They've got their own ideas. Here's how to make them happy

Presents for Teenage Boys

by Peggy Hinnah

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There are many good resources available for creative gift-giving for teenage girls. I thought it would be interesting to see what teenage boys would like. I collected ideas from a group of sixth and seventh grade students and grouped them as follows. I think you will find ideas suitable for "boys" of all ages in this list.


Boys are interested in all different types of sports including basketball, football, soccer, golf, hockey, and skateboarding. Besides equipment for these sports, the students listed posters, trading cards, hats, pencils, t-shirts, socks, athletic shorts, magazines, and key chains bearing team logos as great gifts. There was also interest in indoor basketball hoops and rubber (non-house-damaging) balls. Another idea that I found interesting was storage boxes, under-the-bed boxes, and sturdy bins decorated in favorite team colors and symbols to hold trading cards and other items. Moms might appreciate this gift as well.


The most popular non-team-oriented outdoor sport was fishing. Hunting came in a close second. Many boys expressed an interest in new tackle, a new tackle box, fishing pole, and other outdoor equipment like folding chairs. Fill a tackle box with flashlight, batteries, mosquito repellent, a hat, and other fishing paraphernalia and surprise that hard-to-buy-for relative or friend.

Hunting equipment depends on what they are hunting for. When all else fails, ask another hunter.

Related: Christmas gift baskets for teens

Toys / Hobbies

Boys of all ages love video games, game stations, and hand-held games. If you are not certain what they have or what they like, a gift certificate to their favorite store or rental shop will make them very happy.

Teenagers love music. They seem to all want music readily available on their favorite electronic device. Movies and DVDs are also a major interest. Depending on their tastes and your budget, a gift certificate may be the easiest way to go.

Other great hobby gifts are trading cards, model cars and trucks, remote-control cars (or remote-control anything for your gadget lover), chemistry sets, erector sets, board games, card games, lava lamps, and black lights and posters.

And don't forget video games and the things that go with them. There's something universal about boys and video games. Just a matter of finding what they want and don't already have.

Personal Items

Most boys do not seem to enjoy receiving toiletries and personal items as much as girls do, but several listed soap, shower gel, cologne, and shaving equipment, so do not assume those items would not be appreciated.

The most common item listed in this category was a watch. Boys of this age are becoming more responsible and aware of their environment. An alarm clock/radio would apply to this also.

A wallet is always a nice gift, just be sure they don't have six at home in their closet.

Adolescents are very particular about their clothes, and it is a part of their lives that is very important to them. It is difficult to buy clothes unless you know their sizes, their tastes, and are up on the most current fashions and trends. That trusty gift certificate to their favorite clothing or sporting goods store would be appreciated here also. Did I mention they also love to shop? So you are fulfilling two teenage desires with one gift, and saving yourself a lot of hassle.

Extra sheets, pillowcases, comforters, throw pillows, and body pillows bearing favorite logos or teams are a great gift for a young teenager who may be learning more about responsible hygiene.

Related: Unique gifts for teens


Young teenagers are also becoming more social. Telephone conversations start monopolizing many minutes (and hours) of their time. Many kids today have their own cell phones (and many do not). You may be able to purchase minutes for them or simply buy a per-minute phone card at your local discount or grocery store. Check around for the best prices and be sure you are not paying for unnecessary fees and surcharges.


A beginning teenager is just starting to learn about responsibility away from home. Speaking from a teacher's perspective, pencils and notebook paper are always needed. They can also use folders, a binder, and a pencil bag. Many are learning to write research papers and complete more involved projects. A good dictionary and thesaurus are invaluable. There are many computer programs with encyclopedia sets, trivia, and other quiz games if you have a computer-oriented student.

Many teenagers have a keen interest in art and drawing. The following supplies were suggested as desirable gifts: drawing paper, pencils, erasers, charcoal pencils, mechanical pencils, lead, rulers, colored pencils, markers, and any geometric drawing equipment.


You can't go wrong with food. The most requested item listed was restaurant gift certificates. Some listed fast food, while others had more traditional restaurant favorites. Some cheaper and excellent additions to a traditional gift are soda pop, candy, and snack foods like chips, popcorn, snack cakes, pretzels, etc. Find out what their favorites are and surprise them!

Save every shopping dollar that you can! Receive cash back on your purchases when you use one or more of these 14 favorite cash back shopping sites.


Money, of course, was the favorite gift idea listed. If you are not comfortable giving a cash gift, there are many different kinds of gift certificates available. The key is to make it personal by finding out where they like to shop. Investment opportunities are also a thoughtful, but not wasteful, money gift. Ask your local bank about CDs, savings accounts, college funds, and other financial products they have available. Most of all, give from the heart and find a way to make every gift thoughtful and considerate. The most important part of the gift is for the recipient to feel loved.

updated November, 2013

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