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Tweens or pre-teens are tough to shop for during the holiday season: They may not want the toys and games of childhood, but their tastes haven’t matured either. When you can’t afford to spend much, finding the right gift for this difficult age can seem impossible. Begin shopping early and consider the perfect gift with some prices under £15—and, if you can afford to spend more, make that decision.
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Christmas Gifts for Tweens
A tween is a youngster caught between single-digit childhood and teenage life. Picking a gift for a tween can be especially difficult because a tween’s moods, choices and hobbies can change in the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, some items are great gifts for tweens no matter what phase they’re experiencing. The best gifts give them what they want while making sure they get what they need.
From tech products like game consoles to unique gift ideas involving beauty products, this is your secret weapon to tackling the holiday season. Make sure to check out our top products and most popular gifts to ensure you’re making the perfect choice for the tween in your life.
Blank Journals Are Great Stocking Stuffers
Tweens of either gender begin to want private space, and the gift of a journal allows them to write down their private thoughts, questions, songs, poems and stories. You can find journals to fit any budget at bookstores and stationery stores. Prices for these items on Amazon average £7 to £15, so they won’t break the bank.
Novelty Alarm Clocks Are Great Christmas Gift Ideas
Both the Good Housekeeping website and Gifts.com recommend novelty alarm clocks for tweens. This allows kids to set their own alarm for early morning sports practices or to wake up for school and teaches them about responsibility. Cute alarm clocks start around £15, but you can certainly spend more.
Books As Unique Gifts
Good Housekeeping recommends the “Daring Book for Girls” by Andrea J. Buchanan (or the “Dangerous Book for Boys” by Conn Iggulden) for adventurous tweens. The “Daring Book for Girls” covers tricks like cartwheels and blowing bubbles, practical advice on boys, note-folding strategies for covert communication and other topics; the boys’ guide offers lessons in knot-tying, invisible ink and talking to girls.
Getting lost in a story is a great gift for kids of all ages, and the young adult genre is bursting with top-selling series that engage tweens, make them think and let them escape into fantasy worlds. Also available are nonfiction books on science and exploration to encourage a kid’s discovery of the real world. While physical books can become treasured mementoes, a new type of electronic publishing offers other options. With the advent of the affordable e-reader, tweens can enjoy hundreds of books on a single device for less money than a video game system would cost.
Tweens of either gender who play sports have an appreciation for new gear. Whether it’s new athletic shorts, tube socks or sports bras, a light-up frisbee, an inflatable football, a replica of a favourite pro team member’s game T-shirt, or even a water bottle, this is a safe bet for athletic kids.
From the latest pop diva to the greatest boy band, tweens love music. CDs are a great gift if you know what band the kids are into these days. Even better, get a tween a gift card for a music download service so she can choose the artist and track.
Download services work with laptop computers, desktops, MP3 players and phones, so she can take her music with her or listen to it at home. A gift card for music also encourages young fans to download tunes legally instead of trying to find their favourite artists on illegal sharing sites.
A phone for a tween is a family decision because it does come with responsibility. Concerned parents can ask a cell phone provider for a custom package from unlimited texts to restricted Internet access, limited phone calls and GPS tracking.
Cell phones range from the basic model to touch-screen smartphones loaded with games, music and other applications. No matter what type of phone you select, go for the insurance so the cost of a replacement is covered in case of accidents or theft. Discuss with your tweens in advance any family policy on periodically reviewing photos, texts and other materials to ensure their safety.
Other Gadgets And Tech
- Apple Watch: While tweens may not need all the features of an adult smartwatch, this is a big hit among middle schoolers. It helps them keep track of their screen time while offering other fun and functional features.
- Nintendo Switch: Video games are always a big hit, and the Nintendo Switch, which got 5-star reviews last year, is perfect for tweens who love gaming.
- Echo Dot: This small but mighty assistant shopping editor-approved device offers different modes, perfect for young children moving into their big kid phase. Comes in a variety of colors including vibrant rose gold.
Fashion, Beauty And Self-Care
Fashion and peer approval can be a top priority for many tweens, so new clothes are always a welcome gift. Style is ever-changing with this age group and can range from designer jeans to ski hats and khaki shorts. If you know what clothes your tween wants, go ahead and do the shopping. If you’re buying for someone else’s child, ask the parents about her preferences in outfits, or go with a gift card to an age-specific boutique. This ensures that the tween picks age-appropriate clothing without feeling deprived.
- Fanny Packs: These have returned from the 90s in various colours and different patterns. They’re the perfect size and offer easy access to essentials, making them cool gifts.
- Name Necklaces: Customize a name necklace in sterling silver, a trend that is popping up on social media among tween girls and teen girls alike.
- Lip Balm and Lip Gloss: These come in a variety of colours and flavours, and are the perfect choice for tweens looking to experiment with beauty products for the first time. Face
- Masks: These aren’t just for mums. They’re a great way to introduce tweens to skincare. Choose from vibrant colours or solid colour packs.
Crafts And Fun
Crafting can be a fun and creative way for tweens to spend their time, while also learning new skills. Here are a few ideas that will make the best Christmas gifts for your tween:
- Craft Kit: Craft gifts are a great way to keep tweens engaged for a long time, especially on a rainy day. Craft kits are usually a big hit and offer much fun.
- Board Games: A hilarious card game or a strategy-based board game can be a great way to introduce a little competition among tweens. The Toy Insider recommends looking for games with 5-star reviews for the best gift ideas.
- Colouring Books: Available in different colours and themes, from Taylor Swift to American Girl, these are great for both actual tweens and teens of all ages.