The best gift mothers can get is spending time with their family, but in quarantine, that can be difficult to make happen. A Skype or Facetime call is fine, but how can you raise the bar to give your mother some special time on Mother’s Day? Here are some quarantine Mother’s Day gifts that are free (except one), fun and can be done together but separately.
You don’t have to be in the same room to enjoy a movie together. Years ago, when I would travel a lot, my husband and I would call each other, and put on the same channel so we could laugh and cry together at a movie even though we were in different cities. Now it’s much easier, with all the streaming services. If there’s a movie your mother and you love to watch together, chances are it’s available to be streamed. You can both watch while connected via Skype, Zoom or another service. Google Chrome and Netflix have made it even easier with a new extension called Netflix Party. Netflix subscribers can stream shows and movies simultaneously even if they’re in different houses. You and your mother can watch and chat at the same time. How fun is that?
Just because we’re all stuck in our homes doesn’t mean we can’t travel the world and tour famous museums. Thousands of museums, art galleries, zoos and aquariums around the world have joined Google Arts & Culture to offer virtual tours, including the British Museum in London (one of my favorites), the Smithsonian, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Skokloster Castle in Sweden, and even the Eiffel Tower in Paris! Is there somewhere you and your mother have always wanted to visit together? See if it’s on the list. You can do the tour separately, or sign up for a free account with a service like Zoom or Webex then share your screen with your mother so you can tour these wonderful places together. Check out the full list here.
Marathons are out right now, but that doesn’t mean people can’t still run together, just separately. All over the world, runners are making their own 5K or 10K run or walk trails then joining others virtually to track them. You can even sign up at MothersDayRunWalk.com. There is a fee, but you get a T-shirt, a medal (pictured) and support the charity WINGS, which helps adults and children escape domestic violence. Or you can just do a walk without the organization behind you. Schedule your run or walk with your mother, then take your phone, and your mom and you can exercise together but separately. Take a few pictures along the way to share the experience. It’ll be like getting walking in two places at once.
Do you and your mother like to play chess? Chess players have been playing from different cities for years, and now it’s even easier. Set up a chess board in front of a computer that has Zoom or Webex, start your call and make sure the chess board is shown in the camera. I recommend using a computer over a phone so you can be hands off. You can also play together with an online board on Chess.com. Next the only challenge is winning. You can also play Scrabble together online with a free membership to Electronic Arts’ Pogo.com.
YouTube has long been a treasure trove of free classes, and now there are more than ever. Your mother and you can choose to learn painting or sketching, yoga (I particularly love Yoga With Adriene), as well as just about anything else you’re interested in.
Who says you can’t have a meal together in different houses? With a little planning, everything is possible. YouTube has lots of videos with chefs teaching how to create recipes. Find one both you and your mom love, get all the ingredients. On Mother’s Day, set up a laptop with Zoom or Webex in your kitchen. You can both login, share a screen playing the class and get to cooking together but in your own kitchen. When the food is done, you can even take your computer to the dining table to eat together thanks to the wonder of webcams. If you can afford it, take the experience up a notch by booking a multi-location group cooking class. The Chef & The Dish offers cooking classes with renowned chefs from around the world. They’ll connect with you and your mom separately on Skype and guide you in cooking up a wonderful dinner.
Don’t miss spending time with your mother. Try one of these quarantine Mother’s Day gifts. You’ll both have a self-isolation moment to remember.
Also check out our tips for buying unique gifts your mother will love.