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As an 8th grade computer science teacher and mom of two teens, I spend a lot of time interacting with teens! Parenting and teaching teens definitely gives me an interesting perspective on the 13+ set to know the best gifts for teens.
It’s easy to write of holiday gifts for teens thinking that all they want are gift cards and cold hard cash but that’s not always the case. While they do love having disposable income and the chance to shop for what they want with gift cards, the most best gifts for teens are the ones that show that you listen to them and know their interests.
Best Gifts for Teens
This year stop and listen to figure out what your teen is always talking about. We may be together all the time thanks to the pandemic but how often are we engaging our teens in conversations about their interests?
Do you know how do they spend their time when they’re not on Zoom for school? Are there certain games they’re always playing with their friends? What shows are they streaming through Netflix party? What are the things they’re never without that could use an upgrade? What are their hopes and dreams for the future that you could help support? Teens are very much in the moment but they’re also thinking ahead to their futures.
This year’s Best Gifts for Teens is sorted by interest and includes gift cards to places where they can purchase what they want to foster growing interests.
Chances are one of these categories fits the teen you know and love but hopefully it will also inspire 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, their needs, and hopes and dreams.
Gifts for Teens Who Loves Gaming
Ask my 14 year old son what he and his friends want and it’s not surprising that they want to upgrade their gaming systems. This also holds true for my students who want to dream of upgrading their PCs to faster gaming systems with better graphics cards and high-end accessories. Here are a few things that will delight any teen gamer in your life.
Oculus Quest 2 ($299)
If your teen gamer hasn’t yet tried virtual reality gaming, Oculus Quest 2 allows them to explore games in a whole new way. Once teens srap on the headset and slip their hands through the controllers possibilities for game play is endless. Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge allows travels to Batuu to fight alongside R-D@ and C-3PO, pick up missions in a cantina that let you explore the land, or become part of a new adventure with Jedi Master Yoda. Teens can also navigate icebergs in a kayak, climb an ice shelf and survive a snowstorm while searching for a lost emperor penguin colony, visit Machu Piccu and more with National Geographic’s Explore VR. Oculus Quest 2 is among the hottest gifts this year so grab your headset before they aren’t available this holiday.
PlayStation 5 ($399)
If you can happen to find a PlayStation 5 in stock, grab it! Released earlier this month, PlayStation 5 is the hot new console that every gamer is trying to get their hands on. It’s rare to find one in stock so when you do, snap it up to delight the teen gamer you love!
Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition TKL ($129.99)
Gamers will tell you that not all keyboards are the same. A split second can mean the difference between victory and defeat which is why the speed of the Razer Huntsman Tournament Edition TKL makes all the difference! Instantly responsive, Huntsman Tournament features keys that register at the speed of light and are tested to industry-leading durability. The keys have a premium feel and quality, doubleshot molding to ensure the labels never wear off due to gameplay, and are individually lit thanks to Razer Chroma.
Marvel’s Avengers ($59.99 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
This action adventure game allows players to be one of the Avengers in an original story that features the team fighting to redeem their name and save the planet from a malevolent plot. Comic book style action, combat, and violence are themes of this game but it lacks blood and gore. For a full review, visit Common Sense Media.
RESPAWN by 5 Gum ($14.85 for a 10 pack)
Could gum help game play? RESPAWN combine green tea extract and B vitamins in flavors like cool mint, pomegranate watermelon, and tropical punch to help players maintain mental focus and reaction time. I have no idea if it really works but you’ll definitely get cool points for gifting this gum!
Gift Cards for Gamers
If you know what console your teen has, a gift card to the Nintendo Store, Xbox, and PlayStation are always appreciated. Unsure of what system your gaming teen relative has? You can’t go wrong with a GameStop or Best Buy gift card that will let them choose games and accessories for their system.
Gifts for the Streaming Teen
Whether they’re listening to music, always watching Disney+, or hanging out on Netflix Party with friends, give the streaming teen in your life accessories that they’ll love.
Apple Airpods Pro ($199)
With active noise cancellation that helps your teen concentrate during Zoom school and then blocks out noise when watching their favorite show or listening to music, Apple Airpods Pro are a big upgrade from wired headphones. Yes, they’re an investment. Yes, your teen could lose one. But where are they going right now? They’re spending tons of time at home so give them the gift you know they want and will use during every waking hour of every day.
Mini Projector ($84.99)
Prevent digital eye strain by gifting your teen a projector that will let them watch their favorite show on something bigger than their phone or laptop. This mini projector connects to their phone, laptop, or tablet, making it perfect for streaming. It provides a viewing size from 30-200” although optimal image size is 60-80”. Built-in speakers provide sound effects, but your teen could also connect their own Bluetooth one. This projector doesn’t come with a HDMI cable so make sure you have one or add one to your Amazon order if you’re gifting this item.
Swag from their favorite show
What are they watching when they stream? What series have they streamed over and over again? In our house, Friends and The Office have been watched on repeat so a Personalized The Office Nameplate ($12 on Etsy), Friends Sticker Art Puzzles ($9.98 on Amazon), or a Friends Ornament ($16 on Etsy) make a great gifts for our 16 year old. If they regularly channel David Rose, then they might like this Very Uninterested in that Opinion Coffee Mug ($13.79).
Spotify Premium ($99/year)
Sure, Spotify is free with ads but let your teen listen ad-free and offline with a Spotify Premium account. If you’re not quite sure what that means, just trust me on this!
Gifts for the Fashionable Teen Who Shuns Fast Fashion
Fashion is a $2.5 trillion sector and the second most polluting industry on Earth. The process of producing cheap clothes quickly and frequently is known as fast fashion and many of today’s teens like to look beyond the trends. They create their own style by thrifting and shopping via DePop or by supporting retailers like Patagonia who use Earth friendly materials and have sustainable practices when it comes to recycling used clothing. Here are picks for fashionable teens who are fast fashion adverse.
WearPanda Sunglasses ($120)
Made from 100% sustainable bamboo, WearPanda sunglasses are fashionable, eco-friendly, and sustainable. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet and is naturally lightweight yet stronger than steel! WearPanda makes styles to fit all teens and are absolutely gorgeous! A solid frame, beautiful finish, and unboxing them from the free bamboo case and microfiber pouch made my 16 year old daughter swoon! Now the sunglasses I got as a sample are hers!
Lokai Bracelet ($18)
Chances are you have seen these bracelets encircling wrists everywhere. Each Lokai bracelet features a white bead infused with water from Mt. Everest, the highest point on Earth. Inside the black bead is mud from the Dead Sea which is the lowest point on Earth. The black and white beads are to remind us of the highs and lows everyone experiences. With tons of different designs to choose from, each is a reminder to stay humble through the highs and hopeful through the lows. My favorites in the collection are the gorgeous white Carbon Offset and Zodiac symbols! Get 20% off with the code TECHSAVVY when you shop Lokai.
Lasercut Wood Earrings ($22 and up)
With 41 different styles of laser cut cherry wood earrings that vary from gorgeous mandalas, feathery dangles, geometric shapes that go with every outfit, and even a pair featuring Lionel Richie, Pew Pew Lasercraft’s Etsy store has a pair for every teen. Get free shipping with code: TECHSAVVYMAMA
LastSwab ($12) from LastObject
With a mission to eliminate single use items by creating reusable sustainable alternatives LastObject’s premium products eliminate single use cotton swabs and rounds. LastSwab is a reusable, sustainable and sanitary alternative to cotton swabs, buds, and Q-tips. It helps combat the billions of single-use cotton swabs that are produced every day. Look for LastRound coming soon! LastRound reusable cotton pads replace 1000 single use cotton pads. This sustainable alternative to single use cotton pads consists of 7 reusable cotton pads and in a bio-based case.
Uncommon Goods is the perfect place to find a gift for anyone thanks to their collection of gifts handmade in the USA by small businesses and makers. Shop their best gifts for teens collection to find unique craft kits (bubble tea kit or National Parks Color Map Mug), things that help them stay in touch with those they love (Long DIstance Touch Bracelet Set), and gift options that support nonprofits.
Gifts for the Content Creator
Whether your teen creates content for YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, or any other channel, there is equipment that will help them up their game. Here are 3 great gifts for content creators.
Lume Cube 2.0 ($89.95)
Far superior to a ring light, the Lume Cube 2.0 provides professional quality light that can be adjusted up or down in 10% increments and easily controlled via Bluetooth when connected to your iPhone or Android phone. Housed in aluminum, Lume Cube 2.0 is durable and is waterproof for under water filming up to 30 feet depths. Content creators will love the compact 1.6” inch size of Lume Cube 2.0 and that it includes a DSLR mount, modification frame, warming gel, and softening diffuser.
UV-C Sanitizing Pen from CaseWash ($39.99)
Creating content is something that can be done socially distanced and outside but it’s still important to help teens be safe. CaseWash’s UV-C Sanitizing Pen disinfects on the go and can be used to keep phones, keys, and surfaces clean as content is being created outside your home. Small enough to slip in a back pocket, CaseWash uses UV-C light to kill 99.9% of germs. Just place the device 1-2 inches away from the surface, hold the button for 10-30 seconds, and then recharge via USB-C.
Since not all content is digital, teens who prefer to chronicle their existence via journals will appreciate saying goodbye to glue sticks and washi tape once they get PoooliPrint. This pocket-sized thermal printer requires no ink. It’s also highly portable so journaling teens can print images right from their camera roll wherever they are. The free companion app makes it easy to edit photos. When your teen is ready to print, they can choose from a variety of thermal papers that come in plain, patterned, and sticky varieties. Get 30% off your entire PoooliPrint order when you use my affiliate link to shop with the code BLACKFRIDAY30.
Green Screen Backdrop Kit ($84.99)
A green screen is essential for video content creators and photographers. This professional kit features an aluminum alloy stand that can be quickly assembled and a 10×12’ cotton muslin green backdrop that can be used to add in any background of your teen’s choice. It also serves well as a Zoom background during school hours. You wouldn’t believe how many students are sitting in front of green screens in my computer science class!
AGE APPROPRIATE GIFT GUIDES:
- Toddlers & Preschoolers
- Early Elementary Ages (grades K-2, ages 5-8)
- Tweens (ages 9-12)
- Teens (ages 13+)
SPECIALTY GIFT GUIDES:
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Gifts for Unplugged Fun
- Best Subscription Boxes
- Must-Have Gifts to Level Up Your Home Office
- Outdoor Adventures
- Gadget Lovers
- Frequent Fliers
NEED MORE IDEAS? VISIT MY PAST GIFT GUIDES FOR TWEENS:
- 2019 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Teens
- 2018 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Teens
- 2017 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Teens
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. Images courtesy of the companies featured.