Gift Guide for Tween Boys and Girls

Tweens can be a challenge to buy presents for because they often like to think they are cool and more independent than they really are. They have that internal battle between wanting freedom, but not quite letting go of their childhood. Good gifts for this age group are: ones that are fun, ones that encourage time with family and gifts that show that you recognise they are becoming more independent. If you are looking to buy presents for a child between 9 and 12 years old here are some great suggestions. 

Gift for tweens Christmas and birthdays

***AD* Disclosure: this post contains a combination of items I have bought, items which were gifted and it contains some affiliate links. They have all been included because I think they are fab.***

Gifts Ideas for Tween Girls and Boys

Gifts for Tweens To Encourage Togetherness

The Box

This small box of wooden games and puzzles is designed for families to play together to encourage connection and sharing, but they are also good for Tweens to investigate on their own and really encourage their problem solving skills.  It's almost less a gift of what is in the box, but what happens around the box as people work together. The Box was created with care by Magician and wife team to appeal to all ages. The activities are challenging, but not impossible and there is a secret link on the instructions to find out the solutions if a bit of help is needed.

A small cardboard box saying The Box on it. It is surrounded by a number of wooden puzzles and a measuring tape
The Box aims to encourage partnership and problem solving

P for Pizza

P for Pizza from Big Potato Games is suitable for 2 to 4 players age 8 and upwards. It has triangular cards with 3 letters on one side and 3 categories on the other. The aim is to create a 9 card pizza slice shape before anyone else. To get the pieces to build it you need to be first to shout out a word to connect the corresponding letter to the category on the top of the card deck. As the game progresses it gets harder to pick up cards because you have to work through the easy, medium and hard categories to complete each layer of your pyramid. Confused? Check out this YouTube video which will make it all make sense. 

There are plenty of cards in the box (and some fun stickers too), but it is worth noting Big Potato Games offer free replacement parts if you lose any.

A wedge shaped cardboard box for the P for Pizza game, next to some triangular shaped pieces. On one side they have 3 letters and on the other 3 categories
P for Pizza is a fun word game for 2 to 4 players


The Original Alias game (affiliate link) is suitable for 4 or more players aged 10 and upwards, but there are several other versions of the game, including one for younger children. To play you need to get into pairs and everyone takes it in turns to get their partner to guess as many words as possible before the timer runs out, the catch is you can’t say the word on the card and instead you need to use explanations, synonyms and opposites. The number of correct answers guessed before the timer runs out is how many spaces you get to move forwards. The first team to reach the end wins. This is a great game to encourage family time at an age children are spending more time hiding in their rooms and you can pick one up from The Range while getting your Christmas decorations.

A board game box for original alias surrounded by little plastic coloured people counters and a pile of cards with words on.
The Original Alias game is suitable for age 10 and upwards

Top Trumps

Top Trumps is a classic game which I’m sure you know about, but in case you don’t they are a pack of cards and on each one there is a different image, in this case characters from DC Comics' Justice League. Each card has a rating on a number of scales: intelligence, agility, powers, weapons & tech, combat skills (scored out of 100)  and a Top Trump score (scored out of 10). They also have a bit of information about the character. Top Trumps have a huge range so there will always be a set to appeal to everyone's interests. The cards can be educational thanks to the description and they are fun to play with. Playing Top Trumps with older children helps to develop tactical decision making as they need to work out which option they are most likely to win with. The compact boxes are great for travel or as a stocking filler. 

A Top Trump box in metallic blue with a set of DC Comics' Justice League Top Trump cards in
DC Comics' Justice League Top Trumps

Know Nine?

Recommended for age 12 and upwards Know Nine? from Ginger Fox (affiliate link) is described as “the Fast Thinking Word Linking Game”. Players get 1 minute to link 3 randomly drawn things with each of 3 random descriptions. Points are awarded for anyone who has a unique answer, as long as the majority of other players accept it, but if they are wavering over the nonsense you have written then you have a chance to persuade them before it is put to the vote. The game can be adapted for younger players by playing in teams, increasing the time or using 2 of each cards instead of 3. Know Nine? is a great game to get people thinking and there are bound to be some laughs as random word associations happen.

The box and contents from the Know Nine? from Ginger Fox
Know Nine from Ginger Fox?


Kids and Grown ups love it so… what other reason do you need? Although the temptation to open the box and eat through it while wrapping presents is likely to be high. This 380g box is a great size for sharing or keeping a Tween happy for a while. Haribo Starmix is always popular with the classic fried egg, rings, hearts, bears and cola bottles, if you like one you probably like them all, but which is their favourite? Available from supermarkets etc.

A 380g gift box of Haribo Starmix on wrapping paper surrounded by stars and twine ready to be wrapped as a gift for a Tween
There is only one question if you give a Tween a box of Haribo, will they share with you?

Gifts for Tweens To Inspire Curiosity

A (Green) Science Kit 

A science kit is fun for Tweens and as an increasingly eco-conscious generation the Greenscience set (affiliate link) is a good choice.  Greenscience from Science4You is special because it is plastic free and environmentally friendly. Suitable for age 6 plus the box contains over 15 experiments like making a rocket or a solar oven, along with a booklet to explain it all. You do need a few extra parts to complete some of the activities, but they are easy to find and you might have them around the house (or garden)  already.

A large box saying Greenscience on it with images of various activities and saying 15 plus activities
A science kit for the eco-conscious Tween

Mermaid Eclipse - An Adventure Story

Mermaid Eclipse (affiliate link) is an adventure story written by N.E Carlisle and is suitable for Tweens. It tells the story of twins Muriel and Morgan after their Aunt dies. They go on a journey to unravel the mystery of their unconventional family which covers a curse, mermaids and the lore of the sea. This is a 171 page chapter book with normal size font so it is suitable for confident free readers who like fantasy stories. Available from all good bookshops and online.

The Mermaid Eclipse book by N.E.Carlisle showing a painting of a mermaid on a beach.
The Mermaid Eclipse book unravels a family mystery

Wall Racer

This super fast remote control car doesn’t just whizz across the floor, with a bit of practice you can get it to fly across the walls and ceiling too thanks to the suction technology. It takes quite a few batteries (6 AA) so make sure you have a supply ready to go in the remote which then charges the car. The remote control has 3 wavelengths so you can buy multiple cars and everyone can race them around the house (if you are brave enough). The Wall Racer car is available from Buzz Toys.

Wall Racer car in box from Buzz Toys makes a fun gift for tweens but needs 6 batteries
A car you can drive right up the wall

Gifts for Tweens To Promote Calm

Create Your Own Calm

This book by Becky Goddard-Hill is full of activities and ideas to help Tweens take control when they are feeling stressed, angry or anxious. The pages of Create Your Own Calm (affiliate link) are all in colour and easy to read. Across 7 themed sections there are 50 different topics. Each one has an explanations of the issues which are easy to understand without being patronising and practical tips they can try as well as an activity. It’s a great present to help Tweens navigate the challenging times ahead. 

Create Your Own Calm Book by Becky Goddard with gel pens ready to be wrapped for a Tween Gift
The Create Your Own Calm book helps Tweens with activities to overcome worries, anxiety and anger

Daisy Doodles Journaling Club Membership

Journaling can bring lots of benefits to Tweens including: mindfulness and creativity. Daisy Doodles is a small business which hopes to inspire more young people to start journaling with their Daisy Doodles Club. You can buy Tweens a: My First Journal Kit and club membership for 6 or 12 months and they will have something to open at Christmas as well as a project pack sent to them once a quarter to inspire them with new ideas.

The My First Journal Kit contains: a B5 size journal, a pencil, stencils, how to guides, washi tape and lots of stickers. The Project Packs have: more stencils, a project worksheet and fun journaling accessories like washing tape and stickers. Find out more about the Daisy Doodle Journaling Club for Children and their sets for adults too.

Daisy Doodle Journal Club project Pack and Journal contains an A5 Journal, stickers, washi tape and lots of stencils
A Journaling club for children

Rebel Girl's Jigsaw

Jigsaws are a great activity to encourage in Tweens because it gives them a chance to relax and destress. If they are a bit reluctant I think the key is to find a picture of something that interests them and with the right number of pieces to be a challenge, but not too hard. This 500 piece jigsaw (affiliate link) will probably take a couple of hours to complete on their own, but it's great for people to join in with too. You can read my review of the Rebel Girl's Jigsaw here.

The Rebel Girls 500 piece jigsaw from Gibson's Games in a box
A Jigsaw Puzzle is a great way for Tweens to destress

Eugy 3D Cardboard model kit

Eugy are a crafty activity that will keep Tweens attention for a good 10 to 20 minutes, but it doesn’t require any skill. They need to push out the cardboard pieces and stick them together (with the included glue) in number order using the place holder to line them up easily, not forgetting to place the eye in at the right time so it’s sandwiched between layers. At the end they get a 3D animal model like this Zebra (affiliate link) to carefully play with or collect. There are lots of animals to choose from (affiliate link) and they are all pretty cute. Suitable for age 6 plus. 

Eugy make your own cardboard zebra in box ready to be wrapped
Keep Tweens entertained with this easy to do craft zebra from Eugy

Gifts for Tweens Who Can't Wait To Grow Up

A Mobile Phone

Tweens often start walking to school on their own and go round to friend's houses making having a mobile phone really useful. For most people buying a top of the range phone for their child isn’t an option, especially given the chance of it getting lost or damaged, but not all smart phones come with a huge price tag. IMO specialise in affordable smart phones. The new Q4 Pro is their most advanced phone yet and costs just £60 from Tesco Mobile. This android phone has facial unlocking, dual 8mp rear camera and 5”45 wide display screen and 16gb memory (expandable to 64gb with a MicroSD card). It can run all the popular apps making it a great choice for Tweens.

The Q4 Pro Smartphone from IMO is perfect as a first smartphone for Tweens
IMO Q4 Pro Affordable Smartphone

Smiggle Stationery

When people ask what presents they should get for their Tween (especially girls) I hear Smiggle products suggested time and time again. They are fun, colourful and practical too so a win all round. It might be a good idea to get a gift card so they can go in store themselves and choose (you can order them online) or you can have fun doing the shopping yourself. The scented marker and gel pens are both very popular and there are a huge range of bags, pencil cases, notepads and other gifts to choose from. You might even find something you want for you!

Smiggle gift suggestions for Tweens: Unicorn Universe scented markers and eraser, Unicorn Fluffy Sand, Scented gel pens, mermaid notepad and a pencil case with reversible sequins on
Smiggle gift suggestions: Unicorn Universe scented markers and eraser, Unicorn Fluffy Sand, Scented gel pens, mermaid notepad and a pencil case with reversible sequins on

Nail Art Nail Polish

Who needs paper when you can use fingernails as a canvas? This set of 8 nail polishes from Buzz Art is all about creating nail art. The colours are perfect for fun images and you don’t have to worry about brushes going everywhere because each bottle has a brush when you unscrew the lid. When you pull off the top of the cap you get a fine nib pen for detailed designs (squeeze the bottle gently for the colour to come out). The set also includes cleaning needles in case the pen gets blocked up and there are a few design ideas on the box. It is really easy to create detailed nail designs with this set and the nail polish dries pretty quickly too.

Buzz nails from Buzz Art lots of colours in the box
These nail polishes are brilliant for nail art with a brush and a pen in each colour

Curls 4 Girls Digital Straightening Brush

My eldest daughter always wants to borrow my hairstyling tools so it’s probably time she got her own. While it is recommended to be used under parental supervision this Digital Straightening Brush is designed “for girls” to be easy to use. Hair is straightened just by being brushed slowly with the anti-static ceramic bristles. It has variable temperature control to minimise damage to hair, so fine hair can use a low heat and wavy, courser hair can use a medium or high heat. It also comes with an automatic shut off after 60 minutes in case it is accidentally left on. You might even find you end up wanting to borrow it. 

Curls 4 Girls Digital Hair Straightener perfect for Tweens
A hair straightener aimed at Tweens

Gift Guide for Tweens

Here are more gift ideas for 9 year olds and if your children are a little bit older, here are some gift ideas for Teenagers and more gifts for teenagers.

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