Surprise ball for a teenager?
December 12, 2013 9:34 PM   Subscribe

What kinds of smallish or flat things can I wrap into a surprise ball that teenagers would like?

This year I'm making surprise balls for my nieces and nephews for Christmas. If you'd like to see an example, here's one:

This is really easy to do for the little ones with lego figures and other small toys but I'd also like to make one for my niece who is 14 and my nephew who is 12. For my niece, I have a necklace, lip balm and a lottery ticket. I could do earrings too but that brings the price up quite a bit and I'd like to keep the price low if possible. Other ideas for a 14 year old girl? For my nephew, the only thing I have is a lottery ticket--so at the moment I'm wondering if I should just fill it with lottery tickets? Or what else would be creative? I'm not entirely clear on what hobbies or other things he likes except for video games. I'm trying to avoid gift cards because I always end up giving those.

It doesn't have to be tiny like a necklace or entirely flat like a lottery ticket--it can have some bulk as long as it's pretty small. Any ideas would be appreciated!
posted by hellochula to Shopping (14 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Nail polish, a bunch of cheap stack rings, little charms, movie passes?
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 9:50 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - dog tags with nephew's name
- keychain
- key cap (like this)
- bite sized candy, maybe something like Lindt truffles in assorted flavors?
- movie passes (go to AAA, I'm pretty sure they still give out individual passes rather than gift cards)
posted by covercash at 9:52 PM on December 12, 2013

Best answer: How about nail polish or those nail stickers for the girl.

and/or a hackysack for the boy.
posted by travelwithcats at 9:53 PM on December 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - Miniature pen
- Miniature or post-it sized notepad
- Cute/sporty ankle socks
- Wintery/fuzzy socks
- Underwear
- Gloves
- Scarf/Bandana/Beanie
- Travel-sized toiletries (like toothpaste or mini kleenex)
- A cheap snack that can be wrapped around the ball. (Like a kool-aid packet or fruit rollup)
- Cool badges and pins
- Barettes or Hair Ties
- Small coin purse
- Mini matchbox car
- Magic tricks/gag presents
- Patterned/Coloured shoe laces
- Small USB key
- Earphones
- Iron on Patch
posted by Dimes at 10:31 PM on December 12, 2013

Best answer: For the videogame-loving nephew, maybe you could donate 5$ to the Humble Bundle and send/give him the info to unlock the games on Steam?
posted by sukeban at 11:15 PM on December 12, 2013 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Things you can wrap into the crepe paper layers:
$5 earrings or little necklace or ring (from a store like Claire's)
Bus tickets
Silver dollar
Dollar bill folded into a shirt
Guitar picks
Movie pass
Flat candy (chocolate coins, interesting gum flavour)
The little home-made puzzle is a great idea!- maybe made with a copy of a photo?
Stick-on moustaches (fun for girls and boys!)
Vampire teeth
Roll of cool washi tape
posted by pseudostrabismus at 12:09 AM on December 13, 2013

Best answer: You can get cheap multi packs of earrings at Forever 21 and H&M and other similar stores.
posted by MadamM at 12:20 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: - Phone charms
- Cute pins to stick on bags
- Erasers in fun shapes
- Fun school supplies
- Googly eyes
- Tea bags
- Tealight candles
- Earbuds
- USB stick

Japanese imports make everything more fun!
posted by asphericalcow at 1:39 AM on December 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

A $5 or $10 iTunes gift card
posted by shortyJBot at 3:01 AM on December 13, 2013

Best answer: Japanese imports make everything more fun!

Seconding asphericalcow. My kids go NUTS for those japanese puzzle erasers. You can find them cheap on eBay and I think Ty is importing/ripping them off in the states now, check non-chain toy stores and gift shops. I like the IWAKO brand ones.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:58 AM on December 13, 2013

Best answer: As you get towards the outside of the ball, Pop Rocks work great because they're fairly flat and flexible. Also, if you have a Target nearby, go check out the Dollar Spot. Lots of great options there.
posted by at 7:10 AM on December 13, 2013

My favorite dollar store (Dollar Tree) has all manner of things that would work - in particular they have all sorts of glow sticks and glow novelties.

So I suggest hitting a dollar store or two.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:52 AM on December 13, 2013

-nail polish/nail decals
-fake blood
-fake mustaches
-temporary tattoos
-ear buds
-I think the threadless $5 t shirt sale ended, but they have a selection of gaming-themed tees
-silly socks
-instant underpants
-small eyeshadows/mirror compacts
posted by inertia at 8:06 AM on December 13, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! I marked best answer for the things I'm going to get: nail stickers, sugru, pop rocks, erasers, Forever 21 earrings, dollar bill folded into a shirt, key caps, patterned shoe laces, Humble Bundle (never would have found that!), magic tricks and I'll go check out the Japanese dollar store. Thank you!
posted by hellochula at 9:40 AM on December 13, 2013

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