It’s that time of year again. We’re all running around in circles looking for the perfect gift – or at least the perfect gift that we can afford! And tweens are particularly hard to shop for. They’re too old for most toys and games, and too young for most of the stuff teens covet. This list has the most requested items as reported by real moms of real tween girls, provided by the www.momtop10.com community.
1. Fashion Design Sets: If you had a crafty youngster, these kits are perfect! They have everything a young designer could want to jump start her career. There is a mannequin or dress form and a variety of swatches as well as an assortment of trims and glitz. It’s a future fashion designer’s dream! Two of the most popular sets are made by Harumika and Project Runway.
2. Jewelry Making Kits: Crafty kids part II: Another great choice, these kits let girls design and make their own jewelry. Cap necklaces are one popular option. Another is a kit for making friendship bracelets, and craft stores have beading kits. Br prepared for a whole new jewelry wardrobe, and enjoy watching your girl and friends swap and share all of it. It almost makes you want to be young again.
3. Smart Girl’s Guide Books: Your tween may not ask for one of these books, but get her one anyway. She will be so pleased that you did! Published by the same people who make the American Girl dolls, these highly rated books cover a variety of topics: money, divorce, middle school, boys and more. If you give her a couple now, she may be begging for more by the next holiday. Reading them too may help you gain some insight on the tough tween world of today.
4. Messenger Bag: More sophisticated than a backpack, less ‘grown-up’ than a purse, messenger bags have become the new must-have accessory for girls this age. They are available in a broad range of fabrics and prices. Such a perfect gift, and one you may enjoy borrowing on occasion!
5. Pedicure Kit: Pedicures are so popular with women, of course the trend would spiral downward to the younger female crowd. Pretty Pedicure Salon makes a basic one that is a step up from the toy version. For an older girl OPI offers a great kit. Add a few bottles of nail polish- blue, green, or hot pink?- and you have the perfect gift!
6. Personalized Bean Bag Chair: Bean bags never seem to wane in popularity. And why would they? So comfortable and welcoming. Some girls would rather a bean bag chair for homework than a desk chair. There are any number available, so go with a favorite color or print. And if you choose carefully – nothing featuring the current teen idol, for instance, and a fabric that’s easily cleaned – it just may go with her when she goes off to college!
7. Scrabble Flash: Kids who have grown up playing board games are always excited to try out a new version of an old favorite. Scrabble Flash is one of these updated games. Kids race to spell as many three to five letter words as possible in 75 seconds. Fast paced and fun.
8. Anything Glee: The hit TV series is hugely popular with this age group, so anything related to the series is sure to be well received. There is a Glee board game that is on many a young girl’s wish list, and an assortment of other Glee paraphernalia. A Glee CD would be another good choice.
9. Room Décor: Girls this age are ready to leave their little girl rooms behind and move up to something more sophisticated. Even if your girl has something specific in mind, you can always add fun pillows or mirrors with a twist. Be prepared for lots of animal prints and peace signs this season, though.
10. 10. iPod/ iPod Accessories- There are so many ways to go with Apple’s MP3 player. For starters, an iTunes gift card is always a welcome present for anyone looking for a last minute idea. If your tween already has the iPod, then look for popular accessories such as the iKaraoke Microphone. That’s right- a portable Karaoke machine for an impromptu concert. Other options include a docking station for the bedroom, or a good pair of headphones.
For even more gift ideas, with brief product reviews and links to buy, check out my gifts section at www.momtop10.com. Each category is broken down by year and gender, so there are lots of different ideas.