Holiday Gift Guide 2016 – Teenagers

Oh, teenagers, those fickle devils. Aside from clothes, technology might be ALL your teen wants for the Holidays this year! They may be old enough to tell you exactly what they want, but maybe you can still surprise them with something they didn’t even realize they wanted! I can help you do just that.


Headphones – $20-$300 – Headphones are a great gift for a teen for the holidays. Not only does it allow you to not have to listen to their music, but they really can use them SO much. My (not quite a teen yet) daughter wears headphones while doing her chores. They also can use them on the bus, and for any time they have to wait (I promise, I’m not late picking my daughter up from swim… usually). Depending on your child, you could get away with some smaller earbuds, or maybe they prefer larger over the ear headphones? You could go Bluetooth or wired, it really is up to you, and which type you think your child will want more.


New Smartphone – $varies – I don’t know of a single teenager who doesn’t want a new smartphone. Maybe they cracked their screen a while back, maybe their phone no longer charges properly, these kids put their phones through the ringer, and they could ALWAYS use an upgrade. Here’s the part where I show my bias. I recommend an Android phone. iOS is so limited as to what kinds of parental controls you can place on the phone. Android offers you MUCH MORE control over all of the apps and features. If this is going to be your child’s first foray into owning a cell phone, definitely make it clear that it is really YOUR phone, and you are just allowing them to use it! Set the expectation ahead of time.


cell phone case – $10-50 – Speaking of teens putting their phones through the ringer… a good cell phone case is ALWAYS a good idea. It can be a great stocking stuffer too.  You can pick something fun that shows their personality, or something super functional that will protect their phone really well. They can always decorate a really sturdy case with stickers too, and maybe you can even purchase some stickers online to give them with the case so they can customize it! Either way, a case is definitely a MUST HAVE.


GoPro – $200-$400 – If bottle flipping has taught us anything… it’s that teens will basically do anything on camera. They just love to share all the cool stuff they are doing on a daily basis, from bottle flipping to doing tricks on a trampoline to just being crazy. I remember as a teenager recording our every move when we were all hanging out together. Although for us it was a ginormous camcorder! I still have these videos and they are so fun to look back on! A GoPro is excellent for a teenager to help them record all the crazy stunts they get themselves into!


PowerCube – $20 – With all the technology in my kid’s rooms our outlets fill up fast. I really love this cute PowerCube, and it’s perfect for a teenagers room. They can plug in their USB devices, or use the actual plug (for their hair dryer and other things). You really can never have too many outlets, and this is a great solution. Plus you can purchase more and expand it even further!


FitBit – $100 – Here’s a funny story. My nephew was SO CONVINCED that he was already taking at least 15k steps a day. He would go out and play soccer during his lunch period, and all the walking between classes, etc. So my sister lent him her Fitbit for the day, and he got to MAYBE 7k steps for the day. We laughed quite a bit, because he was SO SURE he moved way more than we did.  Anyway, kids really do want to keep track of their fitness too, and this is a perfect way to get it done. The Fitbit Flex 2 is waterproof and will also give you smart notifications (buzz when you get a text message). My niece just started wearing one, and loves that feature the most. It’s a perfect way to give them a little insight into their fitness and still allow some “smart watch” type of features.

So, there you have it, everything the teens will want for the Holidays this year! Did I leave anything off that your teen wants?





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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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