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Notoriously hard to buy for? Yes. But not impossible. So don’t just throw your hands up in the air, huff something about ‘today’s teenagers’ and go the straight cash route.
When it comes to the best gifts for a teenage loved one or friend, show them you’ve taken the time to think about them with some of these great options at a whole range of price points.
By Liz Holt • Published Jan 2 2023
Okay, so the family dentist is unlikely to thank you for this one...but hey, they're not the one you're buying for. Everyone loves candy. Monthly shipments of candy? What's not to love! CandyClub tailors a package to a particular set of taste buds and then puts together a delectable selection to land at the door every month.
Teenage years are now spent rapidly accruing devices. And like the rest of us, teens spend their days watching battery life drain steadily down. This NTONPOWER charging dock is the lifesaver every teen will be thankful for. With six ports, it can recharge Macbooks, smartphones, tablets, Kindles, Apple Watches and AirPods all at the same time — and all 2.5x faster than regular charging. Power up!
It's not just devices that are ever more frequently in need of a buzz and a boost. High teens have been a huge growth area for Starbucks and anecdotally at least, the evidence would appear to be backed up. But mocha cookie crumble frapuccinos don't come cheap so a gift card is always going to be very happily received — and well used.
Just the right touch for a bedroom redesign...dreamy backdrop for Tik Tok videos...mood lighting for late night study sessions. String lights are super versatile and will likely fill a bunch of functions for the grateful recipient. They come in a standard soft warm white but can switch to dynamic flashing colour modes depending on the mood.
Hey there are more than a few reasons for us all to have sleepless nights these days. As they ponder what sort of world they're going to inherit, teenagers might just have the most. Weighted blankets promise all sorts of benefits — combating anxiety and sleep disorders. These breathable designs promise perfect temperature control and a seamless eight hours sleep a night.
The teens, as usual, were ahead of the game. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and the adults needed to turn disparate parts of the home into studios, who did they turn to? Their camera-conscious teens who had already made ring lights an essential part of the social/creator process. This latest Neewer model is particularly aimed at the TikTok generation and has all the bells, whistles and filters any self-respecting teenager could need.
Anyone who has laid back into an inflatable lounger knows that there's no recommended age for that kinda comfort. Nonetheless, getting yourself back up and out of one is something that would appear to be easier for teens than the rest of us. Whether for the beach, backyard, poolside or camping, these super lightweight loungers are ultra-durable.
We're all forgetful at times. It's just that teenagers, understandably, have more of those times than most of the rest of us. Tile call their Pro model a 'high performance finder ideal for keys, backpacks, luggage or any other items you want to keep track of'. The bluetooth tracker, controlled though an app, is indeed ultra intuitive and super helpful.
Fashion....it always comes back around. Tie dyeing, the staple of the Hippy Generations of the 1960s and 70s, had a renaissance in 2020 during the pandemic lockdown but fashion bibles aplenty insist it's not going anywhere any time soon. This Valeny kit includes 18 colours of non-toxic dye for all of the DIY fashion any teen could need.
The folks over at Nintendo just continue to surprise us with how damn small and neat they can make their best devices. The Switch was already a winner. Now it's even smaller. The younger brigade will love how portable the Lite is and it's of course compatible with all physical and digital Switch games.
Who needs beats in the shower? The simple answer is...who doesn't? This model is shockproof, dustproof and waterproof. Dare we call it teenproof? Guess there's only one way to find out. The long-life lithium speaker even lets you take calls in the shower once it's synced to your phone.
No point having a speaker to belt out bangers in the shower if you don't have access to the biggest music catalogue in the world. Gifting Spotify Premium is one of those presents that immediately changes how someone interacts with music. A three-month Premium upgrade for $30 is about as good as it gets for value gifts.
In the pantheon of things-that-do-other-things, these are right up there. More than just a mere Popgrip to hold and stand up your cellphone, these designs include a refillable spot for flavoured lip balm. The Poptops are interchangeable so you can mix up designs depending on the mood.
In our hyper capitalist and consumerist age, there are signs of hope on how younger generations are looking closer at the impacts of the way we do things. There's no better time to teach teens the true value of things and how caring means sharing. Better again, have them pick out their gift from World Vision's range of meaningful and often life-changing options.
Angie Thomas's 2017 debut novel examining race relations through the eyes of a 16-year-old Black girl who is a student at an elite largely white school was an instant sensation, spending almost a full year on the NYT bestsellers list. Indigo include it in their Teen Books of the Decade lists. All with good reason. Powerful, engaging and beyond timely, it is an essential read for teens...and the rest of us.
While the Gen-Xers and the Millennials are gorging on all of the nostalgia on offer at Disney's wildly successful streaming service, the fact of the matter is that content from the mouse house is good for all ages. With Marvel and Lucasfilm catalogues and new content all under the umbrella there's endless hours of fun to be had.
There is a world of options for positivity and mindfulness journals for teen boys and girls. Keri Smith's take is a little different. It describes itself as "a subversive illustrated book that challenges readers to muster up their best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book" and has been a major hit. Happy wrecking!
The Rolls Royce of noise-cancelling headphones, these definitely fall into the something special category, given their price range. However, given just how much noise the average teen does have to cancel out, they will likely be worth the price tag. The newest Bose model includes a built-in microphone for clear calls and Alexa voice control.
Sure, Instagram is the most gloriously addictive platform in social media but there's something about holding a physical photo that feels a good kinda different. The Instax Mini Link is the perfect photo printer for the latest graduates to Generation Selfie. Fuji make it super simple to edit and print from their smartphone app with prints taking just 12 seconds. Get snap happy.
A slow-burner but now seen as arguably the go-to fantasy adventure series of the last decade for teenagers, Shadow and Bone kicked off the Grisha Trilogy. The story of Alina Starkov's efforts to save her once-great nation of Ravka is one that readers can plunge into. Gift the book now before the Netflix adaptation hits screens!
Okay, we're suckers for a customizable bedroom decoration. And the My Cinema model is about as customizable as a lightbox gets. Options for colour cycling and freeze modes and over 100 letters and characters make it an Insta-tastic addition to a bedroom makeover.
Look, we're as surprised as anyone else that Crocs keep having these 'moments' but there's no denying it. We're coming up on 20 years of everyone's favourite (or least favourite) foam footwear and the clogs are still finding favour with another generation of teens. So...go wild, with a world of designs out there.
Winter can really suck. We need as many distractions as possible (while staying warm, preferably. So being able to scroll without getting frostbite on the fingertips is something all ages appreciate. The brand boast that touchscreen sensitivity has increased by 50% with this range. Only one way to test the boast.
As far as beauty and grooming goes, teenage years are usually a time of discovery, rather than being a tied-down patron of a brand or product. What better way to help this voyage of discovery than a monthly (recyclable) box of five premium products for them to sample.
Amazon have zoomed on to their fourth generation of the Dot and it'll be a welcome addition to any teenager's bedside locker. The smartest speaker of all can play music, answer questions, play the news, check the weather, set alarms and do plenty more.
This novel about a witty French Canadian teenager who finds himself in Texas living the highs lows and awkward humiliations of the American high school experience is the definition of heartwarming. Ben Philippe's main character, Norris, is the snarky anti-hero we need in this era.
Can't spell fun without functional, right? Well, something like that. We'd probably Google it but our phone is dead. This super duper compact mobile charger is compatible with all current and recent smartphone models and will ensure no dreaded power outages.
A little too close to home? Maybe. Aren't board games supposed to be an escape from reality? There's no escaping the hellscape of recent times, we're afraid. This game actually precedes the COVID-19 outbreak and rams home how only co-operation can save the world from a deadly outbreak. If only our governments had realised it sooner.
What about if we take one of the most wildly popular card games for teenagers and combine it with one of the most wildly popular teen heartthrob groups in music? You can see the Mattel masterminds rubbing their hands from here. K-Pop card games for the win.
Cookie Monster has, remarkably, been around for 55 years now. His appeal spans the generations. As does the appeal of rocking a fleece onesie for the majority of a lazy weekend. These designs come in Elmo versions too. Choose your character and kick on back.
If in doubt, call in some star power! Dive into Cameo's roster and surprise them with a personalized message from their favourite athlete, actor, pop star or just random tangentially famous celebrity (in the loosest sense of the word).
Fair enough, at the start of all of this we urged you not to cop out and just gift your teenage loved one cash. And we fully realize that an Amazon voucher isn't all that more imaginative. But it is incredibly versatile and will come in handy — quickly.
This mini-fridge is the perfect gadget for any teen's room and comes in various colors to match their personal style. Great for storing snacks for long gaming sessions or keeping their coveted skincare at the exact temperature that Youtube beauty guru told them to, any teen is sure to love this gift.
Would it be the end of the world if your teen lost their iPhone? Help them keep track of their lifeline with the Apple Airtag, an easy way for them to always know where they left their phone or other Apple devices.
Obsessed with Animal Crossing? Surprise them with the Animal Crossing Edition of the Nintendo Switch! Handheld for travel and single-player gaming or connect it to the TV for some epic Mario Kart competition!
We all know retro trends have been making a comeback, and it doesn’t stop with fashion! Roller Skating is gaining popularity again and every teen that’s seen those awesome roller skating trick videos on TikTok is sure to want a pair!
Whether they’re just blasting their music in their room, or want to bring their tunes with them to the beach or skatepark this portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect gift. Available in tons of fun colors, it’s a great speaker for streaming their newest Spotify playlist.
Highly rated and extremely breathable, these face masks are super comfy and come in all different sizes for the perfect fit! Great for all-day wear at school and as a general everyday mask to keep them safe.
This Fujifilm Instax bundle includes tons of film, a handy carrying case, scrapbook, frames and more! The ultimate gift to help them up their selfie game and capture those special moments.
If they’re a gamer, you know that their gaming setup has to be just right; and what gaming setup is complete without a Razer keyboard? This keyboard has the clicky, tactical feedback that every gamer loves and the awesome RGB backlighting to make their rig look just as cool as all their favorite Twitch streamers.
You can’t go wrong with a classic - a Polaroid instant camera. A great way to encourage them to preserve some of those special moments in print instead of getting lost in their camera roll.
Scrunchies have made a comeback! This adorable gift adds a personal touch to the classic hair accessory by customizing it with their own dog's face.
Flashback to the 90s with this Coca-Cola x Morphe collab featuring cherry coke lip gloss and blush. This duo is perfect for throwing in their backpack for quick touch-ups.
From Youtubers to TikToker’s all their favorite social media influencers have been gushing over Glossier skincare for years. If your teen loves skincare, this starter set is the perfect introduction to the buzzworthy brand.
This light-up vanity is the finishing touch for any teenage girl's room. Perfect selfies and perfect makeup applications both require the right lighting, and this vanity will have them covered.
Recently, motivational water bottles have become somewhat of a trend, making this Venture Pal Sports Water Bottle the perfect gift. Encourage them to drink more water while staying on top of the latest trends - this gift is a win-win for teens and parents alike.
Good headphones are essential for any teenager, whether they’re on Zoom for school or listening to their favorite playlist. The Apple Airpods Pro are the wireless earbuds that every teen has their eye on.
Up their Instagram aesthetic or level up their gaming setup with a custom neon sign. Convert their name, favorite saying or any other short words or phrases into this fun piece of bedroom decor they’re sure to love.
These super cozy giant hooded blankets, or Oodies, have been all over social media for the last few years. With designs from Harry Potter to avocados there’s an Oodie to fit every teen’s style - it’s sure to be their new go-to loungewear.
iPads are great for teens; allowing them to do school work on the go or watch Youtube makeup tutorials. The iPad mini is small but mighty - the perfect size to fit in their purse or backpack and can easily be paired with a Bluetooth keyboard or other accessories to make essay writing or TikTok scrolling a breeze.
Doc Martens have been a wardrobe staple for teens for decades. These classic unisex boots go with anything and last a lifetime making them a great gift for any teenager in your life.
Ask any parent and they’d say that their teenager has a strange ability to destroy their phones (often in the weirdest ways). Protect their phone with this cute cloud phone case that comes in a variety of colorways.
One of the most frustrating parts of being a teenager is going through a whole host of new emotions and learning how to deal with them. The Box of Emotions cards is a great self-care activity for your teen to learn to identify their feelings and increase self-awareness.
A good throwback tee never goes out of style. This Power Rangers graphic tee is super comfy and easy to pair with any outfit.
The ProSmart iPhone Battery Case is a great accessory for your teen's iPhone. The slim profile makes it easy to carry and keeps their battery charged all day long (because we know it’s easy for them to drain it scrolling social media).
They’re on their phones all the time anyway so why not turn it into a game? The Game of Phones uses their phone as a tool in a super fun scavenger hunt between them and their friends. Ease them into the idea of “screen-free” family/friend time with this game.
Everyone that paints their nails needs a good set of neutrals. This Nails Inc set does just that, with 4 perfect neutral shades for every mood and outfit.
Try something new with this natural dye tie-dye kit.! A great rainy-day activity to do with friends, this kit is a fun way to experiment with natural dyes and create cute clothes, pillowcases, and accessories.
Streamline their school day routine with this Dryer and Volumizer Brush by Revlon. This round brush takes hair from damp to volumized and styled in one easy step.
If your teenager is showing an interest in photography, this classic Polaroid 600 Job Pro camera is a great way to encourage them. A good balance between the cheaper instant cameras on the market and film SLR cameras this Polaroid has zoom and flash features allowing them to frame the perfect shot.
LED light strips are a fun way for your teen to customize their space. Feature RGB colour settings they can change the color of their lights to suit their mood. Popular as an accent for gaming and streaming setups or just adding a cool vibe to their bedroom.
Watching videos or recapping their night to their WhatsApp group chat, phone grips make it easier to handle their phone. This Popsocket Slide allows them to move their popsocket to the middle for texting or slide it to the side and use it as a stand.