It’s easy to buy fluffy birds in eggs for the young kids in your family and a nice bottle of wine for the adults, but one tricky age group seems impossible to shop for: pre-teens and teenagers. To help you navigate how to stuff stockings and check the tweens and teens off your gifting lists, we’ve consulted with some expert middle and early high schoolers to get their 2016 picks.
Here, 11 gifts that young adults actually want:
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Indoor soccer disk
Go beyond the go-to sports gear by getting something that works indoors. This soccer ball has built-in protection and hovers across the floor for ideal kicking practice. It’s like air hockey for your feet.
The Wet Brush
A hairbrush may seem uninteresting, but this one is all the rage because its gentle bristles painlessly plow through tangled, wet hair. Bonus: it comes in just about any color and pattern you could imagine.
Thick yoga headbands
Yoga pants were so last year’s stocking stuffers. 2016 is all about the yoga headband. Any athlete with long hair could use about a dozen of these stylish hairpieces.
If you’ve seen a tween any time in the past few months, chances are you’ve also seen one of these bracelets. They’re supposed to be all about “balance” — the black bead allegedly contains mud from the Dead Sea and the white bead is filled with water from Mt. Everest — but skip the symbolism, and they’re really just the latest must-have trend.
A hot & cold water bottle
S’well water bottles are gracing just about every classroom this year: They keep cold water cool and hot water hot for hours, and come in plenty of designs so you can select creatively for the teen in your life.
The ultimate means of expressing oneself just got a little more comfortable. These emoji pillows let you cuddle with your favorite emotion, and Walmart’s version even has a speaker inside so you can listen to music because there’s nothing emojis can’t do.
An ugly Christmas sweater
“Ugly” Christmas apparel isn’t just for “adult” theme parties. According to our experts, teens are holding onto the tacky trend just as much as older millennials, so we suggest a punny sweater big enough to last until next Christmas.
A mermaid tail blanket
It may just look like a glorified sleeping bag, but the mermaid tail blanket holds a lot of weight with the comfort-obsessed Gen Z. And they’re not just limited to little mermaids: Older teens can’t get their hands off of these, either.
A portable charger
Snapchat is great for a lot of things, but battery life isn’t one of them. We suggest getting a colorful portable charger for the student who doesn’t have time between school and sports practice to plug in.
A new backpack
This trendy design bag made with lasting material is the one gift you can guarantee they’ll use frequently.
A Polaroid camera
This one may qualify for the “one big gift” category, but it’s worth the investment. Not only will your teen score a couple coolness points, but they’ll also get a crash course in “throwback” photography.