeling proud with what you're wearing every day.

Bearing in mind that no two moms are alike, we narrowed down a list of must-have clothing items—there is a little something for everyone. And the best part? Each garment costs less than $75.

We carefully selected each piece based on several factors: pricing, quality, and the level of comfort. Enjoy browsing through our wide-ranging list, and of course, happy shopping!

Sensual Fashion Boutique Entro Terracotta Long Sleeve Tiered Ruffle Midi Dress

Not only is the color of this mid-length dress perfect for autumn but it's also lined and tiered with ruffle details, providing an added layer of warmth. The end of the sleeves and waist area have elastic for lovably chic vibes, and the v neck isn't too low cut for play dates and strolls through the park.

$49.99

Digital Print Tie-Dye Joggers

tie-dye-sweatpants

Go ahead: check out dresses, loungewear, and activewear on any clothing website and you're bound to find a wide array of tie dye options. Pair these high-quality, affordable joggers with a form fitting tee or crop top in the warmer months or a matching hoodie in the fall and winter.

$32

Nancy Rose Performance Stealie Tank

dyed-stealie-tank

Every one of Nancy Rose Performance's tanks are dyed by hand, so no two are the same. To make this an even better purchase, this flattering top is anti-odor, UV resistant, protective against germs and bacteria, and the fabric promotes healthy skin—does it get any better than that? The body hugging fit is comfortable, not too tight, and can be worn out of the house or even as a cozy pajama tank.

$62

H&M Shirt Jacket 

This loose-fitting shirt jacket literally matches with everything from dresses and rompers to joggers and jeans. We can't get enough of how delicately soft the 100% cotton feels—it's almost like you're wearing a throw blanket around your body.

$39.99

Freedom Company Babydoll Dress

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Available in four color variations, this flowy dress is an absolute staple in any moms' wardrobe. Some people prefer dressing it down with a pair of flip flops or sneakers, while others wear heels and a trendy scarf—making this an excellent option for any occasion. Bonus points: it's made from a buttery soft material, doesn't shrink in the wash, and there's even side pockets for convenience.

$75

​Smash + Tess The S + T Bada$$ Bike Short 

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So long, short-shorts—biker shorts are trending for good reason: they're versatile and cute as heck. You can wear them to a morning yoga class and then throughout the remainder of your day, while embracing the comfortability and vintage appeal. Smash + Tess is bringing sexy back with these dusty rose-colored shorts that can be worn with a loose-fitting tee, crop top, or camisole—honestly, there isn't much they can't match.

$40

​Socialite Shortie Cami Romper

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You're choosing both quality and affordability, and who doesn't want that? This romper comes in heather grey or black taupe and it's soft as jersey sheets. You can dress it up with a pair of wedges, sunglasses, and a casual cardigan, or pair this loose-fitting piece with flip flops for a chill and cozy appearance.

$45

​M.M.LA Fleur The Constance Dress -- Everstretch

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Doesn't every mama need a sexy black dress for date nights and special occasions? With Everstretch material, M.M.LaFleur's midi dress will quickly become your go-to for night's out in the town.

$70

Wolven Moonlight Mandala Reversible Four-Way Top

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A shirt that can be worn in four different ways, how unique is that? You can wear this as an all black shirt, a solid black shirt with a keyhole in the front, a printed shirt, or a printed shirt with a keyhole at the top of the front. Talk about convenience—you could wear the same shirt four times in one week and no one would be the wiser.

$68

MISSGUIDED Purple Floral Print Cut Out Skater Dress

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Why can't moms dress in cool clothing on the weekend or after work hours? Be daring: opt for a dress that has a low cut v-neck and also shows just enough of your back to make you feel sexy without being too revealing. The purple hues within the floral pattern are seriously gorgeous.

$23

L*SPACE Off Duty Short

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Flattering on all body types, these retro inspired gym shorts are made from ultra soft French terry rib fabric. No joke, you will want to wear these all day, forego pajamas, and keep these cuties on while you're sleeping at night.

$75

Onzie Biker Babe One Piece

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This one piece incorporates two of the biggest trends this year, tie dye and biker shorts. ONZIE created a form fitting outfit that can be worn at the gym, during your fave hot yoga class, or as a stylish option for everyday wear. We promise, you'll look like the coolest mom everywhere you go, because let's be real, you already are.

$66

​A Pea In The Pod BB Dakota Under Belly Maternity Jogger Pant

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Resembling fluffy cotton candy clouds, these joggers stretch to fit pregnant, postpartum moms (even if your kids are all grown up). Their timeless look blended with maximum comfort makes for the perfect pair of pants.

$33.97

​ASTR the LABEL Geraldine Lettuce Edge Top

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Not only is this crop top affordable, but you can quite literally match it with anything: biker shorts, skinny jeans, leggings, or skirts. The ruffled lettuce edge adds a nice touch, setting this shirt apart from all of the rest. Let's get rid of the stereotype that moms must cover up—why don't we show a little belly, feel proud of our bodies, and strut our stuff once in a while?

$28

​Frank and Oak The Oversized Tie Dye T-Shirt

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The loose fit of this tie dye shirt causes total comfort, and who doesn't want that? This tee pairs well with biker shorts, leggings, and skinny jeans. They're available in pink or green, so you can pick your fave or perhaps buy both!

$29.99

​LEZAT Jessie Brushed Jogger

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Affordable pricing? Check. High quality clothing? You bet! These joggers are made from extra soft, recycled nude pink fabric. For a matching set, you can add their cute cami to your shopping cart and still, your purchase will only come to a total of $60. We can't recommend this brand's clothing selection enough!

$40

​Peruvian Connection Conservatory Dress

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This dress can transition from summer to fall if you throw on a nice jacket and brown boots. Depending on how you choose to accessorize, you can dress it up casually or professionally.

$72

​Pistola Trina Muscle Tee

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Muscle tees are making a huge comeback for men and women alike. When the soft cotton material is cloaked in a feminine pattern, we're all bound to fall in love.

$68
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Manager's viral post about flexible working hours is making moms feel seen

Because life happens whether you're on the clock or not.

LinkedIn

If there's one thing we've all learned during these past 18 months, it's that we're capable of being a lot more flexible than we probably ever thought we could be. Because, well, we've had to be. Primarily when it comes to work.

We've all learned the importance of being a little more understanding, and one manager is hitting the nail on the head about being flexible at work in a LinkedIn post that has gone viral. And it's resonating with working moms, big time.


Raise your hand if you're a woman and you've found yourself apologizing to your colleagues and supervisors about having to duck out of work or call off because your kids are sick. How about going into immense detail to "justify" why you need to take time off for your family? Yep, I see you've all got your hands raised!

Though employees, women in particular, have basically been conditioned to do these things, this LinkedIn post basically gives us the validation that it's OK to not be a machine—because life happens.

Megan Witherspoon, the Vice President of Communications at Altria, wrote about flexible working hours from a manager's perspective and it quickly went viral. Why? Well, it's a must-read. So go ahead and dive in.

"I DO care that your daughter is home with yet another ear infection," she writes. "I DO NOT care that you'll be offline for 2 hours this afternoon for her doctor's appointment."

Since we're all in for an anxiety-ridden school year when it comes to sicknesses—even the common cold ignites panic in most of us now—this line is especially validating to read.

"I DO care that a bus driver shortage means you don't have reliable transportation for your son," she continues. "I DO NOT care if you need to get back to me in an hour after picking him up from school."

Witherspoon also talks about the importance of taking vacation time and prioritizing your mental health, because a healthy employee is a happy employee. And happy employees stick around—because they want to.

She concludes her post by reinforcing the idea that, as a boss, she cares about the things that are happening in the lives of her employees. And that as long as your work is done and done well, it shouldn't matter how or when you do it. Especially now, amid an ongoing pandemic that impacts our lives in ways both big and small every single day.

Life happens. Flexibility is a valuable currency—at home and at work.

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