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Let's face it: 13-year-old girls are notoriously difficult to shop for. They have new tastes and preferences, want to be seen as grown-up and mature, and put a lot of stock in the opinion of their peers. If you are looking for the perfect gift to celebrate a 13-year-old girl, there are tons of options out there that'll suit her style.
While you shop, use the recommended ages as a guideline and make sure that your gift is age-appropriate. Also, gifts that have educational value can help her learn a new skill or find a new passion, two things that will keep her interested and engaged.
Here, the best gifts for a 13-year-old girl.
Best Overall: Kendra Scott Elisa Birthstone Pendant Necklace
Welcome your teenager to a new era of her life with a piece of jewelry she’ll treasure forever. The Elisa Birthstone Pendant Necklace is a delicate and beautiful birthstone necklace that strikes a balance between grown-up style and a youthful accessory. The actual necklace chain is made from 14k plated gold with a portrait-shaped pendant that holds the birthstone. It measures 15 ½ inches long and sits just at the collarbone.
If you're hesitant about buying your teenager a more expensive piece of jewelry, this necklace is the perfect compromise. It rings in around $50, but it looks much more expensive than it actually is and will make a statement anytime it’s worn. If you’re searching for an extra special gift that can be personalized, you can’t go wrong with the Kendra Scott Elisa Birthstone Pendant Necklace.
Best Sneakers: Vans Old Skool Core Classics
The Vans Old Skool Core Classics are perfect for teenagers who want something cool and comfortable, and they're versatile enough to transition from the classroom to weekend excursions with friends. These canvas shoes feature a padded collar and footbed for superior comfort and shock absorption. They come in five different colors so you can let her choose her favorite color or surprise her with something new. They run true-to-size, but go up half a size for a looser fit. Keep in mind that they don’t provide as much arch support as a traditional athletic shoe, but they’re definitely comfortable enough to wear throughout the day.
Best Backpack: Fjällräven Kånken Mini Classic Backpack
If you happen to walk through a middle school hallway anytime soon, you’re likely to spot a handful of Fjällräven backpacks. These trendy backpacks are on the top of every teen’s gift list and they’re a great choice if your 13-year-old is in need of a new backpack.
We love the Fjällräven Kånken Mini because it’s compact, sturdy, and stylish. The backpack measures 11 x 8.25 inches wide and is small enough to go from the classroom to the mall without feeling cumbersome. It comes in a plethora of fun colors and features the brand’s trademark fox logo on the outside pocket. It has a side zipper for a water bottle and a front pocket for extra storage, and the adjustable padded shoulders ensure a comfortable fit.
Owners say that though the Fjällräven Kånken Mini backpack is a bit pricier than other options, it’s worth the investment: it will easily last for years. Plus, its stylish and streamlined design make it the perfect alternative to a purse. Note, it’s much smaller than your typical backpack, so if your 13-year-old carries a lot of books, it may be too small.
Best Musical: KAILUA 4 String Soprano Ukulele
If your teenager is itching to stretch her musical muscles, she’ll love this Kailua 4-String Soprano Ukulele. Crafted from mahogany, this soprano ukulele measures 7.1 x 2.4 x 20.1 inches and weighs just over 2 pounds. It features nylon strings and pearl-coated tuners and comes with a black nylon carrying case for easy travel. Custom etching around the sound hole and the neck give the Kailua a vintage vibe perfect for both nights at the beach and music class.
The Kailua ukulele is a fan favorite. Players say it’s lightweight and comfortable to play, and they particularly like the included carrying case for on-the-go performances. If you’re hunting for a creative gift for an aspiring musician, she’ll love this cool little instrument.
Best Wall Art: Mixtiles Framed Moveable Wall Art
Thirteen is the year of best friends, sleepovers, and memories that will last forever. But these days, every image lives only on a phone or a computer. Instead of worrying that your child’s favorite pictures will disappear during that next inevitable phone crash, surprise her with Mixtiles. These adorable prints allow you to turn any photo into affordable wall art that can be moved around at the drop of a hat. Each tile is 8 x 8 inches and sticks directly to your wall, so you don’t have to worry about nail damage. They can be moved around over and over, so they’re perfect for helping your indecisive 13-year-old decorate her room.
Print out pictures of your teenager’s BFFs or her favorite pup...either way, she’ll love seeing her pictures the old-fashioned way: printed out. Help her create her very own gallery wall or print just a couple to place above a desk or vanity.
Best Phone Accessory: PopSockets Collapsible Grip & Stand
If your teenager doesn’t already own a PopSocket for her phone, now’s the time. It’s almost a teenage requirement to have an endless supply of fun PopSockets. This collapsible, circular phone accessory sticks to the back of a smartphone and allows for easy grip during those endless text sessions. It also acts as a stand, but most importantly helps to prevent accidental phone drops. The Blue Nebula design has a fun, galaxy-inspired print, but it comes in a wide variety of designs and colors. It weighs just about .5 ounces and collapses flat against any phone.
A PopSocket makes watching YouTube videos and texting friends a little easier and reduces hand strain. Whether you pair a PopSocket with a new phone or you gift it alone, your 13-year-old will love this handy cell phone accessory.
Best Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
Now that your 13-year-old is firmly a teenager, we’re sure there will be endless school dances, first dates, sleepovers, and mall outings that she’ll want to remember. Help her create lasting memories with a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera. This compact camera instantly prints out Polaroid-style prints small enough to fit in your pocket. Each print measures 2.4 x 1.8 inches and is perfect for hanging on mirrors or inside lockers. Despite its small size this polaroid features an automatic exposure, a LED flash, and a close-up lens adapter. It comes in five bright colors and is small enough to toss in a backpack or purse.
If you have no idea what to get your 13-year-old this year, we’re sure she’ll love the Fujifilm Instax. This adorable compact camera is perfect for documenting every exciting moment in her life.
Best DIY: Carine Fabius Natural Henna Temporary Tattoo Freestyle Kit
When you’re a teenager nothing is more fun than experimenting with beauty products with your best friends. We love this Natural Henna Temporary Tattoo Freestyle Kit because it’s a unique gift that lets your 13-year-old explore her creative side. This kit helps create temporary henna body art tattoos that last up to ten days. It comes with enough henna to create 20-30 designs, plus stencils and an applicator bottle to create endless looks. Mix one ounce of henna powder to create a paste, and apply all over for a temporary and fun activity that’s perfect for birthday parties and sleepovers.
Reviewers say this henna is easy to apply and lasts about a week. It’s all natural and safe, and the included stencils are perfect if you don't want to freestyle it.
What to Look For in Gifts For 13-Year Old Girls
Fashionista 13-year-old girls can be difficult to please, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Look at the latest trends and fashion statements to make sure that your clothing or accessory gift is age-appropriate. You can also incorporate your new teen in picking out the color or style.
While considering age appropriateness, also look beyond the expected makeup and fashion activities. Chuck English, Virginia STEM Coordinator at the Science Museum of Virginia, cautions that sticking only to these types of gifts may be limiting. “We need to open it up so that people don’t feel like this is for my gender only,” he says. Following your teen’s unique interests is the best way to go.
If you haven’t already talked about online safety with your 13-year-old girl, now is the time. Gifting her with a fun tech accessory is a great way to bring up the conversation and make sure that she knows what to do if she ever feels unsafe, either online or in person.
No matter what interests your 13-year-old girl has, there’s a gift to help her develop that talent. If she’s musical, consider a new instrument for her to learn. For the creative kids, decor or tech to allow her to express herself are perfect. Anything that helps her learn a new skill or further develop an interest she already has is perfect.
What do you get a 13-year-old girl for Christmas?
Some 13-year-old girls are into sports, others love ballet, reading, baking, science, photography, or music. Look for a gift that will validate her interests and help her enjoy her hobbies. When buying fashion or beauty-related gifts, keep in mind that the birthday girl’s taste and trends can change overnight, so when in doubt, don’t try to be a mind reader and ask her what she wants.
What can you do for a 13-year-old girl’s birthday?
Some 13-year-olds like to celebrate their big day with a party that includes the whole class, a theme, and lots of fanfare. Others might prefer a quiet dinner with the family or a few close friends. Becoming a teenager is an emotional process and birthdays can trigger a lot of feelings, so involving the birthday girl in planning the birthday celebration is a good way to make sure she’s celebrating the way that feels good to her.
What do teenage girls want for Christmas?
It depends on the girl. Teenage girls want to be seen and appreciated for who they are, so look for gifts that help them celebrate their individual interests and preferences. Since teens tend to spend a lot of time in their rooms when at home, offering her accessories and decor to make it more inviting are always welcome, from a new set of sheets to a cozy throw blanket for her bed to LED mood lighting, scented candles or an essential oil diffuser, or an inspiring framed photograph or map of the world for the wall.