If you're an adult shopping for teens, the bridge between fun and functional can get tricky. Ask your average 13-year-old how successful their parents are at gift-giving, and they'll likely tell you it's a struggle.
When it comes to shopping for teenagers, keep in mind that they like practicality, but they don’t want it as a gift. We suggest trying to base selections on how you react to prizes on "The Price Is Right." For example, a jet ski sounds awesome when you're 13, whereas new flooring would be the dud prize.
OK, no one should rush to buy a jet ski for a 13-year-old, but you get the gist: Put yourself in your 13-year-old's gum-stuck shoes, and you should be just fine. After all, what's considered cool hasn't changed that much over the years. But if you need some more help, here are some gift ideas for the tween in your life, ranging from budget to luxury, whether they're a beauty lover or a techie.
To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below — or keep scrolling to see all 41 of the best gifts for 13-year-olds.
- Bestselling gifts for 13-year-olds
- Best gifts for 13-year-old girls
- Best gifts for 13-year-old boys
- Gifts for 13-year-olds under $25
- Splurge-worthy gifts for 13-year-olds
Bestselling gifts for 13-year-olds
Author Keri Smith wrote a book — well, half of a book, and she has tasked the readers to finish the story. Great for kids, this book will allow its reader to problem-solve and collaborate to do so.
One reviewer wrote, "My son, who isn't in love with schoolwork, first thought this book sounded like it was going to be boring. Now, we have spent the last three hours solving the codes in the 'training' section of the book. He is HOOKED!"
Yet another shopper-adored product with close to 6,000 verified five-star ratings, this Amazon bestseller is perfect for the aspiring artist in your life. Simply use water to paint away on the Buddha Board and watch it fade away so you can start again. (On a budget? This meaningful gift is also available in a mini version that's under $20!)
Everyone loves a good light show, and now they can have one in their own room! These LED strip lights are easy to install, features 20 different colors and eight various modes. Colors and settings change with a simple click of the included remote.
The budding tween artist in your life will appreciate the chance to flex their creative muscles with this light-up wire kit. They'll have all the tools necessary to create and display their electroluminescent masterpiece.
Some gifts just stick with you, and this one will be appealing at first sight. Stickers make the world go round, and with this sticker maker, your 13-year-old's world will keep on spinning and sticking.
Supply all the fun of a dartboard for your kids without the sharp, dangerous darts. This magnetic board is sure to be a party pleaser, and over 1,500 verified Amazon shoppers agree, rating this dartboard set five stars.
Easily inflatable, this air lounger is designed to support your upper back and neck so your tween can feel relaxed and comfortable. Once set up, the lounger will remain inflated for five to six hours. It also comes with a carrying bag for convenient storage.
When I was 13, my starry nights were glow-in-the-dark stickers that barely clung to the popcorn ceilings in my childhood home. How times have changed! This projector not only shines the stars but calls in the tide as well with an ocean-wave projection. Connect your phone via Bluetooth and have a super-starry serenade.
Own, control and expand your own civilization with this competitive board game. Whether your tween plays with family or friends, they will be sure to enjoy this social game that is all about strategy.
Best gifts for 13-year-old girls
These boards are majorly trending among teens — and for good reason. The felt letter board will look aesthetically pleasing in any room (it comes in 26 colors!), and it's customizable so your loved one can personalize it to say whatever she wishes in the moment.
Both stylish and functional, this faux leather backpack is perfect for your middle-schooler's days in class.
This limited-edition collaboration with gymnast star Simone Biles is both inspiring and functional, especially if Biles is one of your sporty tween's role models! Reviewers say the lightweight hoodie is super cozy, and it's got thumb holes and a useful kangaroo pocket.
Whether she's already a bookworm or just binge-watched the recent TV adaptation, she won't be able to put down these books until she's finished the series.
No teenage girl wants to hear about foot breathability or arch support, so we will just say these trainers are super cute and comfortable.
For the teen that takes rest and relaxation seriously, get them this do-it-yourself spa kit. It comes with several ingredients to make your own face masks, scrubs and lotions.
You can't go wrong getting the 13-year-old in your life this sick skateboard. Reviewers say it's easy to maneuver, and its smooth wheels give it a smooth ride, making it really easy to learn on.
Just like the 13-year-old fashionista in your life, we hear at Shop TODAY are fashion-obsessed, so it's no surprise we love the whimsical youth accessory brand Super Smalls. This glammed-up hair clip will let her quickly put up her hair with both ease and style.
Best gifts for 13-year-old boys
This unique design is perfect for tween riders with a narrower stance. Not only will they be able to practice tricks on the board, tbut he slip-resistant deck will also give them a safer, smoother ride.
“Where we dropping, boys?” will never be heard more clearly than with this USB Mic. A perfect mic for the intense gamer who is ready to rally his troops and livestream their gameplay or podcast. It features four distinct sound pickup patterns, which should eliminate any chance for, “Can you hear me now?”
If your 13-year-old buddy has more energy to spare than a microphone can provide, gift them this jousting bopper set by Camp. It comes with an inflatable "bopping" lance (not of the dangerous persuasion!) as well as balance boards so you can both practice some healthy competition.
If your kid is an avid gamer, this headset features a signature soundscape, emphasizing subtle sounds for an improved audio experience. The headset is also adjustable for a comfortable fit and lasting durability.
He can keep this set of fidget toys on his desk to give his mind a break while doing homework or just for some entertainment when he's bored. The set comes with eight pieces and includes everything from squishy Brain Putty to a Magic Cube.
Keep your eye on the prize all day and night with this light-up basketball that has motion-activated LEDs inside.
If you have a kid who is ready to rock and go, this is the Bluetooth speaker for them. The JBL Clip 4 combines function, funk and fun into one compact and clippable speaker. The speaker features 10 hours of playtime, wireless Bluetooth streaming and a built-in carabiner. As an added bonus, this speaker is durable enough to take a mild beating or a quick swim in whatever body of water your child accidentally drops it in.
Skateboards are a hot-ticket item! But you don’t become a legendary skateboarder without knowing a thing or two about boards. Featuring a colorful and artsy board deck as well as Pro Trucks and skateboard wheels, the Tony Hawk Popsicle skateboard series has it all. It's an ideal starter board for the newbie at the skatepark and sophisticated enough for the veteran on the skate ramp.
This Nike pullover hoodie is so comfy and cool that your teen will try to live in it. You never want to interrupt or cramp your child’s style, but they will need to pry this hoodie off once in a while for a dance around the washing machine.
Classic Vans are often a huge hit for teens. This low-top sneaker features the Vans signature side stripe and a boat load of street cred for you and your young man.
Consider this the gift that keeps on giving for three solid months. This Game Pass provides unlimited access to over 100 games, with new games being added all the time. It's perfect for the Xbox fanatic in your house.
Gifts for 13-year-olds under $25
This game brings fun to the whole family! The age-appropriate humor will have your 13-year-old laughing from start to finish. Plus, the game includes 600 cards, so you won't have to worry about repeated content.
Pop-its have been a hit amongst everyone from toddlers to teens over the past year. The sensory and stress-relief toy will keep them occupied without a screen for hours.
Who doesn't love a gift that's tailored just for your 13-year-old — especially one as vibrant and colorful as these socks? This unisex pair has two designs you to choose from, each with the name of your tween featured in a repeating pattern. Reviewers say they're adorable and super-soft.
Don't let the size of this adorable speaker fool you. The sound is crystal-clear and loud enough to fill a room.
Your girl will shimmer while she shines with this deep-cleansing charcoal peel-off mask. Cleans and softens skin in as much time as it takes to watch an episode of their fave Netflix binge watch.
Upgrade her selfie game with this clip-on ring light that creates the perfect lighting wherever she is. According to the description, it can last up to two-and-a-half hours when fully charged or can be used while charging, and it has three dimmable light modes and five brightness levels.
Splurge-worthy gifts for 13-year-olds
You guessed it: We're such fans of this accessory brand that we had to include this (under-$50!) "luxury" twin necklace set for the two thirteen-year-old BFFs in your life (unless you are her BFF — in which case even better)!
All signs lead to awesome with this game room LED sign. Good for your child’s bedroom or playroom, this versatile piece of electric art can easily be hung almost anywhere.
Simple and sophisticated, your girl will feel fancy and frilly with this rose-gold-plated initial pendant necklace from Kate Spade. This luxury gift is a great first accessory piece, plus it's good for everyday wear or for special occasions.
If the tween in your life is more of the quietly pensive, artistic persuasion, they'll appreciate this soapstone sculpting kit that'll introduce them to the craft of carving. It comes with two bear and wolf soapstone shapes, a kid-safe carving file, step-by-step instructions and everything else they'll need to complete their masterpiece.
This cute turntable may be old-school to Mom and Dad, but it’s new to your teen. Portable and versatile, your 13-year-old will be able to play their favorite LPs on the turntable and their favorite mp3 through the record player’s Bluetooth capabilities.
Easy to use and hard to destroy, this drone is great for the novice drone pilot. It features voice-activated commands, one-touch takeoffs and landings, and video transmission that can automatically be shared on social media.
A splurge as old as time. If your teen is a Disney princess buff (and let's face it, a lot of us still are as adults!), it's a splurge that will be received with a curtsy and aplomb. This fun set is not all color and whimsy however--they also have Bombas' signature cushioned footbed and arch support. This set features Disney’s Cinderella, Ariel, Belle, Mulan, Tiana and Moana.