2021 Holiday Gift Guide Ideas For Teens & Tweens

gift guide flyer

It seems like every year there’s a push to shop earlier for the holidays, but this year, the rush is real! Shipping delays, product shortages, high demand and more are creating more havoc than The Grinch. So, while we’re publishing our 2021 Holiday Gift Guides, check back often for updates. Also, we didn’t publish the prices because from holiday sales to changes in supply etc., prices are fluctuating.

And finally, whenever possible we encourage you to shop locally instead of online. Shopping at your local chain, or small business helps the local economy, ensures you have the gift in time, and gives you a chance to discover new items.

Gift Ideas For The Teens

In our house we have an 11 & 13 year old to shop for, and each year their wish list grows more expensive. We’re always searching for creative gifts that they didn’t ask for to challenge their thinking, get them outdoors, or just mix things up.

Get Outside & Play

The Pool Punisher

pool punisher tank float


This summer we built a pool, hoping to make more family memories and be more active. However, by the time it was complete there were only a few warm weeks left to swim. Looking for ways to use it in the colder months, we found The Pool Punisher. This inflatable tank is huge and measures 61” x 44” x 24”. And even though the water from the cannon might be cold, which shoots up to 50 feet, our kids are able to sit inside the float without being submerged in water. You just have to hope your opponent doesn’t have good aim.

We found the float to be heavy duty and the kids love that the water cannon fills itself from the pool for non-stop battles. Order two so you can keep the family entertained, or have fun at your next party. It would also make a great float for a movie night!

Laser X Revolution Two Player Long Range Laser Tag Gaming Blaster Set

Get the kids out of the house and let them “battle” with a Laser X laser tag set. Of course they can also be used inside and might take your tired game of hide & seek to the next level. Need to social distance, no problem, with the Laser X revolution long range laser you can blast opponents up to 500 feet away! Features include rapid fire and quick-slide reload.

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Speaker

If you’re outside enjoying the weather you need some music, we’re big fans of the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 Bluetooth speaker for several reasons. It’s portable and can easily fit in a backpack or suitcase, water, dust and drop proof (survived our dog knocking it into the pool), has good battery life-15 hrs on a charge and great sound without disturbing the neighbors. Bonus: it floats!


Family Game Night

A Little Off Topic

board game a little off topic

This pandemic has us staying home now more than ever, and now that we’ve watched everything that’s on Netflix and Disney+, family game night keeps us entertained. Add A Little Off Topic (Board Game for Kids 8-12) to your family/kids gifts this year and you’ll laugh even more together. We recently played A Little Off Topic and were amazed at how creative the kids answers were. It almost reminded me of playing Mad Libs. And while the game is recommended for ages 8-12, we all had a blast and can’t wait to play with more friends.

This fun kids board game encourages children to be creative while stirring up some truly silly conversations. While discussing our answers we discovered new things about the kids and their imaginations and they learned things as well. We enjoyed it so much I know this will be a game we gift to friends and family.

Nintendo Game & Watch

Believe it or not I still have my original Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong game from the 80s. Back then it was my go to for staying entertained on road trips, waiting in the doctor’s office or even just sitting at home. Last year Nintendo brought back the game & watch for Super Mario Brothers and this year they are launching a Legend of Zelda Nintendo Game & Watch.

Philips Hue Play Light Bar

With kids spending more time at home these days, that means teens spending more time in their room, or the media/game room. Bringing the entertainment to life, like video games or movies means upping your game and syncing LED lights. The Philips Hue light bar is a versatile lamp available in black or white, the Play light bar enhances any entertainment setup by providing a backlight. Or when used with Hue Sync you can set up your video game, tv show or movie to sync your light bar with whatever you’re viewing.

While it might seem a little pricey for a gift, think about how much money you spend at the movie theater. Our media room is the “hub” for our kids and their friends and probably the most used room in our house.

Gifts For Home

dog with squishmallows

Our teenage daughter loves curling up with a blanket, even when it’s not cold! She is obsessed with the Eskimo Swirl Fur Footsac blanket by Lovesac. At 50″ wide x 70″ long it’s the perfect size and faux fur is super soft and cozy. Plus, it can be washed in the machine. Her favorite part is the foot pocket!


Stuffed animals are still a “thing” for teens and tweens for both the character they add to a room and for the comforting hug when they have a bad day. Both my 11 & 13 year old love Squishmallows and use them as pillows, backrests and to hug. Small, medium or large these are some of the hottest items year round-check your local Hallmark store or Target to see what’s in stock. Last year we bought a 20 inch Chewbacca from Costco.

Cinema Lightbox

letter lightbox
Cinema Lightbox at Pottery Barn Teen

With a boy and a girl in our house, the kids are now adamant about knocking before entering and often communicate with each other via text or notes. This lightbox, back-lit like a marquee, lets your teen display their message – using the different letters and characters – in cinema style. From quotes to warning notes like “in a bad mood”, kids can be creative with their messaging. Featuring three LED light strips to showcase your favorite phrase, its film-worthy design will add Hollywood glam to your space. It comes with 100 letter tiles and a USB cable.

100 Things To Do After Quarantine Poster

This interactive poster presents 100 ideas, from the basic (Get a haircut) to the beautiful (Thank an emergency service worker), that you can look forward to enjoying with family and friends. Once completed, scratch it off the list (literally) to reveal activity-related artwork and then scan the remaining recommendations to plan for your next fun-filled adventure.

Lego Art

lego Marvel iron man box

Lego art is a super fun gift that can become a family project with teens and adults. These can be displayed in the game room or teen’s room You can choose designs like LEGO Art Star Wars The Sith (31200) canvas art set for adults, Marvel’s Iron Man, Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter and more. Display iconic Lego art on your wall or shelf after you create it.


kid wearing headset

Arctis Prime Headset

Is there a gamer on your list? Both of our kids are into video games and a big part of their enjoyment revolves around their headset. The Arctis Prime Headset ($99.99) provides best-in-class audio performance, unrivaled comfort and durability with an affordable price point. Compatible with PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch. My daughter used it with her Switch and said they are very comfortable and the sound is amazing.

Prime Pro Series Gaming Mouse

If your teen is looking to be more competitive with gaming in the esports arena, check out the PRIME Pro series gaming mouse.

Lightning fast Prestige OM™ switches deliver over 100M crispy clicks
Pro grade precision tracking with the TrueMove Pro gaming sensor
On-board customization with pre-set polling rates and CPI profile settings
Detachable super mesh cable for quick swipes and feather-light feel
69g ultra lightweight, textured matte design developed with top esports pros

3D Doodler Pen

Unleash your teens creative side and discover a whole new way to make art, fix things, design wearable items, build models, and decorate their room! The easy-to-use Create+ pen extrudes heated plastic which hardens rapidly, allowing you to draw in 3D, freehand, or using stencils.







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Kristin Barclay
Kristin Barclay graduated from the University of South Carolina with a major in Journalism and Advertising. Throughout her career, Kristin has demonstrated a passion for storytelling and a commitment to providing accurate, timely, and informative news coverage. She has a deep understanding of the issues and concerns facing local communities and has earned a reputation as a trusted source for reliable news and information. In addition to her work as an editor and journalist, Kristin is also a skilled writer and has written articles on a wide range of topics, including politics, business, education, and culture. She has a keen eye for detail and a talent for crafting compelling stories that engage and inform readers. Kristin is also an active member of the community and has volunteered her time and resources to numerous organizations and causes. She believes in the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Kristin Barclay is also a passionate advocate for local journalism and the role it plays in keeping communities informed and engaged. She believes strongly in the importance of supporting local news outlets and is dedicated to ensuring that quality journalism remains a vital part of our society. Outside of work, Kristin enjoys traveling both for business and pleasure. She loves exploring new places, meeting new people, and experiencing different cultures. Whether she's on a business trip or a vacation, Kristin is always eager to discover what makes each place unique and special. Kristin's passions include boots, bourbon, dogs and college football. She is a self-proclaimed boot aficionado and has an impressive collection of cowboy boots that she wears with pride. She also enjoys sipping on a good bourbon and spending time with her husband and beloved border collies. Last but certainly not least, Kristin is the proud mother of two children who bring joy and meaning to her life. She is deeply committed to being a loving and supportive parent, and her children are her greatest source of inspiration and motivation