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  • SocialMama Contributor

Screen-Free Christmas Gift Guide for Your Pre-Teen or Teenager

Today’s teenagers are so inundated with technology that it’s shortening their attention span.

We are guilty as parents (I know I am!) of feeding the technology monster with more and more devices. While it's a necessity at this day-in-age, it's also important to provide your kids with non-techie gifts that feed their creativity and expand their minds.

So this year, my husband and I are making a conscious effort to add more screen-free gifts to the list. Wondering how we plan to get our teens to unplug? Here are some old-school gifts ideas we are using!


Does your child love arts, crafts, or drawing? Copic Markers are some of the most amazingly advanced markers on the market. This Japanese company puts leading marker brands to shame with their ability to blend like pencils, while offering the bold colors or markers. Your kids will be able to shade, create shadows and contours, all with this one set of markers.

Added bonus: they are also refillable!


Calligraphy is a lost art that many creative and artistic pre- teens may actually enjoy learning. A set of calligraphy tips, some ink and a few pads of paper would make an excellent gift.

Want to get fancy or take your little artist a step further? Add a portable light box for their sketches.


You know those fun cameras that were so popular back in the 80’s? They are making a comeback and today’s kids think they are super cool. I bought a blue and yellow Polaroid Camera for my girls last Christmas and they love them.

They used them to take pictures in front of a backdrop at their birthday parties to send home with guests. Though some may think this is a techie item, compared to most technology these days I don’t think it qualifies.


Everything from silly puns to their favorite characters, graphic T’s are all the rage. You will be super cool if you can nail this one by figuring out just the perfect T that fits their personality. I bought my bacon-loving daughter this tee in her favorite color, I found a similar one here.


There are always the classics: Monopoly, Uno, Scrabble, or Clue (this was on my girls’ list), but now there are so many new ones to add to your family collection! Classic Clue has been joined with Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, and more.

There’s tons of other new games out now as well. A favorite is the life-sized tumbling towers game of Giant Jenga. We received Pie Face as a gift from a friend and it’s so fun!


If you haven’t seen these before, you are in for a treat. Puzzle boxes are usually made out of wood with a “key” piece that allows the box to be unlocked. These can range in difficulty and will be sure to exercise your child's mind while they enjoy solving the puzzle. They also range in price, from tiny and inexpensive, to complex and pricey. So they will be sure to fit anyone's budget!


While they say for "adults", these coloring books are perfect for teens and pre-teens. Everyone loves coloring a mandala or intricate paisley design (it's actually quite therapeutic). Add in a beautiful new set of colored pencils, and you are all set.


This is one of my favorite gifts for teens. Locate a gourmet cooking class offered in your area! These are hands-on, informative, and give your child an opportunity to get involved with their food, learning basic cooking skills, and broaden their taste buds.

Have a happy holiday season, mamas!

About the Contributor:

Jessica Brassington is a wife, mom, and entrepreneur constantly seeking new ways to incorporate less processed beauty, food, and health into her hectic schedule. After losing herself in motherhood she chose to take a new outlook on life, discover her body, and bring her sexy back. When she's not fitting in her fitness, spending time with the fam, or Ubering around her kiddos, she is the host of Naked Talk with Jess podcast where she shares candid conversations about shedding shame around our bodies and sex from a holistic perspective. She is also a MentorMama for the SocialMama App.

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