Best Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls (a VERY picky 2021 list)

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on August 23rd, 2021

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Does shopping for a teen girl conjure up terrifying images of eye rolls and huffy sighs? Don’t feel defeated; you are one of many adults that has this same trepidation about buying gifts for teenage girls. Afterall, you are now less worried about finding things that encourage skills like hand-eye-coordination and balance and more concerned about finding something that will engage her mind and not just collect dust under her bed.

Appealing to teenage sensibilities is something that requires a surprising amount of research. The good news is that while you have been helping your girl with her homework, we have been helping you with yours. After plenty of thought, here are some carefully selected gifts we think your girl will adore.

Our picks of the best gift ideas for teenage girls

#1

Our Opinion

Do you live with a young lady who has a real interest in taking pictures? As one of the most trusted names in photography, Nikon hits another home run with this camera (check price on Amazon).

Why She’ll Love It: If she has plans to be a professional photographer, this camera is perfect for building a portfolio to use as she applies to schools. It takes fantastic photographs that she can immediately share or edit from her computer, tablet, or phone.

What we love
  • Easy setup
  • SnapBridge technology instantly syncs photos to phones or tablets;
  • Low light photo and action shot capability;
Watch for
  • Expensive
  • No touchscreen

#2

Our opinion

What busy teen girl can’t use the great Echo Plus system from Amazon (check price)? She can keep organized, have an instant alarm clock to remind her of dates and deadlines through the day, and even sing to her. The Dot’s Alexa is a personal assistant to help your teen in myriad ways. Premium Dolby speakers ensure her music will play with the sound she’s come to expect from Dolby. If she’s living in a smart home, she can run it all with her voice right from her bedroom.

Why She’ll Love It: Your girl can ask Alexa to remind her to study for that French test tomorrow, make lunch from the leftovers, call her bestie before 8 p.m., then wake her at 6:00 a.m. Before bed, she can have the system play her favorite soft melody to help her to sleep. What’s not to love?

#3

Our opinion

One game teens and adults love to play is Escape Room (check price on Amazon). No, you won’t need to remodel a room in the basement. Logic, brain power, and cooperation will bring your teen’s team through challenging escapes like Virus, Temple of the Aztec, Prison Break or Nuclear Countdown. A team has exactly 60 minutes to solve the puzzle and enter the correct code on the Chrono Decoder to escape at last.

Why She’ll Love It: Team-building and cooperative effort are excellent skills for teen girls to develop. They will use these benefits well into college years and beyond to their future professions.

#4

Our opinion

Any budding scientist needs a good microscope. Designed to encourage your teen’s interest biology, the OMAX (check price on Amazonis a must-have for any young lady looking to expand her knowledge base.

Why She’ll Love It: If your teen felt unable to further delve into her studies because she only had access to a microscope at school, this is the answer to her prayers. It is a great study tool, and the captured images can be used to spice up class presentations.

What we love
  • Up to 2000X zoom capability
  • Built-in digital camera
  • Can play live video or images on a computer with up to 100x magnification
Watch for
  • Expensive;
  • Images transferred to Mac computers don’t retain as much image quality as those transferred to a Windows run device.

#5

Our opinion

As the recipient of the “Game of the Century” award, Catan (check price on Amazonis sure to entice the kids, teens and all, to gather around for a game night. A great teacher of how to strategically plan, this version can be played with up to four people at a time.

Why She’ll Love It: Each time she plays, she will have a different experience. As such, it will hold her interest. Also, since each game session is around one hour, she won’t have to worry about Catan dragging on.

What we love
  • Encourages socialization with family and friends;
  • Plenty of replay value as no two game sessions are the same;
  • Easy to learn gameplay
Watch for
  • Teens may get frustrated by the literal ‘roll of the dice’ luck involved

#6

Our opinion

Great for both entertainment and learning, this iPad (check price on Amazonencourages both socialization and education. You and your teen can choose how much storage she wants, as well as whether to add the tablet to her data plan or go with a strictly WiFi model.

Why She’ll Love It: Although the adage of bigger being better is alive and well in the minds of teens, this fully functioning tablet’s size means carrying it around in a purse or bag is super easy.

What we love
  • More affordable than larger iPads;
  • Different models for different budgets;
  • Up to 10-hour battery life
Watch for
  • Without data plan addition, iPad needs to be in range of WiFi for many apps to work;
  • Needs case and screen cover for protection against cracks

#7

Our opinion

If your teen girl is interested in learning the valuable skill of coding, this is a great way to start her off. Don’t let the word ‘kids’ in the name fool you; the Ultimate Kit (check price on Amazonthere are plenty of challenging projects and engaging lessons for your girl.

Why She’ll Love It: With over 60 projects to complete, she will love thinking her way through each one. The code will translate into physical events, so she will enjoy both abstract thinking and observing the tangible results of her hard work in the real world.

What we love
  • Step by step instructions included;
  • Software works with Windows, Mac, and Chromebook;
  • Perfect for beginners
Watch for
  • Teens over 15 might lose interest

#8

Our opinion

This book is a roadmap for girls making the long and arduous trek from tween to twenty. The book has plenty of advice for both the teen and her parents. Author New York Times Bestseller Lisa Damour, Ph.D. is the director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls.

In Untangled (check price on Amazon), she explains why the typical teenage behavior is not meant to stick her thumb in every eye she sees. It is instead the way a healthy girl makes it successfully to adulthood. Damour explores common problems and which reactions are most productive for parents and child alike, when to worry and what to ignore.

Why She’ll Love It: Untangled can serve as a jump-off point for discussions with her parents and let her know that, despite all appearances, she is not the only one experiencing difficulties in growing up.

#9

Our opinion

You have surely noticed your teen girl contemplating all sorts of drastic fashion choices. A nose ring here, a mohawk there; we’re sure you’ve heard it all. Give your teen the gift of experimenting with her appearance without the stress of a long-term commitment with this temporary hair chalk dye (check price on Amazon).

Why She’ll Love It: She is at the age where she is trying to find her own style, and will likely cycle through many looks before landing on anything permanent. Luckily, with this washable chalk, she can try a new do every day; it’s color without the commitment!

What we love
  • Washable color;
  • Blendable in hair;
  • Easy to follow instructions
Watch for
  • May not be as bright in dark hair

#10

Our opinion

We bet your teenager has been begging you to let her paint the ceiling, knock down a few walls, and nail up all sorts of posters. Hey, we were all young once, and desperate to make our rooms an exact reflection of our teenage selves. Luckily, items like this Big Joe Bean Bag chair (check price on Amazonmight be able to keep her more extreme renovation desires at bay.

Why She’ll Love It: With several color options, she is sure to find one that will fit perfectly into her teenage paradise of a bedroom. Should she feel like venturing out from her own four walls, she can easily take this chair along to another room. Family movie night, anyone?

What we love
  • Stain and water resistant;
  • Refillable;
  • Lightweight;
Watch for
  • May lose shape after continued use

#11

Our opinion

If you know your teen likes to wear headphones, and you are constantly worried about her not being cognizant of her surroundings when she is out and about, this gift gives you both what you want. The speakers rest against her cheekbones, sending vibrations to her inner ear. She can hear her music just fine but will retain better awareness of the goings-on around her (check Trekz price on Amazon).

Why She’ll Love It: Available in several colors, this type of headphone is not something you see every day. She’ll love feeling unique as she listens to her tunes.

What we love
  • Can be used for phone calls;
  • Six hours of playback;
  • Good sound quality
Watch for
  • Not Adjustable;
  • Some sound leakage;
  • Mic not great in situations with a lot of background noise

#12

Our opinion

If your teen loves to squirrel herself away in a dark room while she works on her computer or texts her friends, the Philips Hue Go (check price on Amazon) is a great way to encourage her to bring a little light to her surroundings. With a spectrum of gorgeous hues and the ability to change them using an app on her phone, she’ll love the ability to make her den match her mood.

Why She’ll Love It: It’s a way for her to customize colored lighting in her room, for parties, or on camping trips.

What we love
  • Rechargeable; no cords;
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa Apple HomeKit and Google Assistant (check compatibility with current device models);
  • Adjustable brightness
Watch for
  • Rechargeable; be sure to turn off when not in use
  • Not water resistant

#13

Our opinion

Self-help books have long been popular among adults. If you have a teen who enjoys reading and is open to receiving advice, this guide (check price on Amazonis a gift that she can use to improve her life skills. The subtitle “HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR SPACE, YOUR STUFF, YOUR TIME” gives a good summary of what it’s all about. When you have teens, sometimes life tips land better when they come from someone other than Mom or Dad. Who better than a fun writer and a quirky illustrator?

Why She’ll Love It: With the ever-growing responsibilities that start popping up in those teen years, your girl might need some help when it comes to, well, getting it together.

What we love
  • At 96 pages, it’s a quick read;
  • Cute illustrations;
  • Helpful advice
Watch for
  • May feel too “young” for older teens

#14

Our opinion

The Fitbit Versa 2 (check price on Amazon is the perfect way for your teenage girl to stay on top of her health. This Smartwatch will provide her with her heart rate, sleep score, activity metrics, and more. It even hosts Alexa, making voice-control a portable reality.

Your teen can sync the watch with a pair of Bluetooth headphones and play music using Spotify, Pandora, or a Deezer playlist. The large display offers instant gratification at a glance. Amazon’s Alexa enables hands-free operations, including voice calls, text, and calendar functions.

Why She’ll Love It: This lovely smartwatch is like a personal trainer for your wrist. Your teenager will love keeping track of her health stats, listening to music, and sending brief messages.

What we love
  • A fully charged battery lasts over 6 days
  • Provides a sleep score based on heart rate, time asleep, and restlessness
  • Provides accurate metrics of steps, distance, and calories burned
Watch for
  • Always on display requires frequent charging
  • Text and voice replies can only be sent using an Android device

#15

Our opinion

This mesmerizing DIKAOU Led Flame Lamp and Bluetooth Speaker (check price on Amazon serves as an ambiance-generating table piece. It is perfect for indoor and outdoor settings. The yellow LED light flickers like a real candle. It is set in a decorative vessel. The flame light’s Bluetooth speaker provides users with crisp sound.

Your teen will love using this light to create a charming nighttime environment, whether it be at a campsite, beach, or bedroom.

Why She’ll Love It: Teens love creating cozy, warm environments to chill with their friends. This Himalayan salt lamp will brighten your teen’s room while making it a healthier space.

What we love
  • Serves as a portable speaker with high-definition audio
  • Warm LED flame light
  • Great ambiance without a fire hazard
Watch for
  • Takes 4 to 5 hours to charge

#16

Our opinion

Cords aren’t cool. However, you have probably already been told this by your teen. Enacfire Bluetooth Wireless Headphones (check price on Amazon produce a premium listening experience for an unbelievably low cost. They come with a fast-charging case that’s ideal for teens on the go. Their auto-pairing function eliminates frustrating syncing sessions.

What’s more, on-the-ear controls enable your teen to alter the volume without scrounging around for her phone.

What we love
  • Come in a compact portable charging case
  • Instant device pairing
  • IPX8 waterproof technology means you don’t have to worry about sweat or rain
Watch for
  • Don’t carry the same allure as mainstream brands like Apple

#17

Our opinion

Being a teenage girl in 2020 is just as stressful as it was in prehistoric times. Just kidding… However, this incredible Himalayan salt lamp (check price on Amazon is capable of reducing stress by releasing negative ions that trap air pollution and dust. The warm pink light may even help your teen fight back against insomnia and fatigue. When all else fails, this lovely lamp helps improve the ambiance in a space.

The ancient Himalayan salt crystals are the real deal. They are carved into the shape of a blossoming rose and set onto a genuine wood base. The UL-listed dimmer enables your teen to adjust the strength of the light.

What we love
  • Hand-carved Himalayan salt flower with rich wooden base
  • UL-listed dimmer cord
  • Made from 250 million year old salt
Watch for
  • Weighs around 8 pounds

#18

Our opinion

Help your teenage daughter hone in on her healthy beauty routine by presenting her with the Pixnor Facial Cleansing Brush (check price on Amazon. This incredible tool offers spa-quality facials from the comfort of her bathroom. It is fully waterproof, which means she can take it into the shower.

It’s also small enough to store in a travel tote or purse. Rumor has it that the Pixnor isn’t capable of removing blackheads. However, it will still leave her skin feeling clean, smooth, and fresh.

Why She’ll Love It: Most modern teens take a proactive approach to skin care and beauty. This lovely tool makes it fun to scrub away makeup and dead skin.

What we love
  • Seven brush heads for different levels of clean
  • Remove blackheads, exfoliate, and massage your skin
  • Two speed settings for optimal comfort and control
Watch for
  • Does not actually remove blackheads
  • May stimulate oil glands and actually make acne worse

#19

Our opinion

Mom jeans are back in style. Every girl needs a pair of high-rise Levis . The  dye job on these blue babies, Levi’s Women’s Wedgie Icon Jeans (check price on Amazon) is exquisite. Not to mention, the cotton material looks and feels nicer than spandex jeggings ever could. The long fly on these denim pants is what gives them their wedgie name.

Why She’ll Love It: You and your teen will be pleased to leave the jegging era behind. These hip-hugging blue jeans are the same ones that her favorite celebrities are wearing.

What we love
  • Not made of elastic material
  • Brand-name Levi’s are well made
  • Perfect for curvy bodies
Watch for

#20

Our opinion

The internet is flooded with makeup tutorials. Your teen can finally be part of the madness with this neutral eye shadow palette in her arsenal. The Anastasia Beverly Hills – Eye Shadow Palette (check price on Amazon are packed in a purse-safe palette, complete with a mirror and brush. There are plenty of luxurious matte and metallic options waiting to embellish your sweet girl’s eyes.

Why She’ll Love It: Every girl needs a neutral eye shadow palette in their makeup arsenal. This kit comes with colors that work for both night and day looks.

What we love
  • A neutral palette that offers day and night looks
  • Comes with a double-sided brush
  • Opens to reveal a small mirror
Watch for
  • No one wants to see their baby’s face covered in makeup (it’s already so beautiful)

So, what makes a good gift for a teen girl?

Ah, the question heard around the world.

Based on the above, we made sure to look for gifts that provide mental stimulation, both academically and creatively. By fostering these aspects of the teenage mind, you are giving your girl the gift of confidence as you encourage her to excel in her interests.

We also took into account that teens like group activities and how this can have a two-fold benefit. We love seeing teenagers blossom into their social independence, but gifts that are enjoyed in groups also provide a great way to engage your adolescent in family time without having to resort to bribery.

Teenage development

Your teenager’s mind is now continually expanding as she learns how to navigate social situations, find her individuality, and form opinions on the world in which she lives. While we were investigating gifts that appeal to adolescents, we made sure to take specific teenage milestones into account.

Cognitive development

Your teen girl is actively seeking out information and using what she finds to fine tune her core beliefs. She is taking a growing interest in many new academic and intellectual pursuits, including

  • Politics;
  • Abstract thinking;
  • World issues;
  • Long-term planning;
  • Setting goals for her future

Social development

Realistically, your teen girl is more likely to ask for an extension of her curfew than a family game night, but her burgeoning social life will come with plenty of ups and downs. You will probably notice things like her

  • Being influenced strongly by her friends;
  • Comparing herself to her peers;
  • Seeking romantic relationships;
  • Finding her independence

Physical development

While you are no longer checking baby books to make sure your teen is on par with things like dexterous development, it’s important to remember that the teen years are fraught with somewhat awkward growth. Remember your teen will be

  • Experiencing growth spurts;
  • Developing acne;
  • Sexually maturing

Wrapping up

Sugar and spice and everything nice might not always be the phrase that comes to your mind when you think of your growing girl. Afterall, teenage years can be hard, complex, and emotional. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you and need you to be an active participant in her life.

Remind her that you love her and appreciate the person she is becoming by giving her a gift that speaks to her interests and allows her to express who she is.

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Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on August 23rd, 2021

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Gift ideas teenage girls
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