If you’re a parent of a teen, you probably find yourself counting down milestones from time to time. The number of birthdays left to celebrate at home, remaining seasons of their favorite sport, years left in high school before they’re off to college, and maybe summers but let’s be honest, those 18 summers are a lie and were never truly ours to begin with. So what are the best gifts for teens who are very much in the moment but also thinking ahead to their futures?
You may think all they want is gift cards to let them shop for what they want but the best gifts for teens aren’t just gift cards. This year stop and listen to figure out what your teen is always talking about. What shows are they binging on? What their friends talking about? What are the things they are never without? What experiences could you give them in the form of a trip that would create lasting memories?
My list of Best Gifts for Teens is just the tip of the iceberg. While these gifts will appeal to a teen you know, this list is also designed to inspire some creative thinking about an unexpected gift that they’re sure to love. After all, gifting them with the unexpected demonstrates how much you truly care and are really paying attention to them and their needs.
Best Gifts for Teens
Google Home Mini ($49)
So many times our teens come home, retreat to their rooms and slip on headphones or tuck in earbuds, but this year, a gift of a Google Home Mini will let them listen to their favorite music but also does so much more. From streaming favorite music from services like Spotify, providing homework assistance, setting a morning alarm to wake up in time for school, and an array of other organizational and entertainment features, a Google Home Mini is the perfect addition to any teen’s room.
If you have a teen music aficionado who insist that vinyl is the best way to listen to music, a turntable makes a great gift. I love this vintage style record player that has 3 speeds for listening to your teen’s growing record collection that also features integration of Bluetooth so they can listen to favorite digital music for times when they still want to stream favorite playlists.
Light Up Wire Art ($34.95 but currently on sale for $29.95)
Let them exercise their creativity with this STEAM based set that has everything your teen needs to create their own custom neon signs with EL wire. Choose from five existing templates or create one of their own design and then hang their creations or display one using the included wooden stand. They’ll love flipping the switch to see their awesome glowing final creation come to life!
I Am Loved Ring ($84)
Let teens know that they know who they are and are enough with this beautiful handcrafted ring from Lisa Lehmann Designs new line that encourages self-love. Lisa’s self-love line is designed to get us back to speaking kindly to ourselves, allowing us to fully express that love to ourselves so in turn, we can truly show that love to others. Each heart in her line is designed from the hearts she draws which she says are “Slightly unique. Slightly misshapen. Love isn’t perfect..is it?” Each ring comes enclosed with a loving mantra.
Glow Lab ($44.95 but currently on sale for $29.95)
The science of fluorescence, phosphorescence, and chemiluminescence come to life thanks to this KiwiCrate set that has everything your teen needs to try 3 chemistry experiments exploring these three types of light sciences. The included UV light, a spiral stand to help mix solutions, and other items will help them learn about cold light, invisible light, and experiment with fluorescein, zinc sulfide, and luminol reactions.
CAUSEBOX — ($54.95 quarter, $49.95/quarter for an annual subscription)
Give a gift to teens that give back. Each Causebox purchase contains items that empower and employ, feed the hungry, educate the underprivileged, and provide education, clean water, and hope for victims of abuse for men, women, and children around the world. This a quarterly subscription box for women includes products from companies that are making a global impact. All products are socially conscious meaning that they give back to underprivileged communities, provide jobs and sustainable income in underdeveloped areas of the world, raise awareness for different charitable initiatives, and empower individuals. They aim to make the world a better place because all products that are featured in CAUSEBOX are made ethically. There is a new CAUSEBOX available each quarter and you can subscribe for the year or give/purchase a single box by paying quarterly. Regardless of whether you’re a subscriber or a one-time buyer, every box contains at least $150 worth of products and 7% of every purchase is given back to charity for each box sold.
Doing homework in dimly lit rooms contributes to eye strain so give your teen the gift of light with OttLite’s LED Pivoting Bankers Lamp. This light shows colors accurately, allows teens to see fine print and details clearly without the yellow cast of some lights, reduces glare and eyestrain, and contains a built in USB charging port to charge tablets, phones, and more. Touch sensitive controls make it easy to adjust the 3 brightness levels and the lamp is nicely sized for their desk at home or in their dorm room. It also features built in organization elements to keep the items they use most right at their fingertips.
Plant Pot Speaker ($17.95)
Teens with a green thumb will appreciate that the new home for their favorite succulent also plays music and illuminates their room. Touch the petal or leaf to create music and turn on the LED lights but if your teen isn’t able to channel their inner composer, they can play favorite songs through the speaker from their Bluetooth device.
Google Chromecast ($35)
College students with flat screen TVs in their dorm rooms would love having a Google Chromecast to watch shows, play favorite playlists from Spotify, Pandora, and YouTube music, and play personal videos from their phones to a TV screen. Multitasking teens will love that Google Chromecast allows them to use their phone like they normally can still enjoy viewing content they love on a bigger screen.
Geometric Laser Projector ($44.95 but currently on sale for $29.95)
Lasers make a great holiday gift especially when your teen has to use their skills to assemble this variable speed laser projector. The included instruction set walks your teen through how to assemble a variable speed laser projector that is capable of producing a variety of different geometric patterns while teaching the science behind lasers, potentiometers, and motors.
Give your tween everything they need to enjoy time off during winter break with a great selection of items from Cents of Style. Cozy sweatshirts, graphic Ts with fun sayings, and loungetastic leggings and slippers are sure to be a huge hit throughout the winter months. Pro tip: Check out their daily deals (like 2 for Tuesday) that are a great way to score more of what they’ll love for less!
Phone Accessories for Teens
- Tile Sport and Tile Style ($44.99 for 2, one of each Sport & Style)— Teens who have a hard time keeping track of their stuff will love having Tile to help them locate their belongings at school, in the house, and even lost under a pile of clothes in their room. Tile is a square Bluetooth tracker that can be attached to just about anything to ensure that when your teen loses their stuff, they can get it back. Your teen will need to install the app, stick or attach your Tile to something you just can’t live without and if it’s within the 200 foot Bluetooth range, it will play a loud tune until the items is found. They can find their phone by double tapping the button on their Tile and their phone will begin to ring, even if it’s set on silent. If the item you’re looking for is outside the range, the Tile app remembers when and where you left it behind and you can activate your very own search party to find it thanks to the million of users in the Tile community who will help you find your things fast. For ages 13+
- PopSockets ($9.99 and up) — Popping up on phones everywhere, PopSockets are not only a great phone accessory but they provide an added grip so phones are less likely to slip from their fingers. There are no shortage of designs to choose from, making it easy to find one to fit your tween’s style. Click here to get 20% off and free shipping!
- Powercell External Battery ($11.95 and up)— Ventev makes our family’s favorite external battery packs and my kids love the ones with the integrated cables so they can always be sure they can keep their phones charged on the go. The Powercell 3015 (iOS, USB-C, micro USB) models are nice and slim, perfect for tucking in a backpack, clutch, or pocket while the 6010+ model (ios and Android) features a wall charger, integrated cable, and fast charge capabilities to deliver enough power for 25 hours of talk.
- Mabel’s Labels Combo Pack ($42)— No one ever wants to lose their phone, external charger, or the hoodie that it was in at the time but sometimes these things happen and your kids are more likely to get their things back when they’re properly labeled. Mabel’s Labels has helped ensure that misplaced items find their way back to us for years and they’re a must have for digital devices, clothes, water bottles, and everything else they stick
Glam Gifts for Teens
- Urban Decay Naked Palette ($59.99)— Relatives that like to spoil your kids should be directed towards the Urban Decay’s like of Naked Palettes. These eyeshadow palettes are highly coveted by teens (and their parents) because of highly pigmented gorgeous colors are infused with soothing botanicals to give them a look like no other.
- Lip Freak Tints ($5.95 for one, $24.95 for a set of 3)— This electrifying lip balm from Doctor Lip Bang boasts bold build-able color in every swipe thanks to pigmented shades like Nude Attitude, Sweet Villain, Pinky Swear, and Bleeding Heart. Like the rest of Doctor Lip Bang’s line each tint is 100% natural and contains no harsh preservatives or synthesized ingredients to add the perfect pop to your holiday wardrobe. One is great but a set of 3 provides a shade for all moods and occasions.
- Sheet Mask Set ($9.57 for 16) —Bring the magic of K-beauty to your teen with an entire set of 16 sheet masks! This assortment of sheet masks contain highly concentrated active ingredients that penetrate the skin to keep young skin moisturized, clear, and less stressed.
- Ipsy Glam Bag ($10/month)—Whether you give one month or 6, each month Ipsy recipients receive customized beauty goodies packaged in unique cosmetic cases called the Glam Bag. It’s a perfect subscription for YouTube makeup loving tutorial teens who live their lives in the beauty aisle, especially since it’s nicely priced at $10/month. Each month’s bag is automatically charged to your credit card but you can cancel at any time.
AGE APPROPRIATE GIFT GUIDES:
SPECIALTY GIFT GUIDES:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Subscription Boxes
- Gadget Lovers
- Frequent Fliers
- Outdoor Adventures
NEED MORE IDEAS? VISIT MY PAST TWEEN GIFT GUIDES
I hope you enjoy this year’s picks and wish you happy and stress-free holiday shopping!
Samples were received to facilitate this post and affiliate links are included. No compensation was received for this post or hosting this giveaway and all opinions are my own.