Gift Ideas for Teens and College Students

Gift Ideas for Teens and College Students

30 Ideas for Best Gifts for Teens and Best Gifts for College Students

Shopping for teens and college students can be fun and challenging. It seems that the older kids get, the smaller and more expensive the presents are. I remember needing two rolls of wrapping paper to wrap a giant plastic car for my toddlers. Now I sometimes need barely a square of wrapping paper and the gift costs 5 times what the giant plastic car cost. But, if you know where to look, there are many gifts for this age group that do not need a charging cable. Read through this list of Best Gifts for Teens and Best Gifts for College Students for awesome present ideas that will not break the bank.

Need more gift ideas for teens and college Students?

Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas

10 Incredible Graduation Gifts for Girls

Graduation Gifts for Guys

Graduation Gifts They Will Actually Use

Best Gifts for Teens and Best Gifts for College Students

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar.  

 Gift Ideas for Teenage Boys and College Guys

Teenage boys can be SO HARD to buy for. Here are some unique gift ideas for teenage boys.

If your teen or college student (boy or girl) does not have a pair of AirPods, I promise you they want them.

Nice workout socks like these from Bombas will be worn everyday whether they are working out, lounging around, or every day with tennis shoes.

11 in 1 Wallet Multitool

This 11 in 1 Wallet Multitool would make a good stocking stuffer for all of the men in your life. It's a screwdriver, bottle opener, cutting tool, wrench, and more.

Hydroflask has figured out what other makers of stainless steel water bottles have not by making the opening large enough for ice cubes. These stainless steel bottle are the best! Our family loves them. (The girls love them too!)

Bath and Body Gift sets like this one from Kiehl's will definitely be used. Every guy needs soap and shaving cream. Having nice products will make them feel good and confident.

 

Gifts for Teenage Boys, Teenage Girls and College Students

 

Here are some fun ideas for all of the teens and college students on your list

“Stranger Things” is an original series on Netflix about a group of teenagers in the 1980s. The 80s culture is spot on and the characters are relatable for teens and the adults who were teens in the 80s. (I'm raising my hand!) A Stranger Things Trivial Pursuit game would be such a fun by the fire or snow day gift for any teen. There is even a portal in the game to send players to the “Down Under.”

Phones never have enough battery and a portable phone charger is a must. Mine has saved me more times than I can count.

An air lounger is perfect for the backyard, the beach, the quad on campus, or the family room. My daughter had one she used to take to track meets. You do not have to blow these up. Just swing through the air and fold into position.

Help them keep their phone where they can see it so they are not fumbling around the car for it. Whether they are using the GPS or listening to music, a car phone vent mount will make their day.

The Harry Potter books these kids grew up reading are now available in full-color, beautifully illustrated editions. You can buy a set of books 1-3 or buy them individually. The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was just released in October 2019.

We have life hammers in all of our cars. These hammers can help you escape your car in an emergency. They will cut a seat belt and break a car window

Everyone needs a new pair of house shoes. House shoes keep your feet warm in the winter and are great to slip on in the dorm to keep your feet off the perhaps less-than-super-clean floors.  

Do they like movies? Challenge them to see the top 100 movies of all time with this movie bucket list scratch off poster.

Give the high school kids a Planning for College Planner. It will help them organize the entire college search and application process in one place – including building their resume beginning as a high school freshman.

 

Gift Ideas for Teenage Girls and College Girls

The girls are easier and often more fun to buy for – there are so many possibilities.

Any college girl would LOVE this steamer. My husband and I have one of these in our bathroom. It is AMAZING. Wrinkles gone in a flash without setting up an ironing board. (Some of the guys might appreciate it as well. My sons think they are good with a bottle of Downey Spray….)

My daughter and I both love our real acrylic makeup storage units. Real acrylic ones are sturdy and last for years (instead of months with cheap plastic ones). 

Love these new travel jewelry cases by Stackers. Any woman in your life would love one of these!

I love everything made by The Rifle Paper Company – gorgeous covers and thick, bleed-free paper. I have this set of notebooks. They each have a topic for my notes and journaling. Any girl would feel special to whip one of these out in class.

A beautiful and fun set of gel pens would go great with the Rifle Paper Notebooks.

Teens and college girls are always taking their makeup places – to a friend's house or back and forth from college. A new makeup bag would fit the bill. I like how this one has a separate zip pouch at the bottom for brushes or whatever she would like to separate from her other items.

Everyone needs a felt letter board. These are so fun for commemorating events in pictures. (See my daughter holding one on her first day of school here.) They are also fun for encouraging messages!

“Meh” is one of the many things I hear my daughter say that I was not aware were words. May as well put it on a coffee mug.

How about a high school bucket list book? 97 Things to do Before You Finish High School sounds like an instagram worthy project.

Drop these super fun lipstick highlighters in their stockings!

Give her an easy way to spend some time with God with this 3 Minute Devotions Guide.

Subscription Care Packages for College Students

 Give the gift that gives all year. A monthly or quarterly subscription box. Every month or quarter the gift recipient will receive a box from the subscription service filled with goodies for them to enjoy.

My daughter LOVES her Fab, Fit Fun subscription. Every quarter a box arrives with full size beauty products, accessories, and other goodies for her to enjoy. Use PUMPKINSPICE for $10 off your gift box.

For those who want to be stylish, but desire vegan and cruelty free products, give a Love Goodly subscription.

Snack Nation provides healthy snack box subscriptions in three categories – tasting, deluxe, and gluten free. Perfect for a student who is having difficulty finding healthy treats on campus.

Do you have ideas for the Best Gifts for Teens and the Best Gifts for College Students? Share them in the comment section below.

 

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If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables through the same link above.

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Stress LESS this Christmas

Stress LESS this Christmas

Stress LESS this Christmas

 

 

I would be lying if I did not say that Christmas time is my favorite season. I would also be lying if I did not say that some days I feel like the Grinch and I HATE CHRISTMAS. Too much to do and too little time in which to do it, but I am determined to Stress LESS this Christmas.

Stressed for Gift Ideas?

The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide

Stress LESS this Christmas with planning printables

Stress LESS this Christmas

Yesterday I was at yoga. Yoga can be a bit hokey at times and I have never been much of a hokey person, but I am getting better at it especially if the teacher has lavender oil for the for the “final relaxation pose” at the end.

Anywho… yesterday at the beginning of class the teacher asked us to give ourselves a gift for Thanksgiving. I decided my gift to myself would be the gift of calm. Some days during the holidays I have so many things pulling in so many directions that I am practically in tears because I cannot even decide what thing to work on. Presents, meals, parties, family….

I have been studying productivity for the several years. Thank you, Harness Your Energy at the Right Time and on the Right Tasks

One method that I consistently see recommended is to do a “brain dump.” When I become so overwhelmed and my mind is spinning from one topic to another, I get out a piece of paper and just dump everything I am thinking about onto the paper.

Once my brain is empty, I can look at the paper and start categorizing the tasks, getting them onto appropriate lists and onto my calendar. 

I also want to share a brand new 2019 Christmas Planner designed by Tammy Rotzoll of Footprints of Inspiration.

It is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!! I have already printed mine out. It contains pages for

  • Christmas Planning
  • Christmas Budgeting
  • Gift Lists
  • Black Friday Planning
  • Cyber Monday Planning
  • Christmas Baking
  • Dinner Menu Planning
  • Calendars for November and December

 

Sister (or brother), we are all going to Stress LESS this Christmas. We are going to be joyful. Merry Christmas, Y'all!!!!

 

More From Almost Empty Nest:

Graduation Gifts They Will Actually Use

Graduation Gifts They Will Actually Use

FREE PRINTABLE DORM SHOPPING CHECKLIST

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community!

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member. If you prefer not to be a member, you may purchase the printables through the same link below.

10 Dorm Items They Will Actually Use

 

High school graduates get a lot of presents – some useful and some, not so much. You want to bring Graduation Gifts They Will Actually Use to all of the graduation parties this spring. How do I know what they will actually use? Because I have been there. I have now taken two sons to college – one of whom will graduate this May. I have seen the stuff still in the box at the end of the year. I have also seen the stuff that never makes it to the dorm and is left in the bottom of their closet at home. I have also seen the stuff they do use.

For more Graduation Gift Ideas:

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

For a Printable Dorm Shopping Checklist:

College Dorm Checklist

10 Dorm Items They Will Actually Use

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 

I originally wrote this post at the end of my first son's freshman year.)

I am headed to Waco this Friday to help my son pack up his room after a successful freshman year and I'm anxious to see the state of said “room” because I have not seen it since we dropped him off last August. His younger brother reported that it was a “mess” when he saw it spring break and that clothes were “everywhere.” Hmmm….. Hopefully, I will not to need a haz-mat suit for the packing project and that the bedding, towels, etc. will come home in better than “suitable for burning” condition.  I'm also anxious to see which items were used and which items are still unopened in the back of a shelf.

Deciding what to take to college can be a challenge. I asked him a month or so ago what items he received as gifts were the most useful. Being male, he looked at me with his face scrunched up like I had asked him to explain quantum physics or take out the trash. I then listed some items and was able to get a “yeah, I used that” or a “no, not sure what that is” nod or shake from him. So, based on this very scientific study, I have a few suggestions for graduation gifts for your own child or those on your list.

Laptop Computer

No, I am not suggesting you buy a laptop for the kid down the street who once fed your dog the wrong food costing you $400 in vet bills when you returned from vacation. But, if you are a parent, your child is going to need a good laptop computer for college. No way around it.

Towels

I was able to get a solid nod, “yes,” for the question, “Did you use the towels you received as gifts?” Monogramming is a really nice touch because it keeps roommates and others from claiming them.

First Aid Kit

Before our son left for college, my husband packed him a first aid kit. He has used it quite a bit – mostly the over-the-counter medicines like ibuprofen and antibiotic ointment and also ice packs. (He runs as a hobby, so he always needs ice packs and ibuprofen!) Adding additional over the counter medicines is especially appreciated.

For my 2nd son's high school graduation, I made The Best First Aid Kits for his friends as presents.

Safe

A small safe that will fit a laptop and other electronics or jewelry is a smart investment. Be sure to buy a cable and anchor it to something difficult to move in the dorm room.  This safe will not stop Ocean's Eleven from confiscating your child's stuff, but it will prevent opportunity theft from guests, whether invited or not, in his room. It is difficult to quickly shove a heavy safe into a backpack.

Keurig

A Keurig would have been wasted on my oldest son because he is not a coffee-drinker. My second son (who will go to college in the fall of 2017) would probably pick a Keurig over having a bed if he had to choose. I also noticed they were an extremely popular raffle item at my son's class graduation party.

Stainless Steel Tumbler

Stainless Steel Tumblers are hot and a Yeti tumbler is the number one tumbler for keeping drinks hot or cold for hours. They come in many colors and are loved by all on college campuses.

Bathroom Caddy

The Container Store is the GO TO store for outfitting a dorm room. I took my son  there to select some things for his room. He hemmed and hawed and said he did not need anything. He finally agreed to a few items including a bathroom caddy, which he said he would not use, but if I insisted, then OK. When we set up his room, I put his bathroom items in the caddy for him. Every time I have been to his room or apartment in the last 3 years, I have seen this caddy with his bathroom stuff in it on the bathroom counter.

Overnight Bag

College students need an overnight/weekender bag. It is better to get a duffle-type bag rather than a hard suitcase because it can be collapsed when not in use. Get one that is large enough for a weekend of clothes, but can be carried on a plane if the student will fly to and from college.

Gift Cards

I loved it when my son received Bed, Bath, and Beyond, Target, or Container Store gift cards for graduation. He was not that wild about them, but I thought they were awesome! When it was time to go dorm-shopping, I made sure he brought them and we used them to help pay for his items. If you have spare BBB coupons laying around, include those. BBB will let you use as many as you have and they don't care if they are expired. Check the Raise website for discounted gift cards.

And, finally, CASH

The graduate loves cash. The graduate thinks that cash is the #1 graduation gift they will actually use. The mom of the graduate is not always too excited about it because cash quickly goes in the wallet, never to be seen by mom and dad.  However, knowing that the graduate received an unspecified amount of cash in gifts, gives mom and dad permission to say, “Didn't you get some money for graduation?” when the graduate asks for money or asks you to buy something you deem frivolous or unnecessary for their dorm room.

Shopping for graduation gifts they will actually use is worth the effort. Whether it is towels, gift cards, money, or anything else on this list, your gift will be truly appreciated.

For more ideas:

The Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

Gift Guide for Guys

10 Incredible Graduation Gifts for Girls

Gift Ideas for Teens and College Students

 

 

FREE PRINTABLE DORM SHOPPING CHECKLIST

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community!

The Dorm Shopping Checklist is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member. If you prefer not to be a member, you may purchase the printables through the same link below.

More From Almost Empty Nest:

DIY Graduation Gifts

DIY Graduation Gifts

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl), Bible Verse printables and more.

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables through the same link above.

DIY Graduation Gifts

 

DIY Graduation Gifts are a fun and unique way to bless a new graduate. Graduation gift baskets contain many small practical items bundled into one gift basket. Almost Empty Nest has several posts dedicated to DIY gift baskets that are listed below. Most contain FREE PRINTABLES that you can download and add to your gift.

For more graduation gift ideas: Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

DIY Graduation Gifts

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 

 

 

Loads of Fun Laundry Care Package

Every new graduate will be facing laundry – a skill they may or may have already acquired. In any case, they will need some laundry supplies – detergent, fabric softener, bleach crystals, Downey spray. I also love the book “Do Your Laundry or You Will Die Alone” – a hilarious book of pithy advice from a mom who has been there. For more information and to download the gift tag go to Loads of Fun Laundry Gift Basket.

Cleaning Gift Basket

Another responsibility of leaving home is being responsible for cleaning your own space. Give them a cleaning bucket filled with supplies to help them keep everything in one place. A printable cleaning checklist is a fun addition. See New Apartment Care Package for more information and to download the printable.

Dorm First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is a thoughtful thing to put together for the graduate. Many of the commercially made ones contain a whole lot of bandaids and not much else. By making one yourself you can put in the items they may really need if they are sick or hurt. See How to Make the Best First Aid Kit for College for details.

Going Away to College Coffee Gift Basket

College kids drink a lot of coffee. It helps their pocket books if they brew at least some of it in their room instead of always buying Starbucks. Set them up with some supplies like coffee pods, a cute travel mug, creamer singles and If you are really generous, throw in the coffee maker as well! For the free printable tag and for more coffee gift basket ideas see Going Away to College Coffee Gift Basket.

 

I create all of my care package decorations, tags, stickers, and blog graphics with:

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl), Bible Verse printables and more.

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables through the same link above.

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Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas

Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas

Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas

Jewelry is a special gift to celebrate a graduation, whether it is from high school, college, tech school, graduate school, or beyond. Jewelry will remind the recipient of a special person or occasion in her life. Inspiring and sentimental, read on for Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas.

For more Graduation Gift Ideas:

10 Incredible Graduation Gifts for Girls

Graduation Gifts for Guys

Graduation Gifts They Will Actually Use

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

Gift Ideas for Teens and College Students

College Graduation Gifts for Girls

Graduation Jewelry Gift Ideas

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission. For more information, see the full disclosure in the foot bar. 

 

Expect Miracles with this necklace from Cents of Style

Cents of Style carries two different styles of state necklaces. Sadly, they do not carry all of the states, but if they have yours, these are adorable reminder of home.

Every grown woman needs a go-to set of pearl earrings.

Showing up is half the battle. Remind her with this Show Up bracelet. 

This Kendra Scott Birthstone Pendant would look beautiful around her neck.

Remind her that she is loved by God and by you and always will be with this beautiful “You are Loved” necklace from Day Spring.

She is strong and will be able to accomplish anything life throws at her. Tell her you know she can do it with this “Strong” necklace.

This Kate Spade Initial Pendant is simple and elegant.

It does not have to be all serious! She should also “Enjoy the Ride!!” Cents of Style carries many choices of bracelets with encouraging messages.

Just because it is impossible with man, does not mean it is impossible with God. She will treasure this “I can do all things through Christ” necklace.

A beautiful and elegant watch will be worn for many years.

Join the Community

Join the Almost Empty Nest Community and receive FREE ACCESS to the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. The Printables Library includes every printable on Almost Empty Nest - A Year of Care Package Printables, Gift Tags, College Preparation Checklists, Additional Care Package Printables (Birthday, March Madness, the Super Bowl), Bible Verse printables and more.

If your prefer not to join, you may purchase the printables through the same link above.

More from Almost Empty Nest:

crockpot meals for two
Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

Ultimate Graduate Gift Guide

 

 

I've searched high and low and all through the internet to bring you the Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide. There are some great ideas out there for all the graduates in your life from basic necessities to books they can't live without to items to make college more homey and fun.

Some of my favorites are “The Naked Roommate,” a Keurig (don't forget to add some coffee pods), and the Showa-Flops.

So, get out your list of graduates and start gifting!

For more ideas see these other posts:

Ultimate Graduation Gift Guide

 

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional charge to you. See the footbar below for complete details. 

 

Apple Airpods

Apple Airpods may be the MOST REQUESTED item on every graduates list. If you want to make them super happy, rush and buy these. They sold out quickly at Christmas.

Fleece Throw

Every student needs a soft throw to cuddle up with while studying or chilling.

Unbreakable Cups

Unbreakable cups and water bottles are a life saver. Both Tervis and Swell are great options. Tervis now carries stainless steel tumblers which are VERY POPULAR right now.

Laundry Bag

This StramperBAG laundry bag is super sturdy, is washable, odor resistant, and water resistant. It also will stand up on its own like a hamper and has backpack straps for hauling it to the washing machine.

Multitool

A Multitool for assembling dorm furniture, cutting loose threads and showing everyone how handy you are.

Cheering Up the Communal Bathroom

ShowaFlops

Showaflops are no ordinary flip flops. They are antimicrobial and have holes for draining water to keep your feet from sticking to the soles.

Nice Toiletries

Sharing a bathroom gets old. Make it more pleasant with nice shampoo, conditioner, or body wash from Jack Black.

Towels

You know a bath towel will be used (at least occasionally). Monogramming is a special touch, so the recipient always knows which towel is hers.

Ya Gotta Eat

A Keurig

Every college student needs a Keurig for dispensing caffeine during all those late night study sessions. Be sure to add some coffee pods to the gift.

Coffee Gift Basket

Accessorize their Keurig with a Coffee Gift Basket. Get the instructions and the gift tag download at Going Away to College Coffee Gift Basket.

Electric Water Kettle

For those who prefer tea to coffee, an electric water kettle is just the thing. Also handy for boiling water for instant soups and other dorm-room fare.

Meal in a Mug

“Meal in a Mug” by Becky Blades

Cook in the dorm for one with this cookbook. Add a cute microwave-safe mug!

A Little Friendly Advice

Loads of Fun Laundry Gift Basket

Place the cute laundry book in cellophane wrap along with some other laundry accessories, detergent pods, fabric softener sheets, Downy spray, and tie them up with a cute tag. Instructions and the tag download are available at Loads of Fun Laundry Gift Basket.

Getting Around

Overnight bag

Encourage them to come home for the weekend with a nice overnight bag. Yes, they will also use it to go on adventures with their friends, but at least you will know they will not bring their change of underwear in a Walmart bag.

Bike

College campuses are large and bikes are a major form of transportation. Include a nice lock so it is not “borrowed” by their classmates.

Just for Fun

Hammock

Hammocks are hot! If you've been on a college campus (or at a high school track meet), you know the kids are now hanging from the trees and “hammocking” is now a verb.

High Tech

Portable Charger

Help alliviate their biggest stress – a phone with low or no battery life left! A portable charger will recharge their phone many times.

Conserve Socket

Worried about her burning down the dorm by leaving her straightener on? Get her a Conserve Socket. It will automatically shut off her straightener, iron, curling iron, or tea kettle after a set amount of time.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Help them drown out dorm noise from their neighbors and roommate with noise canceling headphones, so they can listen to their own music or tv shows.

You Are There to Study

Desk Accessories and Supplies

Take away the drag of sitting at a desk studying with fun Desk Accessories and Supplies like this Rose Gold set. The Container Store also has an endless selection of desk accessories.

You've Got Mail

Subscription Gifts

College can be an overwhelming place. What better way to remind your student that you love them than with a monthly/quarterly gift box of items tailored for them and their interests. One of the best is Fab Fit Fun. It is a quarterly box with full size products. You can also just send one box. For $10 off your first box, use code WELCOME10.

A YEAR OF CARE PACKAGE PRINTABLES

 

 

All of the supply lists, box decorations, and item tags to make Care Packages for Halloween, 2 Different December Finals, Super Bowl, Valentine's Day, Easter, and Spring Finals. Over 50 of my most popular downloads all together in one place and it's TOTALLY FREE for members of the Almost Empty Nest Community.

The Year of Care Package Printables is part of the Almost Empty Nest Printables Library. Gain access by becoming an Almost Empty Nest Member. If you prefer not to be a member, you may purchase the printables through the same link below.

 

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