Gifts for Tweens

Tween Friendly, Parent Approved

Shopping For Tweens

Tips to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Tweens

The pre-teen age group can be challenging in many ways.  As a middle school teacher, I found the age group to be completely charming but extremely frustrating.  There are so many physical and developmental issues that the maturity level of a child ranges hugely from one day to the next.  You start to experience this around the age of 8, when your youngster begins to seriously test your authority in ways not done before.  By age 10 and 11, your tween is popping off frequently:

  • “Why do I have to?”
  •  “Why can’t you do it?”
  •  “I don’t want to!”
Sound familiar?  Translate this into gift giving.  One day, something is an absolute must-have.  The next, it might as well be tossed in the trash bin.  You spend hours thinking about the perfect Christmas or birthday gift, and find your great idea rejected.  One issue is that as a parent of a tween, you need to develop a tough skin.  You have some testing time ahead.  Another issue is your goals in finding a gift.  You can nurture that self-centered attitude, or you can aim for higher ground.  Think about gifts in terms of tried and true, fun and funky, and long term potential.  Consider this a learning time that allows your child to develop habits that will last a lifetime, good or bad.

Everyone loves to find great gifts for their friends and family. Sometimes, though, it’s tough to know whether your choice is going to impress or whether it will be politely received but never used. Who wants to waste money on unwanted gifts? Shopping for tween gifts can be a bit challenging in terms of knowing how a gift will be received. Sometimes we hit the nail on the head and other times we miss the mark completely. My tween son loves Transformers, and he loves Legos. For his birthday, I found a great series of Transformers building sets, like Legos but not the brand name product. His disappointment was not withheld. Of course, we had a lesson in manners and I explained my reasoning. Unfortunately, his straightforward personality sometimes leads to unfortunate expressions of displeasure, and we are working on manners. However, as a Mom, I recognized that my best intentions were not good enough to avoid the result.


Your child’s personality may help in avoiding these conflicts.  Use his or her affinities to decide on favorite types of gifts.  Use responsibility as a gauge when you are thinking about expensive gifts.  Think about focus if you are considering multi-use gifts.  Think about learning styles.  Hands on kids do wonderfully with craft sets, but your auditory learner may not touch that beading set.  Promote interaction with real people just as much as with machines.  Computers and ebook readers are great, but if they turn your child into an isolated game player, there may be consequences later.  I recently had to decide between a basic ereader or a cheap tablet.  I voted for the ereader because of the distraction issues my tween daughter faces.


You know your own children, and you know their interests. Sometimes, in picking out the best gifts for your tweens, you may find that you had a fantastic idea and that it didn’t meet your tween’s expectations. It happens. I can make all of the recommendations in the world, but still miss the mark. Here at Gifts for Tweens, you will find ideas, and I will occasionally host some guest posts with recommendations that I haven’t considered.  Hopefully, there will be value in what is offered so that you can find great gifts for your pre-teens.


You can explore the pages on the site for specific ideas, search for specific types of gifts, or explore the categories.  I highlight the positives and negatives as I evaluate things that are tween appropriate, and I try to provide fun ideas for lifting a tween’s spirits during a very tumultuous phase of life.

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