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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Larson

Shopping For A Teen This Holiday Season? Consider Giving an Experience-Based Gift

Updated: Jul 30, 2022

By: Johnathan D. Kindall

This holiday season, all the gift-giving guides agree: this year, it’s better to give memorable and impactful experiences rather than just expensive products.

Perhaps the pandemic has kept your family away from their favorite hobbies these last two years, and you’re eager to give them a chance to experience those activities again. Or, perhaps the global supply chain crisis has rendered your perfect gift idea nearly impossible to pull off. No matter the reason, giving your loved ones an experience as a gift is a great way to create lasting memories this year, one that stocking stuffers can’t even hope to compete with.

Nowhere is this more applicable than when buying gifts for students or teenagers. How many times have you purchased something on the top of your child’s wish list just to find that very same item abandoned under the bed three weeks later? For parents with a child going to college, this is even more important to consider, as more stuff is the last thing you need when a child moves away from home.

But what’s the answer then? How do you shop for teens in 2021?

Well, rather than giving your teenager a gift they might forget about within weeks, consider gifting them a gap year or summer program experience that will enrich every aspect of their life.

Out-of-school enrichment programs like gap years and summer camps have consistently proven to be one of the best ways that teenagers learn, grow and make friends, and with so many options available, there’s sure to be something out there that matches your child’s interests more than a present from the big-box store ever could. Many such programs offer college credit of some kind, and, even if they don’t, a gift like this not only enriches your teen’s life, but boosts their college resume as well.

Not sure where to start looking for such a thing? TeenLife Media, the leading online discovery platform for teen-centered enrichment opportunities, has got you covered. With more than 10,000 program listings on their site in categories like STEM, business, arts and beyond, TeenLife is the best place to start hunting for that perfect experience-based gift.

Perhaps your teen is interested in going into medicine or engineering some day. Consider helping them to choose and pay for a summer program that exposes them to a potential career. Maybe instead they have a passion for the performing and visual arts? Well, TeenLife has more than 600 summer programs in that category alone.

Better yet, dozens of the programs listed on Teenlife’s site are free or low-cost, and many others offer significant financial aid packages. Some of these experiences are a bit more pricey than the latest video game might be, and the delivery might be a bit different from a tidy box under the tree, but we can almost guarantee you that a program like this will leave a lasting impact unlike any gift you’ve given your teen before.

While unconventional, an experience-driven gift like this could change your teenager’s life forever. An opportunity to follow a dream or hone a passion is a gift that your teenager will remember for the rest of their lives, and that’s more than we can say for a lot of the gifts we’ve gotten through the years.

About TeenLife

TeenLife Media is the leading discovery platform for teen-centered academic and enrichment opportunities. TeenLife is dedicated to launching teens into life and makes it easy for parents and students alike to connect with summer and gap year programs, after school enrichment, volunteer options, and degree-awarding institutions. You can search their 10,000+ program listings HERE.

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