It is a familiar scenario. Your teenage granddaughter's birthday is coming up, and you can't for the life of you think of the right gift. So what do teen girls even like nowadays? Is it all about Billie Eilish and TikTok? What exactly is TikTok?
Navigating the world of Generation Z can feel like a minefield. These kids are gadget natives, climate change aware, and sustainability activists, too. Although some teenage tropes are timeless, it can often feel like you and your granddaughter grew up on different planets and have way more than a few decades between you.
Yes, teenage girls these days grew up in a world massively different from yours. But they are not so different. Like all teenagers from the beginning of time, they too are ruled by raging hormones and heightened emotions. They want to find themselves, and so they experiment with different styles. They want to fit in with their peers, so they read the same books and watch the same movies as their peers. They want to gain a little independence from their parents, so they decorate their rooms and whine about curfew on social media.
Your gift to your granddaughter does not have to be anything outlandish. Favourites like clothes, books, and makeup continue to be popular with modern-day teenagers. Buying a present for your granddaughter doesn't mean you have to break the bank, either. We have a great guide to help you save cash on your Christmas shopping, but it is widely applicable to gift shopping in general. If you want to splurge, here is another detailed guide to help you save up for luxury items.
Whatever your budget, all you need to do is make sure that your chosen gift is Gen Z proof. This handy guide provides 12 gift ideas to get you in the right mindset and help you pick out a present your granddaughter will love.
1. Knit her a hat
If you have a talent for knitting, this should be an obvious choice. You may think that your teen granddaughter won’t want to wear a hat you’ve knit. Nothing could be further from the truth. Teens these days love unique pieces and scour thrift and vintage shops for clothes that would have been considered outdated a few years ago. A one-of-a-kind hat is sure to be a show stopper.
Why not pick a colour she loves and knit her a fluffy hat that she can wear when it gets cold? A gift like this will be much more meaningful than anything you could buy in a shop, and she will likely think of you each time she puts it on.
2. Ethical Cosmetics
Your teen granddaughter probably loves experimenting with makeup. But she is also a Gen Z kid. She has grown up learning about climate change, veganism, and overpopulation. So if you want to impress her, pick out a brand that doesn't test on animals.
This lip gloss by e.l.f. is cruelty-free, vegan, and free of parabens. It costs just £6 per shade and is enriched with vitamin E and coconut oil. It also comes in a few different shades, including champagne glam, mocha twist, and sparkling rose. Pick out three or four shades for a personalised lip gloss set, and impress the teen in your life with high-quality and cruelty-free makeup.
3. Sustainable Makeup Brushes
Gifting your granddaughter a colour-popping, ethical lipgloss set is sure to be a winner. But if you know she already has plenty of makeup, you may want to think about getting her some brushes to help her apply it with precision. She will love having the right tools to try out new looks. And it will allow her to learn from the many makeup tutorials available through YouTube and TikTok.
This EcoTools Start the Day Beautifully Makeup Brush Set is vegan, cruelty-free, and packaged using 88% less plastic than similar products. At just under £13, it is a thoughtful, quality gift that won’t break the bank.
4. Skincare Products
Teenage girls can be very self-conscious about their appearance. And skin issues, like acne, are extremely common at that age. Although self-love should be encouraged, there is nothing wrong with teaching your granddaughter to take care of her skin. This can reduce imperfections and give her the confidence she needs.
Why not try this Bees of Britain face wash? Not only does it contain lavender oil, honey, and aloe vera, but it is also entirely natural and cruelty-free. Also, the brand hopes to 'save the bees' and donates 5% of all profits to help save bees and pollinators. Alternatively, you could try Burt's Bees Facial Cleanser if you are looking for a more well-known brand. It is also cruelty-free with natural ingredients containing cotton extract.
5. Treat the chocoholic in your life
What teen girl doesn’t love hot chocolate? It is a comforting drink to have before bed, it contains chocolate which is proven to raise your dopamine levels, and it is the perfect treat.
Splurge on this fancy Hotel Chocolat Velvetiser Hot Chocolate Machine, and you're sure to be the favourite grandparent. The machine is designed to create the perfect hot chocolate in under three minutes. The set comes with the award-winning Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate selection for barista-style hot chocolates in the comfort of your home.
If you want to give your granddaughter food or drinks, we have a detailed guide of scrumptious hampers to suit every taste and budget here.
6. Fairy lights
Teen girls are all about creating aesthetically pleasing spaces. They follow aesthetic TikTok accounts and want to recreate the look in their own bedrooms. Whether that’s cottagecore, indie, or grunge, they'll want the decor to create the perfect look. And fairy lights are a staple for most aesthetics. They illuminate their walls, beds, and furniture, and they can hang photos and mementoes off them. Fairy lights may not seem like it, but they are a desirable and practical item in your teen granddaughter's life.
These fairy string lights are the perfect starter kit for your granddaughter’s interior design aspirations.
Speaking of aesthetics, another popular gift for the teenager in your life is a succulent plant. Miniature succulents have been making the rounds on social media posts. They are a fantastic choice for busy young people looking for low-maintenance plants to spruce up their bedrooms.
But why not take it one step further and get your granddaughter this succulent grow kit? This kit contains everything they need to grow a succulent. Not only will your granddaughter get some lovely decor for her room, but she can give gardening a go as well.
8. Inspiring Literature
Teen girls nowadays can grow up to be anything they want. And it is so important to remind them of this every single day. If you want to gift the younger teen in your life something that she will truly appreciate, why not try Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls? The book highlights women with powerful stories who succeeded despite the odds. Touching on female politicians, trans-issues, and activists, this book will show your granddaughter that she too can be whoever she wants to be.
For the older teenager, try Women Don’t Owe You Pretty. It's another fantastic book teaching young women that they are worth so much more than their looks. As the older teen in your life starts dating, it is crucial for her to learn about boundaries and red flags. This book shares excellent perspectives on the topic. The content is mature and is therefore not recommended for younger teens.
If your teen granddaughter loves reading, her parents are probably at their wits’ end trying to support her reading habit and don’t know where to store her growing book collection anymore. Gift her a sturdy e-book reader like the Kindle and help save the overflowing bookshelf in her bedroom from crumbling under the weight of her books.
A Kindle will allow your granddaughter to buy and download any book she likes instantly. She will then be able to read it using the e-reader, which is designed to not put excess strain on her eyes.
Kindles come in various models and price brackets, but the mid-range Paperwhite is ideal for most users and is also waterproof, so your teen can take it to the beach too. Amazon is currently running an offer where you can purchase the Paperwhite with a three-month subscription to Kindle Unlimited. Kindle Unlimited is a bit like Netflix for books, where your granddaughter can download multiple books each month for a flat fee.
10. One Line a Day Journal
So much will change for your granddaughter during her teenage years. Objectively speaking, she will only be a teenager for six years. But in those six years, she will grow from a child to a young woman. With guidance, she will become strong, well-adjusted, and independent.
Gifting her a One Line A Day Journal when she turns 13 could help her chronicle this journey. The diary is simple to keep; she must commit to writing a sentence every day for the next five years. When she finishes, she can look back and see how different her life was five years ago on a specific date as each page of the diary keeps a five-year record of each date.
11. Scratch-out Travel Map
If your teenage granddaughter loves travelling, a scratch-out map could be a special present. This consists of a full-sized map that can be scratched out with a coin. When your granddaughter visits a specific country, she can scratch it out on her map and track her travelling progress.
This map sold on Amazon is excellent as it reveals each country's flag when it is scratched out.
12. Air Jordan 1
If you are looking for a classic yet trendy gift for your sports-loving granddaughter, then look no further than the Air Jordan 1. These shoes are all the rage among athletes now and have been called a classic that connects generations. Modelled for Michael Jordan himself, the shoes are incredibly high quality and popular among younger and older generations.
They are expensive, at around £200 for the women's model, but the hefty price tag offers unrivalled quality. These trainers continue to be a favourite almost three decades after the first Air Jordan shoes were released.
If your granddaughter loves sports or looking stylish, she will adore her new Air Jordans.