16 Totally Awesome Gifts for Teens Under $16

Finding the perfect gift for teen boys and girls is almost impossible. Teenagers like what they like. Funny thing. I’m kinda’ the same way. So what do teens like? Here are sixteen ideas. Before you read on, make sure you have your sense of humor handy.

This Gift Guide for Teens is nothing if not a lot of fun, no matter your age. Oh, and one more thing: At writing, all of these gifts as linked to Amazon, were priced below $16. Make sure to check because prices can and do change.

Teen Gifts #1


Remember what I said about teens liking what they like? Well, they’ll only eat what they like, too. With Teens Cook, your teen can learn to cook those foods he or she likes to eat. What a concept. With more than 75 recipes for what kids like including breakfast, snacks, sides, dinners and desserts—this is the perfect cookbook to inspire young adults to take interest in their diets by giving them a tasty hobby!


I’m thinking of getting this T-shirt for myself, that’s how funny it is. Emblazoned across the wearer’s chest: Here I am! What are your other 2 wishes? This Trendy T comes in 31 colors and 9 sizes. Caution: Reviewers say it runs small, so order accordingly. And while you’re at it, go ahead and get one for yourself. Just make sure a teenager never, ever catches you wearing it.


These over-the-ear stereo headphones are just perfect for teen girls. Look at that pretty lavender and white style. The lightweight design makes for excellent comfort. And they fold up, too. Compatible with any device that uses a 3.5mm output. And for the price, the sound is amazing, too.


Honestly, I was not aware of anything known as the Official Product of the 2014 Kid’s Choice Awards Swag Bag, but this lovely hot pink detangling brush holds that distinction. Just look how sleek and beautiful it is. And tell me, when was the last time you knew of a hairbrush to garner 568 5-star reviews? That speaks to me in a big way. Whether your teen girls have long hair or short this brush will make her very happy. Trust me on that. 

Gift and Nail


A beautiful work of fiction, this book is sure to inspire that special young person in your life. In his senior year of high school, Michael hits rock bottom. Having been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, he has now been suspended from the track team and lost his college scholarship. His coach is angry, his parents are disappointed, and he’s diving headfirst into a downward spiral. Facing the bleak future ahead, he sees no way out and wonders if life is really worth living. But with some divine intervention, he’s given a second chance when he’s offered a once-in-a-lifetime journey of discovery. Rewritten to engage the minds of teens and tweens, The Young Traveler’s Gift is sure to encourage and enlighten young men and women as they prepare to face the journeys that lie ahead. Be sure to read the 69 5-star reviews.


This Holiday 2014 Collection of ten mini bottles of nail polish from OPI is just adorable. Actually, I have this set myself and can’t stop admiring my lovely manicures. OPI is a great brand of polish that your teen will recognize and be so excited to have the latest ten colors of polish—one with glitter.

7. WATERPROOF WATCH. It’s rad. It’s made of rubber, and your young man will be thrilled with this watch. Looks so classy because it’s ginormous—right in line with current styles. It actually tells time, too,  plus lots more functions. It’s a cool brand, a cool look and … a cool price!

8. DANCE, SING, LOVE WALL DECAL. This beautiful wall art is huge! And won’t it look awesome on the wall in your young lady’s room. It’s so easy to apply, just peel and stick. Applies to any smooth surface and will not damage the wall. Again, check the reviews—538 people can’t be wrong!

Gift and Price

9. RED RUBBER WATCH. Is that just the cutest thing ever? I mean what teen girl wouldn’t love a bright red watch for Christmas? It’s bold, it’s funky and that makes it fabulous!

10. HOW TO SURVIVE ANYTHING, ANYWHERE. Well, right there we know it’s a great gift because what teenage boy isn’t into being macho? This gift will give him confidence to build his survival intelligence. And make him laugh, too. It’s good to know what to do in any emergency. The Boys’ Book Of Survival has received amazing reviews, by the way.

11. JUST THE TICKET. If I’d have this awesome little book, maybe I’d still have my ticket stub from the Beatles’ Concert, or the one from my front row seat with Neil Diamond. And Pavoratti, Liberace and The Beach Boys, too. Darn! Wait. OK so maybe I didn’t actually attend, but if I had, I know I would’ve wanted to carefully preserve my ticket stubs to prove it. Teens will love this book that lets them organize and preserve their tickets from special concerts, shows, trips and sporting events. Fab gift!

12. GOT BACON? I have a 5-year old grandson who asks me that often. And so does his father. I think it’s a guy thing and this bacon lover’s tee really says it all. And of course I’ve got bacon and this shirt has 13 colors to choose from in 8 sizes! Check those reviews. Then grab all you’ll need for Christmas gifts.


13. LED DIGITAL WATERPROOF SPORTS WATCH. This watch is so cool. It has everything! An alarm, backlight, 2 time zones, and a black and red rubber band. Perfect for any cool dude from age 10 to 20. I just hope he knows his mom and dad will try to borrow it whenever they can. Just sayin’.

14. LEARN TO KNIT KIT. There I was in Chicago’s biggest convention hall, trying to find a place to sit to eat a sandwich in the crush of thousands of people. Seriously, I thought I might get trampled. I find a seat and then realize something is under the table. Yep, right there, a ladies handbag. I rush off to find a security office. The guy behind the counter tells me to just leave the handbag on the counter. Really? I don’t think so! I asked him to page the person whose name I found in the bag. In no time here comes a very frantic woman. She’d spent a couple of harrowing hours searching for her purse. When I returned home, the biggest box was waiting for me (from her), filled with goodies. As an executive at the Klutz Publishing company, she sent me this Learn to Knit Six Great Projects, designed for young girls. Guess what? It works for middle-aged women, too! It’s a wonderful kit, that comes with everything your teen will need to learn to knit and make six projects. What a great gift!

15. LOVE HEART SHAPE WALL STICKERS. This makes me wish I were a teen again. Seriously! My love for music could have been confirmed in my heart every time I looked at it on my bedroom wall! This vinyl decor is easy to apply, removable and just plain cool.

16. GUIDE TO WORLD DOMINATION. Don’t worry. This is not some weird cult handbook. This is a great book that will inspire your teen to make good life choices—and laugh out loud, too. Drawing from his own experiences as a troubled youth, plus nearly a decade of motivational speaking to teen audiences, author Josh Shipp offers an unusually stimulating approach to making life decisions, rejecting bad choices, and nurturing a sense of self-identity. Read the 81 5-star reviews and you may just decide to get The Teen’s Guide to World Domination: Advice on Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Awesomeness for every teen in your life.

Woman texting on her smartphone
A little girl standing in a kitchen
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13 replies
  1. Linda says:

    I hope that you add my book Gaby and The Best Middle School Self-Defense Book Ever as a holiday gift for your tween. It deals humorously and offers tips on many social issues including cliques, bullying friendship stress and more.


  2. Linda says:

    I hope that you consider my book Gaby and The Best Middle School Self-Defense Book Ever. i deals humorously and offers tips on many social issues including cliques, bullies friend fights and more.


  3. N says:

    You came to my rescue this week. Invited to a Sweet 16 birthday party, and no idea what would delight someone decades younger. Thank you so much!

  4. MaryM says:

    As is often the case with Amazon, they also show the hairbrush for 9.99. Did not chck shipping, but it,might be cheaper to search the product instead of just following the link.

  5. sandy says:

    This list for teens looks very useful! On a related topic, Mary, could you ask adult women to post what material holiday gifts they’d prefer? I used the term “material” because suggestions such as “having the family all together” are wonderful, but they don’t help me when I want to present a wrapped gift! Magazines always list gift ideas from the viewpoint of the giver rather than the recipient! I want to give gifts that friends and family will actually use.

    • Liz says:

      If the woman is crafty, buy some items to help her with a project. Or a gift card to a craft store so she can get what she needs. That is always on my list for my family.

  6. Gav's Gramma says:

    This 60 (but 16 at heart) year old grandma just ordered the knifing book for herself! It’s out of stock at Amazon though…


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