18 is a tough birthday to buy for: still childish enough to be demanding, but definitely old enough to know when you’ve got them a crap gift. Don’t worry, you’re not in this alone. Something on this list is sure to make their glazed eyes sparkle like one of Beyonce’s dresses.
Lots of people have let a kid scratch off a lottery ticket, but kids can’t actually claim the money, of course. Celebrate the legal right to make dubious gambling decisions by giving them a selection of lottery tickets that probably won’t win. Or they just might! It could happen!
Now that they are old enough to vote, it makes sense for them to know something about politics. Sure, you could pick a book that will indoctrinate them into your way of thinking, but maybe it would be better to give them a bipartisan perspective before they choose a side. This book does just that.
Social media is everywhere. It’s where we get our news, our gossip and how we stay in touch with friends. It also plays host to some of our best memories and golden moments. Pick your friend’s best 140 characters of the year, whether it’s hilarious or embarrassingly awful, and get it framed for them to remember forever. It’s even better than going viral.
It’s like a magic pizza box that cooks fresh or frozen pizza right there on your counter. You open the box, put in the uncooked pizza, and mere minutes later you have a hot pizza ready to eat. But it isn’t magic, at all. It’s actually electric, and it is totally real. A great 18th birthday gift for those who are just beginning to collect the myriad of kitchen gadgets that will eventually sit idle in the back corners of their kitchen cupboards.
18 year olds can be a little narcissistic. That’s normal, and it will probably pass. In the meantime, take advantage of this fact by giving the gift of these lovely Birth Month Flower earrings. They will love them no matter what when they learn the pair represents their birth month.
It looks like Virtual Reality might finally really be a real thing. That’s what they say at least. Apparently, the technology has arrived, and it’s gonna be big. They do say that. And you know what? We actually tried one of these recently. They’re pretty incredible. Like for real.
Give them a chance to get some skin in the game with a gift of stock. The investment does not have to be large, as fractional shares of top companies can be bought and sold just like full shares, just enough to cultivate an interest in investing that will serve them well later on.
This is kind of an irresponsible gift to give to an 18 year old since it is traditionally a drinking game, but there’s no need to actually tell them that. There is also a lot of things an 18 year old has not had the chance to do yet. Bad or good, this gift might give them some ideas.
Think fast: what did you get for your birthday two years ago? Chances are, if it was an object of some sort, you’ve already forgotten. Things break, things get lost, things get boring. But experiences change us, make us more complete, give us stories to tell. We remember them forever. Don’t give a thing. Give a memory.
Remind them of how tiny they are, how insignificant their mere 18 Earth years is compared to the glory of the universe and its countless eons with this lovely set of tumblers emblazoned with Hubble and Spitzer space telescope images of majestic nebulae.
Every college freshman in the dorm will want to throw away their Starry Night posters when they get a load of this beauty. The Digital Art Museum can display that masterpiece plus 20,000 other still and moving images. Cycle through with a swipe or the dedicated app. Turn a dorm room into the Lourve!
Do you know someone who needs a gentle reminder that basic hygiene is important? Money soap is a regular bar of soap with actual cash inside, and the best way to get to it is to get clean on a regular basis. They’ll think it’s just a clever way for you to give them money, and meanwhile you’ll have a happier nose.
We wish someone had given us some of this advice when turning 18. We DEFINITELY could have used it, if you catch our drift. This is a collection of letters of advice from 12 acclaimed authors to their 18 year old selves that may just save the 18 year old you know from a serious mistake or two.
18 year-olds are legally adults, but take one to an amusement park and anyone can see they’re still kids at heart. This is a birthday present neither of you will forget as you ride rides or slide slides without a care in the world.
Time flies and words are often left unspoken. Here’s your chance to remedy that - tell that special 18 year old in your life all the wonderful things they mean to you, or collect messages from friends and family.
Put away childish things, then seal them up into an air and water tight steel container, dig a hole deep into the ground and bury them under a sidewalk. Put a plaque nearby or something like that, wait 82 years, and then have their 100 year old self return to open an archive of their childhood. No big deal.
This quite literally one-of-a-kind gift is an art quality print of a most personal nature: DNA. A simple cheek swab is sequenced and displayed as vibrantly colored bands on a dark background. No two are ever alike. Except maybe twins? Not sure. Also not sure how you’ll get that cheek swab, good luck on that.
Have some stupid good fun at the 18th birthday party with a few rounds of Water Balloon Russian Roulette. Then, after everyone has finally lost the game, solemnly ponder the fragility of life, and remember that no one is invincible.
Draft them into the Swiss Army on their 18th birthday by giving them a tool that will hold up and be used for the rest of their life. Find the one with the perfect mix of tools and size for them, and it will be a part of their life forever.
If ever there is a time in a person’s life when this would make sense as gift, the 18th birthday is it. This is a time when a person is perhaps moving out on their own (and thus needs a toaster), and still enjoys being a little ridiculous (taking selfies). Like, would you buy this for a 40 year-old? Exactly.
Teenagers are not known for being overly responsible. And though a person is legally an adult at the age of 18, they are still a teenager, make no mistake about that. Help them grow up and take charge of their stuff by making it a lot easier to at least hang on to their wallet with this high tech gift.
Eighteen is the age a person becomes an adult, so it seems fitting to collect all those old photographs and memories from childhood and package them into a beautiful custom-bound book. It’ll be the perfect gift to show that special someone someday.
This easily digestible handbook contains loads of tips and tricks designed to teach a new college student how to get the most out of the experience. It covers everything from saving money to doing well in class to living in a dorm. It also has over 30 pages dedicated to partying, which seems like a lot, but then again: college.
This is a tough one, because you have to take the month into account. A piece of garnet jewelry (January) is one thing, but are you sure you want to buy someone diamonds (April) for their 18th birthday? It’s fine to do that, obviously, but we can see why you’d think twice.
Metal Balloon Dog Sculpture - 18th birthday parties tend not to feature clowns entertaining the kids who attend, but that’s no reason to think an 18 year-old doesn’t like balloon animals. Acknowledge that they’re still a kid at heart and respect their new adult sophistication with this fine-art version of the classic balloon dog.
All the fine ideas on this page notwithstanding, nobody really knows what anyone wants, much less someone turning 18. So put the power in their hands by taking them on a whirlwind shopping spree at their favorite stores. You’re going to spend a little more, but at least it will be fun instead of nerve wracking.
Our mothers used to tell us that our tastes would change when we get older as a way to get us to try those yucky vegetables, but when is that supposed to happen exactly? With mBerry Tablets, it can happen right on the 18th birthday. These tablets alter the taste of nearly everything, proving that mom was right after all.
Even if a person on the cusp of adulthood knows exactly what they want to do when they grow up, they might still have no idea how to actually get there. Enter the career coach. This 18th birthday gift will whip them into shape for the world of work, and teach them skills that will last a lifetime.
Here is the perfect gift to make visitors feel old - a framed copy of the front page of the New York Times the day they were born. People as young as 30 will marvel that the person they are visiting was born on the day that thing they sort of remember happened. Fun!
Make sure they realize that being an adult is serious business by gifting them this very serious Auto Survival Kit. This kit combines a standard roadside emergency kit with first aid supplies, then even throws in a tactical knife and spring loaded window breaker. They’ll be ready for everything from a flat tire to a zombie apocalypse.
Concerts and sporting events have gotten pretty expensive lately. Too expensive, probably, for someone just turning 18 to be able to afford on their part-time, minimum wage job. That’s where you come in. Check to see if a favorite band, comedian, or sports team is playing soon and treat them to a pair of tix.
One day, perhaps, everyone will know their DNA profile from birth.A doctor will be able to tell everyone everything they might want or need to know about their genetics, and it will be boring. But for now, it is still exciting and unknown for most of us, which is why a 23 and Me genetic testing kit is such a fun 18th birthday gift.
If you know someone who likes the outdoors, but can’t seem to put down their phone, this 18th birthday gift ticks a lot of boxes: High tech? Check. Eco-friendly? Check. Charges a smartphone? Check. Can carry plenty of gear? Check. Doesn’t look too silly? Check(ish).
Someone who is turning 18 really just wants to go out and party with their friends. Tell them the night is on you, all expenses paid, and surprise the bejesus out of them when a stretch limo pulls up to whisk them away in style. Now is the perfect time for a gift like this, limos get less and less interesting as you get older.
Most 18 year olds haven’t really had the opportunity to travel much. Broaden their horizons by planning a trip together, or better yet, a trip for them and their friends (if you happen to be their parent). At this point in their lives they are ambitiously adventurous and eager to explore the world on their own. These experiences can be some of the most enriching of their lives, and a gift like this really puts everything else on this page to shame.
Let’s face it, they’re going to learn this stuff anyway. You may as well make sure they learn it right, and some of the things in this book are better not learned the hard way. For example, it may be best to beat that lie detector test the first time around.
We may have all played with a Magic 8 Ball when we were kids, but as we got older we realized that the real wisdom is found in fortune cookies. Create some custom messages for the birthday boy or girl so that they’ll always have the true answers to life’s toughest questions. Food for thought anyway.
If they’ve got a hankering for a hoedown on their 18th birthday, but just can’t get the 17 piece band together, then the self contained hootenanny could be the perfect solution. It’s always ready at a moment’s notice, never misses a note, and with over 13,000 songs in memory it could play continuously until their 90th birthday shindig.
18 year olds were born into a world full of magical techno gadgets like this. They probably don’t even realize most people grew up having to pour their own, completely ordinary, round pancakes. But those days are gone, and the robots will soon be taking over. Get them one now, while they are still loyal to humans.
At this point in their lives when the magic of childhood is slowly slipping away and the coldness of adult life is settling in, give them the chance to escape the inevitable approach of reality with a session in a sensory depravation tank. With all their senses blocked as they float in a pool of warm water, they will only have their thoughts to reflect on. This will either be therapeutic and relaxing, or completely terrifying.Either way it’s a memorable experience.
18 year olds aren’t always wise when it comes to spending and saving money. Give them a $20 bill and it will vanish almost instantly, spent on pizza or video games or whatever else young whipper snappers do these days. However, if you give them money in the form of a handcrafted bouquet of paper flowers, they will be forced to really consider if it’s worth unfolding them all before spending willy-nilly.
If the 18 year old in your life will be heading off to college, they will need all the standard critical equipment like a laptop, a cell phone, and of course, a dorm fridge. This will likely be their first ever kitchen appliance. It will get heavily used and abused, covered in stickers and gooey neglected spills, and eventually sold on Craigslist. The ritual is a rite of passage.
A bean bag is a versatile and comfortable thing, for the young and flexible. For the middle-aged they can prove challenging to get out of. For a 40 year old, bags are not considered furniture, and one that is this size might swallow them whole. But it’s a perfect gift for an 18 year old who is leaving the nest and will need to furnish and apartment or dorm room. They fit anywhere and this monster can be used as a chair, sofa, and guest bed.
They’ve learned about literature, mathematics, and history in school. Their parents taught them right from wrong. And they even know how to cook dinner on a budget and change the oil. That’s all well and good, but what use is any of that when they are taken by foreign agents? These emergency survival courses will teach them the truly important things that were left out of their education, like how to escape when they wake up in the trunk of a moving car with their hands and feet bound.
No matter how smart they are, or think they are, this book is sure to fill in some of the gaps. 500 gaps actually. They’ll be so well-rounded and informed that they’ll cruise through life with grace, knowing that when the time comes, they can perform CPR, dance the tango, and successfully fight off a shark.
A lot of 18 year olds are already well versed in the ways of not giving a f*ck, but not many are very subtle about it. Help them express their lackadaisical side with a little more class, so they can blend in with the rest of us, who also don’t give a f*ck, but are forced to pretend that we do.
If you’re looking for a truly one of a kind 18th birthday gift, you might consider commissioning a local artist to create a unique piece of jewelry. It will not only be cherished by the lucky recipient, but it’s also a gift to the starving artist, so it will mean a lot to everyone. Remember to plan in advance for this one, custom made artwork is not created overnight.
For many wide-eyed 18 year olds, the future looks ripe with opportunity as they imagine the glorious journey they’ll have while turning all their dreams into realities. Of course we know, most of those dreams will not materialize and many enthusiastic attempts at success will end in miserable failure. As this enlightening book explains, this seemingly endless floundering is actually the typical path towards real prosperity. Most of the important lessons in life are learned through mistakes and failures, lessons that culminate at some point (even if through sheer brute force and stubborn determination) in eventual success.
At only 18 years old, they’re probably just getting used to being occasionally called ma’am or sir. Let them have the distinct honor of correcting people by saying, “actually it’s Lord.” They will have the legal right to that moniker with this gift of 1 or more square feet of an actual Scottish castle. The micro-deed is legal and legit, the proceeds go towards restoration efforts at Dunans Castle.
If you know an 18 year old who is heading off to college, they are probably excited and a little uneasy about stepping into a world full of new challenges that they will need to navigate on their own. Help them prepare for the experience before they go, so that they can get the most out of their education and avoid common pitfalls of the under-informed.
18 year olds have heard the elders speak of the analog era when all of humanity’s knowledge and art was stored on paper and organized by Dewey Decimal number. Now they can own a piece of “ancient” history that will become more and more rare. And they just may get some use out of it when the coming solar flare takes down the power grid once and for all.
Surprise! That boy you used to know is now old enough to vote, sue you, and enlist in the Army. But it seems like only yesterday he was just learning how to drive a car. A lot of changes and new responsibilities are coming, and that boy needs to know all the basic man stuff to get through it. Stuff like how to respectfully break up with a girl, how to drive a manual transmission, and how to use a circular saw, like a man.
Gold and silver coins are a ridiculously good gift, so if you can afford to give it, you should definitely give them gold or silver coins. It will get them excited about investing, which will put them on a path to financial security. It’s a ridiculously good gift, so if you can afford to give it, you should definitely give them gold or silver coins. Oh and also, it’s a ridiculously good gift, so if you can afford to give it, you should definitely give them gold or silver coins.
You should make sure there are no unresolved issues between you and the recipient of this gift before getting into the basket. Assuming it’s a happy birthday, a hot air balloon ride could be the thrill of a lifetime and something you both will be telling stories about for years to come. Yes, you have to go too of course. If you’re apprehensive, remember, once you get numb to the terror of standing in the middle of the air with a thin cloth balloon keeping you from plummeting to your death, it’s actually a serene and peaceful experience. It is completely silent up there, like being frozen in time.
If the birthday boy or girl you know is an aspiring entrepreneur, why not get them started in the most self-indulgent way possible? From now on they’ll be able to honestly tell people that they owned their first factory when they were just 18. They’ll learn to maximize productivity and you can help “manage” the inventory.
If they’ve got a place to put it, a zipline is a pretty damn fun 18th birthday gift. You just need 2 trees to attach the cable to and you’re off. It can support up to 250 pounds and carry riders over a 90 foot span. The seat is adjustable and the pulley includes a braking system to slow or stop the action.
By the time they turn 18 they will have filled their share of notebooks. They’ve probably used a whole tree’s worth of paper. As digital technology replaces antiquated practices like writing with pen and paper, products like this are a nice bridge between two worlds. The Rocketbook smart notebook gives you the satisfaction of writing your notes by hand but also saves a digital copy of what you write. Once the pages are full they can be deleted and reused.
It’s time for them to leave the nest, go out into the world, and find their own path (hopefully). They’ll need to solve their own problems now, and you can give them the knowledge they need to tackle the everyday dilemmas that commonly frustrate the uninformed. Life hacks are simpler, more efficient, or less expensive ways approach life’s little challenges. Did you know you can use strawberries to whiten your teeth?
If the birthday boy or girl will be moving away for work or college, a hometown map puzzle is the perfect gift to quell home sickness and help them appreciate their roots. Unlike most puzzles, there is no picture guide on the box to refer to when trying to place the pieces, they’ll have to rely on their own memory of the lay of the land to get through this one.
An 18 year old that is moving into a dorm or their first apartment probably doesn’t own a lot of furniture. They also may not have a great track record for taking good care of their things. A full-on Lazy Boy recliner would be nice, but also hard to move, expensive to buy, and heartbreaking to spill dinner on. Here’s a much more affordable alternative that is comfy and practical, but also okay to toss in the dumpster after the party gets out of hand.
They may have had a hamster ball when they were younger and may be hiding a secret desire to be that hamster. Fulfill their weirdest dreams with this human scale inflatable bubble ball. It will led to hilarious adventures and could prove useful in day to day life as well - like if they want to preserve their personal space while in line at the grocery store or at the concert.
Young people are typically conscious of their environmental impact and the not-so-temporary nature of disposable products. They also probably don’t really like doing the dishes. These edible cups solve both problems. Available in multiple flavors including cherry, citrus, green tea, and vanilla, this sustainable drinkware also makes a tasty late night snack.
Breaking down and having to call your dad for help is something they want to avoid by the time they turn 18. The gift of an AAA Membership will mean they don’t even need to admit they had an auto-related problem – allowing them to retain the aura of cool, calm and collected adult, who has their s**t together. Ha!
Written by James Bond himself (or, you know, an actual real-life spy), this eye-opening book is packed full of genuine, practical tips for self-protection, and is a great present for any loved one or friend. Guaranteed to come in handy during a kidnapping, mugging or zombie apocalypse, you might just save their life one day.
Social standards are always changing, and these days a gentleman takes off his beard when he enters a building. Ladies too. It’s so much easier to do when that beard is attached to a hat. Don’t let him be that embarrassing guy eating at a nice restaurant with his damn beard on.
Opening the mail isn’t normally the most exciting of things to do when you’re 18, and 17 birthday cakes later, they’re probably a little fed up with the usual ritual of blowing out the candles. Blow them away with this contemporary twist on the usual sponge and fondant instead. It certainly tastes better than a birthday card.
Take accessorizing to a whole new dimension with this awe-inspiring, majestic showpiece. The sparkle of this bling is the real deal and gives props to the infinite power and mesmerizing beauty of the universe. They can gaze into the stars all night long with this exclusive addition to decorate their wrist.
There are certain things everyone ‘should’ know how to do, but by a certain age it becomes too late to admit you don’t – and this is how you end up with that friend who still has no clue how to tie his necktie. Revolutionize that guy’s life with this book.
As they flow through life, there are many things that they might not have quite got the answers to, and they may very well be in this book. And even if they’re not, what better gift is there than the gift of knowledge? After all, older means wiser. This is a brilliant and comedic insight into some modern and not-so-modern processes which will provide them with hours of fun and a lifetime of useless knowledge.
Do you know someone who’s always in search of the perfect hot sauce? Well, maybe the answer is to let them make their own. This kit allows you to experiment with different pepper, spice, and vinegar combinations until you find the holy grail of hotness. No more excuses, just hot pepper perfection.
Imagine pointing to a tiny, glittering speck in the sky and saying to your 18-year-old on their birthday, ‘that’s yours, the Alex James star’. Of course, you won’t really have a clue which star is theirs, you probably wouldn’t be able to see it anyway, but they’re sure to be touched, and that’s all that matters.
Protect their hooves with some orthopedic magic. This personalized gift of wellness expresses care and compassion and will remind them of your unconditional love and devotion, as well as your awesome gift-giving talent! Every cushioned step they take will provide extended head-to-toe support for years to come.