Best Gifts for Teenage Boys in 2018 that They’re Going to Love
Teenage boys are hard to impress, especially when it’s their parents trying. While children easily fall for interesting toys, teens are more demanding. They want gifts that not only look good, but validate their identity too.
Quite often, gifts that are interesting in themselves aren't enough. But teens tend to know pretty well what they want and what they don't want. In fact, it's hard not to hear and see them manifest their preferences every day.
If you're trying to find a great gift for a teenage boy, you've come to the right place. Having closely monitored two teenagers being raised, I like to think I know what kinds of gifts they best respond to. So, are you ready to discover some great gifts for teenage boys?
20 Gifts That Teenage Boys Will Actually Cherish
To make your search easier, I asked fellow parents and did my own research to find only the most engaging gifts. Different teens have different interests, and I think it's by recognizing this that we can choose gifts that really make them happy. I've handpicked the gifts below from the categories that teens are most interested in.
Table of Contents
- 20 Gifts That Teenage Boys Will Actually Cherish
- 1. GoPro HERO5 Action Camera
- 2. Pebble Time Steel Smartwatch for Apple and Android Devices
- 3. Nintendo Switch Joy Console
- 4. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera
- 5. Mont Marte Studio Essentials Mixed Media Art Set
- 6. Atom Drop-Through Long Board
- 7. Mpow Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Soft Memory-Protein Earmuffs for PC/ Cell Phones/ TV
- 8. Fuzion Z300 Pro Scooter Complete
- 9. Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker from FUGOO Sport
- 10. Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set
- 11. Indo Board Balance Board Original with Roller
- 12. Wham-O Trac Ball Racket Toy Game
- 13. Galileo Thermometer with Glass Globe Barometer
- 14. Tiny Magnetic Balls for Intelligence Development and Stress Relief
- 15. Dynasty Toys Nertz Card Game Box Set
- 16. Spirograph Deluxe Design Set
- 17. Cozmo AI-Powered Robot
- 18. Kindle Paperwhite
- 19. Hey! Play! Bocce Ball Set
- 20. Coleman Powersports CT200U Gas Powered Mini Trail Bike
- Things to Keep in Mind About Teenage Boys While Choosing Their Gifts
- Things to Look for in Gifts for Teenage Boys
1. GoPro HERO5 Action Camera
For many teenagers, "camera" and "action" are key words. So why not combine them in a small, but powerful gift that has the power to make possible both new adventures and wonderful memories.
GoPro HERO5 is a waterproof action camera that can record beautiful video at a high resolution. It can then send the videos to a smartphone for simple editing. It can also be used as a 12 megapixel camera, capturing quality images, even of fast-moving objects.
Striking a fine balance between convenience and performance, this hands-free camera can be easily attached to a bike, helmet, or skateboard. Your teen can take it with him on the playing field, during trips or hikes, or while he's trying new tricks on his bike.
With extra features like video stabilization, voice control, and built-in Wi-Fi, this GoPro could be a striking gift for an adventurous teen. It can really encourage action, as to use it to its full ability you really have to start moving.
The battery lasts for up to 90 minutes when video recording at maximum resolution. However, one thing to remember about this camera is that the charger is not included. If you don't mind paying for it separately, then GoPro Hero5 can be a special gift, and a nod in the right direction.
What's Great About It: The high-resolution sensor ensures stunning video despite the camera's small size. Also, it's easy to attach and use in all environments.
2. Pebble Time Steel Smartwatch for Apple and Android Devices
The Pebble smart watch can be a great companion to any iOS or Android phone. In addition to the timekeeping functionality you'd expect from a watch, it comes with activity and sleep trackers, voices notes, and app integration with many apps. The stylish finish and matching bracelet only add to its appeal.
More than a cool watch, Pebble can be a helpful gadget for sporty teens. It tracks steps and sleeping patterns, and provides weekly graphs that show trends. It's great for running, cycling, hiking, and other activities where tracking effort can help improve results.
Unlike other smart watches, this one isn't limited to one mobile platform, which gives it greater value in the long-term. After all, your teen may switch from iOS to Android, or the other way around at some point. If that happens, this watch will still be relevant.
What's Great About It: The simple to use activity tracker can encourage your teen to stay active. The appealing design means that this watch suits any occasion, whether formal or informal.
3. Nintendo Switch Joy Console
The Nintendo Switch looks great and runs some of the most popular titles out there, including Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda. It combines the mobility of a handheld device with the multiplayer thrills of a home console. The detachable Joy-Con controllers mean that it can be used both as a home console and portable console.
If your teen enjoys video games, but you're worried that they may be spending too much time indoors, this console can be an inspired choice. Unlike other consoles, it's easy to take along outdoors and can be easily packed for trips.
If you're looking for an alternative to the PlayStation or the Wii, Nintendo Switch is not likely to disappoint you or your teen. It could even help him tap into the benefits of gaming and gamification.
What's Great About It: Nintendo Switch can be turned from a home console into a mobile console and vice versa without additional accessories. It also looks great and runs a host of exciting games that span all possible tastes and genres.
4. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera
Instant selfies and precious memories - Fujifilm Instax Mini promises that and plenty of fun besides. It's easy to use and can capture even fast-moving subjects like pets or cars. To optimize image quality, the built-in sensor automatically detects light and adjusts the shutter speed and flash accordingly.
More than a great memory recorder, this camera comes with a creative double exposure mode. In this mode, two images can be produced on the same film sheet, allowing for superimposed creations. It also comes with a macro mode, which can inspire teens to pay attention to the beautiful details in nature.
Before you choose this as a gift, remember that you'll also have to buy some instant film from the same manufacturer. Film for this camera costs a bit more than simply printing photos snapped on a digital camera. But you may find that the spontaneity and fun that the Instant Mini 90 offers is worth the price.
What's Great About It: The simple yet engaging design and handy photo modes make this a fun alternative to other cameras. Double exposure mode can create remarkable shots, all this while encouraging your teen to find inspiration in the world around him.
5. Mont Marte Studio Essentials Mixed Media Art Set
For artsy teens, this huge mixed media art set can make a great impression. It has it all - colored pencils, felt tip markers, acrylic and oil paints, and four brushes. The 174 pieces of this set come with a wooden case, which makes them all relatively easy to carry around.
Drawing and painting are effective stress relievers and have other health benefits as well. That's why I recommend this set for teens that have a challenging year at school or have to cope with peer pressure. It's not only budding artists that can appreciate it, but also teens who've never tried their hand at art before.
The good quality of these art supplies and their beautiful presentation make this set a memorable gift. It's the kind of present that can capture the attention even of an easily distracted teen. After all, with so many art supplies packed in, it can last for many years.
What's Great About It: The wooden carry box gives this set an artsy look, while at the same time makes it easy to take on trips and into nature. Together with an easel, it can form the basis for a young artist's starting kit.
6. Atom Drop-Through Long Board
If your teen is into skateboarding, this maple long board can inspire him to keep on rolling. The full maple deck and high rebound urethane wheels make it a step up from your average skateboard. Great for both cruising and light tricks, it's made from durable materials and looks the part.
In addition to its strong build, the Atom Drop-Through is easy to tinker with. If your teen wants to change the bearings or the wheels later on, he can do it without much trouble. This gives the board a longer lifespan than the average product in this category.
The simple, but inspired design with a fetching color scheme only adds to its appeal. More than a sporty board, it can be used in an urban environment for short distance traveling. Whether he's going to school or just out with friends, with this board he can go fast and in style.
What's Great About It: Soft yet durable wheels make this a comfortable long board on different surfaces, while the solid deck ensures a quality ride. The durability of all the essential parts ensures this board will last. Your teen may have broken other boards before, but this one can take a beating.
7. Mpow Over-Ear Bluetooth Headphones with Soft Memory-Protein Earmuffs for PC/ Cell Phones/ TV
Featuring excellent sound quality and an engaging design, these headphones can make great music sound even greater. This popular over-ear headset from Mpow works with most portable and home devices. It connects seamlessly to your teen’s smartphone, tablet, game console, and home entertain system.
There are plenty of other good headsets around, so why did I choose this one? It offers around 13 hours of autonomy on Bluetooth, which is pretty impressive. Your teen won't have to worry about charging it all the time and it's also less likely to die on him.
These headphones come with a memory-protein cushion that provides maximum comfort. They also include a built-in mic for hands-free calls. Also included in the package is a convenient bag, which together with the foldable design makes this a highly portable headset.
For most teenagers today, a good pair of headphones has become indispensable. This one can bring your teen the right mix of features he needs from a headphone set, nicely packed in a design that can turn heads. Even if he has a pair of headphones already, this can still be a useful gift.
What's Great About It: The long Bluetooth autonomy and foldable design makes this a portable headset that won't get in the way of trips or outdoor events. The sound quality is also remarkable for this price range.
8. Fuzion Z300 Pro Scooter Complete
With its stylish design and durable build, this scooter is a step up from rattling childhood scooters. It's strong yet fast and easy to maneuver on curbs and other challenging areas. Ready for bumps, the Fuzion Z300 comes with a hidden internal compression system and an adjustable fender brake.
This scooter was designed for both the street and the skate park. It can be used as a convenient way to get to school or meet up with friends. Its streamlined design makes it easy to tuck away into a corner where it won't get in the way.
At the same time, it can stand most tricks that a beginner or intermediate rider is likely to try on a ramp. It doesn't go over the top with useless features either, so you won't be paying for useless extras.
But what really makes it stand out is the unique Dog Bone design, which allows for a more even distribution of force across the deck. The result is a smoother ride and more control. If your teen has shown an interest in scooters before, this one can inspire him to want to roll again.
What's Great About It: Its sturdy design and patent force distribution system make this a great choice for teenage boys. These features make it a long-lasting, obstacle-ready scooter. The dark, professional design catches the eye too.
9. Portable Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker from FUGOO Sport
While headphones are the norm for most teenagers, a wireless speaker like this one comes in handy when he's meeting outdoors with friends. It's also great to have during family trips, so long as your musical preferences aren't too different from his. Through accessories, it can be easily mounted to bikes, straps, or bags.
Waterproof up to 3 feet and for 30 minutes, it promises to be more durable than most portable speakers. It's also snow proof and sand proof. But what I really like about it is the 40 hours worth of battery life when played at half the maximum volume.
It also includes a built-in speaker, which your teen can use with Google Now, Siri, or other mobile apps. More than just music, your child can listen to audiobooks, online courses, or podcasts on this speaker via their phone.
What's Great About It: Rugged design makes this a durable speaker that can withstand most of the inevitable accidents that come with taking gadgets into nature. The easy mounting options further add to its versatility. And then there's the long battery life of course.
10. Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set
By the late teenage years, most kids seem to have outgrown most Harry Potter merchandise - mine certainly have. But looking around me at my friends' teens, I see that many of them still feel a certain nostalgia for the popular series. Okay, nostalgia may not be the right word here - we're talking about teens after all - but something close to it.
For them, items like this Harry Potter chess set can make a good impression. Admittedly geeky, it features Harry Potter inspired figurines that look much better than the usual chess pieces out there.
Made from a plastic resin, the pieces of this set feel like stone, which is probably the effect the manufacturer aimed for. But don't worry - they won't come alive… at least not while you're around.
While the package includes a chessboard, you may end up preferring a more solid, wooden board, if you have one at home. Other than that though, this is a well-made set, and the satin bags in which the pieces come is a nice addition.
What's Great About It: While not reproducing the actual characters from the series, this set captures the Harry Potter spirit. It can strike a chord with fans of the popular series, even if lately their Harry Potter books have been gathering dust.
11. Indo Board Balance Board Original with Roller
The Indo Board can improve stability, agility, and leg strength. It can be used with a variety of exercises, and easily incorporated into a simple and enjoyable training routine. But above all, it's fun, and the challenge and thrills that come with keeping your balance on it is something that can stimulate any teen.
The popular design of this board has been around for almost two decades. Developed with surfers and skaters in mind, it quickly became a hit with people of all ages. It can be an especially useful piece of equipment for teens that enjoy board sports.
The Indo Board is actually used by both kids and professional athletes. That says a lot about its appeal and its high fun factor. It's available in different styles, which only adds to its appeal.
Now, you may be a bit concerned about safety, especially if your teen hasn't done board sports before. You'll be happy to learn - like I was - that the thoughtful design makes injuries unlikely. Tiny scrapes and bruises don't count, of course.
What's Great About It: The simple yet challenging concept of this balance board can keep it exciting for months and even years. While other toys and objects may gradually lose their appeal, this can remain a long-term favorite for your teen, and a healthy one at that.
12. Wham-O Trac Ball Racket Toy Game
Featuring two jumbo-sized rackets and a trac ball, this set can turn a neglected backyard into your teen's new favorite playground. The oversized design of the rackets allows for easy catching. It enables players to focus on speed and flow, allowing for a smoother and faster-paced game than what other rackets provide.
This trac ball set doesn't only invite friendly competition and laughter, but it can also promote bonding. It's an ideal gift for a teen with siblings, whether they are younger or older than him. It can quickly become a good habit on sunny afternoons after school or on the weekend.
You can also take this game to the beach or to the park. It won't take too much space in the trunk of the car. Nor do you have to worry too much about its storage - just throw it in there somewhere; it won't break.
What's Great About It: The simple, durable design of the rackets won't make replacement necessary for years to come. Add to that the fact that you get two balls with the set, and this becomes a truly affordable backyard game.
13. Galileo Thermometer with Glass Globe Barometer
When it comes to geeky gifts for teens, few can rival the Galileo Thermometer and Storm Glass Barometer. This set brings weather forecasting to every teen that likes science. What's great about it is that it actually works, using the same principles of air pressure and buoyancy that scientists have relied on for hundreds of years.
A tall glass tube filled with water, the thermometer features five tiny glass bulbs of different densities. Temperature tags hang from them. These bulbs rise and fall as the water in the tube becomes more or less dense, depending on the weather.
The barometer, on the other hand, relies on a glass spout to reflect the changes in atmospheric pressure. Some say that the design is Goethe's own invention, but we'll never know for sure.
Owning these instruments is nice, but the real fun is watching them as they reflect changes in the weather, and learning to read them. The thermometer and barometer actually work. They help make scientific principles that have been used for hundreds of years accessible to teens.
What's Great About It: The instruments are mounted on a wooden base, making them easy to place on a desk or spacious shelf. The world globe etched on the barometer adds a nice touch to this elegant set.
14. Tiny Magnetic Balls for Intelligence Development and Stress Relief
Made up of 216 magnetized balls, this ingenious set helps with stress relief and can even improve "intelligence development". It's also a creative toy that your teen can use to create objects, patterns, figures, and shapes. Since the balls can be assembled into endless combinations, this is one toy your teen will not easily grow bored of.
Its reduced dimensions make the whole set easy to carry around. You'll be glad to hear that all the balls stick together, so there's no risk of losing them on the way.
The small size of the balls does create the risk that some of them will get lost over time. But the tin box included in the package helps with that. Okay, it's not the most attractive box in the world, but it's useful enough.
This is by no means the only toy of its kind, but the magnetic strength and quality plating make it stand out. Also, it features just the right number of pieces to allow for more sophisticated creations, without being too large to carry around.
What's Great About It: Engaging and easy to use, this smart toy uses simple design principles to reduce stress and keep their mind sharp. The solid design makes it a pleasure to use. There's really no end to what your teen can create with it.
15. Dynasty Toys Nertz Card Game Box Set
Teens usually love high-energy games, and Nertz is just that. Combining the thrills of Speed and Solitaire, Nertz is a fast-paced multiplayer card game. It's ideal for parties and group meetings, and it can also double as a fun family game.
This card game box set includes 6 decks of standard playing cards. Different coloring makes scoring these decks really easy. While this set accommodates up to six players, the game itself has no player limit, so you can always mix in any extra decks that you may have at home.
The set includes a case, which makes it easy to carry around to parties or on trips. Vibrant coloring on the back of the cards makes the decks look great on any shelf. Indeed, it can double up as a decoration, though let's face it, your teen is probably not going to use it for that.
What's Great About It: While ideal for Nertz, the decks in this set can be used for any other card game. That makes these decks a lasting gift, one that your teen can use again and again as he grows up.
16. Spirograph Deluxe Design Set
Combining principles of art and mathematics, Spirograph is a creative drawing kit that features 19 wheels with unique designs and a spiro-putting that holds these while stretching the paper. By drawing with a pencil over the designs, your teen can create beautiful, artistic shapes.
What I like the most about it is that designs can be combined in any number of ways. This makes it a creative treat for teens, allowing them to use the drawing pencils and the two 24-page drawing pads included to make art.
Spirograph is great for art students and any teen with an interest in drawing, graphics, or design.
What's Great About It: The carry case and built-in drawing surface adds portability to the set and allows for easy storage. And if you happen to have an older Spirograph set around the house, you'll be happy to hear that all the pieces are compatible with it.
17. Cozmo AI-Powered Robot
The new Cozmo is one of those ingenious toys that can hold even teenagers spellbound. If the teen that’s going to receive your gift has a liking for robots, AI, or coding, this gift is spot on for them.
Cozmo takes advantage of the latest AI developments to learn names, faces, quirks, and new skills. He can explore his surroundings on his own, interact with pets, and express hundreds of emotions. More than a trigger-based toy, it has its own personality, which can change over time.
Beyond the powerful computer powering this clever toy is a cute, personable robot. Your teen can connect Cozmo to their iOS or Android phone or table to unlock games and take full advantage of the little guy's full range of features. Included in the package are three power cubes for creative games.
What's Great About It: Cozmo is more durable than he looks. There are no parts to assemble, and the electronics inside seem to be tucked into a hard and resistant design. AI-integration and clever design make this toy feel unique.
18. Kindle Paperwhite
Does he like to read? Then rather than buying him this book or that, you could get him a Kindle Paperwhite. This device comes with a no-glare, no-reflections screen that can be used in the sun and doesn't tire the eyes.
There are hundreds of thousands of free books available online for the Kindle. You can also share with him any digital books you've already bought from Amazon.
The Kindle can also double as a learning device. Your teen can transfer term papers and other projects from their computer to it with the included USB cable (or through email) and learn on the go.
Learning on the Kindle can be fun and may even improve his grades - if they need improving, that is. And here's the best part - there are no apps or other distractions on the Kindle, only words and reading.
What's Great About It: Built-in light makes reading at night easier than with a lamp. The Kindle incorporates Oxford Dictionaries, making word checking a lot faster than with a conventional dictionary.
19. Hey! Play! Bocce Ball Set
Bocce can be played almost anywhere outdoors - in the backyard, at the beach, or in a glade during a camping trip. The set features eight high-quality etched balls, four red and four green for up to four players, and a jack ball for scoring.
Bocce is an easy to learn, easy to play game. Once the jack is placed, each player or team can take sides at throwing the other balls, aiming to get as close to the jack as possible. What adds fun to this bowls-related sport is that players can knock away other balls to get a better position for their own balls.
Since it requires plenty of movement and careful coordination, Bocce is a healthy alternative to table-based indoor games.
What's Great About It: The waterproof carrying bag is easy to strap to one's shoulder. Also, the balls are pretty tough, so they can withstand repeated use, even on hard surfaces.
Related: Best Junior Golf Club Sets for Kids
20. Coleman Powersports CT200U Gas Powered Mini Trail Bike
The CT200U is a 6.5 horse power mini bike usable on most terrains. Its sturdy design makes this a dependable companion for outdoor adventures. It also looks nice, with its retro design and simple frame.
This gas-powered bike comes with large, low-pressure tires specially made for bumpy roads. It has a simple handle-based braking system that’s easy to use. I also like that it runs on gas, making fueling it both affordable and efficient.
For some teens, the Coleman Mini Bike can be a wonderful upgrade to a bicycle. Of course, for your teen to take full advantage of it he needs to be able to use it on the right terrain. While fun in the country, the CT200U isn’t ideal for cities.
What's Great About It: A six and a half horsepower engine may not seem like much, but it's perfect for a steady ride without the dangers that come with higher speeds.
Things to Keep in Mind About Teenage Boys While Choosing Their Gifts
Teenagers are nearing the threshold of adulthood. They go through deep mental and emotional changes, and that is reflected in their interests and preferences. Paying attention to these will help you with much more than choosing the right gift for them.
Puberty causes great changes in the development of the brain. These may increase their interest in abstract concepts. It may also make them develop a keen interest in the arts or philosophy. Here are some of the key changes you need to keep in mind before choosing a gift.
Even popular teens that do well at school and have many friends may experience stress at this time in their life. Aggravating causes can include exams, peer pressure, and doubts about their identity. Some gifts can help a teenage boy cope with this anxiety and reduce stress.
New peer groups
Teenagers make new friends all the time, at school and beyond. This creates opportunities for new adventures and experiments. Even quiet, sensible teens have a strong need for peer groups. These groups can be online-based, such as a gaming team.
Growing need for independence
Many teenagers elude their parents' company and prefer to do even simple things like shopping on their own. While no parent wants to be disconnected from their teenage boy, it's important to remember that aloneness isn't the same as loneliness. For many teens, time alone is important, as it allows them to focus on their interests.
During puberty, teenagers may distance themselves from their parents' beliefs and draw their own conclusions about the world. These conclusions may not be definitive, but they certainly are important. Giving teens enough room to explore new beliefs can be important for a healthy life and an open mind.
Things to Look for in Gifts for Teenage Boys
Keeping the developments above in mind, you want to choose a gift that's suitable for a teenage boy. When choosing your gift, look for the following features:
Teens have outgrown the simple toys of childhood and are more interested in those with a higher replay value. For this reason, creative or sporty toys which can be used again and again are usually an inspired choice.
Many teens spend a large portion of their time with their friends. Gifts that have a social dimension can help them bond and deepen their friendships. These gifts also work well for family events.
Teens are surrounded by distractions, so grabbing their attention and keeping it is the hardest challenge that many parents face. The same challenge applies to gifts. The best gift for a teen engages him from the first touch and invites discovery and play.
Teens are at an important stage in their growth, and physical activity is important for them. I believe that a good gift for a teen boy encourages him to explore the world and stay active, rather than keeping him in a room.
Toys break easily in the hands of a teen. Stuff gets dropped or left out in the rain or sun. While some teens are more careful than others, the best gifts for teens are made from quality materials and can take a beating.
Wrapping It Up
In their fast-paced world full of newness and discovery, teenage boys won't settle for just any gift. You need to choose your item with care, matching it to their personality and interests. The best gifts for teenage boys invite exploration and activity, burn up good energy, and have a strong social element.
Going beyond the norms, they engage teens on a deeper level by promoting their new-found passions and allowing their friends and siblings to join in the fun. At the same time, they don't break down easily in the face of repeated use. Keeping all these points in mind makes choosing the best gift for teenage boys so much easier.
But then don't try to rationalize your choice too much. Teenage boys have not yet left their childhood behind, and their curiosity is on your side. Even if the gift itself may not be what they are secretly dreaming of, the attention itself is welcome, at least most of the time.