I am not exaggerating when I say that I cried after watching a presentation about Apple’s new, totally free, Make Your Holiday at-home family program. Our kids have been through so much, and whenever I think of all the companies that have stepped up to offer free online courses and entertainment to give both our kids and their frazzled parents a break…well, it just reminds me that we’re all in this craziness together.
Now that it’s officially December, it’s the perfect time to download Apple’s free 60-page Make Your Holiday book. You’ll find more than 20 beautifully designed, really well-considered holiday projects for kids, grouped into three categories: Share Gratitude, Create Gifts, and Celebrate Together.
Everything is designed to be created on an iPhone or iPad (though it seems you can do some of it on a desktop as well), and kids are guided through everything seamlessly, thanks to tips and inspiration from incredible makers and artists.
You’ll find Stockholm illustrator Andrea Pippin’s tips for designing “Gratitude Grams” which can then become a poster or even a gratitude journal. (You may know we’re big fans of kids’ gratitude journals.)
And Brazilian-American photographer Priscilla Gragg offers kid-friendly family photo tips, then ideas to turn them into festive family portrait gifts, real holiday cards, or for older kids, social media posts.
Should kids want to create something with their cameras besides you know, TikTok dance videos.
I appreciate how interactivity makes the guide so simple even for younger kids — some projects can be done right in the booklet, while others let you easily click to open the apps you’ll need to get it done.
Most of the apps required — Notes, Pages, Clips — are free and easy, but note that a few projects are designed to be used with paid apps like Canva, Apple Music, FiLMiC Pro and Procreate. (Maybe try the free trials before you buy? Could be worth it.)
What’s especially cool though is that through the end of the year, Apple has expanded their Today At Home online classes to include fun, fast, interactive Make Your Holiday classes just for kids. They’re live too! And can accommodate around 1000 people.
So reserve a spot, and turn one of the projects in the booklet into a whole big event you can look forward to together with your kids.
The event I think kids may be most excited about: A Virtual Studio with Leslie Odom Jr. and Apple Music 1 host Ebro Darden, in which Aaron Burr (and IRL hot recording artist) will teach tricks to make a dope holiday playlist for at-home celebrations. Because at home is right where we’ll be this winter.
For those of us parents who know how hard it it’s been to keep our kids engaged, entertained, and well, happy right now, I think this whole program is really a gift.