The 50 Best Gifts For Tweens of 2023

We've picked gifts for a wide range of interests, from art to sports to tech

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Gifts For Tweens

Verywell Family / David Hattan

Tweens are fun to shop for, but they can be a tricky age group to target. When considering what the tween in your life will like, you want to find something that won’t feel too young, but won’t make it feel like they’re growing up too fast, either. Some tweens might be ready for their first big-ticket item like a new tablet or game console, while others kids are discovering new skills and hobbies that you’ll want to nurture.

Reviewed & Approved

The top-selling Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones offer high-quality sound and are comfortable for smaller ears. For the artistic tween in your life, check out the 3Doodler Start+ Essentials 3D Pen Set, a child-safe tool that lets them bring their drawings to life.

“Tweens are at the age where they no longer want to play with toys,” explains Christia Brown, PhD, an author, researcher, and professor of developmental psychology. “They're not kids in that way, but they're not old enough to act like 16-year-olds, either.” When a birthday or the holidays roll around and it comes time to buy a tween a gift, search for something that encourages their interests, whether it’s a hobby, a sport, or games that allow them to socialize. 

No matter what the tween in question’s interests are, you’ll want to look for a gift that’s age-appropriate so it will engage and entertain them. Trending items are another great place to look for gift ideas, too.

Electronics

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether your tween is a music buff, a gamer, or taking online classes, a high-quality pair of headphones is a great gift. When fully charged, the Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones let tweens listen to their favorite music for up to 40 hours. The headphones feature a “Fast Fuel” setting, which gives them a battery boost of three hours after just five minutes of charging, ideal for when the tween is running out the door and forgot to charge them.

Plus, these Beats headphones offer exceptional sound quality, have Bluetooth connectivity, and are compatible with iOS and Android devices. The ear cups are padded for comfort, and the length of the headphones can be adjusted to find the best fit. 

Price at time of publication: $200

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers

Courtesy of Amazon

Retro is back. If you want to introduce the tween in your life to vinyl, this Victrola Bluetooth record player is the perfect blend of old and new technology. It offers three speeds of play and several listening options, including using its built-in Bluetooth speakers, connecting to external speakers, or using headphones. Made to be portable, it’s an affordable entry point for new vinyl lovers who still want some of the comforts and functionality of the modern era. 

Price at time of publication: $50

DJI Mini SE Camera Drone

4.8
camera drone

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re looking for a trendy gift, the DJI Mini Drone is it. This drone offers amazing 2.7K HD camera quality with multiple shooting modes, GPS, and a 30-minute flying time—plus, it comes at a fraction of the price of other DJI models, making it an excellent first drone for the younger set. (There’s also no need to register it.) Do note that the drone can take up to two months to ship, so make sure you’re planning ahead.

Price at time of publication: $299

3Doodler Start + 3D Pen Set

3Doodler Start + 3D Pen Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Crafty tweens will enjoy this 3D Pen Set, which allows them to let their imaginations run wild. The kit comes with a 3D Pen, a mat, stencils, 72 strands of colorful plastic filaments, a Micro-USB charger, and an instructional activity guide. The pen is child-safe, meaning there are no exposed heating elements on the pen or nozzle. One lithium battery (included) is needed to operate the pen.

Price at time of publication: $50

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Instant Camera

Courtesy of Amazon

Phone cameras might offer cool features, but there’s nothing like developing your own pictures that you can hold in your hand. This instant camera lets tweens take and develop photos that they can use to decorate their room or give to friends. Plus, it sets the exposure automatically, has two shutter button accessories, comes in a variety of cool colors, and even has a selfie mode. 

Price at time of publication: $75

Sony PlayStation 5

4.3
Sony PlayStation 5

Courtesy of Best Buy

The Sony Playstation PS5 is one of the most popular gaming consoles available. Depending on when you’re shopping around, you might find that regularly sells out,, but it’s also the only place where you can place games like Ratchet & Clank, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and the upcoming Final Fantasy 16. If you’re looking for a console that offers a fully immersive gaming experience from surround sound to high-quality visuals, the PS5 is it. This version comes with a disc-compatible console and DualSense wireless controller. 

Price at time of publication: $500

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Kindle Paperwhite Kids

Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite Kids e-reader offers access to millions of age-appropriate books, magazines, and audiobooks. Its glare-free display is made to be easy on the eyes, so you won’t have to worry about the tween’s eyes being exposed to excessive amounts of harsh blue light. If your child is an avid reader and insists on lugging books all over, this lightweight, portable e-reader is super portable and holds a charge for up to 10 weeks. 

Purchasing a Kindle Kids device also includes a 1-year subscription of Amazon Kids+, which provides access to thousands of ad-free books, games, videos, apps, and Alexa skills. 

Price at time of publication: $160

Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone

Courtesy of Amazon

Do you know a budding musician or podcaster? Encourage their creativity and communication skills with this USB microphone that easily connects to a desktop or laptop for voice recording, sound effects, and more. It has four different recording modes to pick up different sound sources and a multi-function knob for control over sound clarity and blending.

Price at time of publication: $170

Apple iPad Air (2022)

Apple iPad Air (2022)

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re searching for a tablet that does it all, the iPad Air 5th Generation is the newest Apple tablet that can handle pretty much anything a tween wants to do. The device can be hooked up to WiFi or cellular data, has a 10-hour battery life, and can be used as a camera, laptop, e-reader, gaming device, sketch pad, or stereo system. Plus, caregivers can set up parental controls on it, to make sure everything is appropriate. While it’s not cheap, it’s a high-quality tablet that tweens can use well into their teenage years.

Price at time of publication: $599

iWALK Mini Portable iPhone Charger

iWALK Mini Portable iPhone Charger

Courtesy of Amazon

It’s great to give gifts that are purely for fun, but something has to power up that fun, right? The iWalk Mini Portable Charger provides a hassle-free, cordless charge with a USB-C lightning connector for the latest models of the iPhone. (It can boost most iPhone models to at least 70% battery power in one charge!) Available in several colors, the compact charger fits easily into backpacks, purses, and pockets.

Price at time of publication: $30

Lume Cube 18-Inch Ring Light

Lume Cube 18-Inch Ring Light

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether you have a budding on-air personality, a filmmaker, or TikToker, a ring light is an invaluable lighting tool that will optimize the look of whatever your tween is filming. This portable 18-inch cordless ring light—which can tilt and rotate—comes with a carrying case and adjustable stand for filming just about anywhere. The stand also includes mounts for iPhones, cameras, and action cameras, and the two included lithium-ion batteries power the light for up to 70 minutes at full power.

Price at time of publication: $200

MobyFox Harry Potter Smartwatch Band

MobyFox Harry Potter Smartwatch Band

Courtesy of Amazon

For tweens with an Apple Watch, this Harry Potter watch band is a great way to add some personality and flair to their everyday style. No matter which house the sorting hat has placed them in, there’s a band for everyone. Featuring officially licensed Hogwarts insignia, these bands are made of UV-resistant silicone and are fully adjustable to fit most wrists. Plus, access to themed watch faces are included with the purchase. In addition to Apple Watches, the bands are compatible with Fossil Gen 3/4/5/6 and Samsung Galaxy 45/46mm size smartwatches, too.  

Price at time of publication: $40

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Courtesy of Amazon

This versatile, portable karaoke microphone comes in over a dozen colors and connects to phones, tablets, and computers via cable or Bluetooth, so tweens can have an impromptu karaoke party anywhere. Along with the microphone, a carrying case, audio cable, charging cord, and user manual are included. The included rechargeable lithium ion battery lets users sing for five to 10 hours when fully charged. 

Price at time of publication: $50

Nintendo Switch Lite

4.2
Nintendo Switch Lite

Courtesy of Walmart

The Nintendo Switch Lite, the handheld version of the popular Nintendo Switch gaming console, allows users to play most of the same games for roughly $100 less. The main caveat: The Switch Lite is exclusively for handheld, portable gaming and can’t be hooked up to a TV. However, this makes for great on-the-go gaming, with access to games like Mario Kart and Breath of the Wild. The Switch Lite comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that holds a charge for up to seven hours and is available in several colors.

Price at time of publication: $199

Doss SoundBox Pro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Doss SoundBox Pro Wireless Bluetooth Speaker

Courtesy of Amazon

If the tween you’re shopping for has access to some kind of smart device, chances are they’ve created music or podcast playlists. To optimize their listening experience, give them this Bluetooth speaker that’s waterproof and holds a charge for up to 15 hours. It pairs with any Bluetooth-enabled device, so they can take it with them to their room, the yard, sports practice, the shower, and more.

Price at time of publication: $60

Self Care

Revlon One-Step Volumizer

revlon-one-step-volumizer

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether your tween is developing their sense of style or just needs to stop leaving the house with a wet head of hair, the Revlon One-Step Volumizer is an easy-to-use hair dryer for drying and styling many hair types. This hair dryer and styling brush combo has three heat settings and nylon pin-style bristles that are gentle on the hair and scalp. 

Price at time of publication: $34

Topoint Bluetooth Wireless Sleep Mask

Topoint Bluetooth Wireless Sleep Mask

Courtesy of Amazon

Though this pillowy eye mask is marketed for more restful sleep, the super plush eye covering with built-in Bluetooth headphones is also great for meditation, which the American Academy of Pediatrics encourages for adolescent social, behavioral and emotional awareness. The headphones can also play gentle music as the tween drifts off to sleep. They come with a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 9 hours and is removable if you need to throw the mask in the wash.

Price at time of publication: $23

The Company Store Plush Hooded Bathrobe

The Company Store Plush Hooded Bathrobe

Courtesy of The Company Store

Whether it’s pajama day at school or they’re just lounging around the house, kids like to be cozy. This hooded bathrobe from The Company Store is made from polyester plush and is available in a variety of colors. Available in several sizes, it comes with an attached belt that won’t get lost in the wash. For an additional fee, you can add the tween’s name or initials for a personalized gift.

Price at time of publication: $59

Terra Ties Compostable Hair Ties

Terra Ties Compostable Hair Ties

Courtesy of Amazon

By making small changes to the way we gift and shop, we can start teaching our kids about sustainability by investing in products like Terra Ties. These hairbands, made of 100% biodegradable cotton and natural rubber, are are a useful and practical gift for budding young environmentalists. Durable and plastic-free, they’d also make a great stocking stuffer.

Price at time of publication: $15

Sacheu Stainless Steel Face Roller

Sacheu Stainless Steel Face Roller

Courtesy of Amazon

Prep the tween in your life for their next at-home spa day with this stainless steel facial roller, which comes with a handy travel pouch. While these tools are often made of stones like jade and quartz, those materials are breakable and porous, which isn’t ideal in a house full of kiddos. This stainless steel version is popular on TikTok because of its durable material that's easier to clean than stone face rollers.

Price at time of publication: $35

Books, Cards, & Games

LEGO Marvel I Am Groot Building Toy Set

LEGO Marvel I Am Groot Building Toy Set

Courtesy of Amazon

Fans of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise will enjoy building Groot with this 476-piece LEGO set. When fully assembled, it creates a moveable Groot who comes with his own mixtape. Made for more advanced builders, this set is recommended for ages 10 and up, and the LEGO app has videos and three-dimensional models of the product in case you need to troubleshoot.

Price at time of publication: $55

Magic: The Gathering 2022 Starter Kit

Magic: The Gathering 2022 Starter Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Magic: The Gathering is a cooperative game that has expanded from a physical trading card game to a digital playing platform with countless options and add-ons. If the tween is already an established player of the game, they might prefer one of the expansion packs, but for new players, this starter kit is a great place to begin. It comes with two decks (enough for two players to get a game going) and an instructional booklet that explains how to play. 

Price at time of publication: $50

What the Experts Say

“[Games like] Magic: The Gathering or Dungeons and Dragons are a great way for kids to build in social time to their interests…It has brought my kids so much happiness in the last few years.” —Becky Lederman, sxith grade teacher and parent to twin boys

Vango The UpsideDownChallenge Game

The Upside Down Challenge Game

Courtesy of Amazon

The Upside Down Challenge comes with a pair of special glasses that turn everything you see upside down, 25 challenge cards daring you to try to give a high five or pour a glass of water, and five "Make Your Own Challenge" cards. We’re not sure what the trickiest part is in this game—wearing the glasses or performing through tears of laughter. Geared for two to six players ages 8 and up, it’s a fantastic game for kids to play with their friends or family.

Price at time of publication: $25

Kiwi Crates Subscription Box

Kiwi Crates Subscription Box

Courtesy of Kiwi Crates

Kiwi Crates are a subscription gift box based on a theme, whether it’s STEAM, geography, cooking, or art. You can choose the crate that appeals to the tween’s interests and age and select a subscription for one month or more. Crates come with everything your child will need to build small machines and robots, complete a kid-friendly recipe, or make homemade products like bath bombs.

What the Experts Say

“When supporting kids to branch out and try new things, there are subscriptions that let them try out different areas like STEM, STEAM, art, and cooking, to encourage them to try something new without a huge splurge. We've gotten Tinker Crates through KiwiCo, and they were a blast.” —Becky Lederman

SET Enterprises Set Card Game

SET Enterprises Set Card Game

Courtesy of Amazon

A frantic, family-friendly test of mental agility, SET is quick to set up and play. Pattern recognition is the name of the game, and players can make “sets” with numbers, colors, patterns, or shapes, requiring you to exercise different parts of your brain at once. Playable solo or in groups of up to 10 people, it’s a fun way to divert your kid’s attention away from screens for a while. It includes one deck of 81 cards and multilingual instructions.

Price at time of publication: $13

imagiCharm STEM Educational Coding Toy for Kids

imagiCharm STEM Educational Coding Toy for Kids

Courtesy of Amazon

Part wearable charm, part computer coding tutor, the imagiCharm combines the best of fashion, technology, and STEM education. The charm itself shows patterns on a grid of colorful LED lights, which is customized via the Python coding language using the related smartphone app. Designed for beginners ages 8 and up, it was created by the female-founded imagiLabs to make coding accessible and fun. The rechargeable charm can be attached to backpacks, keychains, and more. To use, the tween will need access to an iPhone, iPad, or a device running Android 9 or later.

Price at time of publication: $79

LEGO Iconic Chess Set

LEGO Iconic Chess Set

Courtesy of LEGO

This set combines a love for the classic game of chess and LEGO building blocks. Containing over 1,400 pieces, this kit allows tweens to not only build their playing board, but the pieces, too. Plus, the board opens to store pieces when not in use, making it easy to keep track of everything they’ll need for the next game.

Price at time of publication: $84

Death-Cast Two-Book Hardcover Box Set

Death-Cast Two-Book Hardcover Box Set

Courtesy of Amazon

This box set of Adam Silvera’s Death-Cast books includes “They Both Die at the End,” which spent a year at the top of The New York Times bestseller list, and its sequel, “The First to Die at the End,” which elaborates on whether the elusive Death-Cast, an organization that predicts people’s death dates, is real or a big hoax. These young adult fantasy books have captured middle-grade readers since the first one was published, and fans had to wait several years for the second book to come out. Now, you can get them both in this gorgeous, collectible hardcover set.

Price at time of publication: $39

Snap Circuits Junior

4.6
Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

The Elenco Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Exploration Kit lets kids explore the way circuitry works by snapping a series of pieces together on a special grid—no soldering required—to create moveable, fully functional electronic devices like a flying saucer or a police siren. The kit requires two AA batteries, which are not included. And if your tween runs out of things to do with the Exploration Kit, there are additional accessories and upgrade kits available for purchase.

Price at time of publication: $37

National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes Kit

National Geographic Break Open 10 Premium Geodes Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

If there’s one thing kids love, it’s smashing things. This geode kit lets kids crack open crystal-filled rocks that they can then study to understand how they were created. The kit comes with safety goggles, a magnifying glass, display stands, a learning guide, and 10 geodes—all you have to do is provide the hammer.

Price at time of publication: $35

What Do You Meme? Family Edition

What Do You Meme? Family Edition

Courtesy of Amazon

The party game What Do You Meme? has historically been known for its adult themes, but in this family-friendly version, kids and parents alike can create hilarious memes by matching up the provided images and captions, then judging who created the funniest versions. The family version is suggested for kids ages 8 and up, making it ideal for kids who want to get in on their parents’ fun.

Price at time of publication: $20

Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor

Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor

Courtesy of Amazon

The NERF Disruptor Elite Blaster is an affordable and well-built toy that can fire six foam darts up to 90 feet. They can be fired one by one from the rotating chamber or all at once. (A word of advice: it’s worth buying extra darts, as they’ll likely get lost under the bed or behind the couch.)

Price at time of publication: $15

Thames & Kosmos Candy Vending Machine STEM Experiment Kit

Thames & Kosmos Candy Vending Machine STEM Experiment Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Combining the best aspects of a Rube Goldberg device and an arcade game, the Thames & Kosmos Candy Vending Machine is basically a lesson in physics with a delicious treat at the end. Kids can configure their own obstacle course on the vertical surface, then once everything is in place, inserted coins will drop down, ultimately unlocking a container at the bottom that dispenses a gummy candy at the bottom. The kit includes all the necessary building pieces, a chipboard pegboard, a 16-page full-color manual, and of course, a small stash of candy. 

Price at time of publication: $40

Gatwick Games Goat Lords

Gatwick Games Goat Lords

Courtesy of Amazon

In this strategy game, players compete to acquire the most goats for their herd and become the “Goat Lord,” so hilarity is sure to ensue. Recommended for groups of two to six players, this game is a great fit for middle-grade kids thanks to its combination of humor and basic strategy. The game comes with playing cards and instructions and would make a fun addition to the next game night with family or friends.

Price at time of publication: $25

Aerobie Sonic Fin Aerodynamic Outdoor Football

Aerobie Sonic Fin Football

Courtesy of Amazon

Everyone can be the star quarterback with the Aerobie Sonic Fin Football. The aerodynamic fins allow users to throw this football farther than usual (up to 100 feet!), so this definitely an outdoor-only toy. Your tween can elevate their next game of catch or turn it into a whole competition to see who can throw the football the farthest. The fins even adjust so the thrower can experiment with their spin and speed. 

Price at time of publication: $17

Paladone Harry Potter Movie Collage 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Paladone Harry Potter Movie Collage 1000-Piece Jigsaw Puzzle

Courtesy of Amazon

“Harry Potter” fans can bring the magical world of Hogwarts to life with this 1000-piece puzzle featuring their favorite characters from the movies. The pieces are dyed with vibrant ink and carefully made to reduce dust. It’s recommended for witches and wizards who are 8 years old and up.

Price at time of publication: $17

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

Courtesy of Amazon

The food experts at America’s Test Kitchen have spent decades figuring the best (and most delicious) ways to prepare food, and their methods have taught countless home cooks how to properly prepare incredible meals with precision. This cookbook was created for budding young bakers and features more than 100 recipes that were tested by thousands of kids. It focuses on teaching kids how to get comfortable in the kitchen and includes recipes for pizza, yeast breads, sweets, and more.

Price at time of publication: $20

Other Gifts Tweens Will Love

Pottery Barn Teen Ombre Purple Waterfall String Lights

Pottery Barn Teen Ombre Purple Waterfall String Lights

Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Convert the tween’s bedroom into the ultimate hangout spot with these waterfall string lights. They feature an ombre design of blue, purple, and pink LED lights that come with a hook for easy wall mounting. The string plugs straight into the wall, so there’s need to worry about replacing any batteries.

Price at time of publication: $89

Raddish Kids Global East Club Membership

Raddish Kids Global East Club Membership

Courtesy of Raddish Kids

Radish Kids subscription boxes were created to teach budding chefs and food lovers about the cultural significance of food. They offer a unique way to introduce tweens to new flavors and preparations that they may not normally taste in their home kitchen. Choose between memberships to a cooking club, baking club, and global eats club, depending on the child’s tastes. You can purchase a single kit or opt into a six- or 12-month membership, which gives the recipient will get new recipes and cooking tools each month. 

Price at time of publication: Starting at $28/month

Juvale Wall Collage Kit

Juvale Wall Collage Kit

Courtesy of Bed Bath & Beyond

Encourage young interior designers with a gift that lets them create a wall collage they can arrange in any way they’d like. This set comes with 50 4 x 6-inch peel-and-stick paper prints in dozens of patterns and colors. Designs include plants, deserts, inspirational quotes, and more. 

Price at time of publication: $33

Joseph Custom Products Personalized Jewelry Travel Case

Joseph Custom Products Personalized Jewelry Travel Case

Courtesy of Etsy

Give the gift of organization with this customizable jewelry organizer that’s as pretty as it is functional. The embossed leather travel case has multiple compartments for storing rings, earrings, necklaces, hair accessories, and other small treasures. It can also be customized with the tween’s name and birth flower. 

Price at time of publication: Starting at $21

Prismacolor Technique Drawing Kit

Prismacolor Technique Drawing Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

Made by a trusted name in art supplies, the Prismacolor Technique Drawing Kit comes with a complete set of both colored and graphite pencils, paper, markers, a pencil sharpener, and an eraser. It also comes with access to digital drawing lessons taught by professional artists about techniques like layering and shading colors. Designed for ages 10 and up, this is the second kit in a series of three that gradually offer more complicated drawing lessons.

Price at time of publication: $20

Max Playful Sports Mugs

Max Playful Sports Mugs

Courtesy of Amazon

Though they might have been taught not to play with their food when they were younger, give tweens permission to make snacktime a sport with this basketball hoop mug that lets them dunk marshmallows or cereal into their drink. This oversized novelty mug holds 16 ounces and is microwave and dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publication: $30

Global Grub DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit

Global Grub DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit

Courtesy of Amazon

This DIY Mochi Kit is the perfect way to encourage kids’ culinary skills and maybe even introduce them to a new food. it comes with silicone molds, a dough cutter, instructions, and all the shelf-stable ingredients needed to make a chewy mochi dough. Once the dough is made, wrap it around scoops of store-bought ice cream to create the delicious Japanese treat. Since the dough can be pretty sticky, this kit is recommended for tweens with at least some cooking experience under their belt.

Price at time of publication: $40

Singer M3500 Sewing Machine

Singer M3500 Sewing Machine

Courtesy of Amazon

The Singer M3500 sewing machine is a great machine for crafty kiddos. This particular model stands out because its automatic needle threader is safer for smaller fingers and it comes with over 85 accessories, including 15 bobbins, a seam ripper, and multiple presser feet. Note that this machine does not come with a carrying case—you’ll need to purchase one separately.

Price at time of publication: $170

GoTrax Vibe Electric Kick Scooter

GoTrax Vibe Electric Kick Scooter

Courtesy of Amazon

Tweens will enjoy zooming around the neighborhood on this electric scooter, designed for kids up to age 12. Available in several fun colors, this scooter’s wheels light up for some added flair. The handlebar is adjustable to accommodate the growing tween, and the scooter has a maximum speed of 7.5 mph to keep them safe. (As with any scooter or bike, make sure they wear a helmet every time they take it out for a spin.)

Price at time of publication: $170

Bombas Merino Wool Gripper House Socks

Bombas Merino Wool Gripper House Socks

Courtesy of Bombas

Bombas is known for their high-quality, comfortable socks, and these thick merino wool socks are no exception. Falling somewhere between a sock and a slipper, these gripper house socks are made for lounging, and they have a pull tab on each heel to make them easy to slide on and off. They come in several sizes and colors, so you can pick the best fit for the tween in your life.

Price at time of publication: $30

Tulip Block Party One-Step Tie-Dye Kit

Tulip Block Party One-Step Tie-Dye Kit

Courtesy of Michael's

Encourage creativity and community with this tie-dye kit, which comes with everything a tween and their friends need to dye multiple garments, tote bags, or other fabrics. The kit comes with eight bottles of dye, 32 gloves, rubber bands, and instructions. A fun activity for a birthday party or get-together, this kit works best on 100% cotton, rayon, or silk, according to the brand. 

Price at time of publication: $40

Teva Kids ReEmber Slip On Shoes

Teva Kids ReEmber Slip On Shoes

Courtesy of Teva

Even in adolescence, fine motor skills can elude some kids, making shoelaces an obstacle. Plus, some kids just prefer the aesthetic of slip-on shoes. Teva’s ReEmber slip-ons are comfortable, durable, and good-looking slip-ons, making them a great gift for any age and gender. They feature cushioned footbeds for a spring in their step and a recycled rubber outsole for traction.

Price at time of publication: $60

Yes4All Wobble Balance Board

Yes4All Wooden Wobble Balance Board

Courtesy of Amazon

For tweens who are trying to build up strength for a sports season or just want to have some fun with coordination, this balance board is an affordable addition to their routine. Made of wood with a heavy-duty non-skid surface, it’s durable and holds up to 300 pounds. Plus, at three pounds, it’s lightweight and portable, so it’s easy to carry to the backyard or the park.

Price at time of publication: $19

How We Selected the Best Gifts for Tweens

Tweens can be tricky to shop for, since you don’t want to buy a gift that’s too mature or too juvenile for them to enjoy. To select the best gifts for that age group, we spoke to two experts: Becky Lederman, a sixth grade teacher for over 20 years and parent to middle school-age twin boys, and Christia Brown, PhD, a developmental psychologist and professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky. Based on their recommendations, we researched gifts that encourage a variety of passions and interests. We reviewed hundreds of highly-rated products, evaluating them based on price, age-appropriateness, how they tap into tween interests, and, in some cases, if they were trending online.

What to Look for in Gifts for Tweens

Age-Appropriateness

Tweens fall at a particular age where many items are a little too mature and many are a bit too young, so it’s important to carefully consider the age-appropriateness of a gift for a tween. They’re at an age where public perception and peer opinion matter to them, but they also still require some parental guidance, too. When purchasing trending items like tablets, it’s important to establish guidelines to encourage appropriate behavior, says Brown. “[Tweens] tend to gravitate older [on social media] because that's what's cooler. It's not cool to go down to kid's stuff. And even when it's not inappropriate, it still definitely tends to be older than they are,” she explains. As such, caregivers shopping for tech gifts may want to opt for devices with parental controls.

Trending

Tweens are often drawn to items that are trending online or within their peer group. Even though trends come and go, it’s important to listen to your children and respond to their interests. Things like Harry Potter, Marvel, and LEGO are massively popular, as are many electronic products. While it’s important to foster individual interests, it’s also important to understand that fitting in is one of the most important feelings at this age. 

Interests

The tween years are an important time for kids to explore their interests. “That middle school age is where the foundation is laid for their later interests,” says Brown.  “Leaning into some of those burgeoning interests can lay a pretty powerful foundation for who they'll become.”

At this age, encouraging skills like art, sports, crafting, and more can set up a child’s interests for the rest of their life. When looking for gifts that fit tweens’ interests, we looked for a variety of products while thoroughly researching them to ensure the user experience and skill level are appropriate for a tween.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What age range is a tween?

    The exact meaning of tween may be a bit confusing to those who are newer to the term. “I always think of tweens as the middle school set,” Brown says, adding that generally speaking, this age group is roughly 10 to 13 years old. “At this age, peers are getting more important,” she adds. “[Tweens] are getting more cognitively able to take other people's perspective. And so part of that means things like popularity start to become important in a way it had not before.” 

    Brown also explains that since tweens are on the cusp of adolescence, they are developing a sense of self as well as a sense of the world around them. While she believes it’s important to lean into the interests of tweens, it’s also essential to consider whether items promote sexualization, aggression, or other themes that are not appropriate for the age group.

    “The beautiful part of that age is they are really developing into who they're going to be,” Brown tells Verywell Family. “They do start to show interests that I think have more staying power than some of the interests they might have had when they were younger.”

  • What do tweens like?

    Tweens are often invested in what their peers are interested in, says Brown, meaning that certain items or activities tend to trend among kids in the age group. Many kids are developing an interest in media and tech gear, including gaming devices, headphones, and other accessories. This is also when specific skills are developed—things like coding, cooking, or specific crafts and sports become a singular focus for many kids. 

    “If you know that a kid has a particular interest or hobby, gifts that encourage that passion are great—including lessons or related gear,” Lederman says. At this age, you might find that many kids are ready to learn more adult tasks, too. “All kids learn through play and trial and error. New skills that they need to practice as they get older may be linked to adult skills like cooking.”

    Whether the tween you’re buying a gift for is interested in gaming, making food, art, or just hanging with friends, the items on this list span a wide variety of interests for this age group.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Elizabeth Kocan is a mother of two boys who love pickleball and LEGO sets. As a writer and parent, she spends much of her time trying to keep her kids occupied while she works and has used several of the items on this list to do just that. She has written for publications such as USA Today, Reviewed.com, Vulture, Decider, Mommyish, and SheKnows, and she believes that you haven’t lived until everyone in the family has taken a hammer to a geode on the driveway.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Pediatrics. Just Breathe: The Importance of Meditation Breaks for Kids.