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WHAT TO GET A 13-YEAR-OLD FOR HER BIRTHDAY OR CHRISTMAS (TEEN APPROVED)
Are you wondering what to get a 13-year-old for her birthday or as a Christmas gift? Look no further than this list of ideas, which I’ve based on gifts currently popular with my 13-year-old daughter and her friends. There’s a range of gifts, from luxury gift ideas to more practical but equally desirable things young teen girls will love.
Turning 13 is a big deal. It’s the start of the teenage years, which signifies all sorts of changes for kids and for us as parents. In my experience as a parent, it’s a time when girls become more self-conscious and feel a greater than ever need to fit in with their friends whilst also being really keen to define their individuality.
All these changes are hard enough to navigate for teen girls themselves, let alone for their parents, which can, in turn, make finding gifts for them harder than ever before.
So, I’m sharing a list of all the gifts that my daughter loved receiving for her 13th birthday, some of the things that have gone down well as gifts for her friends and some ideas that I have already put on my Christmas gift list for her (I’ve got a Christmas Gift Google sheet that I note stuff down on through the year so that it is less painful trying to come up with ideas in the run-up to Christmas).
I’ve included a lot of beauty products, particularly the kind that teens lust over but can’t afford out of their own money, because these are the gifts that are particularly popular with my teen and her friends.
I like to think that spending several years working on glossy magazines has helped me become good at curating shopping guides and keeping an eye on the latest trends.
33 PERFECT GIFT IDEAS FOR 13-YEAR-OLD-GIRLS
Browse through this big list of the best things to get a 13-year-old for her birthday, and you are bound to find the perfect gift for your soon-to-be-13-year-old.
- The Flat Lay Makeup Bag
- EnVie Beauty Mini Fridge
- Danielle Creations Quick Dry Turban Towel
- Air up water Bottle (incl. 3 pods)
- DIOR Addict Lip Glow Oil
- Lumie Bodyclock Spark 100
- Heartstopper Vol. 1
- STARFACE HYDRO-STARS
- Tickets to see their favourite music star
- e.l.f. Supers Skincare Mini Kit
- Kylie Skin Detox Face Mask
- Steepletone Stereo Cassette Player
- imPress Press On French Manicure Nails
- Revlon Salon One-Step Hair dryer brush (mid to short hair)
- e.l.f. Beauty Shield Magnetic Mask Kit
- Joy-Con Pair Pastel Purple/Pastel Green (Nintendo Switch)
- Mii Cosmetics Skin Secret Cream Tint SPF25
- Stars Black - CASETiFY
- e.l.f. Halo Glow Liquid Filter
- Apple AirPods with wired Charging Case (2nd generation)
- Revolution Skincare London Vitamin C Glow Body Scrub
- Teddy Fleece Weighted Blanket
- Sketchboard Pro Tablet Drawing Stand
- The Summer I Turned Pretty Book Set
- Photo Paper
- Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb Heat Lip Luminizer & Plumper in Cherry
- The Fancy Friends Character Tee
- 1989 (Taylor's Version) Cassette
- Kitsch Satin Sleep Scrunchies
- Pink Shearling Boo Pillow | Urban Outfitters UK
- Kitsch Satin Heatless Curling Set
- Round Mini Shoulder Bag (Corduroy)
Beauty fridges are a thing! Especially for the TikTok generation. This EnVie fridge is a favourite, and super style-conscious teens will love how its aesthetic adds to their room.
As well as being a lovely luxury gift, the fridge is also practical, keeping skincare products up to 20°C below room temperature, reducing harmful bacteria and extending their life. Alternatively, it can also hold up to 6 x 330ml cans of soft drink.
My daughter and I each have one of these quick-dry hair turbans. The turbans are made from soft, super absorbant microfibre and have a little button to fix them in place. They dry your hair without you having to rub it, which means your hair stays sleeker as well as drying more quickly.
AirUp works by releasing scented air into your mouth as you drink water, which your senses perceive as flavour, tricking your brain into thinking you're consuming a flavoured drink without any added sugars or chemicals. What teen isn't going to love the hi-tech alternative to water?!
It's a well-known fact that teenagers have a different circadian rhythm than people of other ages. So help a teen girl out by giving her the gift of natural daylight to help her get up on school mornings!! My daughter has this exact alarm clock, and it really does make a difference.
The coolest way to cover a spot! Oh, how I wish they'd had these when I was a teen. My daughter loves her Starface stars, and they really do help clear up breakouts more quickly.
Possibly my daughter's favourite all-time gift was tickets to see Harry Styles at Wembley Stadium. Clearly, that opportunity has now passed, but tickets to gigs or major music star concerts are pretty much guaranteed to be a big gift-hit (as long as you are sure they actually like the artist!).
As cassettes are making a comeback for Gen Alpha, you might find this retro-looking white cassette player and recorder will go down well as a gift. My daughter simply borrows one I bought a couple of years back when she raids my 'vintage' cassette collection.
My daughter and I share one of these brilliant Revlon hairdryer brushes, and I wish with all my heart that I had had one when I was a tween, struggling to style my hair for the first time! It is so much easier to blow-dry hair when you aren't having to juggle a brush in one hand and a hairdryer in the other. Needless to say, my daughter absolutely loves using it.
The brush is really light and the handle is shaped in a way that makes it easy for tween and teen hands to hold.
Casetify cases are both practical and super cute. They are made from two layers of shock-absorbing plastic to withstand impact, with extra protection around the screen and camera lenses. My daughter has had hers for a year, and her phone looks good and is still intact!
E.L.F Halo Glow Liquid Filter is a super popular Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter dupe loved by teen girls whose pocket money doesn't quite stretch to Charlotte Tilbury prices.
A weighted blanket is like sleeping under a big hug. It's a great gift idea for teens to snuggle under when they are feeling anxious, or their emotions get the better of them. They are also a great style addition to a teen room.
How about an iPad stand for creative teens who love sketching? This stand makes it so much easier to get comfortable whilst drawing.
My daughter absolutely loved watching the TV adaptation of this book series on Amazon Prime and is currently working her way through the books, which are well-written, engaging and perfect for 13-year-olds getting used to being teenagers. Start with the first book in the series if you don't want to commit to the full set.
There is a big trend for wall collages at the moment. You can buy wall collage kits, but if your daughter is as creative as mine, she'll prefer to create her own. In which case, this photo paper makes a great gift. Add some wall-safe double-sided tape and set her up on Canva to design her own images.
Fenty, by Rihanna, is a hugely popular brand with teens and another little luxury gift that will go down well. This Cherry lip gloss gives the most gorgeous red cherry sheen to lips (don't worry, it is a sheen, not bright red). Go for Glass Slipper if you would prefer a colourless gloss.
Harry Styles fans will love this Fancy Friends Character T from his brand Pleasing.
With Taylor Swift's Eras Tour the HOT ticket of 2024 and cassettes being the HOT retro music format trend, Swifties will love getting their mitts on 1989 on cassette.
13-year-olds spend a LOT of time in their rooms, often on their beds. This Boo pillow (also known as a hug pillow) is like a giant cuddle for them to relax into. It even has a little pocket for snacks or phones.
This is one item we have yet to buy, but it's on my teen's wishlist. Apparently, it takes a hot minute to work out how to use these heatless curlers, and you will need a butterfly clip or two to help secure your hair as you work, but they are hugely popular at the moment.
The Uniqlo mini shoulder bag was the bag of the summer, especially for music festivals. Uniqlo has dropped a corduroy version for autumn, which I sure would be a welcome gift.
TIPS FOR BUYING GIFTS FOR 13-YEAR-OLD GIRLS
1. UNDERSTAND HER INTERESTS
Identifying her hobbies, favourite activities, or areas of interest is the first step to finding a gift she’ll appreciate.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO TRENDS
Lots of 13-year-old girls enjoy being on top of the latest trends, which can influence their preferences in music, clothing, tech, and more. So keep an eye out, try and bring up the subject casually or have a little TikTok surf to find out what’s going down.
3. CHOOSE AGE-APPROPRIATE GIFTS
Ensure the gift is suitable for a 13-year-old girl, not too childish nor too mature for her age. Ok, that’s easier said than done, but just try and be realistic. She is growing up, she is no longer a child, but she’s also a way off being an adult.
4. ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY
Gifts that stimulate creativity, like art sets or DIY projects, are still very much relevant when your daughter reaches her teen years.
5. LUXURY GIFTS
Christmas is a great time of year to splash out on the luxury products that your 13-year-old has been lusting after, that she can’t afford to buy herself and that you couldn’t otherwise justify buying for her.
I also take the time to brief grandparents and other family members on luxury gift ideas that I know will go down well so that my daughter is given something she loves and our relatives can enjoy the happiness of knowing they’ve gifted something that a teenager actually thinks is cool and wonderful!
6. THINK ABOUT PERSONAL CARE AND BEAUTY
In my experience, girls entering their teen years start to pay a lot more attention to their personal care and how they look. Whilst you don’t want to load them up with a full set of beauty products, many teens will appreciate being given skincare or light make-up designed for young skin.
7. INVOLVE TECHNOLOGY
Electronic devices and accessories can be excellent gifts, particularly as a main gift that is beyond her pocket money limits.
8. DON’T FORGET ABOUT SPORT
If your teen is active or enjoys outdoor activities, sports equipment or outdoor games can make fantastic gifts. It’s also a great way to get her re-engaged with sports and activity if she’s showing signs of being more lethargic and hanging out in her room a lot.
9. SEEK OUT QUALITY
A well-made product will last longer, perform better, and show that you value the recipient. Choose quality over quantity. It’s also good to show your teenager that it is worth buying good quality products over cheap stuff that doesn’t last. This is a great time to instil good shopping habits.
10. SHARED EXPERIENCES ARE PRECIOUS
It won’t be long before your teenager is spending more time with her friends than she does with you and her family. So make the most of spending quality time with her by treating her to tickets to a concert by her favourite music star, a trip to see a major theatre production or tickets to a festival. Make those memories you can both look back on in years to come.
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.