Best Tween Toys for Kids Ages 8 to 12

LUMI Gaming Drone

It can be difficult to find games and toys for tweens, or kids ages 8-12. Gift cards, hand held gaming devices, and video games for consoles like the Nintendo WiiU and Xbox One are generally at the top of a tween's wish list.

Do not let your tweens fool you into thinking they are to old for toys. These are some of the best tween toys for kids, or those in the pre-teen age range.  These toys will satisfy a tween's love of technology, active play, and creativity. Many will of these toys...MORE will help tweens express their unique sense of individuality, while still preserving their innocence as they make the transition into full fledged teenagers.

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    Cozmo is a robot who not only enjoys playing games, but he is interactive and was designed to exhibit a lot of motion and and tons of personality. An iphone or tablet is required to use Cozmo.

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    For kids who like to be on stage and sing, using a smartphone, they can sing karaoke into their own portable SelfieMic. The app includes over 3 million songs to choose from.

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    Many children like to decorate and complete arts and crafts activities. These crafty kids will love Poppit. Clay is inserted into molds. The molds are twisted on to the top of a popper. Once the popper is squeezed, the clay designs pop out onto the table. Children then decorate their creations. Even though Poppit creations resemble bakery items, they are made of clay and are not edible.

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    Many kids love to cook and bake. Real Cooking sets not only give kids, functioning baking tools, but real milk, eggs and oil are added into the preportioned baking mixes. Kids will enjoy baking their treats, then decorating cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and mini donuts.

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    The Hatchimals toys are adorable Pengualas and Draggles that kids nurture and watch hatch, as the toy pecks through the shell with its beak from inside the egg. Once the Hatchimals are free, kids will need to listen to their cues and emotions, then respond by caring for their Hatchimal using certain actions. Hatchimals can also learn to walk, talk and play games. 

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    These MegaTracks are a high speed rail system, where kids design and build their own race tracks. The track system can be attached to all sorts of furniture, so it resembles a roller coaster. They can also complete stunts with these fast rail racers.

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    American Girl Dolls are popular dolls to collect, for girls of all ages. Some girls like the BeForever collection, which features historical dolls like Melody Ellison. Others prefer the Doll of the Year Collection. American Girl also includes chapter books that arrive with their doll, which tells their unique story. 

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    Lots of tweens want to fly toy drones, which can be difficult, except if you have LUMI the Gaming Drone. Using a free smartphone app, kids can fly a drone inside the house and be in control of LUMI while they play games and perform awesome tricks, all with the touch of a button. 

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    Kids and adults of all ages love to race and maneuver remote control cars. Thunder Trax not only drives on land, but it can race on sand, snow, grass, gravel, mud, and water. After pushing only 1 button, Thunder Trax can transform into a tank. 

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    Know tweens who like to draw, especially 3D designs? They will enjoy creating with a 3D printing pen. Small tubes are inserted into the pen, which safely heat on demand, allowing kids to add accessories to toys they already own or create their own designs, while drawing in the air. Templates are included in the kit with beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions for those who need inspiration.

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    Classic Nintendo fans who are parents, might actually want this more than their children. The Nintendo NES Classic edition is the re-launch of the original Nintendo system that includes 30 preloaded games in one system that include fan favorites: Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, PAC-MAN, Dr. Mario, Mega Man, and Final Fantasy.

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    STEM toys are a great gift for tweens who enjoy building, creating, and imagineering. With Meccano Meccanoid, they will use small pieces and a hex tool to construct robots, then customize and program their friend to do a variety of things like imitate your motor actions, speak, tell jokes and share trivia. Smaller, less expensive, MicroNoids are available that can also be programmed to interact with each other.

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    There are so many LEGO sets to choose from for tweens, that it is hard to pick only one. No matter what their interest is, there is most likely a LEGO set to match. Popular themes for tweens LEGO Friends, Disney, Star Wars, Minecraft, Ghostbusters, NEXO Knights, Ninjago and Harry Potter.

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    Blaster toys are wildly popular with boys and girls in the tween age range. They are great gift for this age range because they come in a variety of sizes and price ranges, and get kids actively playing both indoors and outdoors. The NERF Modulus blasters  allow kids the ability to customize their blaster. For kids who enjoy the idea launching bows and arrows or a even a crossbow, make sure to check out the NERF Rebelle toys.

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    Want a dog in the house that does not mess and can actually be trained? CHIP is a robotic puppy with a personality who can perform tricks and even return his smart ball, on verbal command. A free app also enhances play with CHIP.

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    For kids who love blaster play, X-Shot blasters can fire up to 55 feet. Instead of aiming at other people, players can use their blasters to shoot at Creepeez, which are bugs and spiders that become moving targets, and will fall from the wall once they have been hit accurately.

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    With Skylanders Imaginators, kids use their imagination to create their Skylanders characters which include body parts, powers, colors, music and catch phrases to use in the game. All previous toys are compatible and will work in this new video game. Those who use mobile devices can also create their characters using the Skylanders Creator app.

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    Gamers with a PS4 will now be able to play games at home in virtual worlds with a whole new perspective, using this VR headset. Games and headset are sold separately from the console.

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    For budding video game designers, Bloxels is a hands-on way to build video game platforms. Using small blocks placed inside a grid, this allows designers to create characters, game art and game rooms. An app is downloaded, then photos are taken of the blocks, where they become digitized so the child can play the game they designed from scratch.

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    Based on the popular television show, Battlebots, kids create their own machines, then use a remote control to maneuver it. The goal is to  destroy the opponent in the arena. Kids can then rebuild their Battlebots and challenge each other again and again.

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    Tweens still have a love affair with LEGOs and video games. LEGO Dimensions is a video game that is used with their preferred console, like a WiiU or an XBox One. However, inside the sets, children use traditional LEGO bricks to build gateways and transport different mini-figures into their virtual game play. There are fun packs for the game that include Harry Potter, Mission Impossible and Adventure Time.

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    Kids will love to learn how to control Mebo.  Mebo has a video camera that is great for spying on friends and family members and streams to a phone or tablet. His controlled arm is great for picking items and completing challenges.  

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    Board games and logic games are fun for tweens. In Dr. Eureka, kids receive a challenge card, and their job is to use their problem solving skills to move the "molecules" from 1 tube to another, without dropping them, to match the card, faster than their opponent. This game can also serve as a great single player game for kids looking to beat the clock.

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    There are many expensive drones, which vary in price and appeal to older tweens. There are also toy drones, which can perform simple stunts and include features like auto launch, auto land and auto hover, making them not only affordable, but great for beginning flyers.

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    Kids love collectible toys. Disney fans will enjoy collecting, stacking, and displaying hundreds of Disney Tsum Tsum characters. Tweens may want to add to old collections or start new ones. Tween collectible favorites also include Shopkins, NumNoms, Funko Mystery Mini's, Littlest Pet Shop, My MiniMixieQ's and LEGO mini-figures. 

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    Ever wanted to be an electrical engineer? Receive a challenge card, then arrange the tokens to create a real, working circuit and light up different beacons to solve the puzzle. 

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    Many tweens are gamers and this has been the case for decades. For active kids who spend a lot of time in the car going to and from school, and carpooling to sporting events or after-school activities, having portable entertainment is a requirement. The Nintendo 3DS XL has a fast processor for kids who like to play Nintendo games. It has amiibo compatibility with gameplay, but it also includes ways for kids to chat with friends, surf the internet, check their email, take pictures, watch movies...MORE on Netflix or Hulu and play against others in close proximity. 

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    nabi tablets are the perfect choice for tweens who want more independence to play fun games, watch movies and begin to use social channels. They include great parental controls for parents to monitor their children online and are very affordable at $50.

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    Beasts of Balance
    Beasts of Balance

    This stacking game with strategy can be played with friends or alone. Using different artefacts, or animals, players scan the toy into the app, then put their items on the plinth, stacking them up, hoping the tower does not fall over, or the game is over. Animals are able to evolve which changes the game play. An iOS or android app, and a device is required for play. The game is available for play in 3 different languages, English, German and French. 

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    Looking to pass on your holiday cookie decorating to the kids? Then chech out the Chocolate Pen, a battery-operated motorized pen that writes in liquid chocolate. There are 50 molds, 4 pen tips, 4 clamps, 4 pen caps, 5 gift bags, 3 mold trays and 4 different colors of chocolate.

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    Sports fans and construction brick fans, you can now build your NHL team's hockey rink, then use your hockey skaters to play a game. Additional players and a zamboni can be purchased. Players can also be customized with a chid's favorite NHL team.

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    Re-decorating the playroom or a child's bedroom? Looking for an awesome gift for your tween to find next to the Christmas tree? Fans of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Bat Man, DC Comics, Godzilla, Halo, Minions, Power Rangers, and World of Nintendo will love these life-size action figures. Aside from decoration, each 4 foot toy includes weapons, motion detection sounds and light-up logos.  

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    For kids who have love vehicles and technology play using their smartphone, Anki OverDrive allows them to use a phone or tablet then race cars with their friends in real time. The tracks in this system are unique, because they are magnetic, players can easily design and build customizable tracks. 

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    While certainly LEGO's are popular construction toys, K'Nex Mighty Makers Engineering sets are perfect for kids who like even more of a building challenge. Pieces snap together and connect, but require more skill than block-based sets. These sets encourage kids to build airplanes, ocean boats, and dollhouses. While Mighty Makers may appeal more towards girls, there are many K'Nex building sets available for kids of all ages and interests.