If you are like most people who are buying for your teenage boys, you are likely a bit stuck and not really sure what to get for them.
Add to that the difficulty of buying for their friends or your teen boy relatives and it can be really, really hard to know what in the world to buy!
Don’t worry! After weeks of intensive research and a lot of time talking with teen boys I know, including my son, I have come up with the perfect selection of inexpensive gifts for teenage boys.
Bonus: they are all unplugged gift ideas.
If you are in a hurry, here are out top 3 picks.
There are a LOT more choices below but I know sometimes people just want to grab and go.
And . . . even better, I now have over 50 items to choose from. After I did all that research, I narrowed things down (while still leaving you plenty of items to choose from!) and included only the VERY BEST GIFT IDEAS below!
Trust me, this is the list you need.
NOTE: I update this post often to make sure that we are offering you a list of current items that are popular with teens.
Finding gifts for teen boys can be a challenge. They are getting older and may not be as interested in some of the toys they played with earlier.
All of these selections are inexpensive gifts for teenage boys.
When I wrote this all of the teen boy gift ideas were listed for under $20.00 each!
Some actually starting as low as $3.50! If you like a bargain as much as I do, you know that is a super price.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small amount, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. All opinions are my own and I share things I think would be of interest to you and your family.
Inexpensive Gifts for Teenage Boys
You can do this! Scroll through this list, click on the things that you think will appeal to your teen and go read more about them.
I know you are going to find the perfect gift and a few extras as well.
For LEGO (and you knew I would be mentioning LEGO, right?!)
Please see our Ultimate LEGO Gift Guide for additional suggestions.
If you are looking for another building toy that is similar to LEGO take a look at Nanoblock.
There is a wide selection of subjects available from vehicles, to buildings, to animals and much more.
Board Games and Card Games
Forbidden Desert and Forbidden Island are two great games to try for those who like the survival theme choose your theme survive in the desert or become an explorer on an island.
Either choice is great and fun for the whole family.Dragonwood is a 2015 Mensa Select Game that will get them thinking strategy. Gobblins, Orcs, and fire-breathing dragons abound and you have to collect adventure cards to earn your dice.
Forbidden DesertForbidden IslandDragonwood Dice & Daring
Here are three wonderful card games to select from.
Unstable Unicorns is a hit here with everyone who has played it so far. Build a unicorn army and be ready to betray your friends (lol) 2019 People’s Choice award for toy of the year. A super fun fast-paced strategy game! (Grab expansion packs here)
All of the Fluxx games are fun. I grabbed the zombie version because I know sooo many teen boys are into zombies but you can totally pick another such as Pirate Flux , Star Flux (space,) or even Mavel Comics Flux. You can easily find the one that is perfect for you teen boy. Go here to see them all.
Loot is, a plundering game, which of course is no surprise since the theme is pirates. Will they rule the high seas or succumb to skullduggery?
Star Wars Origami, Animal Origami for the Enthusiast or Paper Inventions are wonderful for a teen boy who likes to create things with their hands.
Star Wars Origami: 36 Amazing Paper-folding Projects from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…. Incredibly fun projects with specialty paper!Make: Paper Inventions: Machines that Move, Drawings that Light Up, and Wearables and Structures You Can Cut, Fold, and RollAnimal Origami for the Enthusiast: Step-by-Step Instructions in Over 900 Diagrams/25 Original Models (Dover Origami Papercraft)
Slip this in for your mathematically inclined boy: The Moscow Puzzles: 359 Mathematical Recreations, it is inexpensive and highly recommended.
The Mazes by Dave Phillips are the BEST. We have quite a few of his (ok, we have a lot of them!) and they are all very high quality, challenging, maze books that my son has thoroughly enjoyed.
Monster MazesThe Moscow PuzzlesWizards and Dragons Mazes
We are always on the lookout for more of these awesome logic puzzle games and like to keep them scattered about.
I had to remove my favorite choice from this list because the price went up over $20.00. Bummer! If you still want to see it you can find it here: It does go below $20 sometimes so perhaps you can catch it at a good price.
If your boy likes adventure and logic puzzles, Temple Trap is a winner. We have one that is very similar to this and it is a good one.
Parking Puzzles! This logic game has a fun twist as it is 3-D. If you have a boy who is dreaming of driving or one who just started, or even one who loves his car, this is the choice for you.
With rotating, circular pieces you need to navigate your spaceship safely around the asteroids to your home port. This one is on our list as a possible next purchase!
Temple TrapParking PuzzlerAsteroid Escape
Kanoodle Extreme has over 300 puzzles included! I really like that it features three different types of puzzles, 2D, 3D and sliding 2D. If you are just starting with Kanoodle, you may want to grab the first game. Then if they like it you can get the rest in the series!
Fit twisted pieces onto the board. Sounds easy, right? Well, IQ Twist can be quite the challenge which is what these guys need.
For the ultimate folding challenge, you have to get Foldology. I just found this and love it. Not only do you have some really cool images on the origami but you also have to figure out how to get the images to show as a whole picture. This one will get them thinking for sure. Starts with beginner levels and moves up.
Books with Hands-on Projects
For the science-minded, hands-on kid who likes to, ahem, blow things up this book is a must! Super popular among boys.
Grab some basic office supplies that are laying around the house and pair them with this book and your boy will be able to build mini siege weapons.
Launders, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer starts out with simple projects and moves on to super cool, more advanced projects including rockets and a very slick bows and slingshots. Let him see what projects he will want to make. There are 20 to choose from. The instructions have great images included so he won’t have trouble making things in the book!
For more books for teen boys, see: Thrilling Book Series for Teen Boys and Maker Books!
You Were the Chosen One is a hit with Star Wars fans because it is packed with awesome Star Wars characters. Grab this puzzlle and you will have one happy teen boy. 2000 pieces.
Tolkien fan? Then his Lord of the Rings puzzle is certainly the right choice. Let their minds travel to Middle Earth while they enjoy it. 1000 pieces.
How about one with awesome comic book style! This collage puzzle is absolutely perfect for super hero fans. Every piece is unique and no two are repeated. 1000 pieces.
And here are a few more puzzle selections you may want to check out.
For some nighttime fun try these!
Playing a sport at night is something teen boys seem to really enjoy. Perfect for athletic boys and their friends.
If they like frisbee you have to get this. These discs are crazy good! They fly far and are durable. Great ratings on Amazon!
The football is smaller in size so it is easy to grab and throw. It looks like they are wearing gloves like these for more glow fun.
And a glow ball. Super for tossing around and doing tricks, this one is great for boys. It is 8 inches so it is portable and they can take it on the go for when they are hanging out with friends.
A few more sports gifts under $20.00 include:
This paddle ball game has shuttlecocks made of real feathers. They can use the slow or fast ones depending on the game style they want to try. Anything paddle is always fun. Grab a couple of sets if you want more the 2 people to be able to play at once. The carrying bag is hand for storage or on the go.
I found Ring Swing Game and thought it looked fun. It is!! You can hook it up outside or in and then get your aim on by trying to get the ring hanging on the string onto the hook. Challenging but no so much so that it makes it annoying. Great to play with family. You can keep score if you like or just have a great time. Believe me there will be laughter and groans. This is a DIY kit with instructions for setup.
I was pleasantly surprised at the inexpensive price of this washer toss game. It is high quality for not a lot of money. I love that it folds up so you can use it at the park or in the backyard. Who will get the bullseye first?!
Wooden Building Kits
This desktop size Miniature Ballista Kit can fire up to 30 feet! It is a fun kit to put together. It does require some patience as it is likely best to glue the pieces together in order for it to be more sturdy and ready for battle.
Another wooden Medieval weapon kit is the catapult. The suggestions for the kit above apply here too. Glue and wait before trying it.
Miniature Ballista Kit – Wooden Desktop Warfare BallistaPathfinders Medieval Catapult Wooden Kit
Here are three more good wooden model choices. They can leave them natural or paint them.
Potter fans will love making this 3D Hogwarts Crest. No glue required!
Cool mechanical robot models will appeal to sci fi fans and others who are into robots or liked Transformers as a kid.
Most of the time you are not going to go wrong with Star Wars! This X-wing fighter is a great choice and come with a cool book as well.
These small metal models are a challenge and best suited for teens.
You should have no problem choosing one that he will like as there are a lot of options available. You can check the selection on Amazon but be sure to also see the ones here for even more choices, as well as for new releases and to browse by topic.
There are more metal earth models at this neat online store I found. They have a huge selection like the ones pictured below and many more.
If your boy still fidgets a bit, forget the spinners (although if you really want one this is our top choice) and grab one of these more grown-up fidget devices.
You have a choice of infinity cubes, advanced fidget cubes, the magic fidget orbs which are not only a fidget but a puzzle as well, and the ever popular, twisted snakes.
Another interesting choice that I thought I would mention is a balisong. It is a practice butterfly knife kids use to do tricks. The blade is dull so you don’t get hurt by it. I got one for my son after he saw some people doing tricks with them on YouTube. It can serve as both a “toy” and a fidget. See more choices here.
For the specific items below click on the item.
Puzzle Mazes and Boxes
Try a money puzzle maze box!
TIP: You do not have to put money in them. You can put a gift certificate, a note saying you will take them somewhere or other things as well. Of course, if you are giving cash (which teen boys always like,) this makes for a very fun way to give it and get it.
Our favorites are:
The blue block brain teaser maze where you can slip an item in from the top. It is so much more than a little maze.
The flat maze is nice if you want them to see what is in there (otherwise you could wrap it or flip it upside down) It is sized to fit a gift card perfectly.
The wooden “good luck” box, which is great for graduations and special occasions as well. You slide your gift in on the side – they have to figure out how to open it.
The mosaic (oh my but I love the look of this one!) box is an 11 step secret puzzle box. If you have a smart boy – this is the one for you!!
Money Puzzle BoxMoney Puzzle Maze
Here are a few more gift ideas to consider. I like them because they can try these out to see if they enjoy it and if so, then you can get them a subscription if they do.
If they teen you are buying for is always listening to music, why not try Amazon Music Unlimited. He will rock out & groove to the latest music and he doesn’t have to pay for each song or album which is a big money saver. For under $20 you can get a 1 month free trial and then add 2 months for a total a 3 months. (pst . . . at the time I wrote this they upped the free trial to 3 months so you can get 5 months for under 20 bucks – what a steal!!)
If he is a reader or likes podcasts, give a sub to Audible. At the time I wrote this they were offering a 30 day free trial and then $7.95 a month. So for $15.90 you get 3 months. Pretty slick deal. I know a lot of boys who would rather listen to books while they are doing something else than sit an read. A gift that educates and entertains!
The boys I know really like all of these choices! I hope your teen enjoys them as well.
Finding inexpensive gifts for teenage boys that they are actually going to like isn’t that hard now that you have a list to go by.
Do check out our other gift guides for boys of all ages for more choices.
Gift Guide for Boys has a variety of lists to choose from.
Oh and you may also want to take a look at Electronics Gifts for Teen Boys as well.