If you don’t know what to get your teen besides a gift card, think. Think HARD. What are they always talking about? What are their friends talking about? What are the things they are never without? Chances are there’s something far more creative than a gift card you can think to get them that will show them that you’re really paying attention to them and their needs.
Start with these 17 gift ideas that are sure to appeal to a teen you know or at least get your creative juices thinking about what would really thrill them this season. After all, gifting them with that they’ll love but aren’t expecting is a sure way to show them how much you truly care and are really paying attention.
VR Real Feel™ Racing ($29.99)
Who said virtual reality has to be expensive? Just in time for the holidays, VR Entertainment Ltd. has introduced their brand new VR Real Feel™ Racing, the only virtual reality gaming system that gives you control with a real steering wheel to be able to accelerate, brake, and steer. Affordably priced and with immediate gratification of being able to be used almost right out of the box, teens, tweens, and younger siblings will love the 3D high definition graphics that come with using an iPhone, iPod, or Android phone with the VR headset. Just download the free app for iOS or Android (or any other free VR app), insert 3 AAA batteries, pop your device in the headset, and adjust the straps on the goggles, to have fun driving your car in a virtual environment. Drivers will love being able to feel the vibrations in the steering wheel when you bump into a competitor or a wall! This affordably priced, easy to use and set-up VR headset will be a hit this holiday season! Available for pre-order on Amazon and released on December 12. Items pre-ordered will be shipped in time for holiday delivery.
Take your paper airplane folding skills to the next level with the PowerUp 3.0 Bluetooth Smart Module that transforms any paper airplane into a motorized machine that can be controlled from your smartphone. I love that PowerUp 3.0 engages teens in a meaningful STEAM (STEM subjects plus arts) as they design a paper airplane but also incorporate principles of flight, lift, aerodynamics, and design to get their paper airplane into the air.
Whether your teen is transitioning from their acoustic or picking up an electric for the first time, the Squier by Fender Affinity Stratocaster Beginner Electric Guitar Pack has everything they need to get started. Teens can choose between a black or brown sunburst Squier guitar and an amp that is either 10G or 15G and the pack will come with a tuner, gig bag for toting their new electric, cable, strap, and three picks, making it easy for non-guitar playing parents to ensure they get their teen everything they need in order to be ready to rock immediately.
Sandman Clock ($44.99)
If your tween has a problem getting up in the morning and keeping their devices charged, a Sandman Clock is exactly what they need for their room. Considered a hybrid charging station and alarm clock, we love the Sandman because it features larger than life digits (1.8” in size) that can be read anywhere in the room, 4 integrated USB ports to keep devices charged, and integrated alarm clock with a snooze button and battery backup. Yes, I know your teen probably wakes up to their phone but if they’re like my almost-teen daughter, chances are they ignore it for a good 15 minutes before they wake up. Set the Sandman’s alarm and put it across the room on their desk so they’ll be sure to have to get up and turn it off every morning before school. Sorry kids but at least your devices are charged and ready for your day at school! Get 10% off your Sandman Clock with the code TSM.
Powercell 10000+ by Ventev ($69.99)
End the “my phone died” problem this holiday season thanks to the Ventev Powercell 10000+. I’ve tried a ton of chargers in my almost 9 years of blogging and this is my hands-down favorite thanks it holding a whopping 10,000 mAh, the built in Apple Lightning and MicroUSB cables, and the screen that tells you exactly how much battery life you have left. The built in cables charge your phone or other digital device at lightning speed and yes, you can charge your phone and a friend’s at the same time because friends don’t let friends let their phones die.
UE ROLL 2 ($99)
If you want sound that fills the room or whatever space you’re occupying, the UE Roll 2 is a small speaker with big sound. Available in a variety of bright solid colors as well as patterns, the UE ROLL 2 is a portable Bluetooth speaker that can sit on your desk or connect to your messenger bag or backpack with a bungee for better sound than you’ll probably ever get from your laptop or tablet’s speakers. College students will love that they can get twice the sound thanks to the Double Up feature that allows a friend to connect their UE ROLL 2 to pump up the volume.
Trivial Pursuit 2000s Game ($24.99)
For older teens and their trivia loving parents who loved Trivial Pursuit, Trivial Pursuit 2000 tests a family’s knowledge on 2000s era trivia about places, entertainment, events, arts, science and technology, and sports and hobbies thanks to 300 trivia cards that feature 1,800 questions from 6 categories for some unplugged game night fun.
Tired of seeing tangly messes of earbuds lying around your house? CableYoYo helps your teens manage their earbuds in a neater way. Simply wind the cord around the soft silicone spool and the magnetic center will hold the earbuds to prevent them from tangling so they’re always ready to use.
A gallery of digital photos on your phone is great but crafty teens will appreciate Polaroid’s new scrapbooking accessories that are perfect for creating hard copies of memories that can be cherished forever. Start with a vibrant cloth covered 8”x8” photo album ($24.99 and available in red, pink, or purple), include a pack of decorative edge scissors to crop using a fun edge (set of 6 for $12.99), add some gel pen sets to jot notes in fun metallic, glitter, or neon ink ($10.99/set), or some mini photo punchers ($5.99 each) or colorful border stickers ($9.99) to help her start archiving special memories exactly as she wants.
Mechanical gaming keyboard features differ from traditional ones because they feature mechanical switches that are amazingly responsive so your fingers just need to touch the keyboard lightly to type. They’re great for gaming teens or any teen who spends a lot of time on the computer. The G910 Orion Spectrum features backlit keys that can be customized from a palette of 16.8 million colors (think of it as a rainbow on your desk!) and a design that allows you to rest your wrists on the large palm rest and adjust the keyboard for maximum comfort.
TIMP Backpack by Lander ($129.99)
With a sleek weather-resistant exterior, bright red interior with a 25 liter capacity, lightweight design, padded shoulder straps, and inside sleeves designed to hold a water bladder, iPad, laptop, and more, the TIMP Backpack by Lander has lots of versatility for today’s teens making it great for school and extra-curricular adventures.
Chances are your teen always has a pair of headphones on or earbuds in. Here are my 4 picks for the best headphones this holiday season.
Available in a rainbow of colors to suit every style and personality, Monster’s N-Tune are my pick for on-ear headphones because they’re ridiculously comfortable and under $100. Teens will love the in-line controls for the ease in flipping through songs on their playlists, cables that don’t tangle, passive noise isolation that helps keep them immersed in their favorite music, and great sound.
For those teens who like in-ear vs over-the-ear styles and don’t want to be tethered to their device, Monster Clarity HD Bluetooth Headphones deliver great sound clarity, are light and compact, and come with three different sizes of tips for a comfortable fit.
Razer Kraken Pro (starting at $59.99 on Amazon)
If your teen loves to play video games, the Razer Kraken Pro V2s work with PCs, Xbox One, Playstation 4, and mobile games to provide fully immersive sound for game play. The aluminum frame makes these headphones light, plush cushions make them comfortable for extended wear, and a fully retractable microphone and in-line remote provide ease of communication while playing.
If your teen has a history of losing headphones, Moxyo’s are just under $20. They’re available in black, aqua, mint, white, red, and magenta feature an in-line mic and tangle free cables.
Something that you can enjoy every month makes a great gift! Here are 3 things to get your teens so they don’t have to spend their own money on these monthly subscription services.
Ipsy Glam Bag ($10/month plus shipping)
Everyone loves a good subscription box and for teen girls, you can’t beat Ipsy. Each month Ipsy’s Glam Bag arrives in a shiny magenta padded envelope, and inside your teen will find a cosmetic pouch (there’s a different design each month) filled with deluxe makeup and beauty samples and full sized beauty products that are chosen just for her thanks to the custom profile that they fill out. I personally purchased my Ipsy Glam Bag subscription and for the past three months have been thrilled with the selections from my stylists. The travel size items are just the right size try out new products and tuck in a clutch for a night out with friends.
Netflix Streaming ($30 or $60 increments)— Did you know you can give the gift of streaming via a Netflix gift card? Available at Target and through Amazon, Netflix Streaming makes a great gift for teens who have moved out of the house so they can enjoy their favorite shows for the next year. The gift card value is applied to the account and used as credit for the monthly subscription charge.
YouTube Red ($9.99/month)— YouTube Red lets teens enjoy videos across all of YouTube without ads, while also letting them save videos to watch offline on your phone or tablet and play videos in the background. The membership extends across devices and anywhere you sign into YouTube, including the Gaming app and YouTube Music.
Spotify Premium ($4.99/month for students)— If your teen is already a dedicated Spotify user who enjoys the free service, get them Premium so they can play any song, download music and listen online, listen in high definition, and enjoy their music without ads.
Visit my other age appropriate gift guides for more gift suggestions:
- Toddlers and Preschoolers (ages 18 months-5 years)
- Early Elementary Ages (grades K-2 or ages 5-8)
- Tweens (grades 3-7 or ages 8-12)
Specialty Gift Guides:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Subscription Boxes for Kids, Teens, and Adults
- Gadget Lovers
- Best Teacher Gifts
Must-Read Gift Guides Compiled by Friends:
Samples were received for review purposes. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. All images courtesy of the companies.