Also works well for a care package to a young adult away from home!

Make your shopping list now and hop online to get started. As always, it pays to shop early, in order to shop small and to give yourself the gift of having this item crossed off of your to-do list. What a great feeling!

  1. STICKERS! Teenagers love durable vinyl decals they can put on their water bottles, sketchbooks, and tech. We have some good ones, and you can search online to find more. Search for whatever your kid is into, and get specific. What video game do they love? What activities are they in? What shows do they watch? 

  2. HYDRATION! A new water bottle, straw cup, or travel mug is a nice treat for someone who spends a lot of time studying and on the go to social events, practices, rehearsals, and more, and works just as well when relaxing with a show or listening to a podcast.

  3. ACCESSORIES. Everyone loves a new pair of flip-flops or slides, a new cap or warm hat, gloves, or anything else that ups their comfort and coziness level. 

  4. SOMETHING FOR THEIR SPACE. A plant–real or fake–or some string lights help a teen personalize and upgrade their favorite spot. 

  5. DESK & STUDY SUPPLIES. New pencils, markers, and notepads can always find a use. An electric pencil sharpener, sturdy stapler, tape dispenser, or pencil bag add convenience to your busy student’s life. 

  6. EXPERIENCES. Movie vouchers, a gift card to a pottery painting place for your teen and  a friend, sporting event passes, theater tickets, or some other experience is a fun surprise.     
  7. BOOKS. If your kid is a reader, pick up the newest release in their fave genre. If they are less into extracurricular reading, consider a puzzle book, blank journal, or mad libs. (P.S. Support your local independent bookstore!)

  8. TECH ACCESSORIES. Can your teen use new headphones? A case? Or might it be fun to try using a tripod, selfie stick, or halo light?

  9. PUZZLES. Jigsaw puzzles aren’t for everyone. Maybe your teen would rather tackle an old-time ladder puzzle, a Rubik’s cube, or a challenging Lego model.  

  10. HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES. When it comes to getting their hands dirty, what might your kid find relaxing and fun to do? Seeds and a pot, new paint brushes, knitting yarn, cake mix, a tool set–whatever might bust a few minutes of boredom deserves a shot at your teen’s time. 

  11. CANDY & SWEETS. You can’t go wrong with the treats they love. Don’t limit yourself to the usual candy. A gourmet cupcake or brownie from a coffee shop they think is cool fills in a basket nicely.

  12. SNACKS. Even if it’s a snack you keep on hand for your teen to enjoy, it’s fun to get a fresh box or pack of it that’s all their own. 

  13. CASH. We all know it’s what they really want. Tuck some bucks into your teen’s basket if you want to give them something you know they can use. 

  14. FLAIR! Add to the fun by decorating your basket with pinwheels, stuffed animals, and greens/flowers. 

  15. LOVING WORDS. Include a note or card telling your teen how wonderful they are. Get specific. Think about what your teen is proud of, or how they might describe themselves to a new acquaintance, and play up those strengths especially. And then be sure to note why you’re proud of your teen and what attributes in them you admire. 

Finally, don’t take it personally if your teen seems underwhelmed; the goal is to give them the message they’re loved and special, and kids this age process those messages in their own ways.

Save this list! It’s also a great starting point for a holiday stocking or other gift. 

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