As a parent of two tween boys, thinking of a birthday gift my boys or their friends would like can be a challenge. They are at the “in between” age (10-13)-between being a child who plays with toys such as GI Joes and Hot Wheels or a teenager who spends all of their time with their friends. Naturally, buying a birthday gift for a tween boy can be a challenge, especially with the high price of some of todays must have gadgets.
So what should you get a tween for his birthday?
1. Cash: You can never go wrong with cold hard cash! My tweens prefer cash over any other gift because they are able to put all their birthday money together to buy a high priced item.
2. Gift Cards. If you don’t want to give cash as a gift, then your next best bet is a gift card, particularly to stores such as Gamestop, Zumiez, and Target. With video games costing up to $60, and high quality skateboards priced at more than $100, gift cards are a great way to help them toward the cost of a higher priced item they may want.
3. Gaming Memberships. Most tweens play video games so you can’t go wrong with a gaming membership. The most popular are Xbox Live (they need to have an internet connection for Xbox Live to work) or Gamefly. Xbox Live allows users to interact with others while playing their favorite game. Video gamers talk to other users via a headset that connects to their game controller. The headset runs about $20 and Xbox Live subscription cards can be purchased at most stores that sell gift cards. Gamefly is a rental system for video games that works similar to Netflix. Gamers go online to select which game they would like to play and mail them back to Gamefly when they are done with the game. It is also a great way to try out a video game before purchasing it.
4. Computer or Gaming accessories. Both of my boys and their tween friends love getting items that they can use with their computer or video game system. This could be a “skin” to the Xbox 360 that displays a game theme or even a new laptop bag. If the tween enjoys watching clay animation videos, many stores have plug and play web cams that can be purchased for under $25 so that they can make their own videos! My twelve-year-old recently received a $20 webcam from as a gift and in less than an hour, he had made his first claymation video.
5. Gift Cards or accessories to the iPod or a digital music player. iTunes gift cards are sold just about everywhere. They can even be purchased, customized, and printed out online! Great for that last minute gift or party that your child forgot to mention that they are going to. If your tween always has his headphones on, invest in a good quality pair of headphones, or ear buds as they are sometimes referred to. They come in a variety of colors and styles that are sure to match the tweens needs.