Elena just celebrated her 10th birthday. While shopping for her and suggesting gifts to family this year, it hit me that we officially have a tween in the house. Tween wish lists (and teen lists, I’m sure) are so different from the wants they have as kids. Eli asked for Legos and a case of Gatorade, while Elena wants her own iPad and a television in her room (dream on kid, not in this house!). It can be frustrating when you want to buy something that is both affordable and not dependant on some kind of screen or a trip to Justice.
After Elena’s birthday, I was thrilled to realized that not a single gift she received this year needed to be plugged in or charged. It’s not that we have anything against screens or tech, it’s just disheartening sometimes … it can easily feel like the only things worth having come with the prefix “i.” This didn’t happen on purpose, but it made me realize that there are some awesome gift ideas out there for tween girls that are screen-free. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Magazine subscriptions
Elena loves Discovery Girls and I approve as well. It covers many topics that tweens are interested in while managing to stay age-appropriate. Other great magazines for this age group include Kiki, and New Moon Girls.
2. bobino Cord Wraps
A fun accessory for the tech stuff tweens already have. Elena was forever getting her earbuds tangled or losing them. The bobino cord wraps keeps the cords wrapped up neatly, and with the fun, bright colors they’re easy to spot. They also make larger sizes for chargers and bigger cords. Who sells them? The Container Store, of course!
I’ve waxed poetic about this kit before and I’ll do it again. It should actually go on the best gifts for all kids hall of fame list. We’ve had our kit for 3 years now. It’s been used over and over and over again and it’s just now starting to run out. High quality paints and a great book with lots of kid-friendly tutorials make this a hit with all ages.
4. Pogo Stick
I have to thank my friend Julie for this idea. I never would’ve thought of it, but her daughter brought one over and the girls spent hours outside trying to get the record for most bounces in a row. A fun surprise for the girl who loves playing outside but already has a bike and scooter.
5. Any of the books and journals by Keri Smith
6. Kid Made Modern Craft Kits
Based on Todd Oldham’s fabulous book, these kits are sold exclusively at Target. Elena received the Flashy Light Kit, and we used the Duct Tape Kit to make all kinds of fun duct tape projects at her birthday party. The Charley Harper Paint-By-Number? I bought that one for myself.
7. My Style Studio by Klutz
Apparently I need to be a Klutz affiliate or spokesperson because I just love their stuff. For girls interested in fashion and design this is a hit. It’s well-made, super-portable and provides endless options for drawing and creating.
Hope that helps making shopping for tween girls fun and less frustrating! And for keeping you out of Justice for even 10 minutes of your life? You’re welcome.