Teens are a notoriously tough crowd, so we get the sheer panic at trying to buy a gift for them. A stack of gift cards or a card stuffed with cash would certainly be appreciated, but there is no need to shy away from at least trying to surprise them. In the past, we have created lists just for teen girls and teen guys, but this year there is something for everyone in our teen gift guide. Miracles can happen. Perhaps you will find just the right gift to make your holiday sparkle a little brighter this year. Take a look!
Just For Fun
Don’t forget that teens are just kids who shave and drive. Get them back in touch with their inner child with some of these fun gifts!
Kids love to shoot stuff in the air. Don’t question, just put it in your cart.
Drones are the like video games in three dimensions. These will make good memories and help preserve them too with its onboard camera. Love it!
These little puzzles are addictive and fun to put together if you, gulp, have more than one teen in your household.
These magnetic finger puppets are a hoot! Literary giants, scientific minds, and even their famous forefathers can be theirs. Fun stocking stuffers!
Looking more fun ideas? Check out this list for your favorite Doctor Who fan.
For Music Lovers
Teens enjoy making noise, so make it melodius with this mini instrument. A pocket-sized piano is just as much fun as it sounds.
Some teens are industrious and like a project. This is one of the best ones we have seen with an end project that won’t burn down your house or end up in the trash.
Teens love water and electronics, but these two things don’t mix well. An especially good idea for your favorite lifeguard or swimmer, this shuffle will deliver their tunes and help keep their other electronics safe.
Tech Any Teen Would Love
This is the perfect gift for any audiovisually inclined teen. The microphone works easily with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras alike. This mean that whether he’s recording his video game reviews or she’s showing off her dance moves, your future YouTube sensation will have supersonic, crystal clear audio.
Teens love electronics. Keep them charged and ready with a portable power pack.
Screw these into any can or track lighting, and you have awesome Bluetooth speakers plus a light show. By downloading an app, you control it all from your smartphone. Teens will appreciate the two-in-one approach to the fun.
Let them take their beloved Netflix everywhere they go. Great price point for bringing all the joy.
Just use the app to connect this printer to any smartphone. Simply choose a photo and it will create a small, instant Instax print of the photo. Lots of people can connect to it at once which makes it great for parties and a winner for any tech-y, photo-loving teen.
Games Teens Play
Here’s a tip: a plain old deck of Bicycle Standard Index Playing Cards is a great stocking stuffer. Our teens love good old-fashioned cards, but if you want to get a little fancier, here are some winners we like.
Your teens will love it as much as ours do. They love teaming up as disease-fighting specialists in this one. If the disease spreads, everybody loses. If they contain the outbreak, they all win. Family fun and peace in one box. Fa-la-la-la-la.
Looking for some active fun? This game combines elements of virtually all outdoor games and lawn sports. Throwing, catching, strategy, teamwork, offense, and defense are part of every toss in game play.
This game stimulates your mind and some conversation. It’s smart without being too braggy about it. Teens gobble this one right up.
Not finding any games that look like a good fit?
Check out our mega list chock full of some of our favorites here.
The Martian by Andy Weir
Watney’s humor and humanity breathe life into this well-paced and thoughtfully constructed story about a man’s struggle for survival in an unforgiving environment. His plucky ultimate underdog self will win teen hearts as the real science sprinkled throughout engages their minds.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
This story of first love is peopled with high schoolers the way we remember them and know them now. Funny, sweet, vulnerable, flawed, and deeply striving for love, acceptance, and independence, these are characters to cheer for and your teens will. The Barnes and Noble sales rack calls this a teen romance. It’s so much more. A buoyant, wonderful read that makes a perfect gift.
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Anything by Nicholas Sparks has the power to charm lovesick teens. Trust us. A walk down any high school hallway bears this one out.
These books not quite right?
Some Pretty Things
With a sweet price point under $30, these bracelets make a lovely gift. Girls can stack them to infinity and beyond, so don’t feel like you have to just buy one.
A splurge for sure, this watch is at the top of many a teen wishlist this season. If you are in the mood to spoil a special girl, have at it.
Pretty and practical, this is a gift that hits it out of the ballpark on both fronts.
All teens are into footwear. These are essential for pairing with the cutest of boots. Buy them in bulk and win her heart forever.
Another indulgent purchase that will win you brownie points. Girls love these boots. Find a coupon or a sale and be the hero this Christmas.
Scarves are still in. Find a pretty one and you have a lovely present you know she is going to love.
Top of the wish list for make-up. If your girl is into skincare, this one is sure to please.
Need even more suggestions?
Check out our list just for girls from last season.
For Older Teens
If you have a music-loving teen, this gift is thoughtful and practical. No ads, total control over what songs they hear, and the ability to keep the music playing even without phone service make Spotify a winner.
Let your favorite guy or gal show off their school pride with a belt that shouts their spirit.
Hydration needs are real. Meet the need to show off their school pride and stay healthy. These are great and nearly indestructible.
Make a cozy study blanket with favorite photos.
Perfect for blending their own healthy smoothies, this is a gift they will appreciate and use for many years to come.
College kids tend to watch TV on their laptops. This portable projector means they can watch with friends.
Give them a little something to make their own morning jolt.
For Active and Adventurous Teens
This one is a bit of a splurge but action-oriented teens will appreciate the ability to record every minute of their big adventures.
Same idea as above but it requires no extra equipment. You favorite skier might be thrilled to find this one under the tree.
Got an athlete? This combination step tracker + GPS sport watch tracks steps, pace, distance covered and calories burned. It will even tell you to get up and get moving if you have been hanging around too long.
Kitschy and Kool Finds
Because Star Wars, duh?
Made from super-strong, orange nylon webbing, this camera strap attaches to the camera’s tripod socket. Hanging upside down at your side rather than around your neck and available in two versions, one that goes over your shoulder and another that goes across your body like a typical R-strap, this is a special gift for your photo-junkie teen.
Hope these help you have the happiest of holidays!
-Erin and Ellen
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Check out our books, “I Just Want to Be Alone” and “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth.”