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21 Great Gifts for Tweens
First of all, what exactly is a tween? Is your daughter or niece a tween? According to Wikipedia, a tween is a girl between ages 10-12 that is “too old for toys” and “too young for boys”. Very cute, but I think we can stretch that group from 9-15…in some cases.
What’s the rush? Are girls old enough for boys at age 13 just because they are officially a “teen”? I remember when I turned 10 and my dad was so excited to throw my birthday party for the big double-digits. Every mom or dad probably agrees with me when I say that life just moves too fast, and the longer they can be a tween the better!
I hope this list of gift suggestions for your tween helps you with that in-between toys and boys stage! Most of these ideas came from my experience with younger siblings and always buying them a gift that they have already outgrown. It’s embarrassing…buying your 6th grade brother Pirates of the Caribbean temporary tattoos or your 10th grade sister an oh-so cute lockable diary….and the list goes on! You get the idea, don’t do that to your kid this year 🙂
21 Great Gifts for Tweens
1. The Nerdy Tween
Nerdy tweens are such a delight because at this point there is no doubt that she will take pride in getting straight A’s through high school, and college if you’re lucky. She has probably read more books that you have and is way beyond the other kids in class.
- An e-reader like the Kindle from Amazon is the perfect gift for the tween who loves to read! They start at only $79 and now come with a touch screen! I still enjoy reading an actual book, but the pest part about e-readers is that you can have 100’s of books at your fingertips (plus lots of free downloads!).
- If your tween would rather hit up the library and enjoys having to use her very cute bookmarks then a robotic book light is a must! I used to have one and I LOVED it! They are compact and won’t fall over like some other models. This one is pink and comes with a pen too!
- It’s about that time to give your kid her own key to the house! She might not need it often, but she will be excited because you’re trusting her to be responsible. My first key was painted with a tropical scene (like the ones at Wal-Mart) and it doesn’t take long for the design to wear off. Key caps weren’t as trendy at the time and only came in solid colors. No matter what your tween is into there is a key cap for her like these Kitty Keys! I used to have Mac-n-Keys (my favorite!) and the Hello Kitty ones are cute too!
2. The Prissy Tween
Oh my, do you have your hands full or what? The prissy tween is way ahead of herself and is sure she will be homecoming queen years before she is even eligible. Just make sure you enforce modesty and stay away from hair color or nail appointments until at least 10th grade…at least!!!
- The prissy tween is difficult to shop before because she is probably a little ahead of herself! She already knows what it means to look “fab” so this category is wide depending on your rules as a parent. That’s why the rhinestone hairbrush is my first gift pick! It’s awesome and comes in lots of colors…plus it will keep her hair looking smooth and tangle-free.
- Essie mini nail polish sets are a great way for your tween to experiment with color. I was OBSESSED with nail polish in middle school and made an effort to change my polish with my outfits (there is no time for that now, lol). Mini polishes weren’t as popular at the time, but that would have been more appropriate and taken up much less space on my dresser. Each season Essie has adorable mini nail polish sets in salons and stores like Ulta and you get 4 shades for the price of 1.5 regular sized bottles. You know that your tween will get tired of each color rather quickly, so save some money and go with the variety minis!
- Every girl loves necklaces…especially lockets! I like the butterfly locket because it is a little more girlish than some of the other styles. The goal here is to give great keeps that keep them sweet just a little longer!
3. The Tomboy Tween
The tomboy tween is that girl who isn’t scared to explore or get a little dirty. I like to keep these tweens separate from the sporty category because there are many differences in the two! Don’t push the lace and frills yet…she will want to primp in her own time…her future husband will thank you because she will not be afraid to get that spider on the wall!
- Every kid wants to have a cool backpack, and they will most likely keep using it for years to come! I still have my backpack from 9th grade and it comes in handy from time to time! Most girls backpacks are on the prissy side and sporty bags are lacking in cuteness…..that’s why I love ROXY….practical with a hint of style.
- Assuming your tomboy tween still looks for random fun things to do outside…this water balloon launcher is sure to entertain for hours! There are lots of cool outdoor gifts, but this one is multi-person so friends can join in. Let’s face it, no one wants to watch their friend play with a cool new toy unless they have one too, problem solved!
- Watches are seeming to become less necessary these days as everyone has a cell phone! I know…some kids get an iPhone at 10…but they shouldn’t have it on them 24/7 like adults do. Finding a girls watch that isn’t too “girly” was not an easy task! The tomboy tween needs a watch that does more than tell time and won’t break if it gets wet or a little beat up.
4. The Gaming Tween
You know if your tween is a gamer! She probably has older brothers or friends that got her into the gaming world. Don’t worry, gaming is healthy for tweens brain development and it has been proven to build life-long friendships that are stronger than most!
- I saw this Hello Kitty Nintendo DS Accessory Kit at the store one day and I wanted one so bad! If only I owned a DS…lol. These kits are perfect because they are so cute to carry and hold a few games. There are lots of other designs too… like the quilted tote, trendy traveler purse, and other popular characters!
- She is also going to need the Nintendo DS….in her favorite color 😉 .
- And more games to play! Tetris is my all-time favorite because puzzle games are more fun than getting stuck on a level you can’t beat. If your tween already has Tetris she will probably like Mario Kart, Frogger, or Zelda!
5. The Quirky Tween
For the tween that is mildly nerdy, but in her own way! She isn’t a “nerd”…she is unique, creative, and interested in too many things to count.
- A Jelly Fish Lamp….because lava lamps are so last year! This was a new find for me, and it was just so interesting that it needed to be included. I was one of those tweens that had several unusual lamps and enjoyed turning them all on to read in the dark with my book light. It was very cool at the time!
- Quirky teens are often mistaken as nerdy, but they are really just creative and don’t have an outlet yet. That’s why they love listening to music and collecting unusual items. The iPod Touch is perfect for downloading her favorite albums and cool apps!
- Headphones are a huge part of a tweens life, but they were so much easier when I was jamming with my portable CD player in moms car. The era of ear buds is very unpractical and that’s why old school styled headphones like these beats are coming back. I’m sure most of you will agree with me when I say that those tiny little ear buds are extremely uncomfortable and fall out too easily. They may also harm your hearing more than the headband-style (assuming they are being used at a comfortable volume level 🙂 )…I’m deaf in one ear, so protecting my hearing is important…as it should be for everyone!
6. The Girly Tween
For that perfectly girly girl who isn’t too prissy, but just right where she should be! Cherish these moments…they may soon pass in the blink of an eye.
- A messenger bag, because they are so much cuter than backpacks! This floral shoulder bag is great for school books, tablets, laptops, and more!
- Lip Balm isn’t as ordinary as it used to be! I remember getting so excited over the Lip Smacker Variety Pack and Dr.Pepper or Orange Soda flavored lip balm, but it’s gone to a whole new level now. If your tween’s lip balm isn’t oddly shaped to resemble an owl or a cupcake…it just isn’t cool.
- Shoes! Your tween is going to love shoes for the rest of her life, and probably already does. Nothing is more fun than a cute pair of sneakers that can be worn year-round. The great thing about Rocket Dog Sneakers is that they run small so if your tween has tiny feet there’s a good chances that these kicks will be perfect for her!
7. The Sporty Tween
- No matter which sports your tween is into, this duffle bag will cater to them all (except softball, lol)! I love this bag because it’s girly, but not overly prissy like the bags sold especially for gymnastics, cheer, or dance. Of course, those are darling although not as sporty!
- Your sporty tween will never have enough hoodies or sweatshirts and that will probably be true for life. Having a variety of styles for every occasion is a must, so if she already has some zip-ups get her a pull-over and vice-versa!
- Don’t buy her just any water bottle…there are probably plenty of those laying around (and you can get free ones all the time). I love gifts that are convenient and multi-purpose! This water bottle with a mini compartment is great for carrying a key or cash on a bike ride or at practice!
Am I missing your tween’s type? Please leave a comment or contact me for some suggestions!
If your tween is a little bit ahead of herself…check out Great Gifts for Teens!
Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger
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