Top 15 Teen Birthday Gift Ideas
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It can be a challenge to buy birthday gifts for teens as they leave the world of toys and play behind. Teens like to make their own choices, and self-expression is a priority for them. It is helpful to buy gifts that support their newly learned independence and their desire to make the world feel like their own.
Teen birthday gifts that focus on the gifts of experience, personalization, and passions will show the teen in your life that you respect who she is and love seeing her grow as a person. In addition, if you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas or even something like a graduation gift, we’ve gathered larger item recommendations. We’ve also gathered smaller items for back-to-school, stocking stuffers, just because, or other small holiday gifts. Whether you want unique gifts or the latest trendy gadget, this gift guide will help get you started.
More: Teaching Teens About Privilege
Our Top Picks for Teens Ages 14 - 18:
- The Best Tech Gift - Apple AirPods Pro at Amazon
- The Best Electronic Gift - Charging Station For Multiple Devices at Amazon
- The Best Trendy Gift - Thermoflask Waterbottle at Amazon
- The Best Music Gift - Victrola Vintage 3-speed Suitcase Record Player at Amazon
- The Best Gift for Dreamers - Vision Board Kit at Amazon
- The Best Gadget Gift - FujiFilm Instax Mini at Amazon
- The Best Gift for Travelers - Scratch off World Map at Amazon
- The Best Bedroom Decor Gift - Photo Clip String Lights at Amazon
- The Best Gift for Gamers - Birdrock Gaming Chair at Amazon
- The Best Stocking Stuffer Gift for Teen Girls - Tie Dye Velvet Scrunchies at Amazon
- The Best Stocking Stuffer Gift for Teen Boys - Bluetooth Shower Speaker at Amazon
- The Best Gift for Movie Lovers - Netflix Account
- The Best Vacation Gift - Disney Trip
- The Best Memory Keeper Gift - Umbra Hangit Display Photo Collage at Amazon
- The Best Big Ticket Gift - Laptop at Amazon
What to Consider When Purchasing Gifts for Teens
- Level of Responsibility - Before purchasing big-ticket items such as AirPod Pros or a new laptop, take your teen’s level of responsibility into account. These are not items that can be replaced at the drop of a hat, and they will need to learn how to carefully take care of them and keep them safe before you gift it to them.
- Interests of Teen - Most of these gift items are appropriate for ages 14-18, but even with a four year gap there is a level of maturity that can vary greatly. Take the interests of your teen into consideration when determining the perfect gift. High School can be a tough time to find things your teen will consider cool gifts, but if it plays into their interests you’re likely to have more success.
How We Chose Our Favorites
We consulted with experts, parents, and special education educators to get the lowdown on what you need to know to choose the best sensory toys for kids with special needs. We also tapped into these experts' advice to find out which brands were best and easily available on Amazon.
If you have a responsible teen, then AirPod Pro’s are a great big-ticket gift. Your teen will enjoy being able to listen on the go without getting tangled in wires and cords. In addition to the AirPods themselves, teens will love getting to pick out AirPod cases that fit their personality best.
Your teen can organize and clear up her space for homework and activities when all of her devices are neatly being charged in a stylish charging station. Phones and tablets of multiple sizes can be stored and charged here.
Water bottles are not only functional, but they are a trendy accessory. Teens love decking out their water bottles with their favorite stickers, which is a great way to share their interests and allow their personalities to shine through. This Thermoflask is sturdy, durable, easy to wash, and the perfect canvas for stickers.
Have a music lover who is into records? Chances are it’s hard to find somewhere to play them, but this vintage record player has it all. Choose from 3 different record speeds, as well as Bluetooth capability which allows your teen to play all their favorite tunes. Parents and Grandparents can get in on the fun if they still have records laying around that need to be dusted off.
Gift your teen the gift of dreaming and creating a vision of her future with a vision board kit. These supplies will help her create a visual representation of her biggest dreams and all she wants to work toward. It will allow her to identify goals and think about working toward them in a fun and creative way.
The FujiFilm Instax Mini is an awesome gift for teens who have an artsy side. Rather than everything being digital, this gadget gives you quick polaroids. Super fun for capturing moments and filling scrapbooks.
Your teen will feel like the world is his oyster with a scratch-off travel map to memorialize all of the places he has been as well as all of the places he dreams of visiting. Encourage his zest for adventure and plans to travel the world with this memento.
Your teen’s bedroom has transformed from a place that is mostly for sleeping and dressing to a space for sharing time with friends and hanging out. By giving the gift of room decor, your teen can make the space conducive to having friends over and letting her personality really come through. These string lights are a great gift for teenage girls in particular. They have photo clips to really up the ambiance and allow her to be surrounded by calming and fun memories.
If your teen is a gamer, this comfortable gaming chair is likely on their wish list. The adjustable positions make it ideal for various body shapes and sizes, and will still be comfortable for your teen as they hit growth spurts. Choose from five different colors to match your decor.
Scrunchies are no longer a thing of the past, these retro accessories trending with pre-teens and older. Worn as hair accessories or as bracelets, these Tie-dye velvet scrunchies are sure to be a hit.
Teens love to listen to music and podcasts. The gift of a waterproof bluetooth speaker will allow them to create the ambiance they are looking for no matter where they are. Let them jam and belt out their favorite tunes while enjoying the best acoustics in the shower.
If you don’t already have a Netflix account, this is a great option for a movie-loving teen. Many Netflix Originals are geared towards teens, and the plethora of available movies and shows to stream are never-ending. Great for sleepovers and cozy weekends.
Walt Disney World Trip
A family trip to the happiest place on earth is a big, but super fun gift for teens. If you’re feeling really generous allow them to invite their best friend. They will make memories that will last a lifetime and will be thrilled with being gifted an experience.
Let your teen surround herself with favorite memories and the faces of friends and loved ones. Fun picture frames and photo collage frames also allow for personalizing your teen’s space to make it really feel like her own. You can theme each collage by including a postcard with an inspiring message in the center with ideas like adventure, travel, sports, and fun.
A laptop is an essential teenage tool for homework, social engagement, creativity, and exploration. Computers are now gateways for TV, movie, video, and gaming entertainment. Your teen can easily use her laptop at home, school, or on the go. You can choose to go with a more affordable option like this HP 14” HD Laptop, or you can go the more expensive route like Apple MacBook Pro. Regardless, a laptop is an investment and your teen should be mature enough to treat it as such.
Now that you’ve thought through all of the ways to make this birthday one to remember, you can make an educated selection. No matter what gift you choose, as long as you honor her individuality and pathway towards adulthood, your teen will love your gift and appreciate your efforts.
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Jennifer Caffelle is an Early Education professional and blogger, but by far her favorite job is being a Mama to two littles. Jennifer completed her Bachelors in Education from Curry College and her M.Ed from Concordia University.