30 Great Gifts for Teens and Tweens That They’ll Truly Appreciate
Everyone (or almost everyone) has to buy gifts for teens or tweens at some point. Whether you’re looking for gifts for teenage boys for your son or gift ideas for tween girls for your friend’s kid—or even if you’re a teen struggling to shop for your friends or siblings—we all bump into gifting occasions for teenagers or tweens at some point.
The challenge of finding gift ideas for tweens and their older counterparts is that they’re not kids anymore, but they’re not adults, either. Most gifts easily fall into being too childish (and embarrassing) or not useful for these 11- to 19-year-olds; after all, they’re really too young for college graduation gifts, and any gifts having to do with alcohol are certainly inappropriate; toys, stuffed animals, and more can easily be dismissed or returned.
The simplest solution is to resort to gift card ideas, but there’s another option: These smart gift ideas for teens and tweens alike. When it comes to these fickle gift recipients, there’s really no one-size-fits-all gift, but at least one of these gifts is sure to appeal to the youth in your life.
Think about what this teen or tween is looking forward to, or what major life event (high school, college, middle school, a sports season) they’re facing. If you’re close, look at which items they use the most around the house. Chances are, whatever they’re using could use an upgrade. If the gift is for a particular special occasion (Christmas gifts, Hanukkah presents, a birthday surprise), try to make it seasonal or relevant to what’s happening in the recipient’s life. If you find a gift that they’ll use or look at every day, you’ve done a great gifting job—good luck reaching these lofty gifting standards you’ve set next year.
RELATED: Gift Ideas for Women
Polaroid Waterproof Digital Camera
Let them capture every epic adventure (even underwater) with this digital camera that can go up to 10 feet under water.
Blue Sky Journal
Writing in a diary is journaling now, and teens and tweens alike are jotting down their thoughts, reminders, and more. This pretty journal is super portable and has guides to help them discover their biggest dreams and wishes for their lives.
Logitech Design Collection Wireless Mouse
Give your favorite gamer or tech fiend a colorful boost (and reduce some gripes about working on a laptop all the time) with this affordable, compact wireless mouse, which they can pair with their laptop for easier schoolwork, video chatting, and downtime.
Color-Changing Light Box
Let them display their favorite mantra or message—and their favorite color—with this LED light box that makes a welcome gift for teens and tweens.
Serenity Gift Set
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.
Mini Terrarium DIY Kit
Even the blackest-thumbed teen can add a little green to their space by crafting these customized terrariums, made of felt, chalk, and stone. (No watering required!)
Sweet Treat Soaps
Cute gummy bear-shaped soaps come in fruity scents—and make washing up a little more fun.
Rainbow Waterfall Light Set
Dress up their space with this set of rainbow-hued LED string lights. The included hooks make it super easy to install. (Pair it with tiny clothespins so they can add photos of their friends and their favorite bands to customize their decor even more.)
Catan the Board Game
If they’re not already familiar with this beloved, appropriate-for-all-ages board game, they’ll soon be all in on this civilization-building game. It’s one of few games that they can play with the family and with friends, and it’s a little different each time, so they’ll never get tired of playing.
LEGO Architecture Empire State Building
Give them the chance to build the world with this Lego kit, which mimics the iconic Empire State Building with 1,767 Lego pieces. It’s meant for those 12 and older and sure to guarantee hours of entertainment. Travel or architecture buffs will love this gift as much as Lego fans, and even someone who hasn’t touched a Lego brick in years will love the meditative, thoughtful process of building this tower.
Sh*t That I Knit Bliss Headband
Hand-knit from 100 percent Peruvian merino wool, this subtle, high-quality piece of winter-wear will keep their ears toasty and their hair muss-free all winter long. Thick, breathable, and never itchy, it’s a gift your teen or tween will use for years to come—even without their parents’ urging.
Fortune & Frame Fortune Frame
A sentimental gift they’ll truly hang on to, this gold-dipped brass frame will keep their favorite fortunes safe. Whenever they’re in need of a reminder or a little motivation, they can look back on their fortunes and get that little boost—and with the attached three-use easel, they can keep them somewhere visible so those precious fortunes never get lost.
Sierra Designs Double Lightweight Hammock
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).
Free Period Press Collage Kit Magazine Vol. 1
In this colorful magazine of curated photos, illustrations, and textures, they’ll find everything they need to collage to their heart’s content. Whether they’re putting together a vision board or creating funny works of art to share with friends, they’ll love reassembling the images in this 120-page magazine.
Logitech Blue Snowball Ice Microphone
Encourage their podcasting dreams, help them with remote music or voice lessons, and set them up for better audio during remote classes with this compact microphone, which has a desktop stand so they can set it up when they need it. It delivers clear audio, so everyone they’re chatting with (or their podcast listeners) will hear them perfectly, and the USB connection means set-up is easy.
Thousand Chapter MIPS Helmet
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.
Disney+ Subscription Card
Depending on their age and interests, the teen or tween in your life might want access to Disney+ for the Star Wars content, the DCOMs, or the Marvel movies—or all of the above. Whatever they want to watch, they’ll love having access to all of it for a full year with a gifted subscription.
Nintendo Switch Lite
The most recent iteration of the Nintendo you probably played once upon a time, the Nintendo Switch Lite is the latest and greatest way to game on the go. Consider it one of the must-have gifts of the year for teens and tweens alike—and because it’s available in a slew of colors, you can find the just-right console for everyone on your list.
LED Rock On Wall Decor
Light up a teen music-lover’s creative space with this vintage-inspired LED wall art.
A good beanbag can outlast the tween years (and even make it to college, with a little care), and this one is one of the best. Gift it to a tween or a teen to furnish their bedroom or a game room, and they’re certain to use it for years to come, thanks to the washable, replaceable covers and durable filling.
Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
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.
Let them dive into their favorite songs with these wireless Bluetooth headphones, which offer more than 30 hours of playtime on a single charge (so they’ll never be caught on the school bus without their music), a trendy oversized look, and super comfortable ear covers.
Umbra Hangit Photo Display
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.
Timbuk2 Slacker Chest Pack
Believe it or not, belt bags (or fanny packs) and cross-chest bags are back again, and all the teens and tweens are sporting them. This one has a breathable air mesh panel and has room for keys, cards, and a phone without venturing into too-bulky territory.
Silpat Silicone Baking Mat with Storage Band
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.
Timbuk2 Hero Laptop Backpack
Every teen or tween worth their salt has a backpack to lug around. This one looks good enough for school and travel alike, plus it has a laptop sleeve, an easy-to-access roll-top, and room for school gear, sports gear, lunch, and more.
OtterSpot Wireless Charging System
They’ll never have an excuse for an uncharged phone again with this wireless charging set, which includes both a charging platform for Qi wireless devices and a portable wireless battery teens and tweens can take on the road.
ThisWear Frenchie Tote Bag
For carrying books, lunch, sports gear, and more, this cotton canvas tote (and its too-cool-for-school Frenchie) can’t be beat.
Artifact Uprising Walnut Block & Prints
For small, compact (and totally changeable) displays, this walnut block can’t be beat. Include prints of family trips, pets, or gorgeous locations—your teen or tween recipient can order new ones and swap them out as they like.
Birdies The Starling in Cheetah Calf Hair
Whether their feet get cold at home or they want a comfy pair of shoes to wear in the school hallways, these super-supportive (and crazy-chic) slippers have them covered. They’re available as small as size 5, too, so even tweens can get in on the comfy-and-cute shoe craze.