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Best 10 Christmas Presents for teenage Bookworms, UK version

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

This Christmas, you can make a young Classicist happy with a fun present

Parents ask me every year for unique, unexpected presents for their Classics loving teenagers. What is the best Christmas gift for an 11 year old? Or a 14 year old? Or, even more tricky, what surprise gift can you give a 16 year old that they will actually like?

In 2023, I have compiled my best 10 ideas in a handy list of Christmas gifts available in the UK – and some of them, also worldwide!

Read on if you want to bring a smile to the face of a teenager who loves literature, history, languages and archaeology.

A christmas tree with books and Classically inspired decorations. A present box where it says Christmas gifts for young bookworms
What can you gift a young bookwork who loves Classics?

This post contains affiliate links, which help me keep producing free resources at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only ever recommend products that I would use and believe are worthwhile.

These are my best gift ideas for buddying Classicists in no particular order:

1.       A Lego set:

A Lego set will tick quite a few boxes: they are fun, challenging yet relaxing and, perhaps unexpectedly, educational. Below are my favourite ones, but please feel free to browse and look around because new models are always coming out:

Favourite first: after watching the latest Indiana Jones movie, many young archaeologists will love discovering Indiana's previous adventures. What better introduction than one of the most memorable scenes of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

A larger project: the Great Pyramid of Giza Lego set is ideal for any lover of Antiquity. There is also research to be done alongside, and it can turn into a decoration highlight quite easily afterwards.

2.       A Membership

You can look at what's on offer in your local area. From archaeology clubs to art classes, bookworms will enjoy meeting like-minded children and having a space to express their love for the past and stories.

I you are in the UK, the ones below are difficult to beat:

English Heritage has a vast network of sites across the country, including highlights like Stonehenge and Lullingstone Villa. They arrange regular activities for members, and their venues are safe, inclusive and extremely well-managed.

Until December, you can also benefit from the following voucher codes:

15% off Gift & Annual Memberships. T&C’s – Use on new Membership purchases only. Annual Direct Debit only.

Code - EHAFF2023


25% off Gift & Annual Memberships. T&C’s – Use on new Membership purchases only. Annual Direct Debit only.

Code - BFAFEHM23


You can also visit their online shop for the best history-themed presents.

 The British Museum offers entry to all its exhibitions and plenty of discounts and member only events. And for the little ones, you cannot go wrong if you stay up to date to find out when the next sleepover takes place. Because, let us be honest, who does not want to sleep in the Egyptian gallery?!

3.       A new book: perfect for stocking-fillers

Books are indeed the perfect stocking-fillers. I talk elsewhere about the best books for younger students and A Level students, but here I am going to give you just 3 examples of books that I think make for a perfect stocking filler because they are cute, fun and, in a way, a bit of novelty suited for curious minds of all ages.

At the intersection between anatomy and philology, Anatomicum

is a great book to indulge in scientific vocabulary with gorgeous illustrations.

And the jewel of the crown: What we see in the stars. This is a cute book about the constellations that you will not want to put down. It contains plenty of Roman and Greek mythology, but also myths from around the world. Perfect for the coffee table!

4.        A unique gift from an independent creator

I find great joy in supporting the creative work of independent artists. When it comes to clothes, illustration and even pottery, these stand out:

Greek Myth Comix: Do you like the sound of "Build your own Labyrinth and Knossos Palace throne room playset?" Well, that is just the beginning! In this beautifully curated website, you will find plenty of crafty activities, including colouring projects for younger historians.

Legit Threads: You cannot beat Jasmine Elmer's energy. She brings a much needed breath of fresh air to the world of Classics. Her collection of Classics swag is original, offbeat and unconventional. If you have a rebellious teenager, you cannot go wrong with this!

Flaroh: Flora's eye for colour and composition is truly astonishing, and all of her works are a celebration of the beauty and vibrance of the ancient Mediterranean. In Flaroh's website, you will find a wide variety of products, including calendars, bookmarks and keyrings. For a greater variety of swag, her Redbubble shop offers a fantastic array of gifts, from scarves to bedspreads.

Potted History: For artistic replicas of the highest quality, Graham and Sarah are the best people to approach. They recreated clay objects from the Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages, and their skills and professionalism are unmatched.

5.       A virtual trip: Conqueror Challenges

For those who are into sports, the Conqueror Challenges are a really fun way to complement a training routine. I have personally completed a few, including Hadrian's Wall, and I can only recommend it. The medals are also very high quality and will look great on any bookshelf along with books on a similar topic. Here are my 3 favourite ones:

6.       Playmobile

Playmobile has a range of options from really small stocking-fillers to some of the most impressive historically inspired toys out there. I found it really difficult to choose what to feature here, so I have gone for an example of each of the types:

Small: any of the mini-sets featuring Greek gods, gladiators or a particular Greek myth.

Medium: a set around a particular story, such as Odysseus and Circe or a Roman battleship.

Large: you can always go wild with the whole of Mount Olympus, which includes everything you will need to explore the attributes of the Greek gods.

7.       Jewellery

There is a large amount of classically themed jewellery around. The British Museum, for example, sells pieces inspired by their artefacts, and so do other museums too. For something more unique, I highly recommend Plato's Fire, who regularly renews her collection and gives it a personal touch.

8.   A course

You want to be careful with this one. Yes, a course is great, but NO please do not give a revision course - note that I am not even giving you a link here, as that is hardly a treat!

Courses that might be appealing are more like the ones below:

A language for leisure course - and here, I do highly recommend my Saturday Greek courses. Please get in touch for a personalised voucher.

A craft course: just to give an example, you could get them a mosaic-making experience.

A museum-based course: the V&A and many other venues regularly offer courses in combination with their collection, such as life drawing or textile history.

9.   Games

If you follow me, you will know I have a soft spot for table and board games. These days, there is an almost endless variety of classically inspired games to choose from. Here I give you just a couple of my favourite examples:

Scrabble in Lingua Latina: perfect for those moving on to A Level Latin and with a

Akrotiri: this is a fast-paced 2 people game that is ideal for those with an interest in the Aegean. Get ready for untrodden roads and Minoan temples.

Puzzles: there is a lot to choose from if you go for a puzzle, but I am sure that younger children will be thrilled with this 200-piece Horrible Histories Rotten Romans puzzle.

10.   Wings for the shoes

I could not think of a better recommendation to finish my list than these cute wings that can be added to any shoes. Guaranteed to excite Greek mythology fans of all ages and a good one to keep in hand for mufty days. The example below is from Amazon, where there are several brands at very affordable prices.

And having said this, I think it is time to let your own imagination fly. Would you add anything to this list? You can write it in the comments below.

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