Paul is the father of three daughters and maintains multiple lists of gift ideas with regularly updated poll data.
Many parents believe they have an accurate idea of what their teenage daughter wants for a gift, however they may be slightly off target. Whether it is the 14-year-old's birthday, a holiday, or any celebration, they may not be pleasantly surprised with the gifts they receive. However, purchasing the desired gift for your daughter may not be in your wallet's best interest.
At 14 years old, your daughter may be enjoying spending time with her friends, playing sports, and shopping. Activities like these are common and fairly easy to shop for, if you know where to look. Reading this article, you will find presents that your 14-year-old will love based on hobbies and interests. Good gifts for 14-year-old girls aren't always easy to find, but we've provided several suggestions to find the perfect gift below.
Popular Activities a 14-Year-Old Girl May Enjoy
- Spending time with friends
- Playing sports
- Painting nails
- DIY Spa Day
- Social media
- Listening to music
- Independently going to a restaurant or coffee shop (even Taco Bell)
- Going to movies
- Having a movie night
#1: Gift Cards
As a teenager, many girls enjoy shopping at the nearest mall or shopping center. Gift cards or a gift certificate are always a hit with a 14-year-old because it provides them with the opportunity to buy whatever they want, instead of receiving a gift from a store which they may end up wishing to return. This gives them the freedom and independence they desire while quietly limiting their decisions with the price of the gift card. Gift cards are time efficient when buying them off of the particular store or simply off of Amazon. Some of our 14-year-old's favorite gift cards are Starbucks, Hollister, and Pacsun. Gift cards are a very popular and practical birthday gift.
#2: Plan a Sleepover
Chances are that your teenage girl enjoys hanging out with her circle of friends. Planning a sleepover party for them is the perfect idea for them to spend time together. With your daughters help and ideas, you will be able to plan a great group activity for her and her friends. I recommend designing activities such as truth or dare games and a movie night with snacks and pizza. A teen girl will love a party like this.
#3: Tickets or Gift Card
If your teenage girl expresses any interest in playing or watching sports, these gifts would be a great idea. Many women athletes act as role models for many young girls, and having tickets to a game is an amazing experience. Nike is also a good gift card option because of their wide range of sports equipment if your child enjoys these kinds of activities!
If she doesn't like sports, maybe she's into the arts. Tickets for a major musical can be quite expensive, but also a great experience. Our daughter has been blasting the music to the Tony Award-winning Hamilton and I'm sure would love to go see it live!
Psst! We actually gave her a Hamilton ticket for her eighth-grade graduation. She absolutely loved it and said it was the greatest gift of all-time.
#4: Cooking Supplies or Cookbook
Many 14-year-olds enjoy cooking or baking a rewarding meal. Cute cooking supplies make it all the more fun! These supplies increase inspiration and creativity in the kitchen. Cookbooks for teens are another great cooking idea for a young chef. My 14-year-old greatly enjoyed cooking recipes from this particular book because of its clear directions and constant tips and tricks throughout the book. When she was the birthday girl, she did an entire baking party where they made a seven-layer cake with fondant as the main birthday party activity and then each kid took a huge chunk home.
#5: Home Decor
Many teens enjoy the freedom of decorating their own room. Whether it is wall decals, pillows, or DIY projects, home decor is always an enjoyable activity. Home decor can be found in many stores and with many different ideas, inspiration can be found anywhere. Our 14-year-old has a wall decal from Blik in her room and she enjoys how it adds to the decor she has created. She also has cork boards and picture frames which she pins photos to that she took with her friends.
We bought an empty picture frame from Target, and then cut out a little lace and pinned it creating three rows for her to hang pictures on. Lastly, we bought her a polaroid-like printer that connects to her phone. It was a bit more expensive, but unlike a polaroid camera, you get to pick what pictures you actually print and it ends up saving film. This was a huge hit as a Christmas gift!
#6: Nail Polish
My daughter loves the Essie nail polish (pictured above) or a nail kit is a great idea for any creative teenager. They can spend time experimenting with different designs alone or with a group of friends. The possibilities are endless when it comes to doing your own nails. My teen claims that Essie is her favorite polish due to the fact that it doesn't bubble nearly as much as competing brands, and it is smooth when applied.
#7: Face Mask or Bath Bomb
As stress is beginning to build in young teens, a relaxing spa or pamper day is always a nice way to wind down. Having this activity is also great to host at a sleepover or just hanging out with friends. Lush tends to make many relaxing products such as their face masks and bath bombs that are always fun. My 14-year-old recently used the Intergalactic bath bomb from lush and greatly enjoyed the color, scent, and overall relaxing mood.
#8: Animal Onesie
An animal onesie is the perfect gift for any fun-loving teen. They are warm, cozy, and never boring! You can team up with a group of friends and all buy onesies that are great for a sleepover, a relaxed day at home, or even a fun day in the snow. There are various types of onesies that you can alter based on your teen's preferences.
Our daughter organized boys and girls from her high school to get together in their onesies and watch friends episodes for a party this fall. Teenagers these days!
Most 14-year-old are beginning to wear some light make-up. Brands found in widely-spread Sephora stores such as Benefit work very well for the young teen. Our teen enjoys Benefit's mascara and light lip colors which she often wears to school.
#10: Movie Night
Almost every teenage girl enjoys a movie night with her friends, and creating your own DIY movie night is always a fun activity and a solid birthday party idea. I would recommend creating a popcorn bar equipped with popcorn and various types of candy. The girls can then create their own personal popcorn bag with their favorite sweets. Then your daughter and her friends can enjoy a movie together while eating their popcorn treats.
#11: Phone Charger
If your teen already has a phone, it most likely came equipped with a phone charger. However, the provided chargers provide little mobility while your phone is charging. I bought my daughter a two-meter Apple Charger and she is greatly thankful for it. Even though it is a small gift, it makes a large difference. It helped out so much I proceeded for buy two more for the family.
#12 Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is a hands-free, portable, voice-controlled speaker. While it is on the pricier side, the speaker is a widely desired device created by Amazon. My 14-year-old has been wanting this speaker for a while, and after reading reviews I am greatly considering buying it for her birthday.
We also have a family subscription to Spotify, so this will allow her to access music and play it in her room. Speakers like this and Sonos have the benefit that they connect directly to the service rather than connecting via bluetooth to a phone.
#13 Cleansing Brush
At 14, most girls are experiencing some sort of acne, and they are in need of an effective way of cleansing their face. The Clarisonic Cleansing Brush is a great and influential way to clear your skin. My wife and I each have our own brush that we use every night, and my daughter is constantly asking for one.
If you've never tried one, it's pretty incredible how clean your face gets. Our daughter is very diligent about washing her face every evening and we are considering getting her one as a gift.
#14 S'well Water Bottle
My 14-year-old got her S'well Water Bottle for her birthday and she loves it. She uses it everyday and claims it keeps the ice solid all day at school. On colder days, she enjoys to bring tea or coffee, which remains piping hot throughout the school day.
Just remind her to wash it out at the end of the day, otherwise it sometimes will hold the coffee smell like a thermos.
#15 Cash and a New Wallet
If you are having trouble coming up with a gift your 14-year-old will enjoy, you can't go wrong with cash. Cash provides teens with the independence of spending their own money in the limit of the amount. Your daughter has the freedom to do what ever she wants with the money, and will be grateful for the simple gesture. On the topic of cash, most teens are in need of a new wallet. Wallets are a great gift, and with various prices, sizes, and designs, the options are flexible.
Here are Some Bad Ideas that you Should Avoid for Teenagers
I asked my 14 year old to tell me ideas and gifts she has gotten or her friends have gotten that they didn't like.
Here is the top five bad ideas for gifts to be avoided.
- Clothes that can't be returned. They often get clothes they don't like and if they can't return it, it can be a total bummer.
- Matching outfits or Pajamas for them and their siblings on their birthday.
- Gift cards that can't be spent online or no nearby store.
- Toys and gadgets that go through batteries quickly. They didn't like having to buy new batteries and they felt like constantly disposing of batteries is bad for the environment.
- Physical books when they can get a digital or Kindle version instead.
Here are more bad ideas that should be avoided as gifts for teenagers.
- Things they have outgrown like toys and dolls. The time has passed for an American Girl Doll and definitely, don't think about toys or kids movies like Finding Dory. Let these be fond memories of when they were little girls.
- Sometimes we think it's a cool gift idea to donate to a charity and it could be, but don't donate to an organization like Samaritans Purse unless it totally lines up with her ideology.
- Avoid things that she already has for example if she has an Iphone case or a good working tablet, don't get here another. She'll prefer USD (US Dollars)
Teenagers are tricky. Good luck with the perfect, cool, fun, interesting, toy, or experience. Hopefully, this list of ideas helped!
Questions & Answers
Question: Are cash and a wallet a good idea?
Answer: Yes, cash is really good. Teenagers have several needs for money from small purchases to save up for something bigger. The wallet is a bit more debatable. If they have a nice wallet, they will likely prefer more cash than an item they already have.
Question: Paul, based on the last "bad idea" you listed, what is the reason why 14-year olds don't prefer physical books over digital versions? What are the advantages they see in digital editions?
Answer: The advantage of a digital book is that they can read it on their phone when they're on the go, digital copies don't add clutter, they cost less, all the digital tools make it easier to highlight, look up word definitions, and teenagers rarely go anywhere without their phone, so they are less likely to misplace it than a book - just to name a few!
Lauren on July 06, 2020:
I understand the advantages of having a digital book, but I honestly prefer to have a physical book in my hand. I find it more comforting, I guess. I'm turning 14 and trying to figure out what I want, but I've always been a sucker for a good book. I think the difference between a digital book and a physical book are preferential and based on the person.
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on June 26, 2020:
I have a 14 year old daughter and she loves books as well, but I still think that digital books are much better for storing, organizing, finding when you want them, traveling with, reading in different lighting, and less wasteful
celeste khoine on June 26, 2020:
I am about to turn 14 and I prefer physical books over digital books. I wouldn't put that on the bad ideas list.
Lila Gebhart on March 30, 2020:
I am a 14-year-old girl, and I absolutely love physical books. Do not out rule them because the new generation only loves technology. We love books too! Otherwise, this article was great, thank you!
Christine on March 09, 2020:
My daughter 14years got a sleep disorder that hss kept away from school now for over a year, condition doesnt seem to change.
How do i creatively engage her to build her skills.
Scarlett on September 06, 2019:
i'm turning fifteen and personally physical books are one of my favourite things so don't choose to get a virtual book unless the girl has said that they would prefer it
bella on July 30, 2019:
I'm turning fourteen in just two months and some of these gifts were good ideas but i personally would not want an animal onesie! i mean what would i do with it? and a phone charger would be nice but its really not all that exciting if you know what i mean. i already have one i dont need another...thanks for the offer... i guess...BUT!!! some really good gifts i would recommend is money and gift cards especially to beauty and clothes stores!! i also like having time to spend with my friends and not just my family on my special day...getting a little freedom to have fun with your friends and even just go hangout. but shopping with your friends is the best!!! i personally love the hydro flask water bottles instead of the other brand they mentioned. some great gifts i would recommend are freedom, money/gift cards, spa day, poloroid camera, movie with friends..maybe even just friends not family although family time with my parents is mandatory when im with my friends id much rather be with just friends,the burts bees essentials gift set, any make up, facemasks, curling wands, bluetooth speaker, the cleansing brush isnt very exiting but it is something i would want, the USB lather tassel keychain, puravida bracelets, scrunchies, SHOPPING SPREE, to be honest having quiet time to myself in my room to go take a nap and get away from everyone sounds like a perfect gift, nails/nailpolish, anything for our hair that is useful would be PERFECT!!!,some teenage girls enjoy music so i would recommend a guitar or a ukelele or even a keyboard, skincare products are amazing and even a facial jade crystal roller from tj maxx for 10$ sounds like a pretty good gift to me. now for gifts not to give your fourteen year old...well hopefully they are a good sport about it and wont through a huge fit over getting any of these but...non returnable clothes are a NO NO NO!!! every girl has their own style so if they dont like they will probably say they do and never wear it because it isnt their style so alway include the receipt especially if you dont know their size. matching outfits to ANYONE except your best friend is terrible...i just had to say that sorry but no unless they somehow really like matching outfits, gift cards we cant use like places we never go cant use online or arent nearby arent the best, last year for christmas i got princess stickers from my aunt...now she hasnt seen me since i was a little kid so i understoog why i got them but she knew i was thirteen and probably shouldve thought about giving me outgrown gifts...soo no outgrown gifts like princesses and little kid toys...stuffed animals are fine for some teenagers because you know...they are stuffed animals...just not aby ones, and when i get things i already have i dont really see a purpose in it and i feel like its useless so talk to other people and see what they are getting and notice things they already have and stick with that...i hope that helped you out a lot and you can get your precious angel something meaningful to not only her but yourself because she loved it too!! and one more thing...in middle school its kind of a big deal to have a phone for classes and homework so if she doesnt have one yet fourteen is a good age...and a laptop will help A LOT with that aswell. i hope i helped you!!!
Unknown on July 06, 2019:
I'm turning 14 in less than a month and most of these would be great gifts. I also do prefer physical books, but some of my friends like ebooks due to their convenience. Some things really should be kept in mind though because most people assume we wear makeup but I don't wear any at all. I also wouldn't want a onesie just for myself, the only way I would want one is if all of my friends and I were actually dressing up for something. I also really like art supplies that are actually real stuff, (not the little art kits that you can buy in the girls toy aisle).
Kayla on June 08, 2019:
Personally, as a 14 year old girl, I would NOT want a onsie or beauty products or a phone charger. The onsie is more for little girls, and I would want to pick out my own makeup and perfume. As for the phone charger- well, it is just not a very exciting gift. That being said, gift cards are a good idea as long as you know it is a place that person likes. A visa gift caard is always a good idea. I also love getting flowers for my garden as well as PHYSICAL books. Art supplies are a really fun thing to get as long as they are aimed toward adults and not little kids. (e.g. oil paints, canvases, etc.)
Amy on April 24, 2019:
I'm turning 14 in a few days and came looking for ideas but I'd just like to say that getting physical books or digital books might depend on the girl or boy. For example, I love reading physical books, however, I have many friends that prefer digital books over physical books and would be devastated to be given a physical book. So before deciding to get a physical or digital book, my advice would be to ask your child about their preference.
Nunya on March 02, 2019:
I think most of those would be pretty cool and pretty accurate gifts I’m turning 14 in 20 days
lily on February 26, 2019:
my 14 year old girl says that she does not want en
Sarah Short on October 29, 2018:
Thank you for the article and the time you spent writing it, but I completely disagree with it. You seemed to go with the stereotypical “teen girl” gift ideas. I for one would be EXTREMELY bummed if I got any of those gifts. I mean, what’s all this about digital books? I love physical books. There’s nothing like a brand new book with perfect, crisp new pages and that wonderful fresh book smell. And, my parents won’t even let me wear makeup. And even if they’d let me, I don’t really care about it. Plus, I’m not really into shopping,photography, Spa days, sports, or social media. So, you should really broaden your understanding of teenage girls.
But......these are great ideas for your typical, stereotypical teenage girl. But I’m not your average teenage girl.
Bts forever on September 22, 2018:
Yes I agree I thing paper back books are much better than ebooks I’m 13 btw
... on June 21, 2018:
No offense but I would seriously never want any of these and I do actually prefer physical books. These are for girls with different personalities which means that not all of them would love this stuff. But you do have a good understanding of what girl of our age might enjoy. You should maybe consider putting these ideas up with different perspectives and girls.
sarah on April 29, 2018:
my birthday is in 10 days, and its approaching fast. Im turning 14 and most of these are perfect, and im a very picky person when it comes to gifts
- on April 08, 2018:
Im 14 and think most of these are pretty cool
merkala on April 08, 2018:
wow i have no idea how i landed my self here i am 14 and these presents is exciting i wish i could get presents on my birthday or christmas
Daniella on April 03, 2018:
I'm 14 and I wouldn't want any of these
14 Year Old Looking For Gift Ideas for Self on December 06, 2017:
How did this bald old man know we want all this? woah
Kailie on November 21, 2017:
I agree that it is extremely sad that a multitude of people don't read the actual physical copy of a book. Me, personally, I would prefer a physical copy over an electronic version any day. However, I can see the convenience in e-books. Y'all have a good rest of your day!
Anonymus on November 19, 2017:
These are some great ideas! I'm 14 and love to read. I like both physical and e-books. However, I've found that some books are more affordable and easier to find if they are physical. Also, pay attention to what genre the teen you are going to be giving a book to. For instance, don't give them a romance if they are an action person!
Tayla on November 19, 2017:
I'm 14 and I personally prefer physical books rather than ebooks
Mikala on November 07, 2017:
Im 14 and can buy my own makeup or nail polish so I wold like makeup or nail polish that i cant usually afford just an idea that would make her appreciate it more
Taylor on November 06, 2017:
I think the ideas were great I would definitely want those gifts for Christmas or anytime of the year even my birthday a
Anonymous on November 01, 2017:
Paperback books are the best in my opinion speaking from a 14 y/o point of view because i really dislike adio books
Fiona on October 29, 2017:
To be completely honest, My friends and I all prefer actual paperback books to audio ones. I'd say it probably depends on who the gift is for.
JoyceDudash on October 08, 2017:
I think some of the ideas are too expensive for I don't have some of the items you have to give to these Christmas children who are suppose to be without many items. Americans are not rich-at least we aren't, so will only give the lesser valued items.
Liv on October 07, 2017:
Get him nothing .... He probably doesn’t like you .
If he is expecting something from you that isn’t a good sign!
serena on September 29, 2017:
what should i get my boyfriend for his birthday?
SPACEGIRL1-01 on September 22, 2017:
I love the wallet and cash idea only because i'm 13 and i really need money for stuff
Jo Miller from Tennessee on September 19, 2017:
I feel sad that real (physical) books are considered a bad idea.
Dolphins17 on July 24, 2017:
A lot of these ideas are great. My birthday is coming up and I needed ideas for my wish list. On the list of bad things to get I agree with most of them. The last one bothers me though. I personally love to read. I could read a 600 page book in a few days. I would much rather have a physical book than an online or kindle version instead. Sometimes it is nice to have a kindle version of the book, but a physical book should not be on the top 5 bad things to get a 14 year old girl.
Bobby from U.K on March 09, 2017:
Great idea on getting your daughter's expert opinion on this.
Paul Edmondson (author) from Burlingame, CA on January 26, 2017:
I actually wrote this with my 14 year old to teach her about the site and writing online, so all the ideas were hers!
Lela Bryan from Alameda, CA on January 26, 2017:
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on January 26, 2017:
Great overview on ideas.
Ultimately it seems like the interests of the girl dictates what to get the most.