As a teacher who works with teens every day, I sometimes get the inside scoop of what teens might like for gifts. Teens love choice, which is why gift certificates are a big hit. If you don’t just want to give a gift certificate, make a day of it. It’s harder at this age to give gifts that wrap because they might not like that shirt, book, or cd you got them, but give them an Itunes gift card and they’ll empty it out in ten minutes.
Here are my tips based on conversations and observations.
Gifts of Time/Experience
These types of gifts are my ultimate favorite because they create special, lasting memories. Teens love them too. One of my student’s favorite gift was a set of tickets to her favorite band, Fall Out Boy. Another student told me all about the amazing show she went to by YouTubers, Dan and Phil. I didn’t even know YouTubers did live shows! The way she described the set and experience sounded like a lot of fun! You definitely get bonus points if they can bring a friend or two.
Tickets. Tickets to a favorite concert/show, sporting event with special meal (and some best buds) will be sure to be the highlight of their year.
Day trip to secret location or to do a special activity like time at the spa or shopping. You could even see a favorite author on book tour/signing
Adventure activity. Many teens love adrenaline activities like ziplining, trampoline park, parasailing etc. See some day trips within a couple hours here.
Class. Cooking class like at the Co-op or King Arthur or a crafting Class at Scratch or JoAnn’s.
Gift Certificate or try a membership to local gym/activity center like AVA, CCBA, River Valley Club.
Basically anything they really love but rarely get to experience
Teens love to fit in, so getting a trendy gift is a great idea. What’s trending?
Clothing. Shirts with funny sayings or graphic t-shirts for guys. Clothing can be tricky, but these might be good bets.
Headphones. Kids are loving fancy headphones with great sound quality. Wireless headphones like these.
Gaming/Tech. A lot of kids have those mounts that attach to their phone so they can stand it up – this is a neat one, Make their Own Music, Gaming Controller. Anything gaming, never goes out of style it seems, Portable Charger – my student talk about this a lot and how it’s been helpful
Printer. Kids love to take photos and hang in their room or locker. Here some cool ideas. Photo printer, Echo Dot, Pocket Printer, Cube Label Printer, Insta Camera – I think this would be a hit – my students love love love photos.
Slipper/Booties. I’ve had students wear these to school. I hear they’re super comfy. You can also get comfy ones at Lemon Tree at the Powerhouse.
Games. Easy to play party games might work well if your teen has friends over often. Apple to Apples is a big hit with everyone, young and old – – especially teens. Easy to play and great for groups.
Kids love to express themselves in a way that makes them look unique, but still cool. This donut mug is exactly what I mean. You can also enjoy the donut socks above from Bonkers at the Powerhouse.
Fun socks. The cuter the better.
Unique Slippers. I saw emoji slippers!
Funky jewelry. Craft fairs would be great for this!
Make their Room Even more of an Escape
To teens often their room is their sanctuary and place to hang out. It’s the ultimate safe place to express themselves, chill out, and just be. Helping achieve this goal of fun and relaxing environment can really be a great gift.
Fun pillows. Cactus, log, birch pillows at Bonkers in the Powerhouse Mall. They probably have different fun pillows this year because the owner keeps her inventory fresh.
Posters. These would be great if you picked on that highlight a hobby, obsession, or interest.
Hanging up Memories. Print out favorite photos and put in a frame collage.
Fun lights. Fun string lights also work.
Comfy seating. The pillow fort bean bag chair and gaming chair look particularly comfortable.
Post and Upper Valley Flower have great gifts for quirky and room gifts.
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