Trying to tear our teens away from screens in today’s world seems virtually impossible. They need them for school, they use them to “chill” and listen to music, it’s how they connect with friends, and it’s often even how they have fun (hello gamers) and socialize.
But part of this issue may be that we’ve just stopped trying or we’re not offering up enough fun alternative options to tech for our teenagers. There is a world out there for them to explore and have fun and it doesn’t require the use of a cell phone or a computer.
These non-tech gift ideas for teens are some of the most popular items from our other teen gift guides that parents are purchasing year after year. They get great feedback from parents and teens alike. Look and see what might be a gift idea for your teen son or daughter or maybe you’ve got both.
The Best Non Tech Gift Ideas for Teens and Tweens
One of the hottest board games out this year, Earth is like nothing we’ve seen so far. Players (you can play solo or on a team) will receive an Island, Climate, and Ecosystem card during set-up. Using these double-sided cards, each player sows their strategy by selecting one side of the card to place face-up in their play area. The combination of these three cards introduces asymmetry to the game by providing variable starting resources, bonus abilities, and unique end-game scoring objectives. It is interactive, involves strategy, and demonstrates how our actions impact others.
Also noteworthy in board games: WingSpan
Board games for teens don’t have to equal BORED. Believe it or not, many teens still really enjoy a family game night. And there are so many great new games on the market that are engaging and require real strategy, making them more interesting and challenging for older kids (and adults too).
Wingspan has been gaining in popularity around the world in recent years. Yes, the game is about birds. But you’ll be shocked at how into your teen or teens will get. Ultimately all players are bird enthusiasts—researchers, bird watchers, ornithologists, and collectors—seeking to discover and attract the best birds to your network of wildlife preserves. Each bird extends a chain of powerful combinations as you collect them gaining each player a certain number of points. But be careful, you have to pay attention and really think about which birds you want and how they will help you or work against your opponents.
If you’re not sure that these options work for you, then there are tons of other options to consider here: 40 of the Best Board Games for Teens
There is one thing that most teens love more than screens, and that is food. At least most of them. There are many great foodie gifts for teens, but this one has been getting all the attention lately. You know, because making your own ice cream equals awesome!
The DASH My Pint Electric Ice Cream Maker Machine doesn’t just make ice cream, your teen can also whip up some Gelato, Sorbet or Frozen Yogurt. And since they are controlling the ingredients, there are options for organic, dairy free, sugar free or more in the included recipe book.
If this wets your teens appetite to spend more time in the kitchen, you might just encourage them to explore their full range of culinary skills with this post: 15 Easy Recipes for Teens to Help Them Learn to Cook.
Also deserving a shout-out is the Yonana frozen fruit soft serve maker. If you have a teen that loves to make bowls for breakfast or snacks, this can be for you!
Sunshine, fresh air, Vitamin D – all things today’s teens are missing out on the way too much. Getting these young people outdoors seems harder and harder, but it really is so important. It can help boost their moods, improve their physical health and help with mental health as well.
The Tosy Flying Disc is a top-seller this year, especially for college kids and older teens looking for something fun to do at night. It basically is a frisbee with loads of lights that make it look like a spaceship soaring through the dark.
Nightball Tangle Glow in The Dark Inflatable LED Football – Light up Football with Bright LED Lights – Glow Football for Kids and Adults – Ideal Football Gifts for Teen Boys (Teal)NIGHTMATCH Waterproof Size 5 LED Light Up Basketball – Durable Glow in The Dark Basketball with 2 LEDs – 6 Extra Batteries & 1 Pump – Unending Nighttime Fun with Glow Basketball – Gifts for Kids
Also cool is The Ramp Shot Game Set. It was the the number one Game Of The Year in 2022, and has been featured on NBC, Today, Amazon Launchpad, and more. It is a four-player outdoor game that utilizes two quality plastic ramps and four racquetball-style balls. The grooves on the top of the ramp make for unpredictable bounces, keeping everyone on their toes and ready to make the big play. This ultra-competitive game is unique, perfect for teens, and ideal for the backyard.
Want more ideas to get your teens outside, then check out this post: Great Gifts for Teens Who Love The Outdoors
When they are stuck behind a screen all the time, teens may be missing learning some valuable life lessons. It’s why many teens struggle with face-to-face communication and self-esteem.
Sure, they’ll say they can look it all up on YouTube, but the Internet can sometimes be hard to trust. Plus, eventually mom and dad may not always be available (or a teen may not want to ask and feel stupid.)
The Life Skills for Teens book is one of the best and most useful practical gifts for teens because it has a little bit of everything in it, from basic budgeting to how to use appliances to grocery shopping. It’s everything you want your teen to know but yet they don’t want to hear about from you, the parents.
Want some other ideas for helping to prepare your teen for life as a grown-up, check out this post: 50 Simple and Useful Life Skills for Teens You Can Teach Quickly or get our downloadable list here.
It seems this generation has lost the love of reading, but it only takes one perfect book to get them hooked. When it has been turned into an actual TV series, even better! I know we said no tech, but if you can get your teen to read the book, watch the series, then play the game, we call it a win!
One Of Us Is Lying has been one of the most popular Young Adult fiction books of the last several years (hence the TV series). On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Only one never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, one student is dead. And according to investigators, the death wasn’t an accident. Plus, it just so happens that the victim had planned to post juicy reveals about all four of the other high-profile students, making them suspects in this murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
If this book manages to light a spark for reading, be ready with more great book gifts to fuel the fire. Check out this post for more ideas: 16 Great Book Series for Teens and Tweens They Won’t Put Down.
Achwishap Pig Plush Pillow 35.4GAMAGO Avocado Heating Pad & Pillow Huggable – Microwavable Heat Pad For Cramps, Aches & Anxiety Relief – Cute Heat Pack Stuffed With Eco-Friendly Buckwheat & Dried Lavender – 11SleepCloud Weighted Body Pillow 6.5lbs – Weighted Pillow for Deeper Sleep and Anxiety Relief – Cooling Body Pillows for Adults – Full Body Pillow for Sleeping – Side Sleeper Body Pillow with Cover
This can be a great gift idea for a teen son or teen daughter struggling with stress or anxiety, which is too many teens today. Life certainly has changed for teens as they struggle to do all the things. They won’t always accept a hug from Mom or Dad (but it doesn’t mean we should stop trying). However, this can be another way for them to find some comfort in their overwhelming world.
The Hug Pillow has become a favorite for teens and tweens. The stress-relieving weight and softly knitted yarn of this heart-warming throw pillow offers the comforting feeling of a real hug, and a sweet sentiment to let your teen know you are always thinking of them. There are also so many different options to choose from.
We also highly recommend The Breathing Buddha for guided breathing and meditation (and he looks cute too!)
Got a kid with anxiety? Then there are lots of other great gift ideas on this post: Comforting and Stress-Reducing Gifts to Help Your Anxious Teen
Sometimes, the trick to getting teens off screens is to help them find another hobby that interests them. Allowing teens the chance to express themselves through some kind of creative pursuit gets them into a “flow” state, which helps develop focus, relieves stress and anxiety, and boosts self-esteem as they feel like they’re accomplishing something that has meaning.
A watercolor paint set is one option that appeals to many teens. It is a more straightforward art craft to pick up fairly quickly (and yes, a little tech intervention from YouTube can be helpful). Once they get the hang of it, they’ll be surprised how quickly their skills develop. They can always branch out into other mediums.
If you’re looking for other art-oriented gifts for teens, here are a few other ideas:
Believe it or not, Legos are not just for little kids. The company has been increasingly targeting teens and adults with more complex and intricate sets. The architecture line in particular has become popular, tapping into the nostalgia for this childhood past time. But feel free to explore their other sets aimed at older lego lovers.
For a full list, check out Lego Sets For Teens That Make The Best Gifts
No, this isn’t a joke. This miniature version of a guitar has taken off in recent years and has become one of the hottest music trends for teens. Who knows precisely what appeal this spunky little string instrument holds, but lesson demand has skyrocketed. Perhaps, it really just is kids finally looking for a way to do something creative, and it really is a lot of fun.
So, while The Everjoys Ukulele might be just the thing to get your teen to put down their phone and engage in a new activity, there are plenty of other options for musical gifts they might enjoy.
Another major fad is a return to the old fashioned record player. Teens are flocking to record stores all over the country, spending hours perusing both new and used albums. It feels almost like the 80’s again. Here are a few top-selling record players and some other music-related gift ideas for teens.
We’re always telling our teens to reach for the stars, but what if we could literally give them the stars. Okay, maybe not exactly, but there is so much wonder to be discovered in the night skies. Most of our teens probably rarely get to look up and appreciate the beauty in the stars above, and yet what we can see with our naked eye is only the tip of what exists in the cosmos.
The Hexeum Telescope will open our teens up to a whole new world. There are more than just stars to learn about, but all the stories that accompany them. Each of the constellations has interesting lore that has been passed down through history.
There are also some amazing apps out there right now to help you find the constellations, which you can then see even more clearly on a telescope. Star Chart and Sky Map are two simple, easy-to-use apps that make star gazing fun for even the most inexperienced astronomist!
This is a bonus category, because there is so much that can be included here. But if you want to get your kids off their screens and potentially even create a chance for some quality family time, consider giving the gift of an experience.
This can be anything from tickets to a local sports team event, a theater performance, or a concert. You could give them lessons to take an archery class or to try something crazy like glass blowing. Plan a day trip to a popular attraction or amusement park. Go to a museum of some kind – art, science, etc. Think about what interests your teen has and then find a way to connect it to a meaningful experience of some kind. We’ve got even more ideas for you here: 50 Experience Ideas For Teens.
Even More Non-Tech Gifts For Teens
Wekapo Inflatable Lounger Air Sofa Hammock-Portable,Water Proof& Anti-Air Leaking Design-Ideal Couch for Backyard Lakeside Beach Traveling Camping Picnics & Music Festivals Camping Compression SacksJ WAY Instant Boba Bubble Pearl Variety Milk Tea Fruity Tea Kit with Authentic Brown Sugar Caramel Fruity Tapioca Boba, Ready in Under One Minute, Paper Straws Included – Gift Box – 10 ServingsEnesco Pusheen by Our Name is Mud Ramen Bowl and Chopsticks Set, 4Farting Poop Emoji Pen – 7 Funny Sounds, Poop Emoji Gifts, Poop Emoji Party Supplies, Funny Pens for Coworkers & Work Gifts, Gag Gifts for Kids, Fun Pens for Kids, Pranks for kids, Funny Office GiftsSkateboards for Beginners, 31Light-Up Dart Board with Magnetic Darts – Fun for Kids & Teens 6-15 Year Old Boys & Girls Gifts – Best Sports Toys Teen Gift Ideas – Game for Indoor & Outdoor Age 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15+WEWI Unstable Unicorns New Generation 2 Adventure Card Game Toy Expansion Pack – Teen Adult Board Game – Strategy Designed to Add to Base Unstable Unicorn Complete Expansion Pack,White SuitTHE COMFY Original | Oversized Microfiber & Sherpa Wearable Blanket, Seen On Shark Tank, One Size Fits All (Blue)Wreck This Journal (Red) Expanded Ed.Photo Hanging Clips String, 50 LED Photo Clips String Lights 17ft Photo String Lights with Clips, 8 Modes Fairy Lights with Clips for Pictures, with Remote Function for Photos Pictures CardsJim&Gloria Dustless Hair Chalk For Girls, Temporary Color Dye For Kids, Teen Girls Trendy Stuff, Teen Girl Gifts, Tween Stocking Stuffers For Christmas, Teenage Girls Gift Ideas 11 12 13 14 + Year OldStar Wars Mad Libs: World’s Greatest Word GameSHASHIBO Shape Shifting Box – Award-Winning, Patented Fidget Cube w/ 36 Rare Earth Magnets – Extraordinary 3D Magic Cube – Shashibo Cube Magnet Fidget Toy Transforms Into Over 70 Shapes (Wings)The Manual to Manhood: How to Cook the Perfect Steak, Change a Tire, Impress a Girl & 97 Other Skills You Need to Survive6PCS Mini Dog Lamp Night Light Cute Small Phone Holder, Portable Dog Lamp Night Lights Adjustable Phone Stand,Small Kids Desk Lamp Night Lights for Students(Dog)Multitool, 17-in-1 Multitools Pliers with Nylon Sheath, Professional Multi-tool for Survival, Camping and Hunting by PERWINUGG Women’s SCUFFITA Slipper, Sky, 8flybold Slackline Kit | Slack Line Longer | 57 ft Line with Training Line | Tree Protectors, Arm Trainer, Ratchet Cover and Carry Bag | Tight Rope Slack Lines for Backyard | for Kids, Children, AdultsAmazon Basics Neoprene Hexagon Workout Dumbbell Color-Coded Hand Weight – Set of 6 (3, 5, and 8 Pound Weights) with Storage RackRazor RipStik Caster Board Classic Collection, 2 Wheel Skateboard with 360-degree Casters, for Kids,Teens and Adults
Are you in the thick of raising your tweens and teens? You may like this book by Whitney Fleming, the co-owner of Parenting Teens & Tweens: Loving Hard When They’re Hard to Love: Essays about Raising Teens in Today’s Complex, Chaotic World.
Finding gifts for tweens and teens for Birthdays, Graduation, Holidays and other special occasions can be hard, but these other teen gift guide posts can make it easier.
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