Cool Gift Ideas for Teenagers

Gift ideas for teenagers: group of teens

Gift ideas for teenagers needn't
be limited to cash or gift cards!
Here are some cool gift ideas
that are fun to give and receive.

When it comes to gift ideas for teenagers, we'll say right up front that it's hard to go wrong with cash, or a gift card that can be spent at a store of their choosing. Most teenagers prefer to select certain gifts for themselves - maybe electronics, clothes, CDs, or DVDs. Leaving the choice up to your teen means you won't have to wonder which gift is the right one, or whether s/he already has it.

But there are lots of cool gift ideas for teenagers that your recipient might not even have thought of; and yours can be a "well-chosen" gift if you do some homework. You'll find some pointers for discovering their tastes and interests on our Thoughtful Gift Ideas page, in case you missed it.

If your teen is building a collection, s/he will be pleased to receive an addition to that.

If your teen has a hobby or plays sports, a related gift or piece of equipment should be a good idea.

Gift ideas for teenagers: teen couple walkingAnother great resource is an online wish list - Amazon's is great, and they carry all sorts of stuff in addition to books. You'll find the most wanted gift ideas for teenagers on your list if you encourage them to keep an Amazon wish list, and to update it as gift occasions approach.

Meanwhile, here are some gift ideas for teenagers that are likely to please, and most will be well received by boys or girls.

Teen Gift Ideas, for Girls and Guys

Posters - what teenager doesn't like a poster of a favorite celebrity, amusing picture or saying, or an art print that they admire? A poster is an affordable way to bring personality to a teen's room or the family room. If you know what your teen will like, you'll probably find it among the thousands here... if you're not sure, a gift certificate is a good solution.

Pair of Tickets - to a concert or sports event, or a gift card for movie tickets. Get two, or fund the gift card with enough to pay for two - it's always more fun with a friend.
Gift ideas for teenagers: teen boy eating pizza

Something tasty - The Popcorn Factory offers all sorts of yummy treats for all sorts of occasions. Search for "smiley face" at the top of the page to find cookies, chocolates and other gifts sure to make your teen smile. And it's hard to beat Mrs Fields for chocolate chip cookies. Great gifts for teens at home or away at school.

Clocks, clocks, clocks - everyone needs them, and here are some cool gift ideas for teenagers who struggle to get up in the morning:

  • "Clocky" is an alarm clock with wheels. If you don't get up after the first snooze, Clocky jumps off the nightstand, rolls across the room and hides. Customers seem to like the alarm - sounds like R2D2 - and you actually have to get out of bed to shut him down.

  • For a teen whose alarm wakes up only the arm s/he uses to shut it off, a "Sonic Bomb alarm clock" could be just the thing. It has an adjustable volume alarm and a bed shaker unit!

  • This one isn't an alarm clock, but if your teen is proud to be a geek, s/he will enjoy the LED Binary clock. Time is displayed in rows of lights, and knowing how to read it is cool indeed.
Gift ideas for teenagers: teen girl with cell phone

Car stuff - this cute little Lego dude keychain with LED light-up feet (batteries included!) is a nice affordable gift from a teen's younger sibling. Vat19 also offers useful car items such as a BodyGard Auto emergency tool, AAA emergency kit, and a digital tire pressure gauge, all reasonably priced. Gifts that help keep them safe on the road are thoughtful gift ideas for teenagers. If the budget allows, a prepaid gasoline card will also be most welcome.

Bookshelf - on the invisible bookshelf, a stack of books seemingly floats against the wall with no support - how cool is that? Choose from standard or large sizes, or mix and match.

Gift ideas for teenagers: teenage boy on skateboardExperience gifts - a gift your teen will never forget, it's exactly what the name says: the chance to do or experience something extraordinary. Examples (all well supervised): hot air balloon or helicopter ride; flying lesson; whitewater rafting; driving a bulldozer or race car; fencing lesson; horseback trail ride; Segway tour; tall ship cruise... you get the idea. Experience gifts range in price from under $100 to $thousands, and they're available across the U.S. (as well as Canada, Europe, Brazil and Australia, and South Africa, among others).

Finally (and this isn't just for modest budgets), do consider giving your teen a Gift of Your Time. It's a good way to demonstrate that s/he is valued and worthy of your time, and that could be the most appreciated gift of all.

Gift ideas for teenagers, like everyone else,
need to fit their interests and tastes.
Choose carefully, or leave the choice to them.

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Logo photo by Jane M. Sawyer, teen couple walking, boy eating pizza,
girl with cell phone by "taliesin"; and boy on skateboard by "tayloroschlades,"
all courtesy of; Group of teens courtesy of Microsoft.