I thought it would be difficult buying gifts for my teen boy that are not only great quality but are also affordable. But hang on a sec, my daughter has such definite ideas, she’s no easier! So she wrote a list for me (not a handwritten Father Christmas type note but an online wish list – oh how the times have changed). I also asked for suggestions from other parents and bloggers; and here is our ultimate list.
You can find my gift guide for teen boys (and even Dads) here, there are lots of ideas on that list that girls would love too.
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- I’m a real sucker for art supplies and now my kids are the same. If you are looking for a good quality sketch book I’d suggest one with a hardback and thick pages like this one:
Other ideas include a set of Aquarelle pencils (see my sidebar for a product link), pastels and a water colour painting kit.
I have bought a sketchbook and pastels for my 15 year old niece. www.sneakyveg.com
Both my girls like to get arty to relax. simplyhomemadeblog.com
2. Jewellery making kits. I have just discovered these and I am so wowed, it looks like brilliant fun and this one is half price at the moment (about €15!). This set includes everything you need to get started on making earrings, necklaces, bracelets, charms and more. Supplied with all the tools and accessories you would need, you wont have to add to this set making it perfect or a beginner or as a gift.
After all that jewellery making she might need a pretty jewellery box to store it all in!
3. Scrapbooking and Journalling. Of course I would recommend writing as the perfect way to destress and express yourself. Scrapbooking is a hobby you can just keep building on as there are so many cute papers and accessories available, the choice seems never ending!
I love how these two types of journals are very different to one another:
Scrapbooking is also a really cool way to keep a unique diary www.iamriver.net
I love journals as a gift; they make a wonderful keepsake and I think most people love a place to pen their thoughts, especially young girls! www.hellolittlelovely.com
4. Photography. Do you remember the days we used to take photos on cameras instead of phones? I miss not having the prints now so this remodelled vintage classic Polaroid is a cute solution. Just be aware that you need to buy paper and also there are some cheap models of this camera that have bad reviews. This is a better model (about €120):
I had never heard of the HP Sprocket but here you go it sounds super cool! More on the pricier end of the scale in this particular gift guide, it’s a tiny portable compact printer that can fit in your bag and attaches to your phone. About the size of a mobile phone and weighing around 170 g, it is charged by micro USB. For a more comprehensive review see this blog post by northernmum.com
The HP sprocket bundle is perfect for my twelve year old non make up wearing daughter! northernmum.com
5. For the budding fashion designer, how about a sewing machine and haberdashery with some sewing lessons and a budget for fabric? Many girls just can’t get enough of having something new to wear.
This year we have bought my daughter a sewing machine and fabric, plus a mannequin…. lots of books and a new desk aslummymummy.com
6. My girls love decorating their bedrooms. Some lovely cuddly cushions and throws for the bed would make a lovely cosy space.
7. A lovely piece of original artwork for the wall, by a local artist. It doesn’t have to be hugely expensive but an original piece that she loves will always be valuable even if it’s just to her. Alternatively a classic clock, either for the wall or her bedside locker, for when her phone battery is dead (does that happen?)
8. A bean bag for the floor, something nice and big and squishy that she can relax into.
9. A bonsai tree. This sounds unusual but I had two when I was a girl and I loved caring for them, until the stupid dog ate them! Indoor plants are meant to be one of the best ways for improving the air quality inside.
My tween daughter loves things for her bedroom, cushions, throw, clock etc. www.wildmamawildtribe.com
Books and Games:
10. Fiction has changed so much since when I was her age, it all seems to be about series now so for that reason I’d suggest a Kindle so that it’s easy to keep adding the newly released book in the series. Here are some that are popular: The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and the Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan
Popular books at the moment are the Virals Series (Kathy & Brendan Reichs), Alex Rider, Dork Diaries, sets like The Hunger Games, Divergent Trilogy etc. and the latest is the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate. www.bigfamilybigfunblog.wordpress.com
11. Not all girls are into traditional ‘girly’ things, did you know that you get Lego for ages 16+? So of she asks for a car you could always get her this :D:
The teen girls in our family love Minecraft and one asked for a subscription fee on Twitch. I don’t even know what that is! But the main request is age 16+ Lego and Lego Architecture. falcondalelife.com
12. What do I know about makeup? So little it would take about a medium sized paragraph to tell you. So I have to ask my 15 year old for advice as she LOVES makeup and she spends HOURS researching products and putting stuff on her face in the bathroom. Therefore I have it on great authority that this brand is brilliant because, not only is it extremely well priced but also fantastic quality and these are the colours of this season. (I may finally be persuaded to get some for myself – the old wrinkles you know!)
13. After that she may need a cosmetic organiser. I can’t seem to buy big enough ones for my fifteen year old!
14. Her favourite perfume. My daughter has asked for ‘Ghost’ this year and she also really loves a cheap Primark one called ‘True Love’.
15.Hair care bundle, hairdryer, straightener for wavy hair, curlers for straight hair, because as women we never like our hair as it is.
Clothing and Accessories:
16. I wonder what the percentage is of teenagers who DON’T care about what they look like? Buying clothes has had to become a collaborative effort between my teenagers and me because if I choose the wrong thing, it won’t be worn, simple as! And, as it’s hard work trying to keep up with all the expensive labelled brands, these are half price at the moment:
17. A personalised piece of jewellery, I think this a very sweet idea and surprisingly affordable.
18. How about a vintage record player and a few vinyl records for something completely different?
19. Vouchers for spotify or iTunes will never go to waste.
A Day Trip with Mum or Dad
20. And finally what could be more special than building memories by spending time with your daughter on an outing. Depending on her tastes and personality she may like one of the following days out : spa, facial, manicure, shopping trip for a new outfit, cinema trip and meal out, outdoors adventure activity (like a hot-air balloon ride!), tickets to a play, musical, pantomime or dance show. If you know her you’ll know!
And don’t forget to have a peek at my list for boys which includes ideas that a girl would love too such as a ukelele, speaker for the shower or slacklines.
We buy local to support small businesses but we also order online when we can’t find what we need in our small town, or if we need gifts sent to family overseas. It saves so much time shopping from the laptop at home when you have a big family and a long shopping list!
- Check the reviews, not only the positives but also the negatives. When reading the negative reviews check that the complaint is relevant about the product and not something arbitrary like ‘it arrived late’ or ‘my son didn’t like it because he hated the colour’.
- Make sure the delivery/shipping time will reach you before Christmas.
- Factor the delivery costs into your budget.
- See if you can buy second hand or used books in good condition as an alternative – I wouldn’t recommend second hand for any of the other ideas above.
- If you live in the ROI and the product says it doesn’t deliver to Ireland, you can create accounts at either ParcelMotel or AnPost. This will enable you to have items delivered from Northern Ireland to the ROI. There is a small delivery fee.