If you’ve been hanging around with us for any length of time, you know that I love to share fun resources. Our gift guide has been a huge hit over the years, as has our 100+ educational stocking stuffers resource list. I’ve had community members ask me to create a teen version of our gift guide, and I thought it was a great idea. Today, I am sharing the ultimate teen gift guide for homeschool families.
The Ultimate Teen Gift Guide
Got Teens? You Are Not Alone!
Let’s face it: Teens can be hard to please sometimes. I can no longer buy clothes for my teens because they will automatically go into the return pile.
So, you’re not going to find clothing in this gift guide, but you will find a wide array of gift ideas for the teens in your world. Promise!
The Ultimate Teen Gift Guide For All Interests
When creating this gift guide, I did a deep dive into the world of tweens and teens and then I consulted my two teens for approval. Below, you’ll find a plethora of gift ideas for the teens in your life. We had so many ideas that we had to break this article down into categories!
Sneak a peek inside:
Below, please find gifts for teens in the following categories:
- Just for Fun Gifts for Teens
- The Best Decor and Accessories for Teen Spaces
- The Best Gifts for Gamers
- Technology-Related Gifts for Teens
- The Best Gifts for Teens Who Love Music
- Artsy Gifts for Teens Who Love Art
- Outdoorsy Gifts for Outdoorsy Teens
- Gift Ideas for Teens Who Love Sports
- Gifts for Teens Who Love to Read and Write
- The Best Gifts for Teens Who Love the Kitchen
- Subscription Ideas for Picky Teens
Download Your Free Ultimate Teen Gift Guide
Would you prefer to download this article as a PDF? Get your own copy of the MLP Ultimate Teen Gift Guide here:
Just for Fun Gifts for Teens
I don’t know about you, but I feel like my teens often need a good belly laugh. Those “stormy hormies” (our family’s term for hormonal mood shifts) can wreak havoc and sometimes you just need a good laugh! Here are some just-for-fun and sometimes totally funny gift ideas.
My kids love these LED gloves! I first discovered these during the winter of 2020. We were spending waaaay more time than usual outdoors and it gets dark early here in New Hampshire. These gloves, plus these LED headlamp beanies, made for so much winter night fun. From night sledding (yes, this was a thing) to snowshoeing after dark- we made memories that will last a lifetime!
The nurses at my husband’s office gave me a Screaming Goat for Christmas one year and it is still one of my favorite things. This would make an absolutely hysterical stocking stuffer for your teen!
Zombie Plant Seed Packets
Psst! I added this item to the gift guide after my tween and teens were finished helping me create it because it is something I am getting them this year and I don’t want them to know about it. Zombie Plant Seeds! How fun is this?! When we were in Jamaica in 2019, we loved touching the mimosa plants and watching them curl up. I’m pretty sure that Zombie Plants are mimosas, although I can’t confirm based on the description. Anyhoo, as long as we can grow ’em (and the reviews are positive), I know my kids will love them!
Do you want to feel like you’re walking on a cloud? Check out Pillow Slippers! These are a huge hit among my daughter’s friends and I have tried walking in them. They are super cushy!
I am adding this one last minute, following my daughter’s birthday. She is all about Squishmellows and states, “They look babyish, but they are not because they are incredibly soft and squishy and an awesome bed pillow/stuffy.” And I have to admit, they are seriously soft! She asked for a Squishmallwo for her 13th birthday and would love the mystery box for Christmas.
100 Things Scratch-Off Posters
These 100 Things Scratch-Off Posters are so fun! Years ago, a friend gave my kids a 100 Kids Movies to Watch poster and it was a huge hit. Last year, my oldest got a 100 Books scratch-off poster, and this year we’re giving him a 100 Horror Movies poster.
I’m going to be 100% honest here. I want this wireless microphone for in-home announcements and the car. Life is loud right now, teens’ moods can be a bit stormy at times, and humor always helps. Can you imagine what fun I would have with this one!? It can also be used for karaoke if that’s your jam!
If you have a Star Wars lover in your home (I’m raising my hand), here’s a really unique stocking stuffer: lightsaber chopsticks! I’m pretty sure these will be in my youngest’s stocking this year!
Our family provided this yodeling pickle to a Yankee Swap years ago and it’s still going strong. It never fails to make us laugh. When a friend is going through crummy times, we send them a pickle and it hasn’t ever let us down in providing smiles.
Ch-ch-ch-chia! (Sorry, I had to!) Chia Pets have been around forever and, for some reason, they remain hilarious. This is a fun gift for the teen who doesn’t know what they want, or who needs a good belly laugh. Chias have evolved quite a bit since we were young. They come in a wide array of characters, from Chewbacca, to llamas to poop emojis to Bob Ross, and many more.
My kids love Stroopwafels and my friend Lydia said she was getting them for her husband’s stocking and I thought it was brilliant. So, my kids will be getting these in their stockings, too!
Hydro Flask (and Stickers)
Solar-Powered Rainbow Maker
We have multiple rainbow makers throughout our home. They are such smile-makers. We frequently give them as gifts for friends. This would be a fun gift for a kid who loves rainbows and would also make for great room decor.
Mr. Predicto Fortune Telling Ball
The Mr. Predicto Fortune Telling Ball is like an updated cousin of the Magic 8 Ball. It glows in the dark and talks and makes teens laugh (and maybe freak out a little sometimes, too).
Bonsai Tree Starter Kit
This bonsai tree starter kit contains everything your teen needs to grow three varieties of bonsai trees. This is a great gift for nature lovers and would be a really cool addition to a teen’s bedroom!
Pop sockets are those little circle thingies that teens have on their cell phones. They are a great fidget and they also help you hold onto the phone when you’re on video chat.
Mini Inflatable Dancing Guy
Are you looking for the perfect gift for the teen who has everything but maybe needs a good laugh? Check out this mini inflatable dancing guy. It’s the mini version of those big inflatable things you see at oil change places!
30-Second Dance Party
My friend gave this to my oldest on his last birthday. Thirty Second Dance Party is downright HILARIOUS. We have since bought it for friends. In addition to being downright hilarious, this button is magic in providing a much-needed surprise comedic break when those “stormie hormies” are ruining the family vibe!
My kids love to get fun-flavored chapstick in their stockings. We’ve been doing it forever and these New Englanders, who spend a lot of time outdoors, are always appreciative. Check out these s’mores-flavored chapsticks– so fun!
Do you need your teen to calm down and relax a little? Check out this head massager. It’s guaranteed to do just that. It’s completely addictive and my teens love it!
The kids created a really goofy pair of socks for my husband for his 50th birthday. They took hilarious photos of themselves and used them to make custom socks. A pair of these is sure to get a laugh out of your teen!
One way I connect with my teens is through humor. No matter how stormy their moods are, I try to make them laugh as often as possible. This year, I’m pretty sure this stocking stuffer will do just that!
These mini gliders are another after-the-fact addition to the gift guide because I didn’t want my boys to see it. They LOVE these little gliders (and also the balsam wood gliders) and they have yet to outgrow them. I think they make the perfect stocking stuffer and they’ll be getting them this year!
Retro Light-Up Gyrowheels
Did you have these as a kid? I did and for whatever reason, I really loved them. I got these this year for the boys’ stockings. I think they will enjoy them and I think they will make a great fidget, too.
My daughter and her friends love sheet masks. I added this to our gift guide after-the-fact because I don’t want her to know she’ll be getting this in her stocking!
Pop Fidget Spinners
This is another stocking stuffer for my kids this year. (I added it to this gift guide after they had helped me create the original one!) I have three fidgety kids and they all adore pops and fidget spinners and I thought these were a great combo of the two!
This is yet another late addition to the tween and teen gift guide because I don’t want my kids to know I am getting these for them. This year, I bought each kiddo a daily calendar related to their unique needs. My oldest is getting a Jeopardy calendar, my daughter is getting this Happy Notes calendar, and my youngest is getting a History calendar. (And my husband is getting a Dad Jokes calendar!)
Dad Belly Fanny Pack
If you want your teens to fall over belly laughing, gift them this dad belly fanny pack. It would also make the perfect Yankee Swap gift (says the lady who has it in her “saved for later” section).
Best Decor Gifts for Teens’ Bedrooms
My daughter did a redesign on her room this year and so I feel confident in sharing a ton of ideas that she had. We didn’t get all of these things, not even close, but here are some teen-approved decor gift ideas.
My daughter has this jellyfish light in her room and it is truly mesmerizing. I often find myself staring at it, completely mesmerized while waiting in her room to say goodnight. (Does anyone else’s teen call you up to say goodnight and then disappear into the bathroom for twenty minutes??)
LED String Lights
Last year, my daughter asked for these LED String Lights for Christmas. She hung them in her bedroom and has used them every night since. This year, she’s asking for LED lights with photo clips and hanging ivy string lights. You might be able to see her room from space!
My youngest son got this burrito blanket for his birthday in September and he has used it every day since. It’s one of his favorite things; it is both cozy and funny! Is your teen not into burritos? Maybe they are more of a mermaid tail blanket person!
Bluetooth Wireless Speaker and Light
I know so many tweens and teens with this little gadget. This Bluetooth wireless speaker and light would make a perfect addition to a tween or teen’s bedroom decor.
This is another cool item that has been on my daughter’s radar of late. She wants to attach this bedside shelf to her bed. It comes in fun colors and would be a place for her book, her phone, her evening tea, and probably for the contraband snacks she has up there!
I am a sucker for a good sunset. You can ask my kids. I’ll often go out of our way if we’re driving and I spy a cotton candy sky. The thing is, they rarely complain about this impulse and so I suspect they are sunset lovers, too. (Although rule #1 of teendom is never admitting to liking something that your parents like!) So, when I saw this sunset lamp in a catalog recently, I knew I had to include it here!
All three of my kids have asked for these inflatable loungers several times over the last two years. We have also seen a ton of these on the beaches of Cape Cod. They are all the rage apparently! We simply don’t have space for them, but I agree they are fun. And they are comfy- a friend has one!
I’m not going to lie: I want one of these for my room, ha! We don’t have the space, but these hammock chairs get excellent reviews and look to be incredibly comfortable.
Glow Alarm Clock
A glow Alarm Clock is a peaceful way to wake up in the morning. Rather than a traditional beep-beep-beeping alarm clock, this clock wakes you up gently with light, mimicking the sunrise.
Walking Alarm Clock
This Walking Alarm Clock is perfect for teens who can’t wake up! It is the opposite of the last clock I mentioned. If your teen hits snooze a gazillion times, make them work for it! This alarm clock runs away from you!
Bluetooth Sleep Headphones
If you have kids who like to fall asleep listening to music, meditation, or stories, they might love these Bluetooth sleep headphones!
All-In-One Desk Lamp, Charging Port, and Storage Container
If your teen has a small desk (my daughter does), space can be a concern. This desk lamp has it all: a clock, a USB port for charging, a night light option, and storage.
Teens love gadgets and I’ve noticed a ton of my kids’ friends who now have mini-fridges in their rooms for beverages, snacks, and even beauty products.
Hang Around Chair
Both of my teens have Hang Around Chairs and they are the coziest! I often find them curled up in their chairs with a blanket and a book! Bonus: these chairs fold up when you need more space!
Can you guess which of my teens asked for this moon lamp?? I guess we are big on ambiance and lighting over here! Again, I don’t know if it will be under the tree (because we can already see her room from space), but I agree this is one beautifully unique lamp for a teen’s room.
Weighted blankets are so cozy! Not only are they warm, but they also help to calm the nervous system. (I don’t know about you, but we often have nervous systems that need calming in our homes!)
This color-changing cinema lightbox with letters and numbers would be such a fun addition to a teen’s bedroom or a game or playroom. I love quotes and song lyrics and I could imagine having a lot of fun with this one!
The Best Gift Ideas for Gamers
You knew there’d be a game section, didn’t you? It was hard to narrow down our gift ideas for gamers, but we did our best. I hope it gives you some ideas for the gamers in your life.
Shockato Party Game
We got this Shockato Party Game for my nephew’s 15th birthday. It certainly takes the term “hot potato” to a new level! And, yes, it’s a hot potato game with shock value. I kid you not. You are given three levels of play: silent (so you have no clue when it’s coming), normal (with music to warn you), and “lame” (music only, no shocks). It’s hilarious!
Retro Videogame Poster
This retro videogame poster is such a flash from the past, and a great gift for the gamer in your life! My boys just saved up for an Xbox and I think this might be fun in our basement playroom!
Pop Darts is a dart game that can be played indoors or outdoors. All you need is a smooth surface, like a patio door, a table, etc. These darts are unique because they have suction cups on both ends. To play, the orange target is placed anywhere on the playing surface. Players alternate throwing darts in an attempt to get as close as possible to the target. The first player to reach 21 points is the winner.
Flickin Chicken Indoor Outdoor Game
This is another late-add to the tween and teen gift guide because I am getting it for my kiddos and don’t want them to know. This Flickin Chiken Game looks hilarious and I love that it can be played indoors and outdoors. I think it will be the perfect addition to our playroom during the winter months!
One Night Ultimate Werewolf
One Night Ultimate Werewolf is a perfect party game and teens love it! To play, each player takes on a different character. The goal is for the players to guess who, among them, is the werewolf. Games are super fun and are played in ten minutes. There is a free app that can be used in place of a moderator. To take your play to the next level, add One Night Ultimate Daybreak, One Night Ultimate Alien, and/or One Night Ultimate Vampire!
Throw Throw Burrito
We credit Throw Throw Burrito for helping our family survive 2020 with our sense of humor intact! In this game of cards and squishy-burrito chucking for 2-6 players, players rush to collect sets of cards while dodging burritos. It’s also available in an extreme outdoor version with huge inflatable burritos!
Poetry for Neanderthals
If your teens love Throw Throw Burrito, they will love Poetry for Neanderthals. It’s a hilarious party game for 2-12 players in which players compete to guess words based on clues provided. There’s a catch, though! Players can only give one-syllable clues. If a player makes a mistake and uses more than one syllable, they get bopped with an inflatable club and lose points.
Fun Gaming Socks, Hoodies, and Tees
If your teen is a big gamer, fun gaming t-shirts and gaming socks can be the perfect gift! My boys just saved up for an Xbox (more on that below), and I am considering some socks for a stocking stuffer this year. And how cozy does this hoodie look? My youngest’s favorite color is red and so it’s definitely in my “saved for later” area!
Magnetic Dark Board
We finished part of our basement a couple of years ago and it’s now our playroom/gaming space. We have this magnetic dart board hanging on the wall down there and it gets a ton of use by my kiddos and their pals.
Glow in the Dark Gaming Blanket
How cozy does this glow-in-the-dark gaming blanket look? Our Xbox is in our basement and it’s always chilly down there. I am thinking this could be a great Christmas gift this year for cozy winter gaming.
What Do You Meme?
What Do You Meme? is like an Apples to Apples but with memes and captions. It is absolutely hilarious and is bound to make your teens cry-laugh and want to play again!
UNO is such a classic card game and is loved by people of all ages. Because it’s super popular, there are tons of versions including Schitt’s Creek UNO, Star Wars UNO, Minecraft UNO, Harry Potter UNO, and more! This would make a perfect stocking stuffer!
Kids Against Maturity
Kids Against Maturity is like Cards Against Humanity but for older children and teens. They will be cry-laughing as they play! This card game is great for groups, as it can be played with four or more players.
Do Not Disturb Gaming Sign
My boys are all about uninterrupted gaming. I know that they would find this sign both funny and useful.
Ladder Toss is a backyard game for 2-4 players. In this game, players compete to secure the most points by tossing their bolos onto the rungs of a ladder. Depending on which rung they land on, they score 1-3 points.
Laser Tag is one of my youngest’s favorite outdoor games. He asked for this laser tag set years ago and it’s still going strong. It’s a favorite game to play when he has friends over.
This gaming chair is super comfy. (We have friends who own one.) There are many other options available for your gamers, though. I love this rocking one! Who knew there were so many choices for gaming chairs?
Pindaloo is one of those things that looks so ridiculously simple but ends up being addictively fun. It’s a juggling game that can be played indoors or outdoors.
The Nintendo Switch is a huge hit among kids and teens (and adults)! My boys recently saved up for a gaming system and they were deciding between a Switch and an Xbox. They ended up going with the Xbox, only because they have played it so much with my niece and nephew.
I know Xbox games will be on my boys’ wish lists this year. After visiting their cousins last winter, and falling in love with their Xbox, the boys saved up and pooled their money to buy their own Xbox. It arrived just before Halloween and has been a huge hit! For those curious, they saved up for the Xbox Series X (rather than the Xbox series S) after researching Xboxes with my husband. The Xbox Series X has more storage capability and you can use CDs (our library has Xbox games available to borrow).
Xbox Gift Card
My boys have already asked for Xbox gift cards for Christmas. I’ll talk more about gift cards later in this post, but picky teens often prefer gift cards. (Psst! Want to make the gift card into a game? Check THIS out!)
The Best Technology Gifts for Teens
Below you’ll find many of the tech gifts that my teens are wishing for, but the very first recommendation is something I want to get for them for purely selfish reasons. (Can you relate to all of the lost things??)
Bluetooth Tracking Chips
Do you have a teen who loses everything? I am raising my hand! I’ve had my eyes on these Bluetooth tracking chips for quite some time.
Have you seen ads for this thing? The Sphero Ball looks to be incredibly fun and it gets great reviews. There is also an educational kit available. I’ve almost been influenced! Time will tell as to whether this will be under our tree.
Maybe it’s just my teens, but nothing is ever fully charged here. My kids are constantly seeking chargers, losing chargers, or fighting over chargers. (Anyone else??) This charging station sounds like a great gift and solution to a daily problem! I’m hoping it will help them flex those executive functioning muscles and reduce the number of times they lose devices and chargers!
Power Brick Portable Charger
This Power Brick Portable Charger is a great emergency tech item. I keep one in my purse. I never go to a concert without it. When my teens start driving, I want to be sure their phones are charged at all times and this can help!
Smartwatch or Fitbit
My teens have been asking for smartwatches. We haven’t caved yet because, as I’ve mentioned several times already, we tend to lose a lot of things around here. And by “we” I mean that they lose things.
That said, I love my smart watch! My husband and I have Garmin Forerunners. Before getting a Garmin, I had a FitBit and it was great… until a child accidentally broke it. When researching smartwatches, I almost went for the Apple Watch but my husband found a great deal on the Garmins, and here we are!
All three of my kiddos love their Echo Dots. I love that I can send them announcements (Dinner is ready! Come switch your laundry! What was that noise?!). They use their dots to listen to music, wake them up for school, and reminders.
Rechargeable Ring Light
My daughter has asked for a rechargeable ring light. She loves to video chat with her friends and apparently when you video chat all the time, your arms get tired. (This made me laugh so hard!)
Wireless Earbuds or Airpods
My teens have been asking and Bluetooth headphones and/or AirPods. I mentioned how frequently my teens lose their things, so we aren’t at the wireless stage of teendom (yet), but many of their friends have wireless earbuds and headphones for listening to Spotify while doing homework.
How much fun is this blast from the past?! Several of my daughter’s friends have this and love it. Those friends are asking for a printer (see next item) to go with it.
This is the printer that my daughter’s friends are asking for. It’s a Kodak printer and the girls love to print photos and hang them on the twinkle light photo clips that I mentioned in the decor gifts section of this article.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This portable Bluetooth speaker is great for teens who love music, and for teens who love to sing in the shower. It’s waterproof!
The projector that we have is currently unavailable, but this one gets great reviews. This projector was clutch during 2020. We had outdoor movies! Nowadays, it comes in handy for sleepovers and movie nights.
If your teen is a big hot beverage drinker, or if your kid is always cold, this is a fun gift! As someone who is constantly cold and always reheating my lukewarm coffee and tea, I think I need this one! Ha!
GoPros are so much fun for those who love tech and for those who are active. Your teens will have a blast filming their many adventures.
If you have a kit that loves to create on the computer, check out this drawing tablet. It comes with a pen and is compatible with mac and windows.
My oldest has several friends with drones and they have so much fun playing with them. I love that this one glows in the dark!
I have this hairdryer and it is a lifesaver when you are in a rush. Lately, it’s always missing… because my daughter has fallen in love with it! It would be a great gift for the teen who wakes up too late and needs to get ready super fast!
Three Barrel Curling Iron
Yes, we have this three-barrel curling iron. We were influenced. My daughter, in particular, loves it. If you have a tween or teen who loves to change up their hairstyles, this might be for you!
Best Gifts for Teens Who Love Books and Writing
We are a house full of bookworms. This was a tough category for our family, but we were able to highlight a few of our favorites. Here some of our favorite reading and writing-related gift ideas!
Rocket Notebooks are perfect for the teen who loves to write and for those who are eco-conscious. These notebooks are reusable! When you’re finished with a given page, just wipe it clean with a cloth. Pretty amazing!
My teens love their Kindle Paperwhites! They got them for Christmas in 2020 when the libraries were closed. I didn’t think my bookworms could read more, but that’s what happened when they got Kindles!
If your teens love their Kindles, they would love a Kindle Unlimited subscription.
These remind me of the multicolored pens that I had as a kid. I got these for my daughter because I know she will adore them.
100 Books Scratch-Off Poster
My oldest has this 100 Books Scratch-Off poster and he reads a lot to begin with, but this poster has inspired him to read outside of his comfort zone. It’s really fun to see!
It’s the simple things, am I right? I have loved my Mighty Bright booklight for decades. My kids have them, too. Recently, my youngest was gifted this funky around-the-neck book light and I thought I’d add it to this list, as the kids are always asking to borrow it!
I held off on Audible for such a long time but I caved during 2020. I haven’t regretted it for a second!
Amazon Gift Card Bookmark
My kids love getting these for Christmas! It’s a gift card that doubles as a bookmark. It’s a win-win!
Mole Skin Journals
These best-selling journals come in oodles of fun colors and my teens have used them for years. From nature journaling to keeping a diary, to sketching and more.
Book Lover Socks
These socks are a perfect stocking stuffer for your teenage bibliophile! And they come in tons of color combinations.
Five Minute Journal
This Five Minute Journal is the perfect gift for a teen who loves to journal and who wants to start a gratitude practice. My kids have used it off and on over the years and they love it!
Fun Journaling Pens
My kids love these pens. They like the way they write and they love how many colors are included.
Letters to My Future Self
If your teen loves to write or to journal, Letters to My Future Self might make the perfect gift. This gift features twelve letters that are sure to become a treasured memento.
There are oodles of fun t-shirts for teens who love to read. Here are two of my faves!
Cozy Blanket for Bibliophiles
My teens love blankets. We live in New Hampshire, so it gets chilly here. We think you can never have too many blankets, especially themed blankets. Here’s a fun book-themed blanket to curl up with!
Personalized “From the Library of” Stamp
We have one of these, although I don’t use it as often as I should! If you have a book library and you often lend your books to friends and neighbors, this stamp is super helpful when it comes to returning books.
Bathtub Tray for Reading
This bathtub caddy is a bestseller and has tons of room for not just your teen’s favorite book, but their fave hot beverage and a snack!
Book Lover Mug
There are oodles of fun book-lover mugs out there (I have a whole shelf full of ”em), but here’s a fun example. This is the First Lines of Literature mug and it’s sure to be a hit.
Magnetic Poetry is tons of fun and appeals to teenage book lovers and writers. And now there is a book-lover-themed magnetic poetry set. It’s a perfect stocking stuffer!
Canvas Library Tote
Here is the perfect library tote for your teenage bibliophile! I love the graphics and it gets fantastic reviews.
Book Lover Keychain
One of my teens has a shirt with this statement on it and he always gets comments from fellow book lovers when we are out and about. Now, there’s a keychain for book lovers!
Does your teen love to track what they have read? Does your teen like to create reading goals? Check out this Reading Journal with space for 52 books!
Book recommendations from my teens:
Please check Common Sense Media or another reputable site to make sure these recommendations work for your unique kiddos and family. I asked my teens to list some of their favorite books from the recent past and this is what they gave me:
- Anne of Green Gables (series)
- Divergent (series)
- The Catcher in the Rye
- The Crossover
- The Fault in Our Stars
- The Giver (series)
- The Hate You Give
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- The House on Mango Street
- The Hunger Games (series)
- Long Way Down
- Lord of the Rings (series)
- The Maze Runner (series)
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
- The Outsiders
- Ready Player One
- The Summer I Turned Pretty
The Best Gifts for Outdoorsy Teens
We are a family of nature lovers; we’d rather be outdoors than stuck inside. My kids are also highly involved in scouting. Here are some recommendations for the outdoorsy teens.
Window Bird Feeders
Paracord Emergency Bracelet
This is a perfect stocking stuffer for your outdoorsy teen. My boys both have a paracord emergency bracelet and they love them!
Swiss Army Pocket Knife
As a scouting family, you can bet that we have quite a few Swiss Army Pocket Knives around here. This one is one of the first knives my boys purchased.
Portable Camping Mess Kit
My oldest has a mess kit that is very similar to this one and he uses it on scouting trips all the time.
My oldest asked for a lightweight camp chair for Christmas last year and he uses it constantly. The one I got for him is no longer available, but this one looks quite similar.
This hammock might be a Christmas gift this year. My oldest is always talking about how some of the older scouts sleep in hammocks when the weather is great.
My boys use these LED headlamps all the time! They never go camping without them. My husband uses his when he’s working in the basement. And my kids have also used them for night skating on our little fire pond.
Solar-Powered Charging Brick
My husband got a solar-powered charging brick about a year ago and my son has taken it on every camping trip since he got a cell phone. It has come in handy again and again.
My teens love to stargaze. How fun would it be to have a telescope in your bedroom so that you could stargaze at night? This one is a best-seller with excellent reviews.
We gave the kids LifeStraws in their stockings one year. They love to pack them on hikes. My oldest frequently tries to gross out friends by using it while we hike.
Everyone in the fam has a CamelBak. They are awesome for hiking! My husband uses it for biking and the scouts use it on various outings as well.
We have two wildlife cameras in our backyard. It’s so fun to see the myriad of overnight visitors!
I refer to this gem as the best stocking stuffer of all time. This pocket microscope has been a family favorite for many years. We have given it as gifts, we have recommended it on this site over and over again, and we receive oodles of positive feedback from families who fall in love with it, too.
We have used these pocket binoculars for years and years. Now that my oldest is a scout, he uses them even more frequently!
My boys love to learn about navigation. They are both hikers and they love geocaching. Having a quality, albeit tiny, pocket compass has been super helpful in their learning about navigation.
Hand and Foot Warmers
Our family loves these things! They certainly help us to be outside as much as we’d like to be during New England winters!
My boys go camping with scouts frequently. This year, they each got camping pillows and they said they wished they had gotten them sooner!
Gift Ideas for Teens Who Love Sports and Athletics
Here are some gift ideas for the teenage athlete in your life as recommended by my two movers and shakers. We’ve included lots of glow-in-the-dark fun because my teens love to play outside in the dark!
We have a pull-up bar in our basement and my kids are always using it and trying to one-up each other.
Snowshoes are such a fun way to be active during the winter months. Our family has snowshoes from L.L. Bean (and they are super old at this point), but these get great reviews.
Slacklines are a great way to wear your kids out! (Ask me how I know, ha!) These are great backyard sensory experiences and kids can’t get enough. I can’t find the exact version that we have in our backyard, but this one has excellent reviews and more equipment than ours does!
Oh my gosh, I have such fond memories of my childhood friend’s backyard zipline. It was so much fun! We always wanted to go over to Kristen’s house.
Mini Luge Snow Sled
We got to try one of these during the winter of 2020 and it was incredibly fun. This mini luge snow sled would be perfect for the snow lover in your life.
Crossnet is a new-to-me game. I first observed it this summer and oh my gosh, what fun! Crossnet is a four-square volleyball game for four or more players.
Have you gone paddle boarding before? It’s so much fun and a great workout, too. This inflatable paddle board is a bestseller with great reviews. If you have access to water, this could be so much fun.
Glow in the Dark Basketball and Hoop Lights
How fun are these?! A glow-in-the-dark basketball and LED hoop lights! We don’t have a basketball net, but my kids love to play during the summer at the pool we go to. It would be neat to get these for the pool because I know the kids would love them!
Glow in the Dark Frisbee
Glow in the Dark Football
Love football? Check out this glow-in-the-dark football!
Glow in the Dark Soccer Ball
My youngest has this glow-in-the-dark soccer ball that has provided hours of backyard entertaining post-s’more roasting!
My kids have a friend with a balance board and they spend so much time on it! It’s harder than it looks!
We have several friends with trampolines and my teens love to play trampoline basketball! (And they sleep soooo well after an afternoon of bouncing and shooting hoops!)
The pool that we belong to in the summer has an outdoor ping pong table and it is my boys’ favorite thing to do during swim breaks. They love to play with Dad, too! Ping Pong is an addicting game for 2 or 4 players.
Spikeball is a highly-addicting game that was on Shark Tank. It is played with 2 teams of 2 players. It involves a ball and a trampoline-like net. To play, one player spikes the ball onto the net so that it bounces off. The opposing team has three touches to get the ball back on the net. Play ends and points are awarded when the ball isn’t returned to the net within three touches, the ball hits the rim, a bounced ball lands on the net or rim, or the ball rolls across the net.
Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag
Capture the Flag is a childhood classic! It’s always a win among my kiddos. But did you know that there is a Glow-in-the-Dark Capture the Flag? It’s true and it’s just as much fun as you imagine! It’s one of my children’s favorite summer night activities.
Kan Jam is a disc-throwing game that my husband loves. In this game, teams of 4-8 players take turns throwing their disc in an attempt to get it into the can, while opposing players attempt to deflect the disc. The first team to score 21 points wins the game. (And there’s a glow-in-the-dark version, too
Pop A Shot Basketball Game
My nephew has this Pop-a-Shot Game in their playroom and my boys love playing with it when they visit.
The Best Gifts for Teens Who Are Music Lovers
My teens love music! They all play piano, my daughter takes voice lessons, and they are constantly blaring their echo dots with their Spotify favorites! Here are some of their recommendations for music lovers.
One of my favorite things about being a mom to big kids is watching them develop into extraordinarily unique humans. As a music lover, I adore watching them discover music, new and old, and fall in love with it. My oldest has been asking for a turntable, and while I don’t know whether it’s something we will ultimately purchase, I think it’s such a fun idea! (I know I would have loved it at 14!)
Check out this beanie that has Bluetooth speakers. It’s perfect for winter days, workouts, and more. Your music lover won’t have to leave home without their tunes!
Music Streaming Subscription
I love Spotify and so do my kids, but there are tons of streaming services, from iTunes to Amazon Music and many, many more. They have echo dots in their bedrooms and they listen to Spotify all the time. It’s been so fun to watch their musical tastes develop over the years!
This portable karaoke machine has two microphones for duets and is rechargeable. Your music lovers can belt out their favorite songs with their friends.
Ukulele Starter Set
I once signed my three kids up for ukulele lessons. I thought it would be so much fun, but two of my three kids are lefties and it threw the teacher way off, so it was short-lived! My kids still ask about it and I think learning the uke would be such a fun activity. I’ve had my eyes on this ukulele starter set for quite a while.
Ticket Stub Diary
This is such a fun idea for the concertgoer in the bunch! It’s a ticket stub diary. Your teens can relive all of their past concerts!
Teens Who Love Art
One of the perks of homeschooling was that it allowed for ample time to explore the arts. Now that my big kids have returned to public school, I am so grateful to see their solid foundation in art and music. Here are a few gift ideas for the artsy teens in your life.
Art Museum Pass
A pass to a local art museum is an excellent experience idea for artsy teens!
A gift card for classes at a local art space is another excellent experience ideas for artistic teens.
DIY Wall Collage
Remember making collages in the 90s? They are back! Check out this make-your-own wall collage kit. It’s perfect for the creative teen.
Temporary Tattoo Markers
How fun are these? Put those artistic skills to use and create temporary body art!
How to Draw Anime
If you have an artistic teen who loves anime, this bestselling book on how to draw anime would be a great gift idea.
Art History Kids Subscription
Prismacolor Art Supplies
My teens have always loved to zentangle. We have had this book for many years and we return to it again and again. There is something incredibly calming about zentangling and I think it can be helpful during those rollercoaster teenage years.
Mythical Creatures Drawing Game
I recommend this game all the time! I feel like no one has ever heard of Createures Mythical Creatures Drawing Game, but our family has played it so many times. I have used these cards as art prompts and story prompts. That means this game can be both an art game and a language arts game! On their turn, players flip over five category cards (small subject, medium subject, large subject, detail, and habitat). The player then draws a creature based on the five cards (or, if you’re using this as a story prompt, players can verbally tell a story about the character or write a story). It’s the perfect game for artsy teens.
Teens Who Love the Kitchen
My little two (ages 13 and 11) love to cook and bake. Here are some of their recommendations and many of their wish list items!
Raddish Kids Subscription
We love Raddish Kids so much! Raddish Kids is a monthly culinary subscription service for children ages 4-14+. Raddish’s mission is to deliver culinary experiences that nurture children’s confidence in the kitchen and beyond. The chefs and educators behind-the-scenes at Raddish Kids have over 14 years of experience teaching children and teens how to cook.
Before you can have fun in the kitchen, you need some supplies! My daughter loves the colors in this kit.
Young Chefs Cookbooks
We have a lot of cookbooks around here, but. Nerdy Nummies (above) and this series are my kids’ favorites.
My teens love sushi, but it can be a pricy habit! A couple of years ago we got them this set and they love to make vegetarian sushi using it.
My kids have been asking for a popcorn maker for years. They have wild dreams of having one in the basement playroom so that they can pop popcorn on demand!
All-Edges Brownie Pan
Do your kids love the edges of the brownies, but not the middle? Check out this all-edges brownie pan!
Ice Cream Maker
This ice cream maker is so much fun! We got it for our wedding years ago, but my teens love to use it to make dessert.
This is yet another wedding gift that we barely used… until we had teens! Dipping food into cheese (or chocolate!) is such a fun dinner idea.
We got this s’mores maker for our Nana and Papa so that we can make s’mores with them at their house on the Cape. So fun!
Bubble Tea Kit
My daughter asked for this bubble tea kit on her last birthday. She’s a big texture kid, so I was surprised. I asked her, “Have you had bubble tea?” to which she replied she had not. I suggested we try bubble tea before she decided to buy it blindly. So. last Halloween we went to Salem and she was able to try bubble tea for the first time. She wasn’t a fan, but I know this is a hit among her friends. So, if you have a bubble tea lover, this might be a huge hit for you!
Mochi Ice Cream Set
How fun is this Mochi ice cream set? My daughter found it in a catalog recently and we thought it would be such a cool gift for a mochi lover!
Cotton Candy Maker
My niece and nephew have a cotton candy maker and my kids talk about it all the time! Every time we see cotton candy, we think about making it with them.
Breakfast Sandwich Maker
My teens asked for this breakfast sandwich maker because they are always running late in the morning and breakfast sandwiches are great for eating on the road. I haven’t caved yet, but it is cute and it has a ton of great reviews.
Cake Pop Maker
My daughter, age 13, thinks that cake tastes better on a stick. Check out this adorable Cake Pop Maker!
My teens love to make smoothie concoctions. Our friends have this magic bullet and love it. It would be a great gift for the smoothie fanatic in your home.
Several of my kids’ friends have soda machines and my kids are dying to get one. It’s not going to happen (because one member of my party has zero impulse control and that would be all this teen would imbibe), but it is super fun!
Charcuterie boards are all the rage right now. My teens love to create charcuterie boards filled with goodies. They aren’t as pretty as the ones you’ll find on Pinterest, but they are tasty!
Subscriptions, Experience Gifts, and Gift Cards
Sometimes, teens can be super duper picky. In these instances, sometimes it’s best to give an experience gift, subscription, or gift card. Here are some ideas from my favorite teens!
Teens can be picky, and while it might feel impersonal, sometimes the thing they really want is a gift card to their favorite place. My kids love gift cards from Amazon, Dunks, Starbucks, Target, Chipotle, and clothing stores. Want to make the gift card fun? Check out this gift card puzzle box. They’ll have to work for that card!
Olive and June
My daughter and I have been influenced! I saw Olive and June ads throughout 2020 and I eventually caved. I have never been able to keep polish on my fingernails until Olive and June. My daughter and I are now completely addicted. We are club members and superfans. Olive and June have fun gift sets if you’re looking for a last-minute gift idea! And if you’ve been influenced like we have, be sure to check out these nail polish storage containers. We love ours!
Universal Yums encourages families to vote on their favorite snacks each month. You can check out past boxes and voting results here.
My teens love Universal Yums all year long, but the Holiday Yum Box is something to behold! It is one of their favorite holiday traditions.
Online Music Streaming Service
Meditation App Subscription
My daughter loves meditation before bed. It helps her to calm her body from the day. In the past, we have used Calm and Headspace. Most recently, we use the Peloton app for meditation.
The way to a teen’s heart is often through their stomach! Crave Box is a box of irresistible snacks. I think most teens would love it!
Movie Streaming Service
Let your teens binge-watch their favorite shows by gifting them a movie streaming service. There are tons available from Amazon Prime to Apple TV to Disney+ to Hulu to Netflix and more.
And that’s a wrap! I hope this article gave you some gift inspiration for the teens in your life. Did I miss your favorite gift for teens? Leave me a comment below. I love hearing from you!
Did you love these gift ideas for teenagers?
Download this resource in PDF form!
Resources For Homeschooling Through The Holidays
Sneak a peek inside our annual MLP Gift Guide here:
And here are some additional holiday-related homeschool resources:
- Holiday Gameschooling
- 100+ Educational Stocking Stuffers
- The Best Holiday Resources for Creative Fun
- The Importance of Super Simple Holiday Activities