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    31 Things That'll Help You Stay In Contact With Loved Ones During Quarantine

    A fun mix of products and services so you can eat together, sweat together, and solve together — even at a distance.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A dip powder kit so you and your cousin can perfect your at-home manicures while catching up over Zoom. The powder dries in just 30 seconds, and reviewers say the color stays chip-free for weeks.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    It comes with a base coat, an activator, a top coat, five color powders, a nail file, a brush, and instructions.

    Promising review: "I sent this as a gift so we could have a girls day over Skype. My friend raved about how much she liked it, and it was simple enough to do that she never seemed distracted from chatting and hanging out while doing them. When we were done, her nails looked great, she was really happy about it, and we are planning on doing it again next month. This gets 5 stars! I would definitely recommend this product! :)" —Jaime Van Zandt

    Get it from Amazon for $34.98.

    2. A Drinking Animals Coloring Book or a Jason Momoa coloring book to take the edge off — with coloring, a cocktail recipe, and fantasies of Aquaman. You'll each need a copy so you can compare your creations in the family chat. (Something tells me Mom would like a copy of the Jason Momoa coloring book too...)

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review (for the animals book): "I've taken up some silly hobbies while in quarantine. Coloring has been one of them. I love each picture these are so cute and fun. I didn't realize that there were actual ingredients in the book so that was an added surprise. I like the book. It's a two-in-one." —Taylor Rutledge

    Get them from Amazon: Drinking Animals Coloring Book for $7.97 and Jason Momoa: A Coloring Book of Fantasies With an Epic Dreamboat for $12.49

    3. Or a coffee-and-cookie subscription box that'll bring the family together over a pot of coffee and two cookies that were baked to complement that month's roast.

    A plate of different cookies
    Cratejoy

    What you'll get: Each month you'll receive four ounces of coffee grounds (enough for two or more pots), two cookies, and a coffee + cookie pairing guide.

    Promising review: "Perfectly matched coffee and cookies. Each bag makes a pot of coffee and there’s only one cookie per pot but they’re a perfectly shareable size! We loved this, would definitely recommend. We also received our box earlier than expected— awesome bonus!" —Alyssa D.

    Get it from Cratejoy for $19.95/month.

    4. A box of 50 postcards for all occasions with artwork drawn by illustrator Mari Andrew, because quarantine shouldn't stop you from celebrating life events. This is a heartfelt way to observe all the milestones you can't be there for IRL and will mean so much more than just a text.

    A postcard with an illustration of a birthday cake that says, "today I am celebrating an excuse to send a great explosion"
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Beautiful cards that echo Mari Andrew's uniquely amazing ability to touch others through art. I think receiving these has meant the world to my friends and family. It is such a small gesture, but her art really touches people. There are a couple of each so you will actually use them without wanting to save!!! (Though I have put a few up on the wall)." —Molly

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    5. Or a fill-in-the-blank book if you're feeling the Zoom fatigue and hate crafting corny texts but want your bestie to know how much you miss them.

    The book called "Why I miss you"
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Absolutely adorable. Extremely easy to personalize. My long-distance boyfriend loved it. Something sweet and tangible rather than an 'I love you text'." —morgan s.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.67 (available in 13 styles).

    6. An Echo Show 5 for keeping you up to date with what's going on in your home as well as with your loved ones who are many miles away. It can control your smart devices (turn lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, show you who's at the door), play videos and music, and connect you with anyone who has the Alexa app, an Echo device, or via Skype.

    The black Echo Show 5
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This works well for what I wanted. With the COVID-19 situation, I'm not able to visit family so we wanted something simple to use and inexpensive to video chat. The Echo 5 does fine for that. It's small but is hands-free for calls, and it has a surprisingly decent speaker for music. Setup was easy, voice recognition good. Good unit for the price." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $44.99 (also available in white).

    7. Grandpad, a simple tablet so you can connect with relatives who aren't tech savvy. Grandma and Grandpa can use it to make calls, listen to music, play games, send emails, take photos, browse the internet, see the weather, order transportation, and more.

    Older person holding the tablet and smiling
    @grandpad_social / Via instagram.com

    BuzzFeed editor Kayla Suazo is a huge fan. In her own words, "My family got this for my grandparents who very much do not understand ANYTHING about technology. With this tablet they can video chat us and add pictures to a 'feed' that all of us can see and comment on. It's the only way they talk to us now!"

    Get access from GrandPad for $66/month.

    8. A Disney+ subscription to ensure that the family maintains its monthly movie nights even when everyone's quarantining in different places.

    The Mandalorian holding Baby Yoda
    @disneyplus / Via instagram.com

    BuzzFeed editor Heather Braga writes, "My sister and I agreed to split our Disney+ subscription and we've had the best time talking about which movies and shows we've watched/which ones we need to wait and watch together. It's been really special to relive so many of our Disney-infused childhood memories together thanks to this new subscription service. Excuse me, I'm getting sentimental and I think there's a piece of pixie dust in my eye."

    Get a subscription to Disney+ for $6.99 a month, $69.99 a year, or a 7-day free trial.

    9. Or a Hulu subscription that'll bring your friend group together for at least 11 hours of entertainment thanks to the Lord of the Rings trilogy being available to stream.

    Meme of Sean Bean from LOTR with the text "One does not simply watch only the first Lord of the Rings film"
    @hulu / Via instagram.com

    Get a subscription from Hulu for $5.99+ (available in two plans).

    10. The Teleparty Chrome extension (it used to be called Netflix Party) because it syncs playback for everyone who's watching *and* has a built-in chat feature. No more having to wait until your BFF watches an episode of Bridgerton to discuss it. Now you can watch it together!

    Two screens showing the same exact scene of The Office
    Teleparty

    Get the Teleparty extension in the Chrome Store for free.

    11. A Book of the Month subscription if conversation in the family group chat has gone stale. Revive it with a family book club! Each month BotM selects five and you get to choose one (you can pay extra for more books) or skip that month if nothing catches your eye. It's delivered straight to your door and then all you have to do is kick back, relax, and curl up with your pick.

    Books artfully arranged on a table
    Book of the Month

    Check out our Book of the Month review for more deets!

    Get your first month's books for $9.99 ($14.99/month after that).

    12. Or a waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for the minimalists who 1. can't visit their libraries 2. don't want to risk a trip to the bookstore 3. hate the idea of cluttering their home with more books 4. and who won't be bothered to wait for their book club reads to be delivered via snail mail.

    Hand holding a wet kindle
    Target

    Promising review: "I have wanted a Kindle for a very long time, and kept going back and forth about whether I should get one. Thanks to quarantine life, I finally gave in and purchased one and am INCREDIBLY happy. It is very lightweight, easy to adjust to pretty quickly, and super convenient for reading. I've been able to read in different places without any issues or strain on my eyes, which I appreciate it. It's a beautifully designed device and a must-have for avid readers. It's so lightweight that I can't wait to take it with me on vacations. It's even convenient to take with you for errands that require you to wait, like getting an oil change. Trust me, you won't regret purchasing. Yes, the price is a little steep, but I think it's justified. I have had NO issues with battery life. I place my device on Airplane mode and have gone two weeks without needing a charge. It's very easy to check out e-books from my local library as well. Honestly, one of my best Amazon purchases hands-down." —Sanaz Alami

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99.

    13. Libby, an app that lets you download and read ebooks and audiobooks from your library so you and the rest of the book club are literally on the same page.

    Infographic explaining the benefits of Libby: read across devices, offline access, listen in your car, and send to kindle
    Libby

    Get the Libby app for free (available for iOS and Android).

    14. Animal Crossing New Horizons to travel to your friends' islands, steal their fruit, and whack them with your net.

    character building a snowman
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Well this game has pretty much become a family favorite. Three of us play this DAILY! It’s so much fun. And with the updates, it keeps the game fresh. This game helped get us through quarantine and some tough months. We also love being able to play with our friends. After talking about it so much at least three of our friends bought the game. It really is challenging and good family fun." —Dale Tompkins

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99. (And get an Animal Crossing New Horizons Nintendo Switch for $299.)

    15. A virtual escape room that'll require the whole family to put their collective brain power to use to decipher clues, solve puzzles, and make their escape.

    The Escape Game

    Your host will guide you through a virtual escape room challenge, giving you clues and instructions along the way. There's also a Game Guide who shows a "live feed" while acting as your eyes, ears, hands, and feet. Use the dashboard to watch videos and keep track of clues you find. Parties of two to eight can play! (TEG can accommodate groups of nine or more but someone will need to fill out a contact form to arrange it.)

    Start your adventure at The Escape Game for $30/person.

    16. A set of matching temporary tattoos because you and your bestie will think of each other every time you look down and see your ~dino-mite~ ink.

    Three forearms with mini dinosaur tattoos drawn in the same minimalist style
    littletattoos / Etsy

    Littletattoos is a small business specializing in minimalist temporary tattoos.

    Get a set of six from littletattoos on Etsy for $7.99.

    17. A Florida-scented candle if you're missing your home state and your friends and family who are still there.

    The candle, which has a picture of Florida on it
    Amazon

    It smells like Spanish moss, bergamot, mangrove wood, orange, vanilla, amber, and musk — basically all the things Florida is known for — because of course no one would want a candle that smells of the real Florida (aka a swampy soup with notes of sweat, sunscreen, and 99% humidity).

    Get it from Amazon for $29.88 (available in 51 state scents).

    18. A ring light for illuminating your face on family video calls so you don't look like a grainy collection of pixels on a screen.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Like a lot of us, I've been on a lot more video calls since COVID-19 came around. Since many of them are networking and client calls, I want to look professional and at my best. I set this light up on my desk (on a gorilla tripod rather than the one it came with) and it is perfect! I love the three color options and the brightness control. Sometimes the sun sets during my calls and by the end my room is dark, so I like being able to adjust the brightness of the light accordingly. I love the clicker control on the cord, especially the fact that the power button is lit up. I don't have to fumble around for it during calls." —Lisa Linard, Professional Organizer

    Get it from Amazon for $31.99.

    19. A Skylight Frame so Mom and Dad always feel close by — even if they're not there IRL. They can even send photos directly to the frame via Wi-Fi, meaning everyone's always up to date on all the latest goings-on.

    The frame with a white and black frame around the digital screen in the author's parent's home with a picture of her and her father at a tennis match
    Abby Kass / BuzzFeed

    My coworker Abby Kass says, "I actually got this frame for my dad a few years ago for Christmas. He LOVES taking pictures (like used to keep albums and albums before photos were digital), so I thought this would be great for him. It was super easy to set up and connects to Wi-Fi. It then comes with an email address where you can send the photos you want it to rotate through. My parents keep it running all the time. It's a nice way to actually see all the photos you have without them taking up all the walls in your home."

    Promising review: "Such a brilliant gift for those who don’t publish much on social media. Don’t want your personal photos on the interwebs, but still want to share with loved ones far away? This frame is perfect." —Victoria S

    Get it from Skylight Frame for $159 (orders ship by January 20, 2021).

    20. A bottle of pill capsules to deliver a dose of serotonin straight to your S.O.'s door. Fill the slips with heartfelt messages, inside jokes, romantic quotes, virtual date ideas, and more!

    The pills and messages
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I'm not a doctor but I think we could all do with a prescription of happy pills! This is such a cute and creative idea for anyone to give to a loved one. It takes time to write those little notes but love is worth the time and effort. We often tell your loved ones we love them but how often do you describe to them WHY? These pills are great reminders for when their silly brain is forgetting how wonderful they are. These pills are easily refillable so it's the gift that keeps giving." —Stephanie

    Get 90 from Amazon for $14.99.

    21. One Gotta Go, a card game that'll ask you and your friends to choose which ones stay and which one's gotta go. This'll no doubt spice up your game night and reveal some very wack opinions. 😳

    A game card with the options: your phone, streaming platforms, the internet, and hot showers
    One Gotta Go

    Note that this is a digital deck and will be delivered to your inbox. The deck will be updated as the creators add more prompts. Oh — and One Gotta Go is a Black-owned biz!

    Promising review: "The digital Stay Home Deck became the highlight of my virtual birthday party this weekend. We're still talking about how fun it was the day after. Great game all around!" —Derrick Kelly

    Get it from One Gotta Go for $15.

    22. An obé fitness subscription because working out releases endorphins...so why not work out together? You can friend people in the obé app and take live or on-demand classes with up to seven people. And friends who don't have an obé subscription can try it out with a free two-week guest pass.

    Six instructors in athletic wear smiling and posing together
    @obe_fitness / Via instagram.com

    At this point, I've taken almost 200 obé classes in the last year and a bit, and cannot say enough good things about it. You can take live classes, which has the same vibe and energy of an IRL workout class, or peruse obé's library of thousands of workout videos if you don't like the live class. There's something for everyone: yoga, hiit, weights, pilates, dance, boxing, barre, meditation, stretching, and more! Classes range from 5 to 60 minutes so you can find a workout that fits with your free time. All in all, obé has helped me enjoy exercising again, and the daily movement has done wonders for my mental health during such a weird time.

    Get a subscription from obé for $27 a month, $65 a quarter, or $199 a year.

    23. A pair of Bond Touch bracelets if you'd prefer a wearable reminder that those nearest and dearest to your heart are only a tap away. When you tap the bracelet, its partner will light up and the wearer will know you're thinking of them.

    Two models wearing the black bracelets and holding hands
    Amazon

    Promising review: "During quarantine this is a great way just to bother your partner (in a good way). I love them so much and so does my boyfriend. I still work, and while I’m at work he will send me little things which make me feel happy. We came up with our own little codes and we are gonna try to learn some Morse code to send little messages." —Faith Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $98.

    24. One Question A Day, a five-year journal for your family or friend group to ponder. Chances are you'll learn a lot about the people who you thought you knew best.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I sent one to my niece and one to a close friend for Christmas. My niece, her husband, and 6-year-old son planned on answering each daily question as a family, which I thought was a neat idea. My friend had never seen this particular journal, so I was glad to be able to provide something new for her. I plan on purchasing one for myself as well!" —Linda R 08

    Get it from Amazon for $15.29.

    25. An adjustable phone stand so you can FaceTime hands-free! There's even a slot for your charge, which is great for all your people who are basically FaceTiming their S.O. every hour of the day.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Just love this mobile holder. I have spent some hours video chatting and this helps me to chat easily without holding and stressing my hand. Very durable and moves up and down. You can put it anywhere which is especially good for me when I'm cooking and chatting with family and friends. No more stress of keeping the mobile anywhere and have scratches on it." —Sia

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99+ (available in five colors).

    26. A set of two 1,000-piece murder mystery puzzles to kickstart the sisterhood of the traveling puzzle. Once you put together the puzzle, read the included booklet and try and figure out whodunnit.

    The two puzzles
    Amazon

    My parents bought these puzzles at the beginning of quarantine and recently sent me one. I forgot how enjoyable puzzles are, y'all! Space is limited in my small apartment so I actually put it together on my living room floor. (Honestly, a puzzle mat would have been great because we basically had to avoid the corner of the room where the puzzle was.) It was nice to take a short break during work and piece together the puzzle bit by bit. My partner and I also enjoyed having a shared activity since we usually go do our own thing after dinner; this was a nice way to bond even though we spend basically 24/7 together.

    Get it from Amazon for $19.98.

    27. A Bluetooth-connected instant mini photo printer that'll print pics from your phone in just 12 seconds. This way your parents can print out all the photos you and your siblings send to them and hang them right on the fridge.

    Smart phones with the Instax Mini link app open while the printer prints a photo
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I am decorating my tree with polaroid pictures this year (since we are in a pandemic). I have friends and relatives send me selfies, and then I print them with this little printer. The quality is just like an instant camera and it has made the process easy. Only thing I wish was different is that it had a film counter." —Madelyn Flenor

    Get it from Amazon for $89.99+ (available in four colors).

    28. A quarantine birthday wineglass because a pandemic can't stop socially distanced birthday celebrations. Cheers to a nonsocially distanced birthday in 2022 (we hope)!

    The stemless glass with "my quarantine birthday glass" text in the center
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Great gift with a bottle of wine for a good friend we were unable to celebrate with because of COVID-19. It came earlier than promised. Seems sturdy and will withstand use." —Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $15.99.

    29. A Cuban cocktail-making class through Airbnb Experiences if Friday night drinks were an after-work tradition for you and your roomies. Now you can still have happy hour even if you're states away!

    Mojito on a serving tray
    Airbnb

    My coworker Elizabeth Lilly thoroughly enjoyed her class. She says, "I took this class with Grace and a few friends who live in different states. It was so fun. Grace was so welcoming, funny, friendly, and wonderful. Yes, I had to go out and buy a few ingredients, but it made me feel like I was out having fun with friends. Now, would you like me to make you a Cuba Libre?"

    Book this class for $15/person, check out more online experiences you can do together, and see Airbnb gift card options.

    30. BuzzFeed Quiz Party for the friend group that loves to take quizzes together. Select the quiz you want to take, send your unique URL to the rest of the group, and then wait for everyone to make their selections. When everyone's finished you'll all arrive at a screen that shows everyone's results. So fun!

    The Quiz Party landing page showing some quizzes like "everyone has a disney villain alter ego — here's yours"
    BuzzFeed

    Start your Quiz Party here.

    31. Tabletop Simulator so game night feels just like you're sitting around a table with your friends putting together a puzzle or showing your best poker face. There are also a ton of mods for new, exciting games that'll become game night traditions.

    Steam

    Make sure everyone has an up-to-date computer to play!

    Promising review: "I wish I would have picked this game up YEEEARS ago! It has been a great way to connect with friends and family that live across the country and play all sorts of various tabletop games with new faces. The mods and scripts people have added over the years seem boundless and are very creative. I spend more time playing this than any other game now." —Wrenpo

    Get it from Steam for $9.99 (also available in a four-pack for $29.99).

    The state of conversations in the group chat rn:

    20th Television

    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for more great Amazon finds? Check out some of our favorite cheap things to buy on Amazon, some of the weirdest things on Amazon you might actually want, or read through all the rest of our incredible Amazon product recommendations.

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