Gift Ideas for Teens

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Sweet Sixteen Present for niece

Dec 2006

My niece will be having an extravagent birthday party held in two weeks at a fancy hall and given the ''works''. Unfortunately, she has the body frame that I had when I was a teen-ager and is about 150 pounds overweight for her small frame and of course it's a very touchy subject and something her folks have forbidden for anyone to discuss and it's not something we choose to discuss anyway as it's not our business, but the men (her six uncles) in the family have expressed to me that they are indecisive as to what to get her and are concerned if they get her clothes that are too big, she'll be insulted, and if it's too small, she'll be hurt. I have suggested gift cards so she can purchase whatever she likes. But I'm, as her only aunt, am concerned because I really don't know what to provide her as she has everything materially imaginable, and I wish I could give her something that would have lots of meaning to her in the long run, but I'm not sure what. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to what to provide this young woman, e.g, something that provided special meaning to you as a young woman that you cherish now in middle age? I'm the mother of sons and don't have a clue what to give. Thank you. Auntie

I'm not sure how much you'd like to spend - but what about a silver piece of jewelry from Tiffany's? I've seen bracelets and other items in the catalog for $100 or less. You could probably get the same kinds of items somewhere else, but a 16 year old may think getting something from Tiffany's is kind of cool -

I agree that giving your niece something other than ''standard'' Sweet Sixteen gifts (jewelry, clothes, gift cards, etc.) would be nice. How about a certificate for her and a friend/frineds to spend a special day doing something: going to a pottery studio and creating something, attending a concert, dance performance, etc., taking a scrapbooking, cooking or photography class, etc. Depending on budget, the day could include a nice lunch somewhere anon

What about a necklace that has sentimental value? Or a charm that can hang from a necklace? Are you close? Because if you are, a lovely idea might be to go away for a weekend together somewhere in the area for a ''girls weekend'' Have fun!

Jewelry! Classic things such as diamond, pearl, or her birthstone earrings. anon

The three things that sprang to mind when I read your post were:
-- Something related to a passion that she already holds... Although it seems like you would have mentioned any passions in your post if she had them...
-- Something experiential... a trip, a class -- something to inspire a passion or broaden her experience and life outlook.
-- Books... give her a selection of books that inspired or touched you
Happy Birthday, I hope...

How about jewelery? You could take her for a special shopping trip and buy her a ring or necklace amanda

jewelry! if a necklace, make sure sure the chain is at least 18 inches long, a typical 16 inch chain will likely be too short. a gift card is far too impersonal for the special occasion. jewelry will fit!

Great presents for important occaisions:
1- A big gorgeous World Atlas 2- JEWELERY a gold heart locket comes to mind....maybe an I love you note inside from her loving Auntie.... 3- make her one of those library/church stands that you can leave a big referance book open on top of and it is a book case below? Use nice wood or plywood and paint it her colors.... 4- A giant dictionary 5- A gorgeous leather embossed Bible or Koran or some fabulous copy of something really interesting to her.
I think you are really sweet to think this through so much!

Gift for 13-year-old nephew

Sept 2003

Our nephew will be turning 13 and we would love to get ideas for an appropriate birthday present. He doesn't live in the bay area (he's in the rural mid-west) and likes things like football and motorcycles. Any ideas? dgr

Does he ever come to visit you in the bay area? He might enjoy scuba diving lessons and then a chance to go diving in Monterey on a subsequent visit. That's a lot money for someone else's kid, however.

Model planes are timeless and cool. There's also a *huge* number of games that you have access to that won't be widely available in the rural midwest. You might check out Games of Berkeley on Shattuck for ideas.

At 13, I think anything that's gadget-like or that involves tinkering (or lessons to tinker) is an excellent gift.

If you knit, a sweater is a welcome gift for midwesterners, though admittedly most 13 year olds won't appreciate it as much as their folks. Eric F

Kids this age tend to have very specific tastes and desires, and the best way to cater to this is to buy them a gift certificate. My kid is a big fan of magic, a card game, so a gift certificate to a collectibles store would be great. He would also love a gift certificate to a music store, a store that sold video games and a bookstore. Alternatively, a $20 bill in a card would make his day in all sorts of ways.

Locally, he would love, love, love a gift certificate to Amoeba records, Cody's and Games of Berkeley. Mom to a tween

Cool clothes gift for preteen nephews

December 2001

Another question coming up as I shop for my many nephews, is where to find cool clothes for boys aged 7-13? The East Bay has tons of stores with fun and funky clothes for babies and toddlers, but maybe because my own son is still little, I don't have any idea where to find cool stuff for older kids. All the boys clothes I see in department stores or places like the Gap seem pretty generic to me, and the dominant view seems to be that boys can only wear khaki, navy, or cammouflage -- yecccch. I realize most boys aren't real adventurous in the clothes department, but there's got to be something a little more exciting out there.... Dashka

It's been my experience that kids aged 7-13 know what they want to wear, and that's what the rest of their peers are wearing, and if it's only khaki, navy or cammouflage this year, well, that's what they want to wear.

I suggest you don't waste your time and money on buying things YOU like for your nephews - they'll shove it in the back of the closet and you'll get labelled as the kooky aunt who gives gross things.

Individuality in clothing and appearance usually comes out after age 13. And no matter if you were a hippie or a punk yourself, the next generation will find something, anything that is meant to irritate you.

It may be a little more pricey, but try the stores that sell skateboards and snowboards. They have some fun shirts. They also sell the popular long shorts a lot of the boys are wearing these days. In a lot of the outrageous colors that a lot of the kids like. Marianne R

Try Destination 1440, at 1440 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley (a block or two below Gilman.) They have very cool skateboarder/snowboarder/surfer type clothes and accessories for boys, girls, men and women. Don't be surprised if you find something for yourself! Carla

I would recommend against buying clothes as gifts for pre-teens. My two boys at that age had their own ideas about what looks cool, and they both had completely different ideas. One insisted on punky basic black, and the other would only accept jerseys for obscure sports for teams I never heard of. If you have the former to buy for, you might find somthing at 510 Skateboards (on Telegraph), and the latter jock type might be satisfied with something from the ASUC store on campus or Coplands. Otherwise I would suggest cold hard cash or a gift cert. from a record store. Ginger