Tween Gifts for Any Occasion

When it comes to tween gifts, you can get a novelty gift, go retro, geek out, or grab something girly. Recommended by parents of tweens, and approved by tweens, there are plenty of gift giving options that could prove to be the perfect selection for a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another special event.

Novelty Gifts

For example, novelty gifts make great tween gifts and are often reasonably priced. The great thing about giving a novelty gift is that the tween probably doesn't own the item already, and it's unlikely that anyone else will think of it as a gift option. A novelty gift that is likely to please is the Sea-Monkey, which is a creature that comes to life in ordinary tap water. You could also get a funky Magic 8 Ball which answers all the questions a tween could possibly ask. Also popular is 20Q, a gadget that can guess exactly what you're thinking, by asking 20 "yes" or "no" questions.

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    Girly Girl Gifts

    tween girl opening gift with her mother
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    Girly girls are easy to buy for. There are stock "girly girl" gifts like makeup, cosmetics, fashion accessories, magazine subscriptions, and clothes. Tweens who enjoy feminine styles might enjoy pastel colors like pink and purple, want to test out new perfumes, or have a certain preference toward southern, boho, or preppy looks.

    Consider getting feminine gifts for her everyday look, the high school locker, a college dorm room, or her bedroom.

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    Retro Rules

    Many gifts of yesteryear become popular again and again, such as Frisbees, Hacky Saks, Shrinky Dinks, and Yo-Yos. Consider putting together a gift basket with a few retro items and treats like Pop Rocks to complete a wonderful set.

    You can also get an activity kit like the Creepy Crawlers Workshop, which allows tweens to use goop, molds, and a workshop oven to make rubbery critters. It's a fun item for both girls and boys, proving that tween gifts don't have to be boring.

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    Give an Experience

    Instead of offering a physical gift, like a Wii game or a DVD movie, you could give your tween an experience to remember. For example, you could buy concert tickets for two or dinner and movie for your tween and a friend. There are other options too, like spending a day bowling, or going to a local amusement park with Mom and Dad.

    Tween girls may especially appreciate a day at the spa or a manicure with one of her girlfriends. Other experiences could include a shopping trip, a fancy lunch, or a class at a local beading store. Whatever you choose, consider his or her interests, so you know whether to book a day at a local rock climbing gym or a few hours at an arcade or batting cage.

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    Gift Cards

    Many people think gift cards are impersonal and boring gifts, but tweens love the idea of having money of their own. As they experience an age where they can't quite work yet, but want to spend money as they please, a gift card offers tweens a little independence. Most tweens are thrilled to receive gift cards or prepaid credit cards as gifts, but a safe bet is a card to their favorite shopping store, or a general destination like Amazon or Starbucks.

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    Art Crafts and Science

    Although tweens aren't preschoolers anymore, they still enjoy the idea of arts and crafts. Craft projects for tween boys and girls could include rock polishing kits, wood burning kits, leather crafts, and even science kits. They may also enjoy beading crafts, sewing crafts, origami kits, and other hands-on activities. One interesting kit is The Science of Soda Pop, winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. This kit allows children to make soda and learn about the science behind it. If your tween loves the arts and sciences, you can also consider a trip to the local art or science museum where many of these workshops are available.

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    Buy a Book

    There's plenty of wonderful tween literature on the bookshelves including, but beyond, Harry Potter. Tween book series worth looking into include Lemony Snicket, Artemis Fowl, and the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. There are also self-help books, especially those that lean heavily toward tween girls, like Fab Girls Guides (published by Discover Girls Magazine).

    If your tween has a Kindle or other eBook reader, you can give him or her a budget to pick out a few books from. If you want a physical touch, opt for a hardcover book that will keep for years. You can add a personal touch by writing an inscription inside, making it even more special.