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We love our 13 and 14-year-olds… but we have to admit that they can sometimes be a challenge. Hey, we get it: it’s not an easy age to be. Alas, this makes buying gifts for them nearly impossible. Nevertheless, a milestone is a milestone, and you'll need to buy them a great 8th grade graduation present. Now you’re probably thinking, “What on Earth can I possibly give my 14-year-old that they won’t immediately use to serve me up some emotional damage?” We’re here for you. In fact, some writers here at Best Products have reached out to real live teens (we found texting worked best of course) to see what exactly “the kids” are into these days. What do we poor, uncool adults know?
Blame it on the popularity of Stranger Things, but kids are really into bikes. And not just any bikes; the vintage-looking ones, which is why we love this cute cruiser.
One Drawing Tablet
This tablet and state of the art digital pen – compatible with a PC, Mac, and some Android phones – will help take your young artist’s drawing and photo editing skills to the next level. It’s also great for visual learners to take notes and engage more meaningfully in their schoolwork.
Instax Mini With Accessories
Sure, phones are convenient for taking pictures, but there’s nothing quite like a physical photo, right? This cute camera comes with a carrying case, photo album, selfie lens, and film for 60 photos, which will perfectly accessories their new locker in high school.
Light-Up Charging Station & Bluetooth Speaker
We love how multi-functional this gift is and we’re willing to bet your teen will as well. Not only does this Bluetooth speaker serve as a wireless phone charger and holder (perfect for streaming their favorite shows), it’s also a cute nightlight.
If your teen loves a good couch nap (and who among us doesn’t) then they need this blanket. At 10 feet by 10 feet, they’ll be able to completely cocoon themselves for a truly perfect rest.
Summer is long, and if you don’t want to hear “I’m bored” a million and seven times a day then why not consider this iconic gaming system? It can be used on their TV or on the go for gaming whenever and wherever they want.
Indoor/Outdoor Swinging Chair
This chair is the ideal spot to spend a relaxing summer or spot to get some reading done once high school starts. Appropriate for indoor or outdoor use, the chair comes with everything you need to hang it up.
Luna Somnia Tarot Deck
Teens have so much future in front of them — why not let them use a tarot deck to try to see it coming? This is a gorgeous deck of tarot cards with an easy-to-follow guidebook that's perfect for beginners.
If your teen has pierced ears, you can’t go wrong with a classic set of studs, which can be styled just about any way you can think of. These moissanite stones are more affordable than diamonds, but have the same clarity, color, and sparkle.
Major Works of Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens isn’t for everyone, teen or not, but if your teen is the type to appreciate “the classics” this gorgeous set is perfect for summer reading and looking simply stunning on their shelf.
Flex Wireless Earbuds
Why are these the preferred headphones of young Gen Z? One word: TikTok. Apparently, the microphone on these earbuds is way better for recording, but it's not a whole set of regular white earbuds.
Don’t worry — we didn’t know either. The quality of the sound is every bit as good as you'd expect from a Beats device, and the battery is long-lasting as well.
Did you know that many high schoolers just drag all of their books around all day? It sounds awful, frankly, but at least with this backpack by Fjallraven, they'd be doing it in style. And there's a super protective area for a laptop or iPad, depending on which they use in school. You seriously cannot bust this backpack, although your soon-to-be high schooler will almost certainly test those limits.
Apple Watch Series 7
The number of kids who told me that this is the only thing they care about was staggering. Honestly, we didn’t think kids were into them, but we asked around and apparently nothing is cooler than an Apple Watch.
Just make sure they’re allowed at your kids’ school and that your child is using the “schooltime function” while they’re in class.
Vinyl Record Player Wireless Turntable with Built-in Speakers
Vinyl is cool — and high school is a great time to get into it. Start your kiddo off on their vinyl journey with this affordable turntable. It has built-in speakers and an arm that’s intuitive for first-time vinyl listeners. Before you know it, you’ll be hitting up second-hand shops and swap meets to get just the right copy of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album.
Phone Holder for Bed Gooseneck Mount
Sometimes you just want to watch a movie on your phone, and you don't want to hold it — and that's where the bed mount comes in. It connects to a headboard, runner, or desk and holds the phone in place so your teen can just lie back and relax.
And yes, you should definitely get one for yourself as well. It's just so darned convenient.
Small Portable Charger
We can almost guarantee you that if you have a teenager, they have let their phone die when they're at school or out with friends. And they hate it — they feel disconnected and cut off. Not to mention, it's a serious pain for you as well. This iPhone charger will fully charge your iPhone, and it's no bigger than a tube of lipstick. Just make sure they remember to charge the charger!
Thin Cursive Gold Plated Name Necklace
Some version of this was mentioned over and over by the kids we asked. Nameplate necklaces aren’t just for a ’90s Carrie Bradshaw anymore, they’re now apparently all the rage for the rising Freshman group.
This one is a mid-priced and well-made version of the iconic necklace, and the combination of the script and the chain length makes it a runaway winner.
Logo Sleeve Graphic Sweatshirt
Whether your child grew up riding a tractor or the subway — there’s a good chance they want a Carhartt hoodie. (The brand is having a moment.) Pro-tip: apparently kids like them to fit on the baggy side!
100 ft Bluetooth LED Strip Lights
FYI: Teens are still very into LED strip lights for their rooms — which makes this the perfect eighth grade graduation gift. This specific strip is great because you can operate it from your phone and you can sync it up to music or set it in a rotating pattern of color. This might over-stimulate a more low-key adult, but teens apparently love having their bedrooms lit up like a runway.
Apparently, 14-year-old girls have spectacular taste in perfume. Sure, it might be because Glossier is a popular brand in the teen set, but this perfume is heavenly. (Way better than the sweet pear and “cloud” perfumes of the early-2000s.)
It's not quite a warm floral, not quite a gourmand — it's reminiscent of a field of wildflowers in a forest canopy.
Air Force 1
Admittedly, I love this shoe as much as my son, my niece, and apparently, everyone else on planet Earth loves this shoe. It's the classic white sneaker, ever-stylish, completely comfortable, and one of the most versatile items to have in your wardrobe. At this point, Air Force 1 sneakers are a staple of good dressing. And for eighth grade graduation? Yup, they're definitely worth the splurge.
‘Heartstopper’ Series — Volume 1-4 Books Set by Alice Oseman
They're going to have all summer to do a whole lot of (probably) nothing — but if they're readers, this is a heck of a series. It's a graphic novel style high school bildungsroman that can be read over and over–we think every teen needs a book like that in their life. It's an eighth grade graduation gift that's sure to keep your teen engaged throughout each book in the set.
Wireless Gaming Headset with Microphone
You’re going to have to pretend that you can’t hear your teen swearing a blue streak and cursing the day their enemies were born when you walk by their room. It’s not easy, but it’s doable, and when you gift them this wireless gaming headset, they’ll do just that — especially if they play Call of Duty, which is pretty much inevitable.
The WONDERBOOM 3 offers some serious sound for its size. Available in four colors, your kid will love blasting every TikTok bop all summer long.
Sync up to your phone and play away. This little guy is even waterproof and can float so you need not worry about your carefree child. I can hear the cheerful vocal stylings of Doja Cat from here. (And I'm not mad at it.)
Class of 2023 Graduation Necklace
It's sweet. It's pretty. It's not too cheesy, but just cheesy enough to show that you care. This necklace is timeless. It could be worn every day or just for special occasions.
A part of what makes it special is the Seuss quote on the display box from Oh The Places You'll Go. It could honestly choke you up a bit if you think back to when you read the book to them before starting kindergarten.
Everyone from age 13 to 50 wants this cup. Seriously, it's so popular that stores can't even keep it on the shelf. And with good reason! It keeps drinks cold or hot for hours and hours, and the handle is so comfortable. Plus, it fits into any cupholder in the car. (Also, a stroller if you have a little one as well and you feel like you should #treatyourself.)
Women's Bestseller Set
Your child wants to smell bougie, fancy, and expensive. But the $350 perfume all over TikTok isn't in their budget? Enter MicroPerfumes: an affordable sampling of some of the most popular perfumes in generous travel sizes. This one features the biggie — Baccarat Rouge 540, along with Creed Aventus For Her by Creed and Good Girl by Carolina Herrera. And if your child likes these? (Or maybe you do?) They mail you a coupon for 15% off a full-size bottle with the set.
Student-athletes really put their bodies through the wringer. A Theragun Mini can really help dig into those aching, overused muscles. Whether your football player is suffering from sore traps or your soccer player has quads so tight they feel like stone, a Theragun provides deep massaging stimulation to work out the kinks.
$50 PlayStation Store Gift Card
Does a gift card seem impersonal? Yes. Is your teen going to get really excited about it? Also yes: Fifty bucks buys a whole lot of in-game credits, or a whole new game. It feels lame, but we promise, this is one gift that will 100% get used and loved.
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