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Tech-free Gift Ideas: 2016

When you start thinking about gifts for your tweens and teens this holiday season, chances are that what is first on their list is technology. Music players, video games, and smartphones all hold the attention of many teenagers, and those are easy picks! This year try adding in some gifts that will help your family to reduce or limit their technology use, since the last thing you want to do is create an influx of technology over the holidays.  Here is our holiday guide for 2016 that won’t leave your family spending too much time  on their  devices over winter break.

Get Crafty

What type of craft interests your teen? Would she love to crochet or knit? Does he love to paint? Even teens who aren’t interested in specific crafts will enjoy craft projects like this great custom sneaker kit or this creative journal designed to give kids a healthier outlet for their feelings than social media can provide. Adult coloring books are a surefire recipe for success, especially if you add quality colored pencils or other coloring tools. Teens will also fall in love with the opportunity to decorate their room with this great photo display–or, if you’re feeling sentimental, you can choose the photos for them.

tech-gifts-2016

Get Your Game On

Board games might seem boring in comparison to the bright colors and enticing music that comes along with their electronic counterparts, but there are some great ones on the market that will be sure to entice your kids. As a bonus, these games will help open up family time or create social opportunities for your child that have nothing to do with social media. Outdoor games like Ladderball are sure to be a hit, while games like Awkward Moment will get the giggles rolling. Nerts is a popular game that will lead to hours of family fun, while this fun Escape the Room game will be sure to thrill your teen.

Stocking Stuffers

These fun Funko Pop! vinyl figurines come in all of your teen or tween’s favorite characters. Buy them sized for a keychain or large enough to fit on a desk depending on what your child will love most. Jewelry is always a hit for girls: choose large quantities of cute, funky pieces or select a few classic, more expensive pieces that you know she’ll love. This Beauty Blender sponge is the perfect makeup accessory, allowing your daughter to do more with her makeup than ever before. Trendy candles won’t just make your teen smile. They’ll also add a pleasing aroma that will overpower the dirty sweatpants smell in their room. Gift sets of cosmetics can fill the stocking all on their own or be broken up into smaller pieces to make unwrapping take longer. Fun pens and pencils are useful stocking stuffers that will never grow old, drawing a smile every time they’re used.

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Other Ideas

Any teen will enjoy the fun of snapping pictures with these instant film cameras. As it turns out, digital isn’t dead after all! Fun or comfortable pajamas, workout clothes, or funky t-shirts are always a hit–just make sure that you know the size of the teen or tween in question before you buy. Many teens and tweens still get a hit out of building kits like those offered by Lego or K’nex.

Coming up with great holiday gifts for your teens and tweens this season will keep them actively engaged in fun activities throughout the duration of their holiday break. You never know: they might just forget to check in with their social media accounts for a few hours!

The key to a peaceful holiday season is simply finding balance!  A new year is a great time to reassess how your family is using technology and to set new goals and expectations! When it comes to keeping your kids and teens balanced and safe from dangerous content and apps on their mobile device us parents have  a lot to consider because most parental control apps and “safe routers” are easy for kids to circumvent.  As parents, it is our  job is to make sure that our children and teens stay safe wherever and whenever they go on their mobile devices. A trustworthy parental control that prides itself in not being easily defeatable by even the most tech-savvy teens is Netsanity. They offer a suite of services for parents. For instance, their appblocker is a must have. With one-click, you can block more than 50 previously profiled, internet-based apps that you find inappropriate. If you have a Samsung device, you can also disable any app instantly!

They have a 14-day free trial, so it’s worth checking out if your kids have Apple or the Samsung family of smart devices.


Featuring a full featured parental control suite of tools, Netsanity allows parents to take back control over the mobile devices in their home. Block over 50 apps, manage texting on Samsung, control Internet access, filter out porn and nudity and 20 other premium features are included with a monthly or annual subscription. Try every feature on up to two devices, Apple iOS or Samsung Android, for two weeks completely free and with no credit card required. If our parental controls sound like they could help you get control of your family's mobile devices, then click here to start your free trial - and get some sanity back today!