18 Gifts Will Make Your Surly Teen Smile

Teens: Too old for toys, too young to be delighted by a really nice set of towels. So what do you get the almost-adult in your life? If you’ve asked them and simply received a shrug (or been told “Cash is always nice”), you’re not alone. And, yes, cash is nice, but sometimes it’s also nice to open something or delight someone with a present they never would have thought to get themselves. And it can be doubly fun with a teenager: they’re just starting to get interested in a good skincare or makeup routine or posters that go beyond their favorite Disney star. You can then give them the gift of a desert island, everyday blush set or a print that can follow them to college and beyond. Of course, they’re still kids at heart, so the gifts should also be a little fun, too.

With that in mind, here are eighteen presents that are great for anyone between the ages of 13-18. They also start at under $20, in case you need to pick something up for your cool niece or kid’s favorite sitter. Maybe they’ll like it so much, they’ll even explain to you what TikTok is afterward.

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

Instax cameras continue to be a hit with teens, but how often are they actually remembering to take one with them to snap photos? This mini printer still lets them preserve memories with mini pictures but it prints from a phone. Images can also be edited with borders and illustrations before printing.

The Landmark Project Great Smoky Mountain Beanie

The Landmark Project pays tribute to some of America’s greatest natural wonders in t-shirts, beanies, and more. From the Catskills to Glacier to the Everglades, you can find a spot that means a lot to your outdoor adventurer. 

Half Moon Clutch

It’s never too early to pass down the lessons of a good purse pouch. It can hold everything from spare lipstick and tampons to coins and good luck charms. 

The Office Happy Holidays Tee

The coolest teens are really into this old show called The Office, have you ever heard of it?

iBayam Journal Pens

Fine-tipped pens that don’t bleed are great for note-taking, journaling, doodling, and more. 


100 Movies Scratch Off Poster

For the budding cinephile, a poster that reveals itself over time. The 100 movies on the list range from gritty classics to comedies and cartoons.


Harry Potter Books Set

They may have devoured the Harry Potter series years ago, but it was a mix of library books, ripped up paper backs already read by older siblings, and copies lost to ages. This is a complete set they can treasure (and re-read) for years.


Adopt a Three-toed Sloth

For the teen who really does have everything: adopt a sloth in their honor (or wombat, or whale shark or one of the very many spieces available from the World Wildlife Fund). They’ll get a plushie of the animal to open as well as a certificate of adoption. 

Fire HD 8 Tablet

Way more affordable than other tablets, this can be loaded with their favorite apps for streaming and playing games as well as books and music. 

Babe on Board Mini Blush, Bronzer & Highlighter Palette

Benefit’s blushes are great for makeup newbies: buildable and great for every day, they leave a soft glow. And if your teen is already a makeup pro, they’ll appreciate a set of high-quality, everyday blushes. This works well on medium skintones, The Cheeky Camper set is better for fairer skin. 

Peanut M&M’s Yard Gift Box

Who wouldn’t smile at a literal yard of one of America’s greatest candies? 


She Is Fierce Art Print

Give her a print as cool as she is. Society6 also lets you add artwork from thousands of its artsits to everything from backpacks to pillows to skateboards. 

Hydro Flask Wide Mouth Water Bottle

Yes, it’s silly that teens are suddenly obsessed with a high-priced water bottle when that one that came with their bike works perfectly fine. But also, let’s count our blessings that this trend also means they’re constnatly hydrating, too.


Treasure Pendant Necklace Set

Building up a jewlery collection of versatile basics takes time. Give your kid a headstart with a trio of necklaces that can be layered together, worn alone, and look great with almost anything else they’d pair it with.

Tony Moly All You Need Mask Set

Nearly all the ingredients in these sheet masks are derived from botanicals, making them good for dry, normal, and oily skin: no harsh chemicals that will cause peeling or redness. 


JBL Clip 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Full-sized JBL speakers run around $100 and up. A pocket-sized version is priced much more friendly and easy to take on the go (or simply blast in the shower). 


AE Color Block Crewneck Sweatshirt

Just cool enough to be exciting, just classic enough to be worn for years. 

Christmas Cheer Gift Set

For the son or daughter who is alreadly lingering in the bathroom too long anyway, a set of feel-good holiday products from Lush that will make them (and the bathroom) smell amazing.


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