We all know that tweens and teens love their high-tech devices. It’s hard to find a youngster that isn’t using at least one digital device at any given moment; they’re often using several devices at once! We also know they would love to add more digital Christmas gifts to their ever-expanding collection. After all, even if they already have a particular electronic gadget it might not be the latest, best, most exclusive version.
Maybe this year it’s time for an ‘unplugged’ holiday season. After all, how many electronic devices did you find under the tree when you were a tween or teen? Help your young ones discover the fun in the kinds of presents you enjoyed at their age. You might want to skip the whole socks and underwear in the stocking thing, though…
Here, then is my tech-free holiday gift guide for tweens & teens:
Do you have a budding chef or baker in your family? How about some one-on-one lessons with a personal chef? Maybe there’s a cooking school nearby that offers fun classes in cupcake decorating or the science behind homemade yogurt. If your teen is headed for college soon, he or she might enjoy learning how to make simple, healthy, and delicious dorm food. It’ll be a nice change from the usual dorm fare of Ramen Noodles or mac ‘n cheese!
If your tween or teen is a bookworm, a gift certificate to a favorite bookstore is just the ticket. And, no, I don’t mean for ebooks – this is an ‘unplugged’ holiday, remember? Give them the joy of holding a real book in their hands. If the book certificate comes with a homemade certificate for the ride to the store and a stop for ice cream (or coffee!) afterwards, it’ll be even more meaningful.
Does your tween love getting together with friends? How about a pizza party complete with that fun board game or card game everyone is raving about. Since the fun will last well into the wee hours, why not invite everyone to stick around for a slumber party afterwards? They can show off those new PJs they found under the tree.
Art or craft supplies
How about gifting your young artist with some quality art supplies. You know, the kind real artists use. A set containing artist grade paper, paints, and a couple of high-quality brushes can make a world of difference to a budding artist. You might even find a local artist willing to offer lessons to a young protege. Now that is a gift they’ll remember for a lifetime!
For those more into the craft side of arts and crafts, there are lots of supplies available for whatever craft they prefer. How about a set of nice jewelry or leather-working tools? The life of the party type who wants to document every moment would certainly appreciate scrap-booking supplies. And what young needle worker ever has enough of those fabulous new fun yarns?
If your youngster loves concerts, how about a set of tickets to their favorite venue along with a special ride? It doesn’t have to be a limo (although those are always nice!); you can book a private car service or even a taxi for the night in question. Just the idea of not having a parent driving makes it special enough!
For those unfamiliar with this concept, you pick a company, sign up for a plan (one time or for a set number of months), and your surprised tween or teen receives a box of “loot” in the mail. Model kits, toiletries or make-up, snacks, tee shirts… There are a wide variety of product subscriptions available so there’s surely something your youngster will adore getting. It’s like Christmas every month! One of my personal favorites is BirchBox!
Oh, and when the ‘unplugged’ season is over and your kids are digitally wired again, using a service like Netsanity is a must for all families! They offer a variety of parental controls for Apple and Android mobile devices. This can be a great way for parents to instill balance and safe use of social media on mobile devices. Parental controls work best when they are actively used by parents in tandem with great discussions along the way about using social media wisely and in moderation.
They have a 14-day free trial on all their plans so check them out here.
Netsanity was made by parents for parents. With easy to use software designed to give control and sanity back to parents, Netsanity enables a safer and healthier mobile experience for kids. See for yourself with a free trial!
Netsanity is available for both Apple and Android devices.