A Tech-Savvy Parent’s Guide to Holiday Gift Giving


Every parent wrestles with how much screen time is too much for our children. With schools in many parts of the country going remote for the past year and a half, our need for screen-free alternatives has only intensified. In fact, studies have shown that since the beginning of the pandemic, kids’ screen time has nearly doubled. Though researchers are split on the question of how much is too much when it comes to our children’s devices, there is agreement that the blue light emitted from screens interferes with sleep, making it difficult for students to focus and retain information in school. Researchers have also found that many apps and games interfere with a child’s intrinsic rewards system, and excessive screen time has been linked to increased rates of ADHD. Finally, as if that weren’t enough, there is much data that shows children are the most vulnerable to harmful radiation emitted from electronic devices. While screens are an inherent part of our lifestyles, we’d like to give you some ideas for holiday gifts that will give your children a welcome alternative to screen time, as well as mitigate some of the unwanted effects of technology on your kids.


Let them enjoy music without the screens

Remember saving up a month of allowance to buy the latest record, cassette tape, or CD? This required a social outing to a music store, and when you got home, you had the tactile experience of ripping open that plastic wrapping, reading all the liner notes, and finally, listening intently to your favorite artist. These days, many of these experiences are a thing of the past. Most modern kids get their music from Youtube or a streaming service, which requires yet more screen time. Enter, Jooki: the award-winning screen-free music player for kids. These fun little players have internal memory, and also allow you to make customizable playlist “tokens” that your kids can switch out to add that tactile experience that has been missing since the dawn of the mp3. Jooki is portable so that your little ones have a screen-free option for listening to their favorite music and podcasts on long car rides.


Block Potentially Harmful Radiation

While the research on EMF radiation coming from our cell phones and other devices is still inconclusive, some studies have found a potential for increased cancer risks, especially for children. With so many attractive anti-radiation phone and device cases on the market, you may want to consider erring on the side of caution and picking one of these up, especially if your child or teen uses her devices frequently. Safesleeve offers cases for most leading smartphones, ipads, tablets, and even home computers in multiple colors and styles. You can also pick up anti-radiation earbuds and headphones from DefenderShield to ensure worry-free listening for your family.


Get Your Memories off Screens and Into Your Hands

There are few greater gifts than photo memories. But you may not want to have your family circle around a laptop or smartphone in order to enjoy them. The problem is, you have countless image files, and lack the time, or organizational system to enjoy them. This is where SurroundUs Services can help. We are a team of photo organizing professionals who can transform your digital mess into an easy to navigate, curated collection so that you can get your memories off of screens and into the hands of those you love. Imagine your child’s joy in receiving a family yearbook full of their best moments with friends and family. Contact us about our various photo organizing services to get started.


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