30 Great Gifts for Teens and Tweens They'll Truly Appreciate

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pug tote bags
Photo: amazon.com

Teens and tweens can be remarkably hard to buy for, given their changing tastes and tendency to have pretty well-stocked closets and bedrooms already. So it's no surprise that gift cards often end up being the go-to tween or teen gift. (At least then you know it'll probably go to good use!)

But with a little research (and perhaps a text exchange or two), you might be able to crack the code and give a very cool gift for the next holiday, birthday, or other gift-giving occasion on your calendar. Try a few of these best teen or tween gift ideas for 2021 to get you started.

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For an Outdoor Gamer: Pickleball Set

Brightly striped pickleball paddles with an orange ball and green bag
anthropologie.com

Get them started on the latest fun fitness fad with a set of pickleball paddles and a ball. They come with a drawstring pouch that makes it easy to carry to their next park or beach outing.

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For the Voracious Reader: Book Nerd Socks

Socks that say book nerd in rainbow colors
Out of Print

Help your favorite reader get cozy with a pair of fun Book Nerd socks (perhaps paired with the next book in their favorite series). And you'll do good with every purchase, with 10 percent of proceeds supporting GLSEN's Rainbow Library program, which provides LGBTQ+ affirming books to schools.

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For the Style Icon: Customized Vans

Vans with aqua and cloud patterned fabric
Vans

Pick from nearly 100 different patterns, colors, and textures—or upload a favorite image or pattern of their own—to give them a truly custom pair of kicks. (Or give them a gift card and let them go wild!)

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For the Spooky Teen or Tween: Zombie Ice Pop Mold

Multi-colored ice pops shaped like spooky zombies
Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store

They'll get two different kinds of chills from this cool ice pop kit, which lets them chill their favorite juices and fruits into spooky zombie shapes. (Bonus: kiwi or watermelon puree looks extra gross.)

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For the Traveling Music Fan: JBL CLIP 4 Bluetooth Speaker

Blue JBL portable speaker
Best Buy

This lightweight (and compact) speaker easily clips onto their backpack, bike, or belt, so they can bring their tunes wherever their adventures take us.

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For the Gamer Who Wants to Level Up: Meta Quest 2 Virtual Reality Headset

White Virtual Reality Headset by Meta
Best Buy

This 3D virtual reality headset puts your favorite gamer right in the experience, with 3D cinematic video and audio—and a slew of ways to use it, from multiplayer games to a virtual social spaces.

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For the Teen on the Go: Baggu Recycled Nylon Cooler Bag

Green, blue, and orange cooler bag
Store.moma.org

Help them keep their lunches and snacks on ice when they're out and about with this colorful cooler. It's made entirely of post-consumer recycled material, with ripstop nylon and PET polyfill.

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For the Sweet Tooth: Rainbow Candy Bento Box

Sugarfina rainbow-shaped candy bento box
Sugarfina

Pick their favorites of all kinds of gourmet candies, from chocolate to gummies to caramels to fill this customized bento box.

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For a Social Media Star: Glitter Popsicle Lounge Float

Red, white and blue popsicle-shaped pool float
Target.com

This adorable float will make lounging in the pool extra cool—and make for some stellar Instagram posts or TikToks all summer long.

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For the Animal Lover: 299 Cats and a Dog Puzzle

299 Cats and a Dog Puzzle
Uncommon Goods

Sure, the puzzle itself is fun, but the adorable cat (and single dog) illustrations will be a beloved gift for teens or tweens who love furry friends.

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For the Kid Who's Glued to Their Smartphone: Game of Phones

Game of Phones Board Game
UncommonGoods.com

This "if you can't beat them, join them" idea will turn interacting with their phone (and the people around them) into a game. It's perfect for the teen or tween who can't put the phone down (even when their friends are over).

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For the Binge-Watcher: Home Theater Projector And Screen Set

Packard Bell Home Theater Project and Screen Set
UrbanOutfitters.com

Give them the perfect setup for a movie night in bed with the screen and projector for their next binge. (Just add popcorn!)

13 of 30

For the Movie Maven: 100 Movies Scratch-Off Poster

Scratch-off Movie Poster
UncommonGoods.com

For the dedicated film fan, this scratch-off poster can help guide them to some of the finest (and funniest) movies on their must-watch list.

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For the Traveling Teen: Cadence Build Your Six Pack

Cadence Build Your Six Travel Set
KeepYourCadence.com

Crafted of ocean-bound and recycled plastic, these clever magnetic capsules help them bring their favorite skincare, body care, and other products when they travel—or just to help them keep their favorites handy as they're going about their busy day.

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For the Puzzle Solver: Rubik's Connected Cube

Rubik's Connected Cube
Amazon.com

This app-enhanced version of the classic cube lets dedicated puzzlers work to improve their speed and skill to compete against others worldwide—and help those who might need a little more help learn how to solve the puzzle.

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For the Hair Color Connoisseur: Overtone Hair Color

Overtone Hair Color
Overtone.co

These bright and bold colors add a pop of color to even dark hair hues without getting all over clothes and bedding—and their sampler packs are perfect for letting teens experiment with their hair.

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For the Smoothie Sipper: Nutribullet Pro

Nutribullet Pro
Amazon.com

Minimize the mess when they're whipping up their favorite smoothies or acai bowls with this all-in-one solution. Just pop the ingredients into the blender—and swap out the lip ring with a to-go lid so they can take it with them.

Bonus: It's compact enough to pack along when they're moving into their first dorm.

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For the Teen Who Wants the Coolest Room: Cooluli Mini Fridge

Cooluli Red Mini Fridge
Amazon.com

This teeny-tiny fridge can fit into even the smallest room or dorm—holding a few cool drinks or beauty products to let them chill in style.

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For the Bubble Tea Devotee: Locca Boba Tea Kit

Locca Bubble Tea Kit
Amazon.com

Locca bubble tea kits come with everything you need to craft a variety of fun drinks, including the teas, tapioca bubbles, and thick straws to slurp them up. This version comes with jasmine, peach oolong, and black teas—and enough goodies to make two dozen drinks.

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For the Eco-Friendly Fashionista: Conscious Step Socks

Conscious step animal socks for teens
Nordstrom.com

Adorned with adorable motifs that match the cause, Conscious Step's socks support wildlife conservation, water charities, human rights campaigns, and other causes with every purchase—while using organic materials and sustainable, fair-trade production practices, of course.

21 of 30

For the Literary Nerd: Umbra Conceal Bookshelves

Umbra Conceal Shelves teen gifts

Let your favorite teen or tween keep their books close at hand with this magical set, that makes it look like stacks of books are floating in midair.

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For the Science-Loving Nerd: MEL Science Subscription

MEL Science Kit gift for teen
MEL Science

These aren't those lame-o science kits that use lemon juice and baking soda to cause reactions—these next-level kits for the sophisticated scientist share the fundamentals of science with intriguing experiments that involve a lot of fire and wild reactions like creating tin spikes or igniting iron.

The latest line of MEL kits help teens learn to use common medical tools (including stethoscopes, scalpels, and pulse oximeters) to diagnose virtual patients—perfect for a teen or tween interested in a health care career.

23 of 30

For the Pamperer: Serenity Gift Set

Serenity Lush Bath Set for Teens

Lush's eco-friendly bath line has been a teen and tween favorite for years—and this charming gift loaded with relaxing bath bombs, soaps and goodies is sure to help them find their zen amidst their crazy schedules.

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For the Kid at Heart: Sweet Treat Soaps

Gummy Soaps for Tween and Teen Gifts

Cute gummy bear-shaped soaps come in fruity scents—and make washing-up a little more fun.

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For the Teen Who Needs to Get Outside More: Sierra Designs Double Lightweight Hammock

Gifts for teens and tweens - Sierra Designs Double Lightweight Hammock
target.com

With this hammock kit, teens and tweens alike can escape the house for a fresh air hang. The kit comes complete with tree saver straps and carabiners for hanging, and the hammock holds two people (up to 400 pounds), so they can grab a friend, pet, or a sibling (or just spread out).

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For the Adventurous Type: Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet

Gifts for teens and tweens - Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet
explorethousand.com

Keep them safe and encourage them to adventure and explore at the same time with this helmet. It's on-trend enough that they'll actually wear it while biking or skating, it has MIPS technology for added protection against concussions, and a magnetic taillight offers better visibility—they'll love wearing it, and you'll love the peace of mind it comes with.

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For the Teen With the 1,000-Song Playlist: Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

Gifts and Ideas for Teens and Tweens - Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
amazon.com

This portable speaker is a must-have for road-trips, sleepovers, camp-outs, and just about every other occasion in a teen or tween's life. Its battery lasts up to 15 hours, the speaker floats, and it's ultra-durable, so it'll get plenty of use.

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For the Photographer: Umbra Hangit Photo Display

Gifts and Ideas for Teens and Tweens - Umbra Hangit Photo Display
amazon.com.

Give the teen or tween in your life the chance to present their favorite photos, prints, postcards, and more with this hanging display. Clothespin clips will let them swap out photos at will, and the simple cord and wood hanger melds into any style room.

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For the Kid Who Took Up Baking: Silpat Silicone Baking Mat with Storage Band

Gifts and Ideas for Teens and Tweens - Silpat Silicone Baking Mat with Storage Band
amazon.com

The teen and tween years are prime time for exploring interests, and baking is often something teens or tweens get into. Encourage the tasty habit with this top-notch baking gear, which prevents burned cookie bottoms and comes with a handy storage helper.

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For the Puppy Fan: ThisWear Frenchie Tote Bag

Gifts and Ideas for Teens and Tweens - ThisWear Frenchie Tote Bag
amazon.com.

For carrying books, lunch, sports gear, and more, this cotton canvas tote (and its too-cool-for-school Frenchie) can't be beat.

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