It’s the Tweens turn! For this guide, I had in mind the big kids — in the 8-12 years old age range, and I came up with a ton of great ideas for you (my 12-year-old, Betty, was a big help!). Once again, we started with last year’s list, edited it down to the best ones, then added a whole bunch more.
There are 40 gifts on the list, and sixteen of them are $15 or less. Many things on the list would make good stocking stuffers too. Oh. And if you haven’t found a good teen gift yet, there are a few on this list that would be perfect.
Ready? Here goes…
32 Top Gifts for Tweens
Jumbo Fruit Squishies. These might be the best-looking squishies I’ve ever seen. You get a Watermelon, Peach, Strawberry, Banana, and Mango — all packed in a gift box.
Bit — Coding Robot for Beginners. It’s pocket-sized, designed for building early STEAM (coding) skills, and ready to go right out of the box.
Not Parent Approved — A hilarious card game for kids, tweens, families and mischief makers. This game was inspired by Cards Against Humanity, but it’s for kids and 100% family-friendly! It’s won tons of awards.
Vertical Vortex Interactive Spring Toy. A friend of Betty’s showed up at rehearsal with one of these and Betty says it’s irresistable and super fun to play with.
Money Soap! Having trouble getting your tweens to shower? You’re not alone! Perhaps Money Soap would be proper motivation. Each bar has money in the center — it could be $1 bill, a $5 bill, a $20 bill or a $50. You won’t know which one until the soap is gone. Maybe by that time, a good daily showering habit will be established. : )
Coogam Metal Wire Puzzle Set. This comes with 16 puzzles and a carrying pouch. Each puzzle is a brain teaser that you have to disentangle. Something to play with when they’ve maxed out their screen time.
Glow In The Dark Stars. These are so cool! They stick to the wall or ceiling, absorb light during the day, and glow in the dark. You could use the starts to make constellations or any pattern you like.
Light-up Gloves. How awesome are these? If you’re dreading the long winter ahead, I’m sure these would brighten up even the most grey day.
Binoculars (Kid-sized!). Even though these come kid-sized, don’t think them as a toy. They’re legit! Your kids can keep them in their backpack, or in the car, so they’re always ready for an adventure. They come in 3 different color options.
The Secret Series Complete Collection. This is the new favorite series for middle schoolers at our house.
Pro-Yoyo. It comes in three different colors, a it’s ready to be used for all the best yoyo tricks.
Fruity Umbrellas. Aren’t these lovely? A cheery umbrella goes a long way on a wet day. When you click through, you’ll also find a good rainbow option, and a handsome black & white option.
Folkmanis Animal Puppets. Have you seen these in person? Folkmanis makes really good puppets. There are lots of animals available, including a llama, an owl, and a clam with a pearl inside. If your kids think they’ve outgrown stuffed animals, but still appreciate something cuddly, a cozy puppet is a nice alternative.
Bath Bombs. This is a set of 6 extra-large handmade bath bombs. They’re made in the USA with natural, organic ingredients. They’re vegan and cruelty-free. When you tween needs some downtime, send them to the bathtub with one of these.
Death Star Waffle Maker. Have batter waiting in the fridge, then they’ll open this with Ohs and Ahs, and all of you can spend the rest of day in your jammies making waffles. Sounds like heaven.
Slinky. Do you have stairs? Then this will be a hit. Put it in a stocking.
Digital Piggy Bank. This hits a sweet spot between high and low tech. Ultimately, it’s just a jar for their coins, but the fact that it can total the amount inside? That’s pretty darn inviting.
Traditional Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. My mom lived in Russia for awhile and brought us a set of nesting dolls when she moved home, and now I’m convinced every home needs a set. I’m telling you, people of all ages love them. They’re quite irresistible.
Color Charts Rally Building Blocks Set. Another irresistible one. Try your best not to play with these when someone sets them in front of you. It’s basically impossible. And they’re so pretty too!
Free Play Magnatab. I picked one of these up at a Museum gift shop and couldn’t put it down. It’s sort of like drawing with magnets. It comes in a larger size too.
Shark Pendulum Wall Clock. I wish you could all see this one in person. The little fish bones are the pendulum and swing bag and forth!
Exploding Kittens Card Game. Both of my tweens put this on their wish list last year. I had never heard of it. But the reviews make it sounds like it’s the best game ever. So why not?
Mysterious Benedict Society Paperback Set. A really great series your kids might not have discovered yet because they haven’t been made into a movie.
Harry Potter Illuminating Wand. Tweens and Harry Potter go hand in hand, and there’s so much fun wizarding paraphernalia you can find. This light up wand would make any Potter fan happy.
Pogo Stick. For when they need to get their energy out.
Shoot the Moon. Think of it as one of the first video games. (Adults and teens love this one too!)
Horseshoe Magnet. What is it about a big magnet? Such a simple thing, but it provides hours of fun, and sparks all sorts of science and nature questions too.
Set of 12 Gliders. Have you introduced your kids to gliders yet? They’re typically too delicate for younger kids, but perfect for tweens. This set is a bargain and would be great in a stocking.
Clay Charms Kit. I’m a fan of Klutz kits, and this one looks especially good. And they end up with an awesome charm bracelet when they’re done!
Volume Limited Headphones. Protect their hearing! They’re just kids and sometimes do stupid things like listen to their screens too loudly. These allow you to limit the volume.
Unfortunate Events Series, Books 1-3, Hardcover. There are 13 books in this series, which is quite an investment. So start with these 3 and if your kids love them, you’ll know exactly what to get when the next gift is in order.
Minnetonka Leather Slippers. Yes, I want a pair for me too.
Rainbow Maker. It basically makes magic.
Cotton Jump Rope. Pair it with a Jump Rope Rhymes Book. And buy 2 if they want to learn double dutch. (This is also a great family gift. It’s a group activity — two people need to swing the rope, and then 1 or more can jump at one time.)
Lego Chain Reactions. If you’re swimming in Legos, add this to the mix to make the most of what you already have.
300 Piece Insects Puzzle. We love putting together a big puzzle on Christmas afternoon as the day gets quiet. This ones is neat looking. Other handsome options when you click through.
Harmonica. Another great stocking stuffer. There are high quality, expensive harmonicas out there. This one is more of a beginner version. They can treat it as a novelty or toy, or if they like it as an instrument, and start figuring out songs (youtube has tutorials), you can upgrade them later.
Telescope. Because the night sky is full of inspiration. And looking at it together is incredibly bonding.
Okay. That’s it for the Tweens. Now it’s your turn. What’s on the wishlists of the tweens in your life? Does anything here spark ideas for you? Feel free to share links and recommendations!