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Great Gift Ideas for a 16 Year Old Boy

Updated on November 20, 2012

Are you Christmas shopping for a 16 year old boy? I am! Finding great gifts for the 16 year old boy can be a bit of a challenge.

There are some pretty standard options out there when you think about gifts for 16 year old boys, but some are more expensive than others. If a car is on the list, I'm not much help. My 16 year old son would love a car, but he's actually saving for a truck, and I'm not in a position to deprive him of that experience anyway! We'll let him save! As for other options, much depends on your relationship with the teenager in question. Much depends on your budget. There are some common themes that most teenagers will appreciate: laptop, iPad, iPod! But getting past the expensive tech stuff, what are some great things for your teenager that won't break the bank?

Based on my son's talents and learning style, I'm apt to find hands on activities, tools and products that will appeal. If he were more of an auditory kid, I'd aim for sound related gifts. In many cases, I'll look for a combination of manual and visual components or manual and auditory options. Following are some of the avenues I've explored.

Musical Instruments for a 16 year old Boy: Cajon

Is your son an auditory learner? If he is, then a cajon (sit-on drum) is great for giving him a combination of tactile and auditory experiences in this gift.

Meinl Percussion Cajon with Internal Metal Strings for Adjustable Snare Effect-NOT Made in China-American White Ash with MDF Body, 2-Year Warranty, (HCAJ1AWA)
Meinl Percussion Cajon with Internal Metal Strings for Adjustable Snare Effect-NOT Made in China-American White Ash with MDF Body, 2-Year Warranty, (HCAJ1AWA)

A sit-on drum, the cajon isn't a difficult instrument to deal with, but it provides a great way for the kid with a sense of rhythm to express himself. If your teenager isn't involved in music, this is an unintimidating way to give him some exposure. The quality is great, the design simple. If he takes to it, you can think about upgrading to a full drum set at a point in the future. Save your sanity for now!


Musical Instrument Gifts

If your son is the kind of kid who will teach himself a new skill, and if he loves sound, then there are some great musical instrument options besides the cajon! This is a great time for guitar or harmonica. Keyboards and karaoke are also good. Not to mention DJ type equipment. Give him something to invest his time in outside of the hyper electronic world.

Archery Equipment for the Hands On Teen

Escalade Sports Bear Archery Bullseye Bow, Right Hand
Escalade Sports Bear Archery Bullseye Bow, Right Hand

My son loved getting a bow and arrow set, more mature than the little kid sets in the toy department, of course! It's a great tool for learning hand-ey e coordination, though there should be some supervision if you have other children.


Sophisticated Woodburning Equipment for a Teenage Boy

Dremel 1550 T2 Versa Tip Multipurpose Tool  Kit
Dremel 1550 T2 Versa Tip Multipurpose Tool Kit

My son started at 12 years old in woodburning with a kids' set. He's since invested in a pricey set with fine tips. If your son is artistic and likes to draw, give him the chance to translate that into a unique crafting medium. This set isn't an advanced one, but it's a good intermediate option so that you can evaluate his interest.


Juggling and Goofing off Gifts for a 16 year old boy...

Duncan Juggling Clubs
Duncan Juggling Clubs

My son is very tactile...he has taught himself to juggle, and he's constantly putting my fruits and vegetables to work in his act. His latest effort is to solve a Rubik's cube while juggling it. Yes, really. He's got a sense of humor. My cousin was a lot like that, and he earns a living as a fireman now. Save your fruits and vegetable from a bunch of bruises and get him some meant for juggling items!



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