35 Best Gifts for Teens and College Kids (2021)

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to send a college care package or surprise your teen with a small but thoughtful gift. Sending one of these presents is a way to show your older kids that you love them like crazy this February 14…and every day.

For more ideas, Take a look at the Grown and Flown Amazon Shop for our curated list of cute gifts you can find there – all price points and ideas for guys, girls, and anyone on your gift list.

Note: We are a reader-supported site and receive compensation from purchases made through some of the links in this post.

Valentine’s Day gifts for teens and college students

1. Hot Chocolate on a Stick 

These look so delicious that we might order some for our teens AND some for us, too.  Swirl them into hot milk for the perfect cold-weather drink! hot chocolate on a stick

2. Lokai Bracelets

We think these simple bead bracelets are lovely and when we read about the founder’s story and saw how many bracelets he created to honor and contribute to worthy charities, we are even more excited to feature them on this Valentine’s Day gift list. Check out the new collegiate collection!

Use code word GROWNANDFLOWN on checkout for a 20% discount as we are Ambassadors.

lokai collegiate

3. Cookies By Design Cookie Bouquet

Take a look at the wide range of Valentine’s selections offered by Cookies by Design. Not only do they bake, ice, and decorate the oversized sugar cookies daily, but they also offer baskets of cookies that include chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, red velvet and more. Cookies are a great gift for your student to share with roommates and hall mates. Valentine's cookies

4. Hugabox Valentine’s Day Care Package

We love the care packages from Hugabox not only for the contents, but also for the cause that the founder supports.  90% of all proceeds are donated to childhood cancer research. 

Hugabox Valentine's Day care package

5. Fan Gear 

March Madness begins on March 14 with Selection Sunday, so send new fan gear for their favorite team from Fanatics, the best place to shop for officially-licensed NCAA merchandise.

fan gear

6. Retro Suitcase Record Player 

Victrola offers the Journey suitcase record player, a very cute and well-priced retro player that is a perfect gift for your son or daughter who has discovered the pleasure of listening to music on vinyl.  Your teen can wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device.

Victrola record player

7. Sorel Winter Carnival Boots

New boots will keep your teens feeling cozy all season long. We like The Sorel Winter Carnival for a stylish option with a great name to boot. You can conveniently order a pair from Zappos. Who wouldn’t love to dream of going to a winter carnival in them?

Sorrel boots

8. Kendra Scott New Valentine’s Day Gift Collection

We think any of these beautiful inspired-by-Cupid pieces would make perfect Valentine’s Day gifts. There are gorgeous earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings that your daughter would love to wear year round. 

Kendra Scott heart jewelry

9. Herschel Wallet 

A slim wallet/card case is a popular option for guys and this one, the Oscar, has a zippered main compartment with external slots for ID and cards. For an extra surprise, slip a few dollars or gift card inside.

Oscar wallet For more ideas from Herschel,  discover the Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Valentine's Day gift guide

10. Lip Balm

Lip balm is especially nice for teens who are in school in cold and dry climates. Jack Black is a favorites brand that is marketed for guys but we think the lip balms are amazing for everyone. jack black

11. A New Top

It’s a nice treat having something new to wear and the recently-launched apparel line at Allbirds has some of the softest tops and sweaters for guys and girls. Allbirds sweater

12. Notes to Self

These socks have built-in messages of encouragement for guys and girls. Buy them with or without this pretty heart packaging.

Valentine's Day socks

13. FTD for Flowers, Edible Gifts, and More

For over 100 years, FTD has delivered fresh flowers through their extensive network that now numbers over 30,000 floral shops in more than 125 countries.  If you want to send flowers or a plant for Valentine’s Day, look no further. But did you know that you can also order Godiva Chocolates, Mrs. Fields Cookies, these yummy Belgium chocolate-dipped Oreo cookies and many more gifts from FTD?

chocolate covered Oreos

14. Pink or Red Nail Polish

Essie is our go-to brand for nail polish and any of these colors would be cute for Valentine’s Day.

pink nail polish

15. Godiva Chocolates

Need we say more? These chocolates from Godiva would be a wonderful gift for your teen, college student or anyone on your list….


16. Help for Dry Hair 

This time of year can be brutal for your daughter’s hair and indie beauty brand, The Mane Club, has inexpensive and portable hair masks that will do the trick to quickly moisturize and restore. “Cry Baby” is one of their most popular ones.

cry baby hair mask

17. Truffle Kit 

Do your teens love to bake? Ask them to share with you when they’ve finished a batch of these delicious-looking chocolate truffles.

chocolate truffles

18. Heart Shaped Hoop Earrings

Hoop earrings are very trendy and would look great on any girl.

19. Heart Shaped Waffle Maker

This diminutive waffle maker can make waffles, hashed browns, and paninis. It is compact, lightweight, and easy to use.

20. 100 Movies Scratch Off Poster

Movie lovers would enjoy scratching off each movie as they see them.  It is very fun and unique.

movie scratch off poster

21. Hoya Heart Plant

is your son or daughter a plant-lover or do you have a teen who wants an easy living thing to take care of? This plant is for them.  Comes with a single plant or a double.

22. Essential Oil Diffuser Bracelet

This is a unique gift for anyone who loves essential oils. She can add a few drops of her favorite oil to the bracelet for aroma therapy on the go.

23. Bath Bombs Gift Set

Bath bombs are a perfect way to destress and relax.

24. Heart Shaped Throw Pillow

This throw pillow is adorable and a cute addition to any bed or couch.

25. Heart Fuzzy Socks

Fuzzy socks are very popular; these are so cute and the perfect simple gift for any girl.

26. Heart Shaped Pasta

Edible and adorable, this is an awesome gift for any pasta lover.

27. Fresh Cut Roses Candle

This candle smells like roses and is perfect for Valentines Day. (Note: most dorm rooms do not allow candles so this is best for teens living at home or in an apartment.)

28. Valentines Day Face Masks

These face masks are cute and reusable and something our teens need every day.

29. Heart Stress Balls

These smiley stress balls would make a good gift for any teen or college student.

30. The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small

For life after the pandemic, here are 1000 adventures for teens and young adults.

31. Ceramic Heart Shaped Dinner Plate

This is a great gift for any college student. It is Dishwasher/Microwave/Freezer/Oven Safe.

32. Subscription Box

Subscription boxes from Cratejoy are available for guys and girls with themes that match all interests.  The selection is amazing!  Here are the most popular subscription boxes from 2020 which is a great place to shop for anyone on your Valentine’s Day list.

Thera box

33. Alumni Association

Is your college student looking ahead a few short months toward graduation? One of the longest-lasting perks of being a college graduate is becoming a member of a college or university alumni association. Spring for a membership and let them begin to take advantage of privileges that can include discounts, career support and networking.

34. Baked Goods

Your teen would love to get their favorite cookies or cupcakes with enough to share with roommates or hall mates. NOTHING reminds them of home as much as their favorite treats, with lots of love from home baked into every bite.

35.Made With Love Chuck Taylor All Star

Celebrate love today and every day with lovingly detailed Chucks.

You Might Also Want to Read:

Valentines Day Gift Guide: 20 Sweet Treats Under $25

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Men

Looking for more Valentine’s Day ideas? Check out our Grown and Flown Amazon Shop for our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 

About Grown and Flown

Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa (Endlich) Heffernan are the co-founders of Grown and Flown the #1 site for parents of teens, college students and young adults, reaching millions of parents every month. They are writers (Lisa is a New York Times bestselling author), moms, wives and friends. They started the Grown and Flown Parents Facebook Group and are co-authors of Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults (Flatiron Books) now in paperback.

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