With about six weeks into this COVID-19 quarantine, we’re all desperately longing for the connection of faraway friends and family. And while texting, phone calls, even writing letters (yes, remember those?) are a great salve to what we’re all feeling, there’s nothing like seeing someone’s face on video.

That’s where our sponsor Houseparty comes in! This is a free video chat app you might already be familiar with since it’s already quite popular with our own tweens and teens – maybe yours too. But, grown-ups love Houseparty too! It offers more than just simple, safe video chatting with friends and family, so much so that we’re finding it to be our own personal go-to these days, well beyond just simply keeping in touch.

Houseparty app helps parents stay connected with their own faraway friends and family | sponsor

So, we put together 5 ways we’ve been using Houseparty over the last 6 weeks, that we hope will help you feel a little more connected to your own friends and family members. Just make sure they’ve all downloaded the Houseparty app, and remind them that the service is secure (in fact, it’s never been compromised), and they don’t collect passwords for other sites. Yay privacy!

Make your own fitness class

Missing your fitness classes with friends? Or your daily walks with family? Get them all on Houseparty, and do it together! Add your friends on Houseparty with a mutual handshake then open the app to work out together. If you want to keep your virtual fitness class private, just lock your room. No links or extra special logins required. It’s so convenient and easy!

Then, turn on a YouTube fitness class, and you can all burn some Corona calories with each other. Or, head outside (safely, of course), and take a walk with anyone who’s in your room.

Group date night 

Grab your beverage of choice, and maybe a few appetizers, and host a group date night with your favorite couples. They can pair up together on one phone, or use their own, depending on how tired they are of being near each other (ha!), and catch up, or even play some of the now free, built-in games on the Houseparty app.

Game night

Staying connected during quarantine with Houseparty | sponsor

Speaking of games, Houseparty is the perfect way to host a game night with your friends. We’ve tried all the games, by the way, including the Trivia (seen above), “Heads Up,” which is the game Ellen made popular, a word association called “Chips and Guac” (which Kristen accidentally called “Avocado Toast” – ha), and “Quick Draw,” which is sort of like Pictionary. Yes, you actually draw with your finger right on your screen. They’re such a fun diversion, even for us grown-ups.

Dance party

Turn on one of DJ DNice‘s Quarantine Parties (Check his Instagram for more information), grab a bunch of friends in a room, and host a little Quarantine Dance Party of your own. In fact, Houseparty is hosting a virtual prom with DJ DNice on May, 7 at 8pm ET. Just open the app during the prom, and you can pull the performance in your own private prom party.

Or hey, you can play DJ yourself and supply your own music. If you’re really feeling into the groove, throw on some make-up and club clothes, or make a theme night. 80’s party, anyone?

Birthday or Mother’s Day celebrations 

With our own slew of May birthdays coming up, not to mention Mother’s Day, Houseparty makes it super easy for everyone to connect and celebrate the lucky person (or, you know, mom!). We love the idea of having Mother’s Day brunch together, right over the app. Just send a few recipes around to friends and family, or let them come up with their own menu, then meet up at a certain time on eat together. And if you’re able to send gifts in advance, you can all be together while she opens her gifts.

Thanks so much to our sponsor Houseparty for making it safe and easy for us to stay connected to our friends and family during this quarantine.