Those lovely little tweenie tweens are equal parts delightful and depressing. No one does he sulk better or holds a grudge longer than a tween. Especially a tween who wanted an Apple watch but received a calculator instead (this may or may not have happened at our place). Which is why getting the gifts for tweens right is so very important.
Here are more than 21 gifts for tweens that will have them smiling and thankful and oozing that joyful exuberance that tweens do so well. And nothing will make us smile more at Christmas than that.
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Awesome gifts for tweens under $10
Fabric paints are great for getting creative. White pillow cases look fantastic decorated for a bedroom, or you can add a plain white tshirt for about $5 and let them design and create their own colourful version like a champ.
Getting cute critters to do unnecessary things like cover a cable are exactly what floats a tween’s boat. These cuties are on special for just $2 right now, so jump over for the ultimate stocking filler.
Nope card game
The aim of the game is to hang onto all of your cards (like a reverse UNO). It’s fast and fun for even the youngest tweenie.
Try one of these too: 6 card games kids will love just as much as screens
Panda sleep mask
We all want our tweens to get really, really good at sleeping. This mask might help. Plus they will look so darn cute in it.
Ace gifts for tweens $20 and under
One for budding sleuths (and all tweens have a tendency to be nosy and hopefully problem-solvey). You can actually use this kit to pull a pretty good fingerprint. Fans of Brooklyn 99 will be here for this.
Tie-die cushion cover
Quite a grown-up gift that I think either gender will really like. You can pick up a cushion insert from Spotlight for under $5 too.
David Walliams book
The Beast of Buckingham Palace is David Walliams latest book. I’m quite sure it’s not about Prince Andrew, although it could be. Basically, any Walliams book will be received with thanks by the tween set.
More great book series: 18 awesome book series for reluctant readers
DIY insect house*
Build this little DIY insect house and watch and observe visitors. You could add a notebook and pen to your gift for recording and monitoring purposes.
Unreal gifts for tweens $30 and under
Schoolbooks for kids*
Through World Vision you can buy school books for a needy kid. On request, they’ll send your child a card to say thank you. There are plenty of other options, starting at $5.
Read All About It is everything a kid needs to create their own zines to share. They write, illustrate and produce the mini-mags, following prompts in the kit.
Kleen Kanteen straw pack
Eco-conscious tweens will love these colourful straws to cart around. There’s four in a pack.
101 Brilliant Things For Kids to Do With Science is seriously entertaining and absorbing. This book will foster creativity, curiosity and, most likely, lots of cleaning up. But it’s worth it.
Cockatoo whistle pendant
This is a most unusual and interesting gift, but one I think kids of any gender will love. The bird emits a single-note whistle and no two pendants are alike.
Tops gifts for tweens $50 and under
Darcey drawstring bags*
Kids will find a myriad of uses for these cute drawstring bags. Made with strong cotton drill fabric. These bags support Fairtrade principles through Global Sisters: Global Sisters seeks to empower marginalized producers and women who are excluded from mainstream employment by providing them safe working conditions, fair pay, and a means to establish a sustainable business free from exploitation.
The Happy Hair Brush may seem like a weird kind of gift, but when you consider that you are giving the gift of painless hair brushing, it makes perfect sense. We have this exact brush and it’s the only brush that tackles my kids’ unruly, knot-friendly hair with ease. We’ve tried so many brushes and this is the only one that works.
Mario mushroom light
Fans of Nintendo Super Mario Bros (and that is approx 99% of kids this age) will love this battery-operated light. It’s actually adorable, even if you’ve never heard of Nintendo or a Mario brother.
Hand screen printed on an ethically made t-shirt, this one is a beauty. “Octopus says clean the sea” – a great message for environmentally aware kiddos. Dissenters is a Wollongong NSW community of passionate, socially motivated artists who have banded together to create t-shirts that challenge the status quo.
It’ll cost you nearly 50 bucks for a drink bottle, but trust me, this isn’t just any drink bottle. It’s the drink bottle and your child will take very, very good care of it forever and ever amen. Hopefully.
Harry Potter madness gets bigger every year. Talk about the story of a century. If Harry can get kids interested in the equally enduring fun of Scrabble, then you’re really onto a winner.
We won’t understand the allure of this one. Many kids will. Beware that they will want to do the tricks over and over with you as the audience… but they will love every minute of it.
Watch Ya Mouth
This is an hilarious game for any age, but tweens especially love it. Parents especially love seeing them laughing their heads off with friends without a screen in sight.
Brilliant gifts for tweens for under $100
Most tweens like anything and everything from Sunnylife. This in-pool inflatable volleyball set is our pick for the summer.
These slip-on sneakers are vegan, organic and certified Fairtrade. Which sure beats the shoes we usually pop on our feet. They’re very cute too.
Boho hanging chair
My daughter is desperate for a chair like this, so on the list it goes.
What gifts for tweens are on your list this year?