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With one foot firmly still planted in childhood and the other inching towards the teen years, tweens often feel stuck between cute and grown up. This age group possesses growing self-confidence, independence, and academic skills that need to be nurtured. They flip flop between wanting to be seen as kids but also wanting to be viewed as grown up and crave some autonomy to explore things that they love and develop meaningful friendships.
The best gifts for tweens encourage them to be their best selves by fostering their growing interests. Gifts for tweens can be increasingly pricey but can also be a worthwhile investment for the future as they start to want to learn about specific topics and develop proficiency in their skills.
Best Gifts for Tweens
Bike riding kids who want to take their skills beyond riding on flat pavement will enjoy the 20-inch Hyper Nitro Circus BMX Bike. Alloy platform BMX pedals are helpful in pulling off the most awesome tricks, the micro-drive front and rear sprockets provide a smooth ride, even when off-roading, versatile multi-surface tires to thus aid your ride on all terrains with enhanced grip and control, and it also has a rotor up front for 360-degree handlebar rotation to let you experiment with various stunts more confidently. Tweens will love that the Nitro Circus BMX bike comes in black or red and parents will appreciate its sturdy build and design makes it perfect for bikers just learning the ways of dirt biking and more experienced cyclists too. Nitro Circus is providing a Hyper 20” Nitro Circus BMX Kids’ Bike and Bell Sports Nitro Circus Youth Helmet ($21.32) to one lucky winner! Enter using the form at the bottom of this post. For ages 8+
Earlier this year I was introduced to Let’s Start Coding, a very cool company that makes learning real coding skills fun and engaging. Their Code Car Kit is affordably priced at $40 and has features that can be controlled with real computer code, not that drag and drop stuff! For more information on Let’s Start Coding products, read my post How to Teach Kids to Code with Let’s Start Coding.
They may not sound any different than their old pair, but headphones designed by your tween will up their street cred because of their uniqueness. The Design Your Own Street Art Headphones set comes with a pair white over-ear headphones that work with a standard headphone jack, bright “spray” paints, colorful adhesive paper to create stickers or stencil shapes, craft markers, and instructions. Pro tip: Spritz the paint onto the headphones very lightly and allow it to dry completely before wearing to avoid any tackiness. It’s so hard to wait but important to remind your tween to be patient when creating their wearable work of art! For ages 8+
Buddha Board ($34.95)
Creative tweens in need of daily zen will love the screen-free Buddha Board that is designed to be used only with water and the included bamboo paintbrush. As the water evaporates, the image fades to provide an endless surface for creativity and a reminder to live in the moment. For ages 8+
Nintendo Switch ($299)
Readers of the Early Elementary Gift Guide know that this is making a reappearance here! Last week I visited Nintendo Headquarters. I knew we would have time to try Nintendo Switch but I wasn’t convinced we needed one until I started playing with it. Suddenly, I understood the appeal of this hot new system that has been flying off the shelves. This versatile device can be played at home docked in a console for game play on the TV but also taken on the go for portable play. Game play is also flexible thanks to pairs of controllers called JoyCons that can be used attached during portable play or taken off and shared with a friend so you can game together. Like mini Wii controllers, JoyCons work as controllers since they each feature 4 buttons and a joystick. Separate them and give one to a friend so you can play together and add a couple more so you can play a 4 person game with more friends. Or hold one in each hand and wave them around to play a game like Arms (rated E10+ and perfect for this age!) where the JoyCon will capture your movement as you fight in arenas against your opponent. Nintendo Switch is a cool hybrid system that promises lots more new games on the horizon and is fun for parents and kids alike. For ages 5+ Nintendo invited me to visit their Redmond, WA headquarters last week and paid for my travel and lodging however I personally paid for our Nintendo Switch, games, and accessories.
Thomas LOVES his Nerf blasters and this year Nerf doesn’t disappoint! From double barrel blasting power, a crossbow that shoots arrows, a new blaster that holds 30 darts, and a clip-fed blaster, here’s a rundown of the newest blasters that Thomas loves and your tween will too:
- Mega Twinshock ($39.99 or $27.49 on Amazon)— Double barrel blasting power comes from the ability to shoot two Mega darts at a time or flexibility to fire a single dart at a time. This powerful blaster will send darts as far as 90 feet and includes 10 Mega whistler darts. For ages 8+
- Zombie Strike Dreadbolt Bow ($49.99 or $44.99 on Amazon)— Prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse by starting to practice with the Zombie Strike Dreadbolt Bow. This crossbow fires arrows (5 are included) and features a detachable scope so you can be sure to properly aim to hit your target. For ages 8+
- N’Strike Elite Accustrike RaptorStrike Blaster ($49.99 or $38.88 on Amazon)— If your tween is more about accuracy and less about rapidly firing as many darts as they can, the N’Strike Elite Accustrike RaptorStrike Blaster is for them. This clip-fed blaster features pop-up sight and an adjustable stock and bipod to help line up every shot with precision. For ages 8+
- Doomlands the Judge ($59.99 or $48.77 on Amazon)— This hefty blaster (Thomas said “This is a BEAST” when he first picked it up) has an impressive 30 dart capacity and the ability to fire 3 darts at once! Tweens will love it and parents, well, sorry- you’ll find darts absolutely everywhere for ages since Doomlands has the ability to send lots of darts flying in a very short amount of time! For ages 8+
Bedside Caddy ($17.99-22.50, depending on size)
Sometimes our tweens don’t even know what they need until they start using them and find that they can’t live without them. That’s exactly the case with the Bedside Caddy. Available in two sizes, regular (8.7” x 4.5”) and large (16.5” x 8.5”), the Bedside Caddy helps tweens keep all the things they want in arm’s reach of their bed close by but off the floor. For ages 8+
Take her room game up to the next level with these darling string lights that feature clips to display photos of besties, favorite quotes, postcards, etc. LED bulbs are nestled inside a clip to showcase a collection of faves. For ages 8+
**GIVEAWAY** Super Lucky’s Tale ($29.99 for Windows 10 PC, Xbox One or Xbox One X)
Rated E for Everyone, Super Lucky’s Tale follows Lucky, an ever-optimistic and lovable hero, on his quest to find his inner strength and help his beloved sister rescue the Book of Ages from the nefarious Jinx. Families will have a blast mastering their jumping, burrowing, running and spinning skills while exploring this expansive world, solving puzzles and finding secrets. Available for Xbox One X, Xbox One, and Windows 10 PC. Win one of two download codes to play Super Lucky’s Tale with your family, courtesy of Playful Corp! Enter using the form at the bottom of this post.For all ages
Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame ($59.99 for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
What do you get when you combine the Lego Ninjago movie with video game fun? An action-adventure game based on the movie where the characters use their martial arts and ninja skills to defeat the enemy that’s a solid gift idea for Lego lovers who also love to game! For ages 10+ To read a full review of Lego Ninjago Movie Videogame, visit Common Sense Media.
Honest Outfitters Double Hammock with Hammock Tree Straps ($18-29.99 from Amazon, depending on your color selection)
Hammocks are all the rage among my two kids and their friends who love to camp and anyone who loves the great outdoors will agree that having a portable hammock is a welcome addition to enjoying fresh air to the fullest. The problem with other popular brands of hammocks is that the hammocks and the straps are sold separately, making a fun gift more of an investment. That’s why I love Honest Outfitters’ Double Camping Hammock with Hammock Tree Straps. This portable hammock is made of parachute fabric, is under $30, supports up to 500 pounds, and tucks into a tiny bag, making it perfect for backpacking, camping, or just hanging out in your own backyard. For ages 8+
How do you encourage kids to be global citizens? By teaching them to think about what exists beyond their community. Little Passports is a longtime favorite and their various editions provide age appropriate learning about the world or our own country through meaningful hands-on activities that make learning fun. The World Edition (ages 6-10) allows kids to explore a new country each month with souvenirs and hands-on activities while the USA Edition (ages 7-12) focuses on teaching tweens about two new states each month through activity-packed State Journals. Both are great choices so choose one this year and get the other one next year! For ages 6+
Best Books as Gifts for Tweens
- The Getaway (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 12) ($7.99 on Amazon)
- Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties ($9.88 from Amazon)
- Dog Man and Cat Kid ($7.11 available for pre-order on Amazon)
- The Percy Jackson Coloring Book ($12.80 on Amazon)— Demigods, brandish your pencils! Over the past decade, millions of young readers have come to adore Rick Riordan’s classic series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, which made ancient Greek mythology contemporary, relevant, and entertaining as it turned kids on to reading. Now fans can literally color Percy’s world with the amusing portraits, dramatic scenes, and intricate designs on every spread of this large format paperback. The Percy Jackson Coloring Book is a great way to introduce young children to the series, to allow older fans to reminisce, and to augment classroom units on Greek mythology.
- Scratch & Create Hand-Lettered Life ($15.25 on Amazon)— Move over coloring books! Scratch art is here! Lovers of fonts and quotes will love the ability to design their own quotes thanks to this book that includes everything your young artist needs. There are three lettering stencil sets, one set of ornament stencils, and 16 scratch sheets, each with a unique, and colorful background which will show through the design. Also take a look at Enchanted Forest Original Art Postcards ($9.97) if fantasy worlds are more appealing than fonts.
ENTER TO WIN A HYPER 20” NITRO CIRCUS BMX KIDS’ BIKE
My fabulous friends at Nitro Circus want your tween to develop a love of biking and are providing a Hyper 20” Nitro Circus BMX Kids’ Bike ($99) and Bell Sports Nitro Circus Youth Helmet to keep them safe! Enter using the Rafflecopter form below and good luck!
2017 Holiday Gift Guides
Age Appropriate Gift Guides:
Specialty Gift Guides:
- Top Tech Toys of the Year
- STEM Gifts for All Ages (preK-teen)
- Best Subscription Boxes
- Gadget Lovers
- Frequent Fliers
- 9 Gifts that Make it Easy for Families to Give Back
- Gifts for Teachers (from the perspective of a former teacher, with input from current teachers)
Samples were received to facilitate this post and affiliate links are included. No compensation was received for this post or hosting this giveaway and all opinions are my own.