image of an agility ladder

Best Gifts for a 13 Year Old Boy in 2018

by Amy A. Sylvestre |

If you have a thirteen-year-old boy in your life, finding the perfect gift for holidays or birthdays can prove challenging. In our research, we have taken polls of parents who have chosen amazing and loved gifts for the teens in their lives. From their suggestions, and from our own research and ideas, we have selected what we have found to be the best gifts for a 13 year old boy.

Here we share a list of cool gifts that your thirteen-year-old boy will love to open no matter the occasion. Whether your teen boy is interested in sports, group games, shooting, music, technology, or architecture, there will certainly be something on our list that will delight your pre-teen or teen boy.

Top 10 Gift Ideas for 13 Year-Old Boys Why It’s Awesome Mom Rating
The Dangerous Book for Boys Affordable; appeals to every kid; encourages creativity; educational ♥♥♥♥

Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster

Encourages focus and concentration, as well as active play; solo play or group play ♥♥♥♥♥
Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Bundle Complete starter set; encourages creativity; trusted brand ♥♥♥♥♥
Bluetooth Wireless/ Wired Headphones Inexpensive; stylish; encourages love for music ♥♥♥♥
U.S. Marine Corps Two Airsoft Pistols with Target Kit Can be used indoors or outdoors; improves concentration and control; portable ♥♥♥♥
Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker Perfect for music lovers; portable; high quality ♥♥♥♥
LEGO Architecture Studio 21050 Building Blocks Set Encourages creativity; versatile; quality brand ♥♥♥
Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera Easy-to-learn; durable; fast ♥♥♥♥♥
Nintendo Switch Portable; several ways to play; trusted brand ♥♥♥♥♥
Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa Reasonably affordable; ability to game or read; trusted brand ♥♥♥♥♥

25 Gifts 13 Year Old Boys Will Love

1. Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster

Image of the Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster

This gift for a thirteen-year-old boy will not disappoint. The Nerf N-Strike Elite HyperFire Blaster can fire up to five darts per second. With the blaster, your teenager will also receive twenty-five Elite darts, the twenty-five dart drum, and an instruction manual. It does require Four D Batteries that are not included in the purchase. You may want to include those in your gift so that your teen can enjoy hours of the Blaster right away.

2. The Dangerous Book for Boys

Image of the The Dangerous Book for Boys

This book … I actually can’t say enough good things about The Dangerous Book for Boys.  I got our own copy down from the bookcase and flipped through it myself and it’s truly amazing the number of activities and amount of information that’s packed into this thing!  This is a book that boys can read for themselves and try activities solo or (better yet) do with Dad, Grandpa or whoever else wants to try super cool stuff.

Why Should You Get It?

It has everything in it from how to build a treehouse, tie basic knots and make a go-cart to learning about cloud formations, the fifty states and (gulp!) GIRLS.  I’m a big believer in limiting screen time, getting kids outside and encouraging their creative juices to flow and this book absolutely fits the bill.  The reviews were fantastic, plus, at this price it is just about most affordable gift on this entire list … booyah!

Why Should You Pass?

Boys that aren’t really into reading may have the equivalent reaction of Ralphie and Randy in A Christmas Story when they open their socks … “Meh.”  It just might not be edgy enough for today’s 13 year-old boy … some teens could potentially get bored if they’re used to video games.  To make this gift even more appealing, I highly suggest reading page one, which has a list of 11 items (including basics like a compass, a small flashlight, fishhooks, etc.), considered essential gear.

3. Bluetooth Wireless/ Wired Headphones

Image of the Bluetooth Wireless/ Wired Headphones Foldable Ajustable Lightweight Headset with Mic,Stereo Sound,Noise Reduction Cancelling, For Phones Computer For Kid/Boy/Girl/Teen/Family-Blue

Most every teen loves anything to do with technology. These high-quality headphones are not your average headphones. They offer noise reduction for clear listening quality and a mic for hands-free calling. Your teen can choose to use Bluetooth to connect these headphones or he can choose to use the wired audio line. These unique speakers use 3D HD stereo sound technology that is powered by a professional brass amplifier chip. Your teen will appreciate that they are lightweight, compact, and foldable for easy transport. You can recharge the battery for four to six hours of active use. To achieve a full charge, you will need to charge the headphones for around two to three hours.
These headphones are great for traveling and are compatible with almost all Bluetooth devices. As the gift giver, you can rest easy with the three-month money-back guarantee in addition to the twelve-month warranty. They are also very reasonably priced. These headphones are made with a comfortable, stretchable ear band to be sure that it will not fall off from being too loose or hurt your head or ears from being too tight. This is a great buy for your thirteen-year-old boy!

4. Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Bundle

Image of the Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Bundle with Gig Bag, Tuner, Strings, Strap, Picks, and Austin Bazaar Instructional DVD

Is your teen interested in learning an instrument?  The Fender FA-100 Acoustic Guitar Bundle could be the way to go to encourage both loving AND making music.

Pros

  • Bundle comes with everything needed to learn how to play, including a digital tuner, picks, strap, bag and an instructional DVD.
  • Fender is a trusted brand when it comes to guitars, for the entire set, you get a nice beginner guitar set without investing a ton of money.

Cons

  • The price can be a pro OR a con … it is still high.
  • Not intended for a left-hand oriented player.
  • If your teen runs on the small side, this guitar could be a skosh big.

5. Reason to Be Happy I Paused My Game to be Here T-Shirt

Image of the I Paused My Game to be Here T-Shirt

Your teen can make a statement with a new fun t-shirt designed with a thirteen-year-old in mind. Reason to Be Happy makes many quirky, fun, and sarcastic t-shirts that will likely appeal to your teens. This one, in particular, is perfect for teens with a sense of humor who love computer or video games. It is a lightweight t-shirt with a classic fit. You can choose either them in either navy or black. It is suggested to machine wash it on cold. I think this best gift for a 13 year old boy will give everyone a good laugh.

6. Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has been around as a company since the 1800s, with their first game console coming out in 1980.  Fast forward to 2018 and the company is still hugely relevant, their latest success being the Nintendo Switch.  I’ve always preferred Nintendo systems to others, mostly because I love the innocent fun of Mario games and the way those games retain their value for years to come.

Pros

  • Immense versatility of play:  on your TV or tablet computer (with different configurations of the controllers), separate as its own handheld device or wireless against other players across the world.
  • Family-friendly favorites are back, such as new Mario Kart, Super Mario and Zelda games.
  • Portable … this can be played in the car on a road trip, in a hotel, at home or anywhere else as long as you’re charged and ready to go!

Cons

  • This is the most expensive gift on the list and it’s a huge investment, maybe better as a family gift instead of for an individual.
  • Unlike with earlier consoles, there are NO games included with the Switch and with games at $50 or more a pop (and each additional Joy-Con adding to the price), this is an additional hefty investment.

7. Akai Professional MPK MKII | 25-Key USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller

Image of the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key Ultra-Portable USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller with Joystick, VIP Software Download Included

What the heck is a MIDI? you ask.  Well, it’s a Musical Instrument Digital Interface and it’s considered music’s most powerful tool, capable of editing existing music and changing up tempo, pitch, etc.  So if you have a teen who wants to create his own beats and mix his own music, I would recommend the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII | 25-Key USB MIDI Drum Pad & Keyboard Controller.

Pros

  • It’s portable and could easily fit in a laptop bag with your computer, which is important because you need the computer to create your music.
  • As a great beginner MIDI, it’s reasonably affordable.

Cons

  • The most common complaint was the difficulty of software installation and device registration.
  • A lot of users also strongly cautioned future buyers that there is a learning curve, but once mastered, the device is easy to use.
  • MUST be used with a computer (where you keep music files) … this is how the music and beats are mixed.

8. Kindle Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa

Image of the Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa, 8

If you want versatility in a tablet (without the jaw-dropping price tag or bulky size), I highly recommend the Fire HD 8 Tablet with Alexa.

Pros

  • Capabilities include:  Alexa, reading Kindle eBooks, watching videos and movies, listening to music, playing games and using apps (such as Netflix and Facebook, among others).  (Perk:  Prime members have access to tons of songs, movies, shows and books.)
  • Expandable memory up to 256GB.
  • Reasonably affordable for the 16GB version (also comes in 32GB version and in red, yellow and blue).  However, if you want a cheaper option the Fire 7 Tablet with Alexa, 7″ Display, 8 GB, Black – with Special Offers is even less, though it has only 8GB of memory.

Cons

  • Most one-star reviews complained of sporadic problems with the device itself or customer service agents able to speak fluent English.

9. ArmoGear Infrared Laser Tag Guns and Vests

Image of the Infrared Laser Tag Guns and Vests - Laser Battle Mega Pack Set of 4 - Infrared 0.9mW

To get friends together to go play laser tag can be great fun for teens. This authentic laser tag game set brings the game home. The advanced ArmoGear laser tag gun set can easily turn your home or backyard into a laser tag arena for four teams. This laser tag set comes with real target vests, invisible mode, night vision flashlight, and voice-guided directions. Your teen can choose powers between pistol, shotgun, rocket, or machine gun.

Whether your teen has friends over or the whole family joins in, this gift will certainly provide hours of active fun. Your teen’s imagination can go wild as they create indoor or outdoor fun. This could be a great birthday party real action activity. These laser tag guns are safe, top-quality, and durable. Also, a full money back guarantee covers your purchase. Keep in mind that the set of four guns and vests requires a total of twenty-four AAA batteries that are not included in your purchase. 

10. QCopter Quadcopter Drone with Camera Live Video

Image of the Quadcopter Drone with Camera Live Video, Drones FPV 1080P HD WIFI Camera with Remote Control, FREE Extra Battery and Quadcopters Crash Replacement Kit with LED lights, Easy Use for Beginners Kids GRN

Is your teen interested in flying or in filming? This drone might just be the perfect gift for your thirteen-year-old. The intuitive controls are great for beginners and teens.  Using your smartphone as the controller, you can view your footage in real time. The stabilization system makes it simple for shooting footage from the sky from a unique vantage point.

Your teen is certainly going to grow in many skills as they learn and enjoy aerial photography. This drone is equipped with a high definition wifi camera that allows you to zoom and crop photos and videos easily. With your purchase, you will receive a crash replacement kit so you can do a quick repair without needing to order new supplies. The included battery is unique as it offers around thirty minutes of flight time compared to other drones that offer under eight minutes of flying time to enjoy. Also, a spare battery is included to extend your fun, flying, and filming. It is certainly one of the best gifts for a 13 year old boy.

11. LEGO Architecture Studio 21050 Building Blocks Set

Image of the LEGO Architecture Studio 21050 Building Blocks Set

LEGO … the nightmare of every foot, but the stuff of fantasies for lots of little (and big!) boys.  While there are tons of LEGO sets to choose from, my top choice (and splurge) is the LEGO Architecture Studio 21050 Building Blocks Set.

Pros

  • With over 1,200 pieces and a 272-page guidebook inspired by leading architects, your teen will have everything he needs to build and create multiple structures instead of just one design.
  • Includes sorting trays.
  • Compatible with all other LEGO sets.

Cons

  • This gift would definitely be a splurge.
  • All bricks are white … you want some color, go with a different set.

12. Profect Sports Pro Agility Ladder and Cones

Image of the Pro Agility Ladder and Cones - 15 ft Fixed-Rung Speed Ladder with 12 Disc Cones for Soccer, Football, Sports Training - Includes Heavy Duty Carry Bag, 4 Metal Stakes, 2 Agility Drills eBooks (Blue)

This ultimate agility training set just might be the perfect gift for your teen athlete.  It includes a fifteen-foot agility speed ladder, four metal ground anchors, twelve disc cones, one equipment bag. You will also receive access to two bonus ebooks called, “Speed and Agility Ladder and Cone Drills.” This set is durable and built to last.

Your teen can grow in speed, strength, fitness, endurance, and footwork. Whether your thirteen-year-old boy enjoys soccer, basketball, track, hockey, tennis, baseball, or football, this athletic set is a great gift! Plus, your purchase is backed by a one hundred percent money-back guarantee. Whether for active training for your young athlete or for active fun as a family, this could be a great gift for your teenage boy.

13. Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera

Image of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera w/12x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilization - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)

If your teen is showing interest in photography, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera is a highly recommended starter camera.

Pros

  • Built-in Wi-fi and NFC (Near Field Communication), which will allows easy sharing and transferring of pictures and videos.
  • 12x optical zoom, 20.2 megapixels, 1080p HD video quality and Optical Image Stabilizer guarantee the highest quality pictures and videos.
  • Also comes in blue and silver.

Cons

  • This is another item on the list that’s a splurge gift.
  • Does NOT come with any accessories.

 

14. U.S. Marine Corps Two Airsoft Pistols with Target Kit

Image of the U.S. Marine Corps, 2 Airsoft Pistols, with Target Kit

This is a great gift option for a thirteen-year-old boy who is interested in growing in target shooting. Adult supervision is definitely required. The airgun is easy to use and the kit comes with two airsoft pistols, a twelve-inch sticky target, and two packages totaling one thousand airsoft bbs.

The sticky target is helpful as it catches the included bb’s so that they can be reused for target practice again and again. These pistols are spring powered and the magazine clip holds twelve airsoft bbs. An included instruction book offers six different games for target practice.  This product set cannot be shipped to the state of New York. Be sure that your mature teen enjoys this gift alongside a responsible adult. Different types of protective gear are also required for safe use.

15. Lulu Jr. My Comic Book – Create Your Own Comic

Some teens like to draw and some LOVE to draw … with Lulu Jr. My Comic Book – Create Your Own Comic he can not only create a comic, but get it professionally printed!

Pros

  • Comes with ready-to-use pages, pencil and artist eraser, outline pen, markers, a guidebook on how to start and create your own comic book and a postage-paid envelope with instructions to send in the finished comic for publication.  (Note:  You also have the option to create the comic online.)
  • Reasonably affordable.

Cons

  • Conflicting reviews on whether or not the option for publication expires (predominantly positive that there is NO expiration for sending in the completed work).
  • Some parents felt the guidebook directions were confusing, but the reviews didn’t state the age of their child.

16. LEGO Architecture New York City 21028 Skyline Collection

Image of the LEGO Architecture New York City 21028, Skyline Collection, Building Blocks

By the time your child turns into a teenager, he has probably already found a love for building and creating with Legos. This particular architectural building set is a favorite at our house because it is New York City! The set is an incredibly detailed version of the New York City Skyline plus the Statue of Liberty. It includes a total of five hundred and ninety-eight pieces that are all compatible with all LEGO construction sets.

Your thirteen-year-old will learn the different features of many famous buildings including the triangle shaped building called the Flatiron Building, the Chrysler Building, the new One World Trade Center, and the most famous, the Empire State Building.

An included collective book provides additional information about the architecture, history, and design of each building in the Manhattan skyline. The New York City Skyline measures ten inches high, nine inches wide, and one inch deep. This great gift will surely give your teen boy a great deal of fun and develop his imagination all while exposing him to one of the best cities in the world.

17. X Games FS-20 BMX/Freestyle Bicycle

Image of the X Games FS-20 BMX/Freestyle Bicycle, 20-Inch, Black Red

My husband took my son to see the Nitro Circus tour when it was in our city and both came home giddy with excitement.  Mountain bikes are great for serious cyclists, but the X Games FS-20 BMX/Freestyle Bicycle would be perfect for that teen who’s itching to try tricks on his own street.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble (one reviewer was a teen who assembled it by himself!).
  • Sturdy and durable frame and wheels with strong, grippy tires, along with front AND rear hand brakes.
  • The price is great for the quality of the bike and much less expensive than most mountain bikes.

Cons

  • If your teen isn’t into all the tricks and shenanigans, this bike might be a little small and a mountain bike might be a better choice.
  • Again, cost could be a pro OR a con …

18. Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker

Image of the Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth speaker - Black

This Bose Bluetooth speaker will be a hit with your teen boy who loves music, movies, or gaming! Many times phones, tablets, and computers lack the crisp sound and volume desired by your teen. It is a rugged waterproof speaker that is great for indoor or outdoor use. It is durable, portable, and great for the beach, camping, or at home use.

You can choose a speaker that is either black, midnight blue, or bright orange depending on your teen’s preference. It lasts up to six hours with active use and the battery is easily rechargeable. Your teenager can even make or take calls out loud with their smartphone. At the time of your purchase, you can choose to buy the case, car charger, or wall charger. In fact, you might even be tempted to use this speaker for yourself!

19. Kan-Jam Ultimate Disc Game

Image of the Kan-Jam Ultimate Disc Game

Kan-Jam is where Cornhole and Ultimate Frisbee had a child, essentially.  Tailgating, birthdays, cookouts … there isn’t a bad time to play.

Pros

  • Durable, yet lightweight, and easy to transport.
  • Easy to learn.
  • Affordable and also comes in USA Edition and Glow-in-the-Dark Edition.

Con

  • The only negative reviews were about the lights malfunctioning in the Glow-in-the-Dark version, so most customers recommended going with the original or USA Edition.

20. Digital Waterproof Sports Watch with LED Screen

Image of the Men's Digital Sports Watch LED Screen Large Face Military Watches and Waterproof Casual Luminous Stopwatch Alarm Simple Army Watch - Black

Every boy needs a watch (I know my husband feels naked without one) and with as active as most 13 year-old boys are these days, they need something to last, which I why I picked this Digital Waterproof Sports Watch with LED Screen.

Pros

  • Durable, shock-resistant and easy-to-read digital face with LED backlight (also includes stopwatch feature).
  • Waterproof at up to 164 ft (50 m).
  • The most affordable gift on this list.

Con

  • Of the few negative reviews I read, a few claimed the watch broke in the same spot repeatedly, even after being sent a replacement.  Another complained that with daily wear, the face gets scratched easily.

21. Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera

Some may say the drone market is oversaturated, but most guys love sophisticated tech gear.  With the Holy Stone F181C RC Quadcopter Drone with HD Camera, you have the bells and whistles without the astronomical price.

Pros

  • Built-in 720p HD camera, one-key return to call it home if it gets lost, four speeds, LED lights for night flying and Altitude Hold Function (which keeps your drone at its current height when releasing the throttle stick).
  • Fast, durable and easy-to-learn.
  • For the price you get a quality product with Holy Stone receiving outstanding customer service reviews.

Cons

  • With a flight time of only five to seven minutes, it may not seem like it’s worth the 40-80 minute wait to charge the batteries.
  • Quality of the pictures was okay outdoors, but grainy at best indoors.

22. Trends UK Haynes Build Your Own V8 Engine

Image of the Trends UK Haynes Build Your Own V8 Engine

Got a gearhead on your hands?  With the Trends UK Haynes Build Your Own V8 Engine, your car-crazy teen can work on a model of a real V8 engine.

Pros

  • Includes over 250 parts and, once completed, the motorized model simulates a real V8 engine with ignition and engine sounds and light-up spark plugs.
  • Easy-to-follow instructions.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Complaints included inadequate or missing parts and poor customer service on finding a solution.
  • Can disassemble and reassemble, but not recommended due to stripping of plastic from the screw holes … so once it’s done, it’s pretty much done.

23. Estes 1491 Taser Rocket Launch Set

Image of the Estes 1491 Taser Rocket Launch Set

Have any of y’all watched October Sky?  Rockets and space are just flat-out cool and to be able to build and launch your own is pretty amazing. My husband grew up launching model rockets and has gotten our oldest son interested, so the Estes 1491 Taser Rocket Launch Set was his top recommendation.

Pros

  • You get to build, use and re-use your rocket and launch set over and over again.
  • You can try out different engines to experiment reaching different heights.
  • Affordable

Cons

24. Catan

Let’s forget digital gaming and get down to some old-school roots with a board game, Game of the Century winner, Catan.

Pros

  • No two games are ever the same and you have the option to buy expansion packs to make the world of Catan bigger.
  • Made for three to four players, but, along the same lines as expanding Catan itself, you can expand your game to accommodate up to six players.
  • Easy to learn and encourages strategic thinking … great for a teen who loves puzzles.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • If you really get into this game, it can end up being a huge investment to expand it … I counted up all the packs and you could spend an additional $200 if you buy everything.
  • You need to settle in for awhile to play … most reviews claim it takes a minimum of an hour or two to play.

25. Amazon.com eGift Cards

Image of the Amazon eGift Card

After polling parents of teens on the best gift for a 13 year old boy, the most repeated answer we received was that teens love gift cards. When you offer a gift card to your new teenager, you are acknowledging a bit of his growing independence and allowing him to step out into the world to make a choice for himself.

It is a great opportunity for your thirteen-year-old to choose something he really wants while staying on budget. The gift card will only allow a purchase with the selected prepaid amount.  I can imagine your new teen’s face lighting up as he opens his gift card and begins to dream about what he might choose for himself. This is definitely one of the best gifts for a 13 year old boy.

Final Word- Which is the Best Gift for a 13 Year Old Boy?

Depending on who you ask (or the cultural context), 13 is either considered lucky and joyful or unlucky and a bad omen.  When you’re talking about teenage boys … well, it’s kinda the same thing.  While I myself have yet to experience the joys of raising teenagers (as I cross myself and send a prayer up to Jesus), my husband was once a 13 year-old boy and still has the sense of humor of one (which he willingly admits), so he was my go-to on some of my research.

At 13, all kids (boys and girls alike) are really starting to try to figure out who they are and what they like and I definitely want to keep that into consideration.  After all, not all kids are into music or sports or art.  My older brother was a proud “band geek” (his words, not mine), my husband played sports, I never went anywhere without a book … you get the idea.

So there were a lot of products and it was a lot of info to take in, but my bottom line will always be this:  buy to fit your teen AND your budget.  You know what the best fit will be better than anyone. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with a nerf gun, a competitive game, or speakers or headphones of some kind. Still not sure? Grab that Amazon gift card! It definitely won’t get you a sock reaction.

Related
Amy A. Sylvestre
Amy is a writer, mom, and southerner living in the suburbs of Chicago. She has also worked for several large non-profit organizations. Amy is married to her hunky pilot husband, and they have two sons, Graham and Hudson. Graham is a hilarious, talkative, four and half year old. After a strong fight with congenital heart disease, Hudson passed away at eight months old. Amy is also in the process of growing her family through adoption.

Comments 1

  1. Great list! Thanks for sharing this with us. I have a 12 years old and he will be turning 13 y/o in the next two months. This is useful to me. I just came across an article about the educational gift ideas for kids.

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