Best Gifts For Teens Who Love To Tinker and Create

Do you have a teen who loves to tinker? Are they always pulling things apart? Building and creating? Perhaps they are a budding engineer? Here are gift ideas for teens who love to tinker!

Gifts For Teens Who Love To Tinker

Unique Gifts For Teens Who Love To Tinker. From aspiring blacksmiths to artists to engineers, a curated list of gifts for teens who make, create and tinker.

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As the holidays draw near I’ve realized that my son is no longer interested in toys. He’s past the age where a day at the toy store could finish off my shopping list. I’ve spent many hours curating a list of unique and special gift ideas for teens that love to tinker, make and create. From aspiring blacksmiths to artists to engineers. I have a little something for everyone.

I’ve organized this by interest, but I find I personally am picking from many of the areas. With teens their interests are vast and it is important that we foster those curiosities and passions. You never know where a simply gift might take a person in their life.

With that, here are some of our gift ideas for teens who love to tinker!


This year we discovered a company called MEL Science and ever since then we have been obsessed! As a science loving family their subscription programs are everything we love about self directed learning and passion projects.

The best part is that this program is perfect for teens who want to dive into sciences and learn in a hands on way. Remember those amazing chemistry sets we used to get when we were kids? This is like that, but so much better! It even includes a VR component and the opportunity to attend live sessions with their scientists.

We have been using their MEL Science program for about a year now and love it. It is perfect for teens. They also have a brand new Physics program that looks INCREDIBLE and the MEL Kids program for younger kids who love to build.

We highly recommend MEL Science, MEL Kids and MEL Physics!

MEL Science

Electrical Engineering

We are big fans of Creation Crate. It’s a fantastic subscription box program that teaches circuits and coding by working with breadboards, jumper wires, resisters and more. The best part is that each box builds on the knowledge taught in the previous box. My tween loves doing these boxes with my help, but teens and adults would find this box program a wonderful challenge they can do themselves. Creation Crate now has a variety of programs including the original, 2.0, Creation Crate Jr. and Girls that Make. They have something for everyone!

Creation Crate

Another program I’m really excited about is littleBits. They have some amazing build kits and they are getting great reviews. We have our first kit, and are having an absolute blast with it and can’t wait to add even more to our collection. We also really enjoy Snap Circuits and Squishy Circuits.

littleBits Base Inventor KitlittleBits Star Wars Droid Inventor KitlittleBits Rule Your Room KitlittleBits Electronic Music Inventor Kit - Build, Customize, & Play Your Own Educational & Fun High-Tech Instruments!Avengers Hero Inventor Kit - Kids 8+ Build & Customize Electronic Super Hero GearlittleBits Space Rover Inventor Kit-Build and Control a Space Rover tech Toy with Hours of NASA-Inspired Missions!Squishy Circuits Deluxe KitSnap Circuits Extreme SC-750 Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 750 Projects | Full Color Project Manual | 80+ Snap Circuits Parts | STEM Educational Toy For Kids 8+


Blacksmith and Metal Artist

For the aspiring blacksmith and Forged in Fire fan, this series of books is an essential library for all blacksmiths. As blacksmiths ourselves we hear constantly from parents of tween and teens that their kids are all about blacksmithing and dream about being on the hit show Forged in Fire. Stoke those dreams with these books, and let’s keep these ancient arts alive!

The Home Blacksmith: Tools, Techniques, and 40 Practical Projects for the Blacksmith HobbyistThe Backyard BlacksmithThe Art of BlacksmithingThe Complete Modern Blacksmith


For even more ideas and suggestions for kids that love blacksmithing check out this article So You Want To Be A Blacksmith.

Another, very teen friendly, activity for metal lovers and aspiring metal artists, is to try metal stamping. It’s all the metal fun without the fire. We’ve chatted here about metal stamping from making hand stamped gifts to creating tags for all the important stuff in your life. Metal stamping is a fantastic project for teens who love to tinker and hammer! Buying a starter kit to get your teen stamping is a fantastic gift idea. Get all the details here.

Friendship Tags - A new twist on an old BFF tradition has kids hammering their friendship into metal. Metal stamping for kids, great for tweens and teens. Get hammering!

Film Making, YouTube and Vlogging

My son loves to create films. Wait, that may not be entirely true. He is OBSESSED! This child never wants to put his camera down. He is constantly coming up with new film ideas, scenes, costuming, etc. This year he has been self teaching himself Adobe Premiere. He is so passionate about film making it is hard to keep up with him. Building sets, planning scenes, shooting with his friends, editing them together. For my tinkering tween, this is his favourite way to spend the day. There are lots of different tools and gifts I could get him, from stop motion to film editing tools. I’ve picked a few of his recommendations for you here.

Video Camera Camcorder WiFi IR Night Vision FHD 1080P 30FPS YouTube Vlogging Camera Recorder 26MP 3.0'' Touch Screen 16X Digital Zoom Camcorder with Microphone,Remote and 2 BatteriesCanon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black) + SanDisk 64GB Memory Card + Digital Camera/Video Case + Extra Battery BP-727 + Quality Tripod + Card Reader + Tabletop Tripod/Handgrip + Deluxe Accessory BundleAdobe Premiere Pro | Video editing and production software | 12-month Subscription with auto-renewal, billed monthly, PC/MacAdobe Premiere Pro CC Classroom in a Book (2019 Release)Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Black) with 15-45mm STM Lens + Deluxe Accessory Bundle Including Sandisk 32GB Card, Canon Case, Flash, Grip Multi Angle Tripod, 50GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition with Two Extra GoPro USA Batteries + Sandisk Extreme 64GB MicroSD + Free Polaroid 16GB MicroSD (80GB Total)HUE Animation Studio: Complete Stop Motion Animation kit with Camera, Software and Book for Windows and macOS (Blue)


In addition to the tools, a big thing for my son is having the books and resources to continue learning his craft. I’ve put together a film makers resource library for him that you can check out.

Build a bookshelf for your aspiring film maker with these picks. Perfect for your younger film makers, to your teens and adults that love to make movies.

Techies Looking for Fun Coding and Tech

Do you have a teen that would rather create their own Minecraft Mod than play the game? Do they like tinkering with code or dream of creating their own app? The world of programming and coding is wide open for our youth and encouraging them to learn this new second language will only empower them in their future professional careers. We mentioned Creation Crate earlier, which is an exceptional tool for teaching coding with a full curriculum. But there are many other coding opportunities for teens. But this year one of the greatest tech we have added to our learning is an Oculus Quest. The educational opportunities with VR are incredible. You can learn more about VR and Kids here.

Oculus Quest All-in-one VR Gaming Headset - 128GBSphero SPRK+: App-Enabled Robot Ball with Programmable Sensors + LED Lights - STEM Educational Toy for Kids - Learn JavaScript, Scratch & SwiftRaspberry Pi 4 Model B 2019 Quad Core 64 Bit WiFi Bluetooth (4GB)CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Starter Kit - 4GB RAMELEGOO Mega 2560 Project The Most Complete Ultimate Starter Kit w/Tutorial Compatible with Arduino IDECreation Crate


Mechanical Engineer That Loves to Create

From cars to robots to machines, mechanical engineers build some of the most amazing things. These gifts will help your teen fine tune those mechanical skills as they tinker their way to some complex and functional creations.

LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 31313 Robot Kit with Remote Control for Kids, Educational STEM Toy for Programming and Learning How to Code (601 pieces)Playz V8 Combustion Engine Model Building Kit STEM Hobby Toy for Kids & Adults with DIY Guide & Realistic Parts Including Timing Belt, Cylinder Heads, Spark Plugs, Pistons, Ignition Wires, and MoreDISCOVERY KIDS DIY Toy Model Engine Kit, Mechanic Four Cycle Internal Combustion Assembly Construction, Comes W/Valves, Cylinders, Hardware & Much More, Encourages STEM Creativity/Critical ThinkingLEGO Technic Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 42093 Building Kit, 2019 (579 Pieces)LEGO Technic Remote-Controlled Stunt Racer 42095 Building Kit, 2019 (324 Pieces)LEGO Technic WHACK! 42072  Building Kit with Pull Back Toy Stunt Car, Popular Girls and Boys Engineering Toy for Creative Play (135 Pieces)


Designers and Architects

Let’s face it, if a tween or teen is an aspiring artist they probably already have clear ideas of what mediums they prefer, which paints they love, and what tools they want. But why not take their art to a new dimension and surprise them with a 3D Pen or 3D printer? Imagine all the new dimensions they could create!

TECBOSS 3D Pen, SL300 Intelligent 3D Printing Pen with LED Display,USB Charging, 8 Speed Printing&Temperature Control, Simple Handled 3D Printer Pen for Your Kids, Interesting Gifts for All Age7TECH 3D Pen for Kids Adults with 180 Feet PLA Filament Refills 280 Stencil Ebook Printing Printer PenComgrow Creality Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer with Removable Build Surface Plate and UL Certified Power Supply 220x220x250mmELEGOO Mars UV Photocuring LCD 3D Printer with 3.5'' Smart Touch Color Screen Off-line Print 4.72


Soap and Bath Bomb Making Kit

We have loved making bath bombs and soaps this year. It has been a wonderful learning activity and inspired so much amazing creativity. The best part is that the kids have learned a lot about chemistry, product creation and how to tinker with recipes to see how it affects the final products. Plus, this could turn into a fun side hustle if they ever need to make a few extra dollars!

To get started making bath bombs and soaps you will need to build a bath bomb and soap making tinker kit. Here are the items we recommend including.

Citric Acid (4 oz) by Pure Organic Ingredients, Eco-Friendly Packaging, All-Natural, Highest Quality, Pure, Food Grade, Non-GMOSodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) (2 lb.) by Pure Organic Ingredients, Eco-Friendly Packaging, Highest Purity, Food & USP GradeSodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate by Pure Organic Ingredients, 2 lb. (32 oz.), Eco-Friendly Packaging, Ideal Bath Bomb Additive, Gentle on Skin, Surfactant, LathererViva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 OuncePolysorbate 80 (Solubilser) - 500gEpoxy Resin Color Pigment - 50 Color Mica Powder Epoxy Resin Dye, Cosmetic Grade Soap Colorant for Soap Making Supplies, Natural Slime Coloring Soap Dye for Paint,Nail Art,Bath Bomb (0.18oz Each Bag)12 Color Bath Bomb Soap Dye - Skin Safe Bath Bomb Colorant Food Grade Coloring for Soap Making Supplies, Natural Liquid Soap Colorant for DIY Bath Bomb Supplies Kit, Slime, Crafts - with InstructionsGoats Milk - 2 Lbs Melt and Pour Soap Base - Our Earth's SecretsClear Glycerin Soap Base- 2lbZYTJ Silicone soap molds kit kit-42 oz Flexible Rectangular Loaf Comes with Wood Box,Stainless Steel Wavy & Straight Scraper for CP and MP Making Supplies


For a quick, all in one bath bomb making solution, try this Spa Lab from Smart Labs. We love all of their STEAM kits!

I also highly recommend a variety of silicone molds if you have a teen interested in making bath bombs and soaps. You can read more about why we recommend silicone molds here.

Then check out some of our bath bomb and soap making articles to learn all the techniques and science to help you get started! Here are a few of our articles or just use the search bar to find even more inspiration.

Best Bath Bombs For KidsChristmas Bath BombsLayers of the Earth SoapSoap Jelly Recipe


Wood Burning

If you have an older, mature teen wood burning projects can be a wonderful creative outlet. The kits to get started are quite inexpensive and you can use inexpensive wood pieces from the dollar store or even a scrap pile to create!

Our friends over at Forging Magic have a really cool BFF Key Chain wood burning project that is perfect for beginners.

CAUTION: Wood burning projects involves working with very hot tools and is a fire hazard. Follow all manufacturer precautions, create in a safe place, and ensure your teen is mature enough to safely use the tools.

The Teen Who Loves To Tinker

Still stuck for ideas? Head down to your local tool store and load up! Teens who love to tinker also love their tools. A great gift idea is to provide them with a variety of tools to aide them on their tinkering adventures. Build A Tinker Tool Kit or a Circuit Tinkering Set. Then watch their imaginations and creativity soar!

Gift ideas for teens

Seasonal Learning

24 Days of Christmas STEM Activities - Secular Holiday STEM Projects
These gifts for young makers will encourage inquiry, curiosity, playing, inventing, discovering and most of all, making! Exciting new products to proven winners. It's all here.

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