Back when I was a teen we were easy to buy for. CD’s – mainly Brit-pop, books, videos (Yes I am that old). Strawberry lip balm from The Body Shop. And of course, were you even a teenage girl in the nineties if you didn’t ask for explanation perfume? My point is there were lots of options when it came to gifts for teenagers.

My eldest is soon to turn 12 and it is getting increasingly hard to buy gifts for him. Not to mention expensive! I am someone who loves giving gifts, and I try to put a lot of thought and effort into what I get people.

Finding actual gifts within an acceptable budget is hard. Is it ok to ask for money towards his first car? I’m joking, kind of. I’m finding these tweens are getting more expensive the older they get and it all seems to be monthly outgoings. There’s the Xbox monthly payment, his phone, audible subscription, amazon music, the list goes on. By the time he is 17 his younger brother will be 13, so I’ll have double the cost and the monthly car insurance payments on top!

I am finding the gift ideas a bit hard to come by, especially when I am asked by other what to get him. Money and vouchers are all great for birthdays, but at Christmas people often prefer to give gifts.

My boys are very lucky to have a large family and extended family who are all very generous and like to buy them gifts for birthdays and Christmas. They more often than not ask what they would like, so as to avoid duplicates or get them something they are just not into and waste their money. Which is great, but! I’m out of ideas. This tween stage of parenting is new to me and I have no clue what he wants. My son doesn’t either!

gifts for teenagers

So let’s look at our ‘gifts for teenagers‘ options…


No, He listens to everything through Amazon music on his Alexa. We don’t even own a CD player anymore.


He has a Kindle, so unless it’s a voucher, there’s no need for books. He is also not willing to say goodbye to any books he does own so there is no room on the bookcase that is already groaning with the sheer volume.


We stream or download everything. No need for DVD’s.

Computer Games

Again, he downloads them, or they are web based. Plus he only tends to play the same two games all of the time anyway.


He has a phone, a tablet, a laptop, and at least 5 drones! What more does he need!

Days out

We quite often get him an experience instead of a gift. Places like Go Ape or Ninja Warrior. But again these come in the form of vouchers, and can be quite expensive.


Both my kids are really into Lego. But they like the big builds, and they come with the kind of price tag that sucker punches you right in the gut.


Boring! The kids opinion, not mine. Maybe this is different for girls.


How many pens does one kid need? We could already probably fully equip at least 4 classrooms with the amount of felt tip pens, crayons and Smiggle smelly pencils we have.


He’s a smelly teenage boy who like most of them requires a lot of nagging in the hygiene department. But even so, there’s only so many bottles of Lynx Africa a boy needs!

So in conclusion the digital age has definitely ruined gifts for teenagers. Unless it’s a voucher, I’m stumped. It was much easier in my day! So help me out people. What do tween / teenage boys want?

This is a collaborative post

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Claire Kirby

3 Comments on Gifts for teenagers – I’m out of ideas!

  1. You must be around the same age as me! I was obsessed with the explanation perfume and the strawberry lip balm.
    My eldest is 14 in a few days and it was hard to buy for her but thankfully she loves anything Anime and had a long list of books and I have bulked her present pile out with clothes. She loves new clothes.
    I have a teenage nephew and I usually buy him a voucher as I never know what to buy him. I am no help, boys are so much harder to buy for. x

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