Is there a more stressful situation than buying a gift for a teenager? Oh, wait, yes, we can think of one — raising a teenager. Teens are moody, their minds are always changing, and it can be hard, as a parent or aunt or family friend to decipher what’s on a teen’s wishlist. Is this cool? Not cool? How the f*ck is an out-of-touch adult supposed to know?
That’s where we come in, Moms. Teens may be wishy-washy and fickle, figuring out who they are and what they like, but all the items on this gift guide for teens are fair game no matter what. From highly-coveted tech gifts for teenage guys to games and stylish accessories, gift the teen in your life any one of these products and you’re bound to be hearing “thank you’s” until they reach their 20s.
If there’s one thing we know about VSCO girls, it’s that they love stickers. Personalization is key here, moms. As long as they’re not, ahem, using them to decorate the living room walls, this is one fad we can get behind. Peep these cute AF vinyl girl power stickers (comes in a pack of 44 and contains everything from a happy succulent to chill pills) that are perfect for their next sticker bomb—be it their iPhone case, MacBooks, Hydro Flask, you name it. Basically, if it’s not moving, it’s fair game.
Okay, ready for your teenage daughter to lose their $h*t?! Go ahead and snag “Dope Mom of the Year” award by gifting her this SUPER sweet double-daisy necklace. Perfect for layering alongside other dainty gold pieces or rocking solo, this beaded flower chain is the definition of friendship #goals.
Every teenager on the planet wants a Fjallraven mini backpack, and for good reason. Besides the obvious—they’re effing cute (!) and come in a $h*tload of colorways—it’s also functional. From festival grounds to the classroom, this versatile bag is roomy enough to fit a wallet, an iPad, headphones, and water bottle.
Teens have a lot of tech. It’s like, the #1 rule of being a teen. Since they need full batteries ready to receive a new Snapchat or IG message at a moment’s notice, give your teen the gift of juice 24/7. This circular desktop charging station features six USB ports so your teen can charge their Apple Watch, phone, iPod, tablet, and whatever else, all at once. Those could also solve a lot of sibling fights over who needs a charge more, so really, this is an investment in family peace. It comes in black, silver, white, blue, purple, and red so it can either blend in or stand out.
Um, remember your 90’s scrunchie obsession? These vibrant hairbands-on-steroids are officially making a comeback and we don’t need Clarissa to explain that to us. (Though we kinda wish she would.) The good news is, you can get a f*ck-ton of colors for only a few bucks; that way, the teen in your life won’t complain that they don’t have a specific color. Get her all the hues and she’ll have a color-coded scrunchie or six for every day of the week, if not the entire month.
Teenagers are to AirPods as moms are to glasses of wine after a long, hard day. It’s just math. The only downside (for you, Mom, not for your kid) is that these babies are wireless, which means under a hat or hair tucked over the ear, you may not even notice your sassy teen isn’t, in fact, listening to you at all. They’re listening to the game, or Spotify, or on a call with their friends. Nevertheless, it’s a risk worth taking as AirPods are the hottest gift on the market right now. We promise there’s not a teen in the land who won’t light up like a Christmas tree after opening these up.
Thinking back to our high school days, Vans might not have been the sneaker of choice, but nowadays, Vans of all colors and styles make for teenage royalty. Really go for the gold by purchasing the hi-tops. We promise the teen in your life will wear them almost every day, and will probably never stop thanking you for gifting them a pair of these cool kicks.
You know that horrible whine that emits from the living room once the PS4 controller battery dies? With this gift, you’ll never have to hear that awful sound again, Mom. This PS4 wireless charger charges two controllers in just two hours. It’s compact, saves space, and even features an LED charging indicator that lets you know when the charging is complete. The charging dock also has a built-in protector chip, so your teen will never accidentally overcharge the PS4.
The Revlon One-Step Hair Dryer & Volumizer is where it’s at. For kids still experimenting with their look, this is the perfect starter tool as it’s literally a hairdryer and brush in one. The blowdryer-and-hairbrush combo takes teen hair to the next level — so much so that your daughter’s friends will assume you bought her a gift certificate to the salon! Bonus? It works fast so a late-sleeping teen can avoid that just-rolled-out-of-bed look.
A water bottle might not sound cool — like, at all — but brands are everything to Gen Z. Hydro Flask is one of the top water bottle brands teens love, so we promise, even if it seems lame, your middle- or high-schooler will get a whole lot of use out of this gift… and a Hydro Flask appearance might even make it on their Instagram page. 😉 That’s when you know you’ve given a damn good gift!
Alexa is a moody teenager’s best friend. Think about it: Alexa provides their favorite music on demand and can answer all of their weird, teenagery, too-cringy-to-ask-a-parent type of questions. And while they’re away at school all day, who’s to say you can’t indulge in some of your favorite music? “Alexa, play the Big Little Lies soundtrack.” See? We all win.
Sooner rather than later, your teen is going to be driving. As in, behind the wheel of a car. Scary, right? Prolong the inevitable with another mode of transportation: the RipStick Ripster Caster Board. Shorter than the original RipStick, this modern take on skateboards is made with high-tech polymer with removable plates, slip-resistant concave deck platforms, and high-grade urethane wheels, so that your driver-in-training can rip through the streets at a fast (but totally safe!) pace.
Buying age-appropriate makeup for a teen is tricky territory. (Plus, if it’s not your teen, who knows what the makeup rules are at home?) Glossier’s The Makeup Set is perfect for makeup beginners, as this trio is comprised of subtle products that keep teens fresh-faced and dewy, but still totally glam. This kit comes with Boy Brow grooming pomade (to flick up brows and keep them in place), Lash Slick film form mascara (to give eyes a hint of definition), and Cloud Paint, a liquid form of blush. This kit is the makings of your teen’s makeup essentials and we guarantee they’ll be asking you for a refill once they blow through all the product in this set.
Calm the f*ck down, blue light. You’ve heard of the evil blue light, right? It’s the stuff that technology emits (phones, laptops, computer screens) and it keeps you from falling asleep at night by keeping your brain wired. Teens nowadays are one of the most susceptible demographics to the detrimental effects of screen time, so grab your kid a pair of blue light-blocking glasses. Self-care for your eyes is just as important as any other kind of self-care, and you’ll have better luck getting a teen to toss on these glasses than getting them to set down their devices before bedtime.
Teenagers have a whole lot of energy they need to burn off, which doesn’t always happen if they’re sitting in front of the TV all day long. Enter: Spikeball — a fun, active, and competitive 2-on-2 outdoor and indoor sports game that’s literally designed to burn off steam. With foldable legs, the game doesn’t have to take up permanent space on your lawn and can be easily stored in a trunk, closet, or garage. See? Mom-approved.
You’re never too young to start learning about skincare, and if you think about it, the teen years are precisely when you start noticing your skin for the first time. That’s exactly why now’s the time to start teaching your teen healthy skincare habits, starting with how to store them. Plus, the Cooluni is, in essence, a mini-fridge, and we all know kids love that sh*t. Something about it is just so timelessly cool. There’s no rules saying you can’t also buy one for yourself — just sayin’.
JENGA is a timeless game that’s fun for literally everyone — children, adults at a brewery, and yes, even the hard-to-please teenager. Double the fun by upping the ante with Giant JENGA. Starting at two feet high at setup, these 7″ by 3″ by 2″ blocks can stack as high as five feet — nearly 15 times the volume of a classic JENGA tower. Need your rowdy teens out of the house? Send them packing into the yard with Giant JENGA and you won’t see them for a few hours at least! (More time for you to do important #Momming things. Or you know, unwind with a glass of vino and catch up on Real Housewives.)
Nothing like a remote-control drone to get your kids outside and enjoying the fresh air, right?! With Altitude Hold Function (which allows the drone to hover at its current height after releasing the throttle) and a bonus battery for longer flight time, the Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone with HD camera will keep your kids (and your friends’ kids) occupied for hours. #ThankGod.
Fairy string lights just got a huge upgrade. These LED string lights connect to an app on your teen’s phone, so they can control the colors and lighting. Connected with Bluetooth, these lights have the capability to actually sync to music through the app that features music modes. Lights change color and modes along to the beat. In total, there are 16 million color combinations and 29 modes, and the lights can also be hooked up to a timer, so you don’t have to worry about your — ahem — irresponsible teen forgetting to shut them off manually.
In a day and age when it’s all about the ‘Gram (or VSCO, or Snapchat, or whatever app the kids are into these days) premium quality cell phone camera lenses make all the difference. This Lens Kit minimizes lens glare, reflection, ghosting, and makes your teen’s IG-worthy pics as clear and high-quality as possible. You’ll get no dark corners with this 0.6X wide angle lens, and it even helps expand the field of view so your teen can capture the whole family, the whole team, or all of their friends in one shot. The Lens Kit also comes with a 15X Macro Lens, designed with knurling circled around for convenient removal. The Macro Lens lets artsy teens capture clear AF photos in great detail from 1.18-1.57 inches away.
Every teenager needs a portable Bluetooth speaker nowadays. They’re the perfect accessory to bring outside, to the beach, or to the pool, so that everyone can have a great time outdoors, without having to sacrifice listening to the latest hits on Spotify. This little-speaker-that-could may seem tiny, but it is mighty. It can connect and keep playing your tunes up to 100 feet away and delivers massive, crisp, and clear 360-degree sound so the party never has to stop.
The Rocket Book is easily the coolest notebook on Amazon right now. It features 36 reusable pages that wipe clean at the swipe of a damp cloth, and uploads to Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Slack, iCloud, and email. Rocket Books come with a Pilot FriXion pen, which only takes 15 seconds to dry. Listen — note-taking and homework are about the furthest thing from fun, but you might as well encourage the teen in your life with this notebook-meets-computer hybrid.
For teens just starting their experimental makeup journeys, ohii Lip Jellys are a stepping stone. This three-pack comes with a trio of travel-ready tubes in agave, mint, and rose scents. Each tube features a non-sticky, long-lasting formula that moisturizes lips a la castor seed oil and shea butter, and are totally vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, mineral oil-free, sulfate-free, and phthalate-free. Basically, it’s everything-bad-for-you-free, AKA a mother’s dream lip balm for their child.
What is it with today’s teens being obsessed with relics from our past? It’s like, they get all the nostalgia and cool-cred from instant cameras, but don’t have to deal with any of the technical issues we did at the time: No dial-up, no beepers, no shotty signal. Nope, Gen Z gets to enjoy the gems of a gone decade all while reveling in fast-as-f*ck WiFi and wireless earbuds. But we’re not bitter, right, Mom? The Fujifilm SQ6 Instax Square Instant Camera features three color filters to attach over the flash, giving pics a vibrant tint, and also has six shooting modes and automatic flash. It even has a selfie mode, because of course it does. Photography school, here they come!
The Stormtrooper Device Holder is perfect for the tech-savvy kid who has everything. It can hold video game controllers and most other devices like phones or iPods. Not only will Star Wars fans love the design, but the utility is pretty stellar, too, as it comes with a 6-foot micro USB cable for charging convenience.
Maybe you’ve got a super sophisticated teen on your hands whose only item on her wish-list is to travel the world. You know — she wants to get cultured, backpack around Europe, and learn Italian. If you’ve got a wanderlust-y teen on your hands, then the best gift you can get her is Away luggage — and maybe a roundtrip ticket to Spain! Away is the most durable luggage out there, so no matter how many flights she boards lugging this carry-on suitcase behind her, it will be in top-notch condition for years to come. Available in 10 different colors, the Away Carry-On also has a USB feature and battery so you’ll never have to worry about your teen’s phone dying while she’s en route. All the better to keep texting tabs on them during that gap year trip to Europe.
The wacky, wavy guy at the car dealership has a specific type of cult-like following: teenagers. Get him in miniature form to bring the ultimate smile to your teen’s face. The wacky, wavy dude fits on your teen’s desk, shelves, or nightstand, and can work to encourage your teenager as he breaks open those daunting chemistry or history books. Plus, it’s just flat-out funny.
An over-the-door basketball hoop is practically a teen right of passage, and for $30, you can make sure it happens. This one’s NBA brand and looks extremely authentic, so all your teen giftee has to do is line up their laundry basket underneath for some dirty clothes-tossing fun.
Listen, teens might think they’re super mature and beyond grade school gags, but give them a gift called “Unicorn Snot” and watch their cool facade crumble instantly. Of course, it’s not *actual* snot (but there are actual unicorns, fight me) but the teen in your life will totally appreciate this set of five lightweight lip glosses. If the big kid you’re gifting them to is ultra woke, they will love that Unicorn Snot is vegan and cruelty-free. Oh, and the glitter is cosmetic-grade, so it’s totally safe for skin. Sparkle on, teens.
“Friends” is proving to be as popular with Gen Z as it was for those of us old enough to remember when the show first premiered back in the 90s, so what better gift for your binge-watching teen than a sweatshirt bearing that all-familiar logo? This cozy top features a crewneck and stylish, slouchy fit. The perfect way to celebrate nostalgia while looking extremely current. Rachel Green would definitely approve.
Going to throw three words out there and just know that you’re squealing while reading them: furry sloth pillow. Yup. You’re really never the wrong age for a sloth pillow, but teens will definitely get a kick out of this fuzzy little guy and his adorable embroidered face. On a plane, at home, or just for decoration, all teens (and most adults?) can use a sloth pillow or two.
If the teen in your life can’t go even a minute without blasting their favorite tunes, grab them this waterproof bluetooth speaker immediately. Sure, they can wear earbuds, but in the shower? This speaker promises to be splash-proof, rainproof, dust-proof, and sand-proof. Hopefully that means it’s also teen-proof. Oh, and did we mention that it comes in several teen-friendly colors? It’s a no-brainer.
If you know a teen who’s not quite on board yet with a full purse but still needs something to cart around a lip gloss, house key, and a little cash, then you need to grab them this sparkly “everything” pouch. It’s actually big enough to stash pens and pencils or even some toiletries for travel, hence the “everything” in the name. Honestly, everyone could use a glittery pouch in their lives, who even needs a reason?
Still looking for the perfect brithday gifts for teenage girls? Be sure to check out our tween-approved gift guide!