Oh the tween years! Not kids and not quite teens, tweens have increased confidence and independence but are still kids at heart.Tweens are confident readers who can be intensely curious about the things they want to learn about. This age longs to be the center of attention but also wants some autonomy from mom and dad to explore things that they love and develop meaningful connections with friends. Gifts for tweens can be increasingly pricey but could also be a worthwhile investment for the future.
Kindle Paperwhite ($119)— Earlier this year I got my hands on the newest Kindle Paperwhite and there isn’t anything I don’t love about it. The laser-quality text is even easier on the eyes, the screen is easy-to-read no matter how long you get lost in your book, and it has an impressive battery life that Kindle measures in weeks rather than hours. The Paperwhite is a perfect companions for tweens who love to read especially because we want to always encourage them to read for fun! For my full review, visit 3 Reasons Why You’ll Love the new Kindle Paperwhite (that makes it worth upgrading!).
Tweedz Tangle Free Earbuds ($34.99)— No one loves tangled earbuds so upgrade our tween’s with Tweedz. Made with a durable braided wire, Tweedz reduces tangles and is long enough that tweens can keep their phone in their pocket or backpack while listening to music. 3 included earbud sizes ensure a snug fit to help isolate noise.
Acer Cloudbook AO1-431-C8G8 ($199 at Walmart) — So many times you sacrifice processor speed and storage when you find affordable computing option but the Acer Cloudbook is a full-fledged Windows 10 machine that features 14 features a 14-inch HD display, Intel Celeron processor, 32GB of internal storage plus a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and OneDrive online storage. Kids who need to carry their notebook between home and school will love that the cloudbook weighs just 3.5 pounds. They can also pack lighter because a full charge provides up to 14 hours of battery life and weighs just 3.5 pounds, so it’s a great solution for kids who may want to carry their notebook between home and school.
Ozobot Bit 2.0 ($114.99) & OzoBlockly— Ozobot is perfect for kids who are interested in coding but need a concrete object to understand the building blocks of the coding language. This one-inch robot moves kids from augmented reality to physical play as they use color — black, red, green and blue –to program Ozobot to follow a path forward, backwards, fast, slow, right, left and more. Ozobot’s ability to see colored lines and know the difference is truly amazing plus it works on physical surfaces like paper or digital ones like smartphones and tablets. It works with the free OzoLuck, OzoPath and OzoDraw apps in either the Google Play for Android or iTunes store for iOS devices. Since sometimes seeing is believing, check out this video to see Ozobot in action.
12 Piece Basic Decorating Tip Set ($30)— Young bakers with a love of frosting will enjoy a set of their own decorating tips to try their hand at frosting accents to bring their baked goods to the next level. I love this starter set that provides tips to create floral designs, basket weave patterns, and more.
CardNinja ($9.95)— The CardNinja is a spandex pocket with 3M adhesive that attaches to the back of any smartphone or case to store a school ID, cash, and up to 8 cards ( bus or subway pass) to eliminate the need for a wallet or purse. It comes in 6 colors (Black, Gray, Gold, Eggplant, Magenta and Blue) and patterns such as Hawaiian, Paisley, Cheetah, Zebra, Gold Polka Dot to match your phone and your style.
Makey Makey ($69.95)— This invention kit for the 21st century that turns everyday objects into touchpads for your computer and has been named Forbes as a must have gadget for every cutting-edge school, Consumer Reports said it was one of 6 Terrific Tech Toys of 2014 and you can check out this Today Show Back To School Tech segment featuring the Makey Makey. The Makey Makey is an open-sourced tool great for anyone interested in music, art, or tech projects for experts and beginners alike. Made for ages 8 and above ($49.95)
Nabu X social wearable smartband ($49.99)— Always be in the know thanks to the Nabu X. This non-bulky, adjustable wearable blends smart watch and fitness band features that record steps walked, distance traveled, and hours slept while customizable LEDs provide no-screen notifications for your phone. Nabu X bands “talk” to each other when nearby, creating a fun new way to interact with friends. Share information with new Nabu X acquaintances with a simple handshake. Available in a classic black, white, funky neon green.
LEGO Dimensions ($99.99)— For kids who love to build with LEGOs, this new video game is a dream come true. For years kids have been mixing and matching LEGO minifigs with vehicles during pretend play and LEGO Dimensions gives the the same ability to do so via a video game. LEGO Dimensions is all about mashups and mixing and matching characters, their vehicles, and skills in different worlds or dimensions. It’s a cool game that involves building that kids love and nostalgia for parents thanks to fun character sets and worlds in a fun family game where toys come to life. If you’re getting this for your kids this holiday season and friends and relatives are asking for gift suggestions, point them in the direction of Level Packs ($29.99), Team Packs ($24.99) and Fun Packs($14.99) that provide more possibilities for additional game play and access to more worlds/dimensions within the game.
Minecraft Story Mode ($29.99)— Remember Choose Your Own Adventure books? Minecraft Story Mode is like the electronic version of Choose Your Own Adventure in a video game form involving pixelated characters. Fans of Minecraft will like this new version that allows players to create a story based on their decisions, conversations, and choices.
- Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard ($11.99)— If you have a child who has loved Percy Jackson, they will love Rick Riordan’s new Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer. While the Percy Jackson series taught kids about Greek Mythology through a modern day hero, the Magnus Chase trilogy aims to teach kids about Norse Mythology in a tale involving Viking myths, Norse Gods, trolls, giants, and an assortment of other monsters who want to kill him.
- Treasury of Norse Mythology: Stories of Intrigue, Trickery, Love, and Revenge ($24.99) — Beautifully told by author Donna Jo Napoli, this National Geographic book is a gorgeously illustrated compilation of Norse myths of gods, goddesses, monsters, and heroes. If your kids are fans of Thor, Vikings, and more, this Treasury contains more of the lyrical tales of the Norse gods, goddesses, trolls, and giants that are perfect for bedtime–or anytime–storytelling.
- Why: 1,111 Answers to Everything ($10.99) — This book is in the fun, eye-catching style of our popular Weird But True line of books and has answers to literally everything! These fun facts grab young readers and keep them hooked with fun facts to use to stump their parents.
- Guinness World Records 2016 ($28.95)— My kids are always captivated by the Guinness World Records book when the latest edition comes out thanks to the abundance of new records, never-before-seen images, and tons of trivia that they love.
- Guinness World Records 2016: Gamer’s Edition with Minecraft ($14.99)— Get your video game loving tween away from their video games with a book about a subject they love. The bestselling Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition is back for 2016 and provides a list of this year’s records, roundups, facts, statistics, technology milestones, and insider secrets from experts along with an entire section just for Minecraft.
- Sports Illustrated Kids Book Book of Who All Stars ($17.95)— Sports playing tweens who devour facts, statistics, and player profiles will gravitate towards The Big Book of Why by Sports Illustrated Kids that features age appropriate writing and incredible photography.
- 100 Things to Make You Happy ($9.99)— Even moody tweens wont’ be able to resist this delightful book has adorable animal facts, heartwarming history, cool science, photography, inspiration from National Geographic explorers, and weird-but-true facts along with expert tips, jokes, and quotes to make them realize the importance of their social and emotional health.
- Quiz Whiz 5: 1000 Super Fun Mind-Bending Totally Awesome Trivia Questions ($9.99)— Yes, more trivia! We can’t get enough of it in our house and Quiz Whiz’s format is fun to read on your own or with a friend as you quiz each other (or yourself!) on 1000 trivia questions.
Need more ideas? Visit my past Tween Gift Guides and other 2015 Gift Guides that will help you find the best gifts for all ages!
- 2014 Gift Guide: Best Gifts for Tweens (ages 8-12)
- 2012 Gifts for Tweens (ages 8-12)
- 2011 Gifts for Tweens
- 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Tweens
- 2009 Holiday Gift Guide: Tweens & Teens
- 2008 Holiday Gift Guide: Tweens & Teens
Samples were received for review purposes. Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. All images courtesy of the companies.