Fun Gifts for Tween Sports Fans

Girls kicking soccer ball

Julie Elliott-Abshire /

Finding gifts for preteens isn’t as easy as it was when they were younger. Preteens can be a tough crowd to please, and the best way to proceed with gift-giving is to consider the child’s interests, passions, and hobbies. If you know a preteen who is a sports addict, either as a player or a spectator, gift-giving just got a little easier. Consider the items below when shopping for your sports-minded preteen. They'll help you stuff your tween's Christmas stocking, or make his birthday a special event. They're also thoughtful gifts to end a great sports season or start another.

Gifts for Tween Athletes (Or Sports Fans)

  • A couple of insulated water bottles to take to practice
  • A sports towel with your child’s initials
  • Deodorant for the locker room
  • Tickets to a local sporting event that you can attend together
  • New sports-specific equipment for practice or play
  • A subscription to a sports-themed magazine
  • A new gym bag with your child’s initials
  • A new warm-up suit
  • A new toiletry kit for the gym
  • Locker decorations with the logo of a favorite team or sport
  • Hand warmers or toe warmers for outdoor winter sports
  • Chapstick
  • A small notebook for taking notes at practice or writing down plays or tips from the coach
  • An exercise ball, hand weights or other items to help improve performance
  • Books about your child’s favorite sports
  • Sports memorabilia such as vintage sports magazines, baseball cards, posters or equipment
  • A fitness or sports journal or diary
  • An autograph book that your tween can fill with signatures of his teammates, coaches or his favorite players
  • A small insulated soft-sided cooler to take to practice
  • A gift card to a local sports store
  • Workout clothes such as t-shirts, socks, athletic shoes, and shorts
  • A jump rope for training
  • A gym membership
  • A manicure in team colors
  • A gift card to a local spa for a sports massage
  • Sports-themed game for the computer/game console
  • A consultation with a personal training coach
  • A gift certificate to a week at a local sports camp
  • Sports-themed items for their room, such as pillows, posters, bedspreads, and accessories
  • A jersey from your child's favorite team
  • A new digital camera or video camera for documenting season and interviewing teammates
  • A picture of your child’s team, framed and ready to hang in his room
  • A sports-themed calendar
  • An air-freshener for the gym locker
  • A scrapbook or bulletin board to display newspaper clippings, ticket stubs or other sports memorabilia

Other Suggestions for Tween Athletes

  • If you can't afford a pricey item, purchase two or three less expensive items, such as an insulated water bottle, hand warmers, and a sports magazine, and then make a sports-themed basket for your tween.
  • To make it fun, wrap your gifts using the sports pages from your local newspaper, or use the pages of a glossy sports magazine. Or, stuff your gift items into a sports or athletic bag, tie with a ribbon and present it to your sports-minded preteen.
  • If your present is for a birthday party, carry the sports theme through the party with invitations, activities, a sports-themed cake, and even sports-themed goody bags for all the guests.​
  • If your tween is interested in a yet-to-be-tried sport, consider taking lessons together. You could learn to ski, box, or take on archery or sailing as an extracurricular activity.