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Electronic Toys for Teens

Updated on October 22, 2011

It's always difficut to get gifts, presents or toys for teenagers. Teens love electronic toys, we know that, but WHICH ONES?? Teens seem to change like the wind: at one moment the coolest thing is a Palm Pilot; the next moment, and iPad. And teens are naturally secretive about what toys they like. Here's a little story about brainstorming around the office, around Christmas time, to answer the burning question of the hour: what electronic toy can I get my teen kid for Christmas?

At one point in my career, I worked in an office for a non-profit organization as their Finance Manager. I had many women friends in this office: it was a great place, a really friendly place to work. I enjoyed going to work there, just because of the social life! The work itself was a little pesky--I had to keep track of a lot of different revenue streams from various granting authorities and help write the budgets for grant applications, and things like that. I also had to present the financial statements every month to the Board of Directors, most of whom were non-accountants. That was a real challenge in communication!

Even though I was the only person who had any sort of real accounting background in the office, I still enjoyed working there so very much, and made many friends. These people were so upbeat, and positive, and forward-looking. They were all educators and trained to deliver the various programs our non-profit organization funded, including Active Parenting programs, after-school programs for students at risk, and many other educational and literacy programs.

Two of my office friends both had teenage daughters, and one of my office friends had a teenage son. That was the most fun, for me--I had already been there and done that with my stepsons, and I knew exactly what my colleagues were talking about, when they started on about their teenagers.

I could relate so well. There is something terrific about being around children, young people, teenagers. They have so much energy, and they don't know how to spend it all! The ways they find of amusing themselves are past our adult reckoning, and always good for some exclamatory remarks the next day in the office. Life is just full of surprises with kids around.

There were a few things that kept coming up. One biggy was, what do I get my teenager for his/her birthday, Christmas, other occasion?

The parents wanted to make it good. They wanted something their child would really get a kick out of. But teenagers can turn sorta secretive, almost unknowable to their adult parents. What the parent thinks is the best thing since sliced bread might just get the big ho-hum, lightly plastered over with a wan smile and a dull "Thanks" from the teen.

We had some think tanks over this one, at lunch time, with all the women gathered round the big table in the cafeteria.

Me, I suggested music. Musical instruments. I played in a band in my wild youth, and one thing that stands out clearly from the general haze, I remembered how very much I loved my music as a teen. And it was a special thing--the adults didn't really know about. It was ours, not theirs, it was our own thing, and that made it really special.

I also knew, kids love electronics. They get along with almost any electronic device. There's hundreds of gamers out there, and most of them are under twenty. A lot of them are under ten! So electronic musical games or electronic musical instruments, if your teen is so inclined, would just be the cat's pyjamas. We hoped.

My friend Pam did research on line, snooped in on a couple of her daughter Beth's phone calls, and got her the BEST PRESENT IN THE WORLD! A real hit. The present that made family history.

She got her daughter an electronic guitar, with an amp, and it was a girly guitar, and IT HAD HER NAME ON IT!

It was the jazziest thing, the best thing. Her daughter LOVED IT! Pam said she couldn't wait until summer, when the guitar would be banned from the house to the garage. I went over there a few times and it was a gas. Bethy was whanging away on the thing, having the time of her life, and she had a few girlfriends over, who were doing sort of a karaoke thing. I'm glad her friends didn't have a real microphone, seriously. The floor of the living room was thrumming a bit. The girls were in the basement, and when we peeked in on them, they had the little amp cranked up and had the tunes going from the CD player in the basement and were dancing around all over the place with great big smiles on their faces. Beth, with her guitar, was definitely the star of the show.

My friend Pam and I fled the basement fairly quickly. The noise level was a bit too high for our older ears. Pam and I talked for a while, and she thanked me so much for that one little idea. Pam really did all the tracking down, and got the thing. I didn't do anything, really. But Pam shared with me deep feelings of how good it was to see her daughter so active, so involved in something, so much more outgoing and profoundly less depressed.

Yeah, I thought to myself, music can do that for you.

Teens also love electronic games. If you're having trouble choosing the right electronic game or toy for your teen, here's a few ideas:

Intell games:

  • Astrosmash
  • Space Armada
  • Space Battle

Xbox games:

  • Halo
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Star Wars
  • Dead or Alive
  • Gears of War

Nintendo Games:

  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Dragon Warrior
  • Street Fighter Turbo
  • Donkey Kong
  • Luigi's Mansion

Wii games:

  • Just Dance
  • Super Mario Galaxy

Game Boy Games:

  • Tetris
  • Pok√©mon
  • Super Mario Land
  • The Legend of Zelda

Sega Games:

  • Alladin
  • Mortal Kombat
  • altered BEast
  • Jurassic Park
  • Marvel Comix's X-men

Sony Play Station Games:

  • Gran Turismo
  • Final Fantasy
  • Tomb Raider
  • Final Fantasy
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
  • Wipeout

Cell Phone Games:

  • Tetris
  • Final Fantasy IV
  • Pocket God
  • Cut the Rope
  • Guitar Hero

Many of these games have been out for a while, and your teen may think they're already passe, or they may already have these games. It's hard to keep up: new games are born and old games die faster than we can change our underwear, it seems.

These games have the history of being the best-selling, the most popular choices, for your gaming teen. However, the real thing to do is simply ask your teen what game he/she would like! They'll tell you!! They want you to know, especially around Christmas time.

Whatever kind of electronic toy you choose for your teen, make sure it's suitable for your teen. Make sure you have the right equipment to go with it, if there are any perpherals required: otherwise you may end up spending a lot more than you originally intended to.

You may find you enjoy the electronic toy you got for your teen, even more than your teen does! Many of these games and toys are quite addicting.


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    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Priceangels, yes, the decorations are DYI, comes in a kit to personalize the guitar; you have many choices of decals and so forth.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      nice guitar ,Btw, made it by DIY ? this is the most beautiful guitar that i 'v ever seen .

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks again, my friend.

    • celeBritys4africA profile image


      8 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      One vote up!

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the great comment, CJ. I love the idea of promoting musical instruments for your young friends. Get them going on it--they'll thank you for the rest of your days!

    • cjcarter profile image


      8 years ago

      That's such a fun idea! I like to give presents that people can actually use and become involved in too, not just stuff that collects dust. Instruments are a great idea! I gave my roommate a piano book right before she started piano lessons, and her and her boyfriend loved it! Good article :)

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you, wholesaletoys. I'm glad you liked it anyway, even though it wasn't quite what you expected.

    • wholesaletoys profile image


      8 years ago from El Monte, California

      I thought you were going to talk about toy not guitars! Any I voted you and said your Hub is awesome.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for the comment. I hope he gets his guitar. I know he'd love it.

    • mpurcell10 profile image


      10 years ago from Arkansas

      Great hub.My son tells everyone he is getting a guitar for Christmas,we'll see.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      No problem, Duchess!!! Thank you.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 

      10 years ago

      Great idea Paradise. I'm sure you won't mind if I pass this one on to my friends who have teens? Music is the universal language. Bridges that generation gap once in a while too.

      Thank you.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks so much for the comment, Catherine! Wish I had one when I was thirteen--I loved your comment because I can just picture your little rocker. Tell him "ROCK ON!" from me!

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      10 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Loved this hub! Strangely I am listening to my Josh - he is the 10 year old belting out 'hitching a ride' - I think it is called. On his red electric guitar that he bought out of his own pocket money about a year ago and cannot put down. And it is only 8.30 in the morning - before school. So you are dead right about everything. My other two are classical musicians but Josh is a little rocker! He spends ages finding songs on You tube to play along to. So a great gift for any kid I agree.

    • Paradise7 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thank you for the comments Dohn, and Veronica Allen. Yes, I think it's really good to encourage kids to do music themselves. It's a good creative outlet and kids really get into it.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      10 years ago from Georgia

      This is a very cool idea. I love gifts that engender creativity and individuality in children. And since the teenage years are so tough, what a great way for them to use something like music as a positive outlet for their feelings.

    • dohn121 profile image


      10 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      My sister-in-law just bought an acoustic guitar for her daughter (my niece) who loves it. She told me she wants to be the next Hannah Montana--go figure. Her father can actually play the drums really well and can sing to boot. Musical talent definitely runs in my family.

      Thanks, Paradise. This is a great hub and a wonderful idea for the next musical geniuses living under our roofs ;)

      P.S. One more hub and you get your medal!


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