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The big 16 is an important birthday celebration all over the world - and you may just find yourself struggling with birthday present ideas to make it extra special for the occasion.
Teen birthday gifts are notoriously tricky, but finding gifts for a sweet 16 can be even trickier. Just a year shy from being able to learn to drive, and two from becoming a legal adult - the celebration may not be as monumental as in other countries, but that doesn't mean you can't make it awesome with some fantastic 16th birthday presents.
The 16th birthday is a day that most teenagers probably really look forward to, and what better way to celebrate the milestone than with a thoughtful present that they'll cherish for years to come. Whether you're planning on throwing a celebration at home with the family or a gathering with friends (COVID-allowing), aside from the cake, decorations, and loved ones - a special gift is a great way to show your love.
With teenage trends ever-changing, you want to make sure that you pick up something that's both popular, and won't just be used once and forgotten. With that in mind, we've rounded up 10 of the top 16th birthday gift ideas for both boys and girls, from personalised gifts to accessories, to electronics and room décor - there's something for everyone.
Our Top Choice
Instax Link Smartphone Printer
Available in a choice of either a white, dark denim or dusty pink colour - this clever portable smartphone printer allows users to print instant photos from their smartphone or from their Instagram and Facebook pages. In just 12 seconds, you'll have your chosen print in hand - high-quality and clear. Working via a BlueTooth connection, you'll have access to more than 25 design templates and various editing options such as collages, party prints, and more - a great way to keep fun memories alive and plenty of fun to be had with family and friends. You can even get creative and add writing and stickers digitally before printing - and admire your 54 x 86mm masterpiece. The printer comes with a rechargeable battery, a USB charging cable, and is completely wireless to use with your smartphone. The only downside is that the Instax Mini Film has to be purchased separately - but it's well worth it and is sure to be loved!
- Price: £89
- 3 colour options
- Prints 54 x 86mm photos
Best 16th Birthday Gift For Music-Lovers
Apple AirPods Pro With Wireless Charging Case
Apple AirPods have been wildly popular since their release, and this Pro version is sure to delight your 16-year-old when they unwrap it. The stylish wireless earphones are of excellent quality and feature both an active noise cancellation and a transparency mode to either block out the sounds around you or to hear what's going on whilst you're listening to your favourite songs. They're light-weight, customised to fit in the ears comfortably, and are also water and sweat-resistant. The Airpods Pro come with their own small wireless charging case (providing over 24 hours of battery life) and are very easy to set up - Bluetooth enabled to connect with any device. They also have a built-in microphone to chat with friends when connected and are very fast-charging. The set also comes with three different sized silicone ear tips, a lightning to USB-C cable, and a 1-year warranty so you can purchase with ease. A gift sure to make a Sweet Sixteen that bit sweeter!
- Price: £239
- 3 sizes of silicone ear tips
- 24 hours + battery life
Best Sweet 16 Gift Ideas For Girls
Pandora Moments Heart Clasp Snake Chain Bracelet
Whether you're looking for sweet 16 gifts for daughters, nieces, friends, or anyone else special to you - this Pandora chain bracelet will make for the perfect 16th birthday gift. Available in various sizes and with either a silver, gold or rose gold heart clasp - it will suit the taste of anyone and is a great way to show your love. The long-lasting sterling silver bracelet is sure to be cherished for years to come and looks great on its own as a gift or you can take it to the next level with charms that they can collect over the years. Pandora also sells specialised charms such as a 16th birthday one, so you may want to take a look at those too or suggest it to a relative!
- Price: £55
- Compatible with charms
- Made with sterling silver
Best 16th Birthday Gift For On The Go
Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack
A backpack that we're sure you've seen out and about by now, this Fjallraven Kanken bag is a must-have for teens and young adults, and sure to be loved by your 16-year-old. One of our favourite birthday gifts for teens of all tastes, the backpack we've chosen comes in a sky blue colour that's great for both boys and girls but is also available in a wide range of other colours on the site. Not only is the bag stylish and right on-trend, but it's sure to last for years and fit everything that a teen could possibly need. The Scandinavian design dates all the way back to 1978, is strong, sturdy, and made to last through any conditions. It has a handy zip-top, two pockets on the side, a top handle, two adjustable shoulder straps, and an extra zip pouch at the front. It also features the iconic reflective logo badge on the front of the bag, sure to be recognised by your loved one!
- Price: £72
- Suitable only for spot cleaning
- Made with Vinylon-F
Best Gift Ideas For An At-Home-Concert
JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Available in a variety of colours, these wireless JBL portable Bluetooth speakers create an impressive sound that is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use - and any weather condition seeing as it's waterproof. It can be stood up vertically or horizontally and has a great rechargeable battery of up to 12 hours from one charge so you can listen non-stop to your favourite songs. It's a fantastic gift for music-lovers and one that will be used for years to come, even when they move out of home. It also comes with a power adaptor and charging cable, and is small enough that it can be taken anywhere with you!
- Price: £89
- 12-hour battery life
- 18.1 x 6.9 x 7.4cm
Best Laptop For 16th Birthday Gifts
Lenovo IdeaPad Duet Chromebook
This 2-in-1 laptop and tablet Chromebook not only has a sleek and stylish design suited to older teens but has everything they could possibly need. It can be used not just for school but for leisure and will last them for years to come. Whether you want to use it as a laptop or a tablet, it can be transformed with a quick detaching of the keyboard and boots up in just 8 seconds - instantly ready to use. It also runs on the Chrome OS operating system, updates automatically, and has protection for viruses. With Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint already installed and ready to use - your teen can download any apps or games that they would like from the Google Play Store. With a 10-hour battery life, it's also convenient to take with them on to go, and small enough that it can be easily carried around. The perfect sweet 16 birthday gift!
- Price: £299.99
- Display Size: 10.1-inch
- Storage: 64GB
- RAM: 4GB
Best 16th Birthday Gift For Fashionable Teens
Nike Air Force 1 '07
A classic white pair of trainers never go out of style, and these Nike Air Force 1s are super trendy right now for both boys and girls. Made with high-quality full-grain leather, the shoes are available in a range of sizes, are lightweight, and great for all-day use. They're cushioned for comfort and have a low-cut design that looks so stylish. Sure to match every outfit, these trainers are a great 16th birthday gift that is sure to be appreciated!
- Price: £84.95
- Rubber sole
- Made with white full-grain leather
Best 16th Birthday Gift For The Bedroom
Personalised Neon Any Name Sign -Not On The Highstreet
If you're looking for personalised gifts, this is the one for you. Teens tend to spend a lot of time in their bedrooms, and this neon name sign is sure to brighten it up. You'll be able to enter their name when checking out and have it delivered as either a white, pink, red, green, or blue neon sign to be mounted to the wall, leant against something - or placed wherever they want it to go. The handmade signs look great in low-lighting, and the personalisation adds an extra special touch to their birthday gift that they're sure to cherish!
- Price: £85
- Constant Glow / Strobe Effect
- Made with acrylic, a foam PVC mountboard, and EL neon wire
Best 16th Birthday Gift For Gamers
Nintendo Switch Console
Whether it's 16th birthday gifts ideas for girls or boys that you're after - this Nintendo Switch will be a great surprise and is fun for all ages. The neon red and blue console can be taken everywhere with you and played with a variety of games, connected to the TV at home or played on the go with its 6.2-inch screen. The battery will last you anywhere between 4.5 and 9 hours depending on the game, and it also comes with a console, a dock, 2 joy-con controllers, a grip, straps, an adapter, an HDMI cable, and a 1-year guarantee.
- Price: £279.99
- Use anywhere
- Up to 9-hour battery life
Best Birthday Gift For Young Drivers
30 Minute Young Driver Experience - Virgin Experience Days
Get them prepared for the big 17 with this 30-minute driving experience lesson alongside a government-approved instructor. They'll be able to learn how to start a car, drive, deal with corners, junctions, roundabouts, brake, change gears, and even reverse park. They'll also be able to experience the latest Vauxhall Corsa SRi and increase their confidence and skills whilst having fun. The family can even stay and watch! The experience is valid for 9 months after issue, and they'll receive a personalised Drive Diary with a record of their progress at the end of it. An adult over 18 must also be present.
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for sweet 16th birthday gifts then why not take a look at more like our Best Disney Gifts, or our Best Marvel Gifts?
- Price: £39.99
- 30-minute lesson
Rachel grew up in Switzerland and currently lives in north-west London. She is an avid reader, writer, and a real foodie and loves discovering new hotspots and trendy places to go in the city. She also enjoys planning days out for her family, she especially loves taking her little cousins swimming and to the park. When she has some free time she loves going to concerts, baking, or visiting her family at their home in Essex. She can sometimes be found travelling a bit further than Essex and loves meticulously planning and researching a trip before heading off to explore new places in Europe and further afield.