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Tween Gift Ideas: Find Great Presents for Tweens

Updated on September 29, 2011

Know your tween?

Tween is a fun tag for the pre-adolescent age group, upbeat and a little silly-sounding, but perfect, considering the energy that explodes forth from most kids in this stage of life. A classroom full of tweens can test the mettle of a teacher, or energize her, as the infamous mood swings of the pre-teen years wreak havoc. I love tweens, and have taught a boatload of them. I have a couple of my own, with a couple of other youngsters who have graduated from tween to teen. Parenting them is even more challenging!

Tween gift ideas are often a challenge, as there is that stage of "too grown up" and mature for toys, but not wanting to miss the fun of getting presents for birthdays and holidays. Clothes are nice, but there's still that longing for fun, and doll houses and toy trucks just don't fit the bill anymore.

This lens will highlight some tween gift ideas, with a Mom and teacher perspective.

When You Choose a Gift For a Tween

Do you go for the wow! factor?

Best Gifts To Give Tweens?

See results


Beyond "Pong": Tween Tech Gifts

Tween gift ideas for today generally cannot escape the influence of technology! The primitive graphics of pong and Atari from my tween days wouldn't fly in modern times. When I taught middle schoolers, Gameboy (the first version in black and white) was still more than $100. Each year, I would bring in store flyers and discuss with my math students the release of any new system that compared, and we would talk about prices, and the things that influenced the decline each year in cost. Sure enough, the color version came out, and down went the price of the black and white gameboy.

Tech Gifts are Favorites With Tweens

Make Those Tech Gifts Matter

Educational: Kindle

Inspirational: Digital Cameras

Practical: Notebook Computer

The last few years have seen even more rapid change in the realm of handheld video game systems, with the release of Nintendo 3DS on the horizon. Likewise, music and MP3 players, iPods, and headphones continue to evolve, more advanced cell phones become more affordable, and video playing technology has moved further than ever. Cameras and Camcorders become more powerful, and again, prices diminish. Computing becomes micro-sized, and handheld readers make entire libraries able to fit in the palm of one's hand. For your tween, the options are exciting, but some sense needs to be exercised. It's not good to let your tween's life be consumed by technological devices, but technology does provide a means for fun, and for personal learning and development. Be sure to maintain a balance.

Tweens Love The Latest

There's no getting around the fact that whatever is newest,

it's on their wish list!


Kindle: Educational Gifts for Tweens

Keyboard and Touchscreen Ereaders for Tweens

Amazon has just unveiled several new Kindle products, along with lower pricing on previous models. The new Kindle selections range from the very basic, but sleek, Kindle ereader available at $79, to the snazzy Kindle Fire tablet, much more than an ereader, priced close to the same as high end ereaders. In between, there is a good selection of Kindle Touch ereaders for tweens and teens who love touchscreen interactivity, without the costs of expensive tablet computers. Kindle Fire is a great tablet choice, with much potential for the teen or tween who is also interested in media and social uses of tablet computing, without the high price of the iPad tablet. Read the different Kindle models for tweens and teens, and check out the specs of the new Kindle Fire tablet.

Find a Great Tween Digital Camera... - One which will last beyond tween years!

Years ago, my then tween daughters received digital cameras for Christmas. Sadly, they did little with them, although I know they still have them, and take occasional pictures. This year, one of the girls went hunting for the camera she wanted for her birthday.

Nikon Coolpix S3000 12 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Blue) (OLD MODEL)
Nikon Coolpix S3000 12 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Blue) (OLD MODEL)

Hands down, this was the fave! Slim, sleek, and fashionably colored, it takes photos, and video. It's not clunky, or bigger in some parts, which is the case with other models. Fashion accessory? Maybe. Quality pix? Definitely!


A close second, she would have been thrilled with this Cannon Digital Camera, as well.

Cannon Power Shot

This was a second place choice, though she would have been pleased with this sleek model as well. Take into consideration your tween's tastes, and interests. The more fashion conscious your tween or teen, the more attention you need to pay to detail.

Music is a part of teen and tween life, and iPods and MP3 players are a huge part of the latest music culture.

IPod Touch is a popular request, but if you want to limit internet access, you may want to stick with the iPod Nano.


Important to a calm household, your tween needs a good set of earphones. In our home, the basic set that accompanies an MP3 player doesn't last well. It's worth double or triple the cost of a cheap set of headphones, if they will last much longer!


With so many quality educational apps available, iPad is an outstanding tween gift, perfect for opening up the world of learning!

Find Fun Flip Video for Your Tween or Tween Videographer

Tween Gift Ideas to Encourage Interests

I like to keep a balance between tech and activities. Therefore, my preferences with my tweens is to find "things to do" in looking for tween presents. My tween daughter has a flair for artistic activities; any medium seems to make her tick, and it's not hard to find art sets and materials for her. Many of the toy department sets are just a little bit on the childish side for her interests. I look for professional materials, or at least, for kits that are aimed more toward a non-childish amateur. This helps my tween to be able to approach arts and crafts seriously, and lets her know I take her interests seriously. The cutesy kits are still fun, but she is able to develop her interests beyond cute.

Likewise, my tween son has grown beyond the typical holiday woodburning set, and my gift ideas for this tween involve professional tools and books. He may not have attained professionaly skill, but he has the opportunity to develop.

Arts and crafts are fantastic, when it comes to tween gift ideas, but be sure to consider the maturing youngster, and give them the confidence to pursue their interests.

Woodburning is a Great Creative Outlet for Tweens

Start simple, but don't be surprised when your tween is able to create amazing pieces of artwork!

Woodburning Materials at Amazon

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    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Fabulous lens - really great ideas here. I'm going to add it to my "Lenses I Love" module in my lens :)

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 6 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      love it - angel blessed and it will feature on my that I am updating now

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 6 years ago from Vermont

      I go for creative gifts, tech gifts, gift cards and books for tweens. My oldest granddaughter loves her computer and Nintendo DS, but she also loves her new American girl doll ... so there's broad range of ideas for nice presents to give her. Sometimes I tuck in a gift card, too, so she can shop for whatever her heart desires.