For this Tween Gift Guide, I had in mind the big kids — in the 8-12 years old age range. Me and my kids came up with a ton of great ideas for you. There are 33 gifts on the list, and thirteen of them are $15 or less. Many things on the list would make good stocking stuffers too. Ready? Here goes…
34 Top Gifts for Tweens
Harmonica. $11. A great stocking stuffer. 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 to an even fancier version later.
Telescope. $32. Because the night sky is full of inspiration. And looking at it together is incredibly bonding.
Duct Tape Crafting Book. $10. So many cool projects! Part art, part engineering. Everyone in the family will enjoy getting involved in this creative process. Don’t forget to order some colorful duct tape too.
Colorful, Sturdy Umbrella. $25. Something cheerful on a rainy day. It comes in solid colors too.
Digital Piggy Bank. $11. 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.
Shoot the Moon. $33. Think of it as one of the first video games. (Adults and teens love this one too!)
Illuminated Globe. $50. It’s pretty. It’s practical. Have it plugged in and glowing under the tree on Christmas morning and it is sure to bring a gasp of wonder.
Solar Robot Building Toy. $32. It’s designed for building early STEM skills.
Cotton Jump Rope. $15. 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.)
Leather Slippers. $30. Don’t these look cozy?
Folkmanis Animal Puppets. $20. 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.
Not Parent Approved. $14. 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 — and there’s an expansion pack too.
Vertical Vortex Interactive Spring Toy. $18. A friend of Betty’s showed up at rehearsal with one of these and Betty says it’s irresistible and super fun to play with.
Glow In The Dark Stars. $14. 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.
Digital Camera for Kids. $29. Cute, small and lightweight — the perfect size for little hands, and it comes in five colors.
Binoculars (Kid-sized!). $29. 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.
Pro-Yoyo. $15. It comes in three different colors, a it’s ready to be used for all the best yoyo tricks.
Star Wars Millennium Falcon Waffle Maker. $38. 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. $8. Do you have stairs? Then this will be a hit. Put it in a stocking.
Traditional Matryoshka Russian Nesting Dolls. $23. 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.
Tracer Bot. $20. You draw a line and the robot will follow it like it’s on a track.
Magna-Tiles Building Set. $117. 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. $13. 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.
Exploding Kittens Card Game. $18. 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. $29. A really great series your kids might not have discovered yet because they haven’t been made into a movie.
Pogo Stick. $50. For when they need to get their energy out.
Set of 12 Gliders. $6. 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. $16. 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. $17. 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.
Rainbow Maker. $37. It basically makes magic.
Lego Gear Bots. $19. If you’re swimming in Legos, add this to the mix to make the most of what you already have.
Mudpuppy Beetle Puzzle. $14. We love putting together a big puzzle on Christmas afternoon as the day gets quiet. This ones is so colorful and charming. Other handsome options when you click through.
Coogam Metal Wire Puzzle Set. $9. 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.
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!