Teenage girls might be one of the most challenging demographics to have on your shopping list, whether for a birthday or another special occasion, but you don’t have to lean on gift cards, bath bombs or nail polish. Did you know that scrunchies are back? (Those of you with a VSCO girl in the house are already aware of this, no doubt.) We’ve got a list of perfect gift ideas that she will actually want to use, no matter her style or interests.
You’ll find some of the hottest tech gadgets, backpacks and games a teenage girl would covet in this lineup. We’ve created this gift guide so that it’ll be easier to slam dunk this gift-giving opportunity for the 13- to 18-year-old girls in your life, whether it’s your daughter, sister or friend.
The streamlined Kanken backpack from Fjallraven is pricey, but an oh-so-nice great gift. The cute and classic Scandinavian design has been around since the ’70s, and the modern Kanken features the added bonus of water-resistant Vinylon fabric. Any teenager will appreciate this cool, on-trend bag when they need to carry a great book (or seven).
Govee LED light strips let you customize your bedroom’s lighting, with millions of color combinations to choose from. This great gift gives teens an easy and budget-friendly way to change up their room’s appearance. Plus, there’s often an Amazon “coupon” on the page that knocks the price below $9.
Tribit’s portable wireless Bluetooth speaker features 24-hour playtime and is water resistant — perfect for those shower singing sessions. CNET reviewers noted that for an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker, this one is hard to beat.
CNET reviewers called Apple’s original AirPods “the king of wireless earphones” — the perfect gift for a teen who wants to listen to music or watch videos without being tied down with wired headphones. If you’re feeling extra generous, you can buy the newer AirPods Pro at Amazon for $235. You can also customize your earbuds gift with a colorful AirPods case.
The stylish poufy hair products from the ’90s are back in a big way and teen girls are snapping them up. You’ve probably noticed scrunchies adorning teen wrists as well as in their hair. This set of five colorful scrunchies is a great gift for the trendy teen on your list.
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The MyCharge Go series of portable chargers are slim options for a teen to keep in a backpack, purse or pocket to keep their phone charged up by extending its battery life. These range in price from $10 to $25, depending on how much charge they hold.
If you’re buying a karaoke machine for a birthday party, the Singing Machine is a perfect pick. Play your Pandora radio (it connects to iPad or iPhone) or use a CD. This machine hooks up to your TV to display lyrics, and the speakers are noticeably better than those on most kids’ karaoke machines.
Hydro Flask water bottles are all the rage with teens (even more popular than the S’well water bottle) — and what a wholesome trend! We can get on board with hydration. This durable, stainless steel water bottle is BPA-free and keeps beverages cold (or hot). Plus, it comes in a variety of colors.
The Women Cards Tech Deck of playing cards features 15 women from around the world who have made a name for themselves in the male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and math. The set includes Marie Curie and Grace Hopper.
If the gal on your list loves watching YouTube makeup tutorials, she might enjoy creating her own custom lip balm and lip glosses. The BeYouTology kit includes 16 pigment pearls in four colors, three containers, mixing bowl, spoon and lip gloss medium. The kit also offers 20 possible lip shades.
Amazon’s nylon braided iPhone charging cable holds up much better than Apple’s version, CNET reviewers found. Having extra charging cables around that come in different colors and lengths is always a good idea.
OK, these aren’t diamond earrings, but the pave CZ crystals are sparkly! Maison Miru’s lightning bold studs are delicate yet bold — a popular choice for teenage girls. She’ll love the style, we love that the 14-karat gold-plated brass won’t irritate sensitive skin.
This entry-level reflector tabletop telescope is perfect for girls interested in astronomy — it allows you to see hundreds of craters on the moon and details of Jupiter and other planets.
What teenager doesn’t want clear skin? Help her achieve that goal with this high tech cleanser. The Foreo Luna 2 is an ultra-hygienic, waterproof massage tool that scrubs impurities away. We love that it’s super simple and no extra parts or refills are needed. 450 uses per charge is helpful, too.
Yes, even in this digital age, nothing beats a hard copy. The Fujifilm Instax Mini camera is this generation’s answer to the classic Polaroid, an instant camera with the ability to print photos on demand. Yes, you’ll need to buy new batches of film cartridges until the end of time, but that’s the price of creating miniature wall art out of your photos.
Yeti Blue Microphones are a popular choice for young YouTube stars and podcasters. Just be advised that these seem to be out of stock everywhere, thanks to the growing army of at-home workers.
This little Haworthia succulent is ready to be displayed — it comes already planted in a ceramic pot ready for your teen’s bedroom. The Haworthia is a low-maintenance succulent. It’s stemless and slow-growing and it can go weeks without water. These make perfect thoughtful gifts for a plant newbie (or distracted teenager).
Docs have made a huge comeback (along with everything else from the ’90s) and teens everywhere covet these classic combat boots. You can’t go wrong gifting the classic eight-eye style — your favorite brooding teenager will thank you.
It’s a big buy, but you can be assured that the teen on your shopping list would love an Apple Watch (who wouldn’t?). The Series 5 smartwatch is a perfect tech gift and there are a variety of cool side products, such as bands and cases — including the rainbow-striped Pride edition sport loop. Note, however, that a Series 6 model is expected in the fall of 2020. And, If she’s not an iPhone owner, you should opt for a Fitbit Versa 2 or Fitbit Charge 3 instead — Apple Watches don’t work with Android phones.
It’s another big buy, but you can’t beat the latest Apple iPad for browsing the internet, doing homework and playing games on Apple Arcade. The iPad is also great for drawing and making art with the Apple Pencil or another digital stylus. The retail price is $330, but you should hold out for this to drop to $250, as it does during many periodic seasonal sales.
The ultimate ’90s throwback game has a modern new look complete with a backlit color screen. Tamagotchi is an interactive virtual pet — a portable pal that makes a fantastic gift — and the On versions have a ton of cool features, like an app and new games. Create a family tree for your “tama” pet and build generations of fun. Tamagotchi has come a long way, but it’s still just as fun as we remember, and this unique game makes the perfect gift for any teen on your list.
This fun grab-and-go tumbler is the perfect gift for an environmentally conscious teen looking to cut down on single-use plastics. The 20-ounce acrylic tumbler comes with a soft silicone straw and is BPA, lead and phthalate-free — no more landfill bombs! Plus it comes with a range of cute slogans and in a fun variety of colors.