Finding the best gifts for tween and teen boys can be a challenge, especially gifts that don't contribute to more time in front of screens. So I went straight to my tween and teen sons (and their friends) for their favorite gifts and wish-list items. Whether you're searching for gifts for 10 to 12 year-old boys or 13 to 18 year-old teenage boys, you'll find something here!
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- Outdoor & Adventure Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Gaming Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Toys & Games for Tween & Teen Boys
- Bedroom Decor Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Technology Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Sports Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Clothing Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Book Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Gift Cards & Money Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
- Experience Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Gifts That Give Back for Tween & Teen Boys
Outdoor & Adventure Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Camping Hammock with Tree Straps
My son got this hammock for his birthday and it immediately went up between two trees in our backyard. It's so easy to put up and take down with the tree straps, and you can honestly enclose yourself and take a nap. Our neighbor's son rigged his up on his back deck, where it stayed for most of the summer. It packs up small, so I know my son has his eye on actually using it to camp next summer. And you can't beat the price at around $30.
The Hydroflask and Yeti get lots of attention, but the college students I teach gave me an insider tip: the Ozark water bottles at WalMart are made with almost identical technology for a fraction of the price. I included an Amazon link because I order online whenever I can, but you can also find them in the camping section of WalMart or online for $8. Then order some cool stickers from Red Bubble to get started making the bottle unique to the kid.
My son loves collecting stickers for his water bottle. He'll grab them when we travel and we give them as gifts sometimes (we grabbed skiing, biking and I'd Rather Be Playing Board Game stickers from Red Bubble).
Overnight Duffel Bag
Boys need duffels for everything from sleepovers to sports to camp. This one is a good size at a good price, and it comes it lots of color options.
Laptop, Water Bottle Stickers
The college students we teach all order their stickers from Red Bubble. You can find stickers showing places you've been or hobbies kids enjoy. Or you can go with funny sayings or Michael Scott memes from The Office.
Kristie's boys love kayaking but traditional kayaks are pricey. This inflatable tandem kayak is a more reasonable option and gets great reviews.
Gaming Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Nintendo Switch Virtual Reality
This gift is part construction project, part amazing tech. The box is full of cardboard pieces and the disk throws step-by-step instructions up on the Switch or TV for building a headset and other virtual reality supplies. You slide the Switch into the headset and the virtual reality is super cool. Throw things around in a 3D room or jump from box to box.
Toys & Games for Tween & Teen Boys
LEGO may be a staple for younger boys, but the LEGO Architecture series is part toy and part amazing display item - aka perfect for tweens. We have three sets that all cost less than $50: San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York City. (They also have reasonably-priced Shanghai, Chicago, Berlin, Great Wall of China, Paris, London, Sydney.) If you're willing to pay more, they have some impressive larger sets like the Capitol Building, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty - see the full list)
Escape Room in a box
My son received this as a gift, and we're planning a sleepover for some of his friends to try it out. It's a one-time-use game because you end up tearing and destroying supplies in your quest to escape. There are several different versions and run between $10 and $15.
UPDATE: We had our escape room party! The boys who were into it - my sons included - LOVED it. The boys who weren't into it just weren't really into it, and that's fine, too. They did escape, but it captivated them for two full hours. It says up to 6 players, but that made it really hard for everyone to read and see things. I would say stick to maybe three players.
We have a separate list of what we think are the best board games for tweens and teens, but we'll highlight a few favorites here:
Bedroom Decor Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
My 13-year-old son says every kid on TikTok knows what these are from the constant ads. Kristie's son loves these, which are in his room, and it's their new go-to gift for older kids. Our tweens and teens are spending more time than ever in their room, and they can change the color or mood with the click of a remote.
My son tried one of these at a friend's house and immediately put it on his wish-list. Different sources on the weighted blankets say they can be good for restless leg syndrome, restless sleepers in general, ADHD and even anxiety.
There are a bunch of reviews online if you want a blanket that's better for a specific purpose (hypoallergenic or good for kids). I want one that has a plush cover that is removable for washing, and this particular blanket got rave reviews with those features. You can also select different weight and size options. It's on the pricey side at $85, but it's a full-sized blanket kids can take off to college with them someday.
Technology Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Apple AirPods Pro / Apple AirPods
Kristie got a pair of these to help with online teaching, and her boys weren't happy that she got them and they didn't. Moms can still win the tech battles every once in a while.
Project movies, shows and video games onto any flat surface (including the ceiling--which seems to be important to tweens and teens). This is a wish-list item for Kristie's teen son. You can connect to your phone, computer, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku and more.
Amazon Echo lets tweens and teens keep in touch with friends and family from a distance, play music, listen to audiobooks and set reminders and alarms.
Docking Station (and other phone accessories)
Docking stations for to make it easy to charge phones, iPads, laptops and other electronics all in one place. For a quick add-on gift, consider a 6-foot lightening charging cable.
Sports Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
This is a favorite game for Kristie's boys and their friends. It's perfect for the beach but you can also play it indoors, and it's a great game to play tournament style with bigger groups.
If your boys are active, these rock climbing holds (designed for kids and adults) will give them something to do inside or outside. Kristie's boys used these as part of an obstacle/ninja course they designed in their basement.
Kristie's son received this breakaway-rim hoop and loves it because it can take a beating. It also comes in a glow-in-the-dark or mini foam ball version.
Clothing Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
It's no secret that we love Homage shirts - they are SO comfortable. They also offer options for sports and pop culture fans in both youth and adult sized. My son and Kristie's husband both have this You're Killin' Me Smalls Tshirt. It comes in youth and adult sizes. Honestly, a Homage Tshirt tops the list every time I'm buying for the boys and men in my house. If you've never tried Homage before, use this link for $20 off your first purchase.
Rock Em Socks
These are expensive for everyday socks, but they're a super fun gift. We live in Ohio and are big Buckeye fans, so these are the ones we have. But they have all kinds of different designs.
Book Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Alex Rider Books
My family is big into reading, so I love giving book suggestions. The hot series right now with my tween boys is Alex Rider, kid spy. There's a little bit of language and potty humor, but they're fast-paced and adventure-filled.
Theodore Boone Series, by John Grisham
I grew up reading Grisham, and he has a series for younger readers about a teen who dreams about being a lawyer and gets pulled into the courtroom much sooner than he expects.
Audible - Amazon's library of audiobooks
Amazon makes it easy for you to gift 3-, 6- or 12-month memberships to a massive library of audiobooks for tweens and teens who love listening to books.
Kindle Unlimited Membership Plan
For tweens and teens who like to read on their Kindle, you can gift 6, 12 or 24 months of Kindle Unlimited so they can access a massive library of books in seconds.
Other books our sons recommend...
Gift Cards & Money Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Did you know that you can get gift cards for a ton of stores on Amazon? You can ship the gift card or share the digital code with the recipient. So easy!
Lots of tweens are saving for bigger ticket items and they honestly want gift cards or cash. You can give cash or gift cards in a clever way. Free options include wrapping a box within a box within a box to throw them off. The options below are other affordable and creative ways to give gift cards and cash.
Puzzle Pod - If you want to get a little more creative, this puzzle lets you design your own set of clues that lead to a three-letter word of your choosing that opens the pod and reveals the gift.
No joke, my 12-year-old son asked me about the bonds I received from my grandparents when I was a kid because he knows I used them to buy my first car. He wants to put them on his wish list (though I got a shocked look when I told him I had to wait 20 years to cash them in if I wanted the full value). I looked into it, and the hard copy EE bonds I got as a kid were discontinued in 2012. But you can still give savings bonds electronically and then print gift certificates to give as gifts. Plan ahead, because it requires that the recipient have an account set up.
Experience Gifts for Tween & Teen Boys
Check out this list of experience gifts for tween and teen boys.
Gifts That Give Back for Tween & Teen Boys
We compiled a whole list of gifts that gives back, and we dedicated one section just to gifts for tween and teen boys.