Every year my family asks for gift suggestions and the older my girls get, the harder it is to come up with surprises. Like any good mom, I defer to gift cards. But there’s more out there than iTunes and Amazon. This year, I spent hours culling the cyberverse for cool gifts they didn’t ask for (well, except the Minecraft stuff) but will love anyway. Feel free to steal my ideas; that’s why we’re here.
Nothing says tween like “whatever” and no one says whatever like your tween. The only thing that could improve this clock? A cuckoo bird popping out every hour to chirp “whatever” in a range of tones that alter the meaning of your tween’s favorite all-purpose word from “I’m only half listening,” to “Don’t bother me now,” to “How is it possible that a human as ignorant as you is walking around on this earth?” Maybe next year.
2. Fun Socks
Fun socks? Sure, it sounds like any oxymoron to your tween. It’s the rare 11-year-old who rips open the wrap and fists pumps over new socks, yet every year we give them. Because every year they need them. This most practical present will sweeten their feet.
3. Hair Chalk
Hair chalk lets your experimenting prodigy change looks without the commitment of long-lasting dyes. It brushes in easily and washes away with one shower.
This combo offers equal excellent ammunition in the battle to keep kids warm at an age when heavy winter wear is universally uncool, unless of course it’s cute or funky or fun. Plus, you can’t lose the scarf and mittens when they are connected to the hat.
It may be too soggy outside to skate, but balance boards keep cooped-up tweens on their toes all winter. This active indoor (or outdoor) trainer builds balance and large motor skills while kids challenge themselves to keeps standing.
Lego brings the pixelated world of Minecraft out of the screen and into your kid’s hands. Finally, a version of this game where I can do more than dig myself into a giant hole.
One of my cousins paid his way through college making balloon animals for kids at a restaurant. True story. That’s reason enough for me to invest a few bucks into a balloon modeling kit for my 12-year-old. Also, for crafty kids, it’s just plain fun.
8. Awkward Moment Game
Think Apples to Apples meets an age-appropriate Cards Against Humanity. Players take the potentially awful situations they are dealt and respond with the best possible solution from their hand (sounds suspiciously like life) and the judge in each round chooses the best match. A fun and funny way for kids to consider the best response to real-life situations before the arise.
Because a cow firing squishy balls is just plan fun.
Stretch the mind and the eyes. Tweendome is the perfect age to get lost for hours in optical illusions. Like life, it’s all in how you look at it, shift the angle and you have a new picture.