This collection of Valentine gifts for teens is made up of super-simple ways to tell your teen or tween, “I care.” We could all use a little extra love this time of year, right?!?
There once was a time when we had had stacks of picture books about love, when our windows were covered in brightly painted coffee-filter hearts, and when DIY felt decorations hung from our ceiling. We’d make pink heart pancakes with strawberry syrup to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
As kids get older, their interest in holiday traditions seems to fade.
Holidays are hard for teens because they don’t quite know who they’re supposed to be. They’ve got one foot in childhood and the other in adulthood. Their instinct is to banish all childish things, but I believe deep down, they still long for past traditions that have brought them joy.
Here are seven simple gifts for teens that don’t require you to invest too much time, because to be truthful, your kiddo might scoff at the silliness of the ideas below. That being said, I wholeheartedly believe that even if dismissed with a scoff… deep down these gestures of love will make them smile on the inside, even if they’ve got a grimace on the outside.
A quick disclaimer, I’ve got two daughter’s so the gifts below have been tested and have been tried-and-true with my teen girls. I believe all the gifts ideas below will work for boys too; you might need to give them a slight spin though! You know your kiddo best, take the base idea and run with it.
7 Super Simple Gifts For Teens on Valentine’s Day
Here are a couple of simple ways to show you care this Valentine’s Day.
1. The best Valentine presents for teens are edible — Start their day with a little bit of love.
Wake-up 15-minutes early and whip together a batch of heart-shaped pancakes. It doesn’t matter if they’re from scratch or a pre-made mix. What matters is that you’re taking the time to make them. If your kiddo is going to fuss that they don’t have time to eat them, add mini-chocolate chips to the batter so they can eat them on the go syrup-free!
2. When thinking of Valentine gifts for her, consider a weekend movie date.
Children spell love T-I-M-E (even teens!). Set aside time on Valentine’s Day or give your teen a coupon for a movie date the weekend following the holiday. We missed out in seeing A Star is Born at the theater, so I am giving my girls a coupon for a movie date after the release date this month.
Not sure what to watch? Here’s a list of the best teen movies on Netflix right now. A heads-up, if your teen is not interested in rom-coms, my daughter’s also loved the StarWars movie Solo. It is streaming on Netflix right now too!
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3. Sweets for the sweet — Taking popcorn to the next level with this Valentine’s Day Recipe.
This sweet treat is sure to strike a bit of affection in your teen’s heart. Whether you make it for your movie night or as just a sweet afterschool snack, your kiddos are sure to love this recipe. The best part? This Valentine dessert is SUPER easy to make.
Quick note: The original version of this recipe calls for air-popped popcorn, but we prefer store-bought popcorn for the recipe!
4. Coffee is always a good idea — Don’t forget this ever so important thing though.
Give your kiddo a gift card to a local coffee shop and schedule a coffee (or cocoa, or tea, or smoothie) date with them. Be sure to leave yourself a large gap of time, so there is no rush.
Here’s the secret to good conversation — bring a deck of cards. Teens can be slow to chat; playing cards gives you something to do with your hands AND it gives your kiddo time to warm up and get the conversation flowing. I recommend a simple card game like War, Crazy Eights, or King’s Corner.
5. Presents for girls can be tough — give them your PRESENCE instead.
Instead of buying a gift for your daughter, give her your full presence. For example, my teen loves baking and this week when she gets home from school; she’ll find a batch of heart-shaped cutout cookies ready for icing in the kitchen. If I don’t have time to make shortbread cookies from scratch, I won’t hesitate to get pre-made sugar cookie dough at the store this week instead. My daughter loves being in the kitchen with music playing, working on cookies, and chit-chatting.
Want to try this too? Here are some great tutorials on how to ROCK royal icing and Valentine cookies.
6. Think quality over quantity when looking for cool gifts for teens — A tiny trio of perfection!
We have a boutique candy shop in our small town that sells fantastic chocolate truffles. Skip the cheap and cliche heart-shaped box of chocolate and do something a bit more minimalistic. Valentine’s Day is traditionally for couples, a friendly little trio of high-quality chocolates says “love you” without crossing the line of it being a replacement for a romantic gesture.
7. The best gift for girls — Heartfelt truths.
Don’t be afraid to go old-school this Valentine’s Day. Make your daughter a fortune teller and fill it with heartfelt truths, compliments, and expressions of love. Cannot remember how to create one of these vintage cuties? Get visual instructions here.
BONUS GIFT IDEA FOR TEENS: Say “you matter to me” by hugging your teen properly on Valentine’s Day.
There are proven health benefits to hugging; according to research at DePauw University, oxytocin released during a hug promotes the feelings of trust and devotion. But do you hold your hugs long enough to enjoy the perks? To fully release the oxytocin in your body and the person you are hugging, the hug needs to be at least 6 seconds. In fact, the longer the better; a super-long 20-second hug will maximize the benefits!
If you know your teen will utterly reject the touchy-feely nature of a traditional hug, give her a small bag of Hershey’s Hugs with a little note instead. You can find a ton of adorable mason jar gift ideas that revolve around Hugs chocolates, but I’m pretty sure your teen will smile at a simple Ziploc bag of chocolate too. (Even if they refuse to show YOU that smile!)
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Valentine’s Day!
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