‘Tis the season, and even the elves know that shopping for gifts for a teen or tween can be a real challenge. To offer some help, we’ve done a little holiday exploration. Read on for our information under the tree.
Oprah has jumped on the virtual reality bandwagon, including the Meta quest 2 (formerly Oculus Quest 2) virtual reality headset on her list of favorite things for the second year in a row. At $399.99, this isn’t a cheap gift, even though the popular Beat Saber game is downloaded for free. However, if your teen is a gamer and you’re concerned about the amount of time they spend confined to a chair, many virtual reality games have a fitness component and almost all require exercise. As a bonus, parents can borrow the headsets for their own virtual workouts! Add a local angle with a download from Golden Gloves VR ($29.99). This virtual reality boxing game is a real workout and was developed right here in Tulsa.
Useful and efficient, the Elago 3-in-1 charging hub ($28.99) simultaneously charges three Apple products: iPhone, iWatch, and AirPods.
KODAK Smile Classic Digital Instant Camera ($149.99) is the perfect way to get those retro selfies. Old-school design meets modern technology in this camera, which features Bluetooth connectivity and lets you print or save photos for later.
The 3Doodler Create+ 3D printing pen ($80) heats and extrudes multi-colored plastic inserts so you can draw in 3D. The kit contains 15 different colors and a manual.
Reusable water bottles are a useful gift for children of any age. The Hydro Flask is one of the more popular brands. Dishwasher safe and BPA free, it’s a great way to travel with a drink while maintaining the temperature. The 40-Ounce Wide Mouth Cap ($49.95) version has plenty of capacity and makes a great gift when paired with a pack of stickers to personalize.
Novelty socks from brands like Hotsox ($8), Sock it to me ($10) and Blue Q ($13.99) are as entertaining as they are useful. With dozens of fun prints and quotes to choose from, it’s easy to find the perfect pair for everyone on your list.
Gift cards are always a welcome sight for cash-strapped teens. Available in every price range, you can go specific – Starbucks, McDonald’s, QuikTrip – or generally in the form of a prepaid Visa gift card.
Games & Puzzles
It can be hard to compete against every electronic device for a teen’s attention, but the holidays are a perfect time to bring out the old arsenal of tried-and-true “old-fashioned fun.” Consider packing one of these battery-less options.
Players use memorable movie lines to caption awkward family photos. The favorite caption wins the round.
This board game is beautifully made. Players are “bird lovers” trying to get the most birds to their yard. Start with an action mat, bird cards, bonus cards and food chips, then use them strategically to win the most points in four rounds.
Not approved by parents ($25)
Similar to a family-friendly version of Cards Against Humanity, players respond to fill-in-the-blank questions with a (ridiculous) answer card from their hand.
Tulsa Flag Playing Cards ($15) and Expo Pavilion Jigsaw Puzzles ($30)
These locally owned items from Crazy Ideas make the perfect hostess gifts for the holidays, as well as fun under the tree for the whole family. Available at Kiddlestix, I dared and other Tulsa locations.
This book covers social media and mindfulness through infographics. Colorful and practical, it covers everything from time management to budgeting and parent-child relationships.
This perennial family favorite is full of fascinating facts and entertaining tidbits that can be digested in manageable time steps by readers of all skill levels. The newer editions have been updated to be more diverse and inclusive in their coverage.
The cookbook for teens ($15)
This cookbook contains 100 simple recipes in an easy-to-follow format, with readily available and affordable ingredients. Try it for a slightly older teenager The ultimate student cookbook ($20) with 60 recipes that can be prepared in a dorm room or apartment.
Sports & Fitness
Keep them moving this holiday season and beyond with these sports and fitness related gifts. Fitness trackers continue to be popular and come in a wide range of price ranges and refinements. The Fitbit Charge 5 ($99.95) is water resistant to 50 meters and includes a GPS. For a more affordable tracker, consider the Amazfit band 5 ($27.99), which includes many of the same basic services.
The GlowCity glow-in-the-dark basketball ($39.99) is the perfect way to extend outdoor playtime, especially with the shorter winter days. Activated with a bounce, the lights turn off automatically when not in use, and the batteries last up to 30 hours (extras are included).
Fitness dice are a simple way to encourage exercise. Flex it pink fitness dice ($3.99) make a great stocking stuffer. Chronicle Books Fitness Dice ($19) are made for all experience levels. Seven wooden dice allow you to perform over 45,000 possible bodyweight workout routines.
What’s the holiday season without a little frivolous fun? The GummyGoods night light ($40) is a soft, much larger, electric version of its edible cousin. With a rechargeable battery and a wide range of colors, it makes a nice gift that is also useful.
For you music lover, a Pick-a-Palooza DIY Guitar Pick Punch ($23.95) looks a lot like a stapler and makes custom picks from old credit cards, gift cards, hotel room key cards, driver’s licenses, or a flimsy piece of plastic.
Make your own drink with the Flavor Purveyor Bubble Tea Kit DIY Boba Tapioca Pearls ($34.99). The kit comes with everything you need to make your own bubble tea in minutes – just add boiling water.