The 10 Best Gifts For Teen Boys
This wiki has been updated 35 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Finding the perfect present for a young man for his birthday or other occasion is often a challenge. So, to save you from tearing your hair out and from schlepping around the mall for hours in frustration, we've put together a well-rounded selection of awesome gifts for teen boys. You’ll find an array of high-tech devices as well as options guaranteed to get him out into the fresh air. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
December 16, 2020:
Some of the gifts presented on our previous list are still the best options for their subcategories, like the Force1 Blue Jay Drone, which offers better specs for a beginner's model at its price point than most, and The Manual To Manhood, which is filled with useful information that should serve most young men for decades to come.
One big change we made was replacing the budget guitar on our previous list with the Squier Bullet, and while you do lose an amplifier in the exchange and see the price go up, there's a significant difference in durability and tone between the two instruments. Playing music can be a hobby or a devout passion, but either way, when you're first starting out, you want something you can grow into a little bit, and this package is very reasonably priced for its quality.
A particularly exciting upgrade came in the GoPro Hero 9, which sees improved battery life and image stabilization since its last iteration. It also has a display screen on both the front and back, which allows for better selfies and live streaming functionality. That live streaming has also gotten an upgrade when using your phone to connect with the internet, as it can now broadcast at 1080p instead of the old 720p limit.
November 18, 2019:
Teen boys can be difficult to shop for, and a while gift card is often a convenient way to go, sometimes you just want to come up with a thoughtful present that suits his interests and personality perfectly. Our list won’t disappoint, as it covers a wide range of products, from gifts guaranteed to get him outside -- like the Force1 Blue Jay Drone and the Razor Ripstik -- as well as tried-and-true gaming components like the PlayStation 4 Slim and the HyperX Cloud Alpha.
Joining the list today is the JBL Flip 5 Bluetooth Speaker, which teens love for its great sound quality and portability. (My 13-year-old has one in blue and swears by it. He never forgets to toss it into his backpack anytime he’s going to hang out with friends.) Its waterproof build makes it ideal for a trip to the pool or the beach, and protects it when you’re caught in a sudden downpour.
In addition, replacing an older GoPro version is the latest GoPro Hero 8, with updates that include a streamlined, compact design (which the manufacturer calls “pocketability”), as well as folding fingers at the base that make it easy to swap mounts. A new side door makes it easier to change the batteries, and the lens is now more impact resistant than ever. It’s great for vloggers or just about anyone who wants to create high-quality videos that showcase their adventures in hiking, biking, swimming, etc.
The newly added HyperX Cloud Alpha gaming headset replaces the older HyperX Cloud. The Alpha delivers excellent audio performance and features convenient inline audio controls. It’s compatible with PCs, PS4, Xbox One, and other platforms with 3.5mm ports.
United States Mint Silver Proof Set This handsome collector’s item features eight coins that contain 99.9 percent fine silver: An American Eagle one-ounce coin, five America the Beautiful quarters, a Kennedy half dollar, and a Roosevelt dime. They make for a timeless gift for any occasion, and come in a sturdy box with a flip-open lid and an official certificate of authenticity. Each coin is made by manually feeding burnished coin banks into presses, where they are formed with softly frosted, highly detailed images. They’re then packaged in a protective, clear lens. usmint.gov
Gifts Growing Young Men Will Love
Wearable gifts are more popular with teen boys than you might think.
Teenage boys can be so notoriously difficult to buy for that it may be tempting to default to the safety of a gift card. While most teens appreciate receiving a gift card, the little kid inside will always delight in opening a physical present.
Technology and video games may be the first thing that comes to mind when searching for a gift to buy for the modern teen. Even those on a small budget can indulge the whims of a budding technophile. If you can find out the make and model of his current mobile device or gaming system, there are usually dozens of accessories made to enhance his experience with these gadgets.
Wearable gifts are more popular with teen boys than you might think. It's an outdated misconception that only teen girls are interested in fashion. If you are unsure about current trends, useful things like beanie caps and gloves may come in handy for the growing adolescent. Look for new styles that have been updated for use with technology, such as hats with Bluetooth connectivity, or gloves that are compatible with touchscreens.
Even if he hasn't grown physically yet, the typical teenage boy will probably want to refresh the look of his bedroom to get rid of that little boy look. You may want to find out his favorite television shows or sports teams and look for posters, figurines, or other decorations to help him update his room.
A Look Inside The Male Teenage Mind
They may look like adults, but teenage boys are still maturing, often in ways we can't see. Striking changes are taking place so that a teen's brain does not resemble that of an adult until at least their early 20s.
Knowledge that the brain is still growing can also inform the kinds of gifts we give to teens.
Scientists once thought that all the important infrastructure of the brain was completed by the time a child reached the age of six. That belief has largely been debunked by the work of Dr. Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health, who has been changing the ways we view the teenage brain for over 20 years. When scanning the brains of 145 normal teens over the course of two years, Giedd and his colleagues were surprised to discover that that brain, primarily the prefrontal cortex, begins growing again just before puberty.
The findings of these studies demonstrate a neurological cause for some of the common impulsive behaviors associated with teens, especially boys. The prefrontal cortex is thought of as the CEO of the brain, directing everything from memory and organization to mood and judgement. These changes in the brain, coupled with the increase in hormones and societal pressures, often lead to actions one would not expect from a person so close to adulthood.
This new understanding of how the teenage brain is still developing can go a long way in helping parents to deal with this tumultuous time. Knowledge that the brain is still growing can also inform the kinds of gifts we give to teens. During periods of growth, the brain is forming new connections and synapses, much in the same way it does in small children. Giedd hypothesizes that the ways teens spend their time will affect them for the rest of their lives, so it's important to keep teens thinking and moving.
Getting Them Off The Couch
Often the go-to gift for a teenage boy involves something associated with screen time, but there are a myriad of gifts out there to help develop their still-growing bodies and minds. Gifts that encourage physical activity will have the added benefit of aiding in the prevention of teenage obesity. This is a growing concern for doctors as the number of obese teens has nearly quadrupled in the past 30 years.
If you want to get your teen outside in the fresh air, look for models that can fly.
Even the ardent technology buff can get moving with all the new remote controlled gadgets on the market. The advances in range and accuracy make these toys a lot more fun and engaging than the simple cars you remember from your youth, and some have such complicated functions that even the brightest teen will be challenged to figure out how all the bells and whistles work. If you want to get your teen outside in the fresh air, look for models that can fly.
Boys who aren't driving yet may appreciate a skateboard, ripstick, or scooter to help get him around town, or for just tooling around with his friends. A resurgence in the popularity of skateboarding has led to the construction of neighborhood skate parks in many communities, giving your adolescent a safe place to hang out and be active.