Have you been experiencing a bit of gift-buying anxiety now that you are shopping for a teenage boy? Hey, we don’t blame you. Ask any adolescent what he wants and he’s probably going to respond with something along the lines of “dunno” or “Porsche!”. Well, the former is not helpful at all, and the latter is just not going to happen…at all. Sorry, boys.
So, what do you buy for the teen who is quickly becoming a man? It is, of course, always important to encourage his hobbies and interests; anything less can lead to the dreaded Teenage Sigh. You know the one.
Here at We The Parents, it’s our mission to ensure that you don’t have to hear the Teenage Sigh. Well, at least when it comes to giving out presents.
So, What Makes a Good Gift for a Teen Boy?
Don’t worry; you will not need to hand over the keys to a new car to make your boy happy.
Teens love group activities. Sure, they’re at the age where they mostly prefer doing said activities with their buddies and not their parents. But hey, a game or gift that can be used in a group provides an excellent opportunity to encourage family closeness without it feeling like a chore for your teen.
Also remember that, contrary to what they might say, they do have interests outside of dating and getting their driver’s license. So, whether your boy loves being active, artistic, or scientific, the key is finding a present that speaks to their interests. He is sure to love something that can expand his mind or help him meet any physical challenges he has set for himself.
After completing lots of research for your gift-giving headstart, here are ten gifts for teenage boys that will help you claim that ever-elusive Cool Adult Crown.
Has your teen been bitten by the exploration bug? If so, we can’t think of a better gift than his very own drone.
- 14 MP camera for sharp images and 1080p video recording;
- Live stream capable;
- Back LED light;
- Easy to maneuver;
- Low light image capability;
- Automatic propeller shut off in event of collision;
- 25 minute flight time with full charge
- FAA registration required
Why He’ll Love It: He can film at a 90-degree angle without sacrificing image quality, so he will be able to scan any landscape without the sky overshadowing his shots.View on Amazon
For the physically inclined, there are few things more fun than learning how to pogo. Providing great exercise, it also encourages balancing and coordination skills at a time when your boy might be feeling a little out of place in his growing body.
- Great for beginner or advanced pogoing;
- Metal frame;
- Supports weight from 120 – 210 lbs;
- Easy grip handles;
- Spring powered
- Can be loud
Why He’ll Love It: It provides a great outdoor activity that he can show off to his friends. Plus, he’ll never be at a loss for a conversation topic once he learns some pogo-tricks.View on Amazon
Don’t worry; you’re not handing him a license to join the Hell’s Angels with this gift. A scaled down motorbike, this is a great present for your mechanically inclined son who wants to ride around the yard.
- Reaches up to 17 mph
- Hand operated brakes
- Large pneumatic tires
- Rechargeable battery
- 40-minute battery life
Why He’ll Love It: He’ll be thrilled that you decided to meet him in the middle when it comes to his need for speed.View on Amazon
A twist on Volleyball, this game represents a new generation of outdoor team sports. Made for a 2 vs. 2 competition, it focuses strongly on teamwork, coordination, and even a bit of hidden geometry as your boy works to bounce the ball from his hand onto the net, which lies on the ground.
- Portable; can be taken anywhere;
- Playable on any flat surface;
- Simple rules;
- Encourages social play
- Assembly can be tricky
Why He’ll Love It: Whether he’s camping, at the beach, or, dare we say, at a family barbeque, he’ll love the physical and frenetic nature of Spikeball.View on Amazon
If you live with a teen who thrives on taking photographs as a means of expression, this gift will honestly blow him away.
- Instantly syncs photos to phones or tablets with SnapBridge technology;
- Easy setup;
- Shoots video in 1080p/60p;
- Low light photo and action shot capability;
- Connects with up to five smart devices/computers via Bluetooth;
- Smooth Autofocus
- No touchscreen
Why He’ll Love It: This is a great gift for a teenager hoping to make a career or lifelong hobby out of photography. Whether he is keeping the photos and videos for personal use or building a portfolio, he’s sure to impress when he shoots with this camera.View on Amazon
How many times have you given your adolescent some of your sage advice only to have him ignore it until it comes from someone else? We thought so. Why not give the gift of guidance without being on the receiving end of a skeptical stare with this self-help book?
- Tackles complicated issues;
- Practical advice
- Can be hard to “get into” at first
Why He’ll Love It: It’s a good read with good advice.View on Amazon
You’re never too old for some things. Ice cream. Carnivals. Nerf wars. Hey, they’re fun! And if your teen is ready to up his game, this blaster is a great addition to his artillery.
- Fires 24 darts before reload is needed
- Shoots up to 70-feet
- Adjustable handle
- Have to flip from one ammo drum to another for continuous firing
Why He’ll Love It: He can move the handle into one of three positions to give him the best firing position. When you are comfortable, you can aim with precision and walk away from any battle as the Nerf champion.View on Amazon
When given as a gift, a good gaming system can make any teenage boy’s eyes go wide. And when you give him an Xbox, you might just have pop them right back into his head! This well-rounded console is sure to provide him with endless entertainment.
- Can download games right onto the console;
- Plays DVDs, Blu-rays, and live TV;
- Endless apps to explore;
- Can connect with other players for more social gaming;
- Compatible with Kinect
- Downloading updates can take a while;
- Only includes one controller
Why He’ll Love It: The Xbox One S provides an all-around entertainment experience. He can watch movies, talk to other players, and, of course, play video games from virtually every genre.View on Amazon
Does your boy love music and experimenting with sound? This innovative set allows him to explore his creativity in a truly unique way. With 12 electronic ‘bits’, he can connect the circuits to manipulate sound, or even build his own instruments.
- Step-by-step instructions;
- Parts magnetically snap together;
- Can be used to make instruments;
- Kit includes a speaker to play audio creations
- Small parts can be tricky to maneuver with bigger hands;
- Additional materials needed for some instrument creations
Why He’ll Love It: With so many ways to mix and match the ‘bits’, he will thoroughly enjoy exploring the science of sound.View on Amazon
If your son has a long-standing love of all things LEGO, this is a great model for him to build. It is also a pretty fun way to bring a bit of the past into his present. So throw on a Beatles record and regale him with the awesomeness that was the 1960s.
- Authentic detailing;
- Van is 5 inches high, 11 inches long; great for displaying
- It’s pretty hard to find cons with a LEGO product!
Why He’ll Love It: With 1332 pieces, it is a project that will keep him busy. Once completed, he will have a fantastic model to display in his room.View on Amazon
Your son is now trying to navigate the world as a young man instead of a child. It only makes sense; his brain is maturing in every which way, and his body is rapidly developing. Although his rate of growth, both mentally and physically, will very much be unique to him, we made sure to keep certain milestones in our heads as we researched gifts that your young man would enjoy (source).
Your teenage boy is now less apt to just take your word on things, instead preferring to figure out the how’s and why’s for himself. You will also see him cementing his core beliefs as he gathers more information about the world. As such, don’t be surprised when he expresses interests in:
- World issues;
- His future plans (college, family, etc.);
- Career goals;
- Abstract thinking;
As your teen dips his toe more and more into the real world, he will experience all the ups and downs that come along with being a member of society. Remember that any feelings, from the pleasant to the distressing, can be amplified by the onset of puberty, and don’t be surprised if you notice him:
- Placing more importance on romance and/or sex;
- Comparing himself to his peers;
- Searching for more independence;
- Engaging in a long-term relationship
The height and weight charts for toddlers have long since been put to the wayside, but your teen still has one more stage to progress through before his body is fully mature. No one ever said puberty was easy, and you can expect your teen to be:
- Undergoing growth spurts;
- Occasionally uncoordinated;
- Sexually maturing;
- Experiencing a deepening of the voice
Toys & Gifts by Age
Looking for another toy or gift? Have another child in mind?
Check out our carefully curated lists of games, puzzles and toys for different ages and stages. The items on each have been chosen to match your kid’s physical, emotional and cognitive abilities.
Browse for toys and gifts by age:
- 1 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 2 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 3 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 4 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 5 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 6 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 7 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 8 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 9 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 10 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 11 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 12 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- 13 Year Old Girl or Boy;
- Teen Girl or Boy
Raising teens is hard, and there will undoubtedly be moments when you shake your head and wonder where your sweet little boy went. There might also be some moments when you have to bite your tongue because, well, no one can button push like an adolescent. But at the end of the day, they love you, and you love them. When you give them a gift, make sure that love comes through not in how much money you spend, but in how well it shows you know them.
One day, not too far from now, your teenage boy will walk out of your front door not as a child, but as a man. Make sure he leaves knowing that part of appreciating life is remembering to make time for play.