Shopping for goodies for teens and tweens? You could just opt for a gift card, but we promise there’s a way to make even the pickiest of teen girls and teen boys scrolling their iPhones to look up and crack a smile— no wish list required. We’ve rounded up some of the best gifts for every music lover, self-care queen and Gen Z high-school student on your list. From beauty products and bestseller gadgets to the coolest gifts for gamers and wannabe influencers, we’ve got you covered with this stellar gift guide.
As you shop, keep this advice in mind from independent analyst and toy historian Christopher Byrne, aka the Toy Guy:
"One of the things that’s so important about teens — and has been for many years — is the social aspect of their lives," says Byrne. Making, sharing, connecting and building community are important aspects to consider when choosing a thoughtful gift. Today's adolescents still enjoy the old-school activity of playing board games as a way to bond with friends, for instance. The new Dungeons, Dice & Danger game is a great one. Or consider the JBL Flip 6 portable speaker that just begs for a dance party.
"This is a time of life when they may be trying on different identities, discovering who they are separate from their parents and as individuals in a peer group," Byrne says about the post-elementary-school age. "Technology has made this possible, so things that can be shared either in person or virtually are great." The Kodak Step Slim Mobile Photo Printer, for instance, lets teens take photos from their cellphones and print them out to share with friends. And the Rukus FX music mixer allows for music and video creation and sharing.
A few carefully selected gifts are better than a whole pile. "Don’t overload kids with presents," cautions Byrne. You'll risk giving kids so much that they can’t appreciate what they get. And to quote the kids: "That’s so ’90s."