Black Friday Lockdown Boredom-Busters and Beyond: A Family Fun Gift Guide
Here's a curated bunch of things I have bought and use that have brought joy during the chaos in our home. There's something for everyone here. Enjoy!
Fun and Games
Let's face it: lockdown is tedious and exhausting. For some, online gaming and increased screen-time is a solution. But for those with kids that are completely over staring at screens for school- I've got a few fun suggestions that have helped my family a lot! Just to make it a more thorough gift lists, I've included a number of items on the "nerd mom and dad" side of things... fun, small tech gifts to enjoy!
My daughter and I enjoyed playing a video version of shuffleboard and bowling, but we both got tired of sitting in front of the TV- especially as the weather got nicer outside. Enter this decent sized tabletop version of the bar classic! It a decent size, and as just as enjoyable as the big version once you get the hang of it. Just set it on a level table and off you go.
BopIt is a classic, and remains a family favorite here. The version shown goes beyond the classic "pull it, twist it and bop it", by adding motion to it for "comb it, drink it, cradle it, hammer it" and more! Of course you can still choose classic mode if you want to keep it old-school.
Enjoy some retro-gold in the form of Stranger Things Palace Arcade. Classics like Pac-Mac, Dig-Dug, Galaga plus a series of show-specific games are yours for $23.88 with this tabletop take on the classic small games of the 80s and 90s.
Another family fun crowd pleaser is Jenga. It's a must-have in the family game chest. These games are fun to play inside around the fireplace- or take them outside for some fresh air.
Tetherball was a summer camp and campground classic growing up. We installed this a while ago with a simple hole in the ground, and it has provided endless fun. Bonus: 2 kids playing are always at least 6 feet apart. Simple fun to get the kids moving outside.
Speaking of being outside, we finally admitted defeat on our old wooden Adirondack chairs, and went with Polywood. It's as solid as any we've had made from wood, but will last a lot longer. They sell for $239. Bonus: They fold up for easy winter storage. Add a firepit and some marshmallow roasting skewers, and you can extend your outdoor time for months!
If you've been cooped up long enough, get the family to the great outdoors or the great backyard for some camping and fresh air. This large CORE 12 Person tent is tall enough to stand in, and big enough for the whole family to have some space.
Tech-Treats for Every Budget!
I had no interest in an Apple Watch for the longest time, but when my Samsung GearFit 2 went missing at the start of lockdown, I wanted something to fill the void! That's when I discovered that Apple had dropped the price of their Apple Watch Series 3 to the GRAB IT range! It's currently $179
I'm a big believer in protecting my toys- so I grabbed this "chrome" (plastic) cover. It works really well. I paired it with a leather watch band to jazz up what otherwise looks like a modern day version of a calculator watch. It's only $9.99. A nice stocking stuffer for someone that already has the watch. Just be sure to check the model/ size before buying any additional covers or bands.
Air Pods Pro are on-sale, putting them into the "reasonable" range, but I still love my Amps Air 2.0 from SOL. They sound rich and balanced for all styles. You can push them to activate Siri or play/pause music, and of course take calls. They come with their own sleek charging case that will also provide USB backup power for your phone on the go. At just $51, they are my choice.
Keep all that gear charged with a slick charging station. This nightstand buddy offers wireless IPhone and Apple Watch charging, plus connectors for your Air Pod case and Apple Pen!
Speaking of charging... if you're anything like me, you can never find a charger when you need it! This handy 2-pack of USB multi-port charging goodness is just $10!
Around the House
Sure, it might be a while before you have a house full of company. But at $69.99, the Ring Video Doorbell is well worth having- especially given all the package deliveries we have these days! Keep an eye on things. Or just tell the food delivery person to leave it on the porch through the built in speaker.
Speaking of keeping an eye on things, if you're anything like me, you'll want to have some Tile trackers on hand. The originals were good until the battery died and you had to purchase new ones. That was a pity.
The newer ones have replaceable batteries. Check out the Tile Pro 2 Pack. Find your things- or have your things find your phone. Need to find smaller things like remotes? Grab the Tile Stickers in a 4 pack to keep track of them all.
Fill the house with music! There are a wide range of speakers that stream music available, but Amazon continues to improve their offerings year after year. If you're new to it- you might consider the Echo Dot. This puck sized unit packs a surprising punch. Decent enough sound for background music in the kitchen or around the house, and a price that makes it a perfect stocking stuffer. Pair 2 together for a richer stereo sound. These are on sale for just $18.99
Already have an audio system you love but just want to add Alexa to it? Check out the Echo Flex for $9.99 Just plug it in near your system, connect the audio- and enjoy the benefits of Alexa using your whole system.
Want to add some fun family night lighting to your tunes? Check out the Govee Smart LED Strip Lights. They cost a fraction of what the Phillips Hue lights cost, and give you over 16 feet of lighting- plus some really fun features. Control it with Alexa, from your phone, or the included power switch.
Of course there is nothing nicer than a simple, personal gift. Every year we give our family and friends an etched
ornament frame with a photo of our kiddo. It's the perfect thing to share with far-away family.
And of course taco holders. Because it took a global pandemic to make me realize I needed them. Seriously. If you treat yourself to nothing else this season- make it a taco holder.