Gift Guide for Tween Girls
Once girls enter tween-hood, it can start to get a bit harder to choose gifts that you're both happy with - gone are the easy days of dolls and Duplo!
Here's a compilation of gifts that will be sure to impress the tween-age girl in your life, no matter what she's into.
SELF CARE & BEAUTY
Many tween-age girls start to become interested in self-care and beauty products - and although they're most likely not ready for a full face of make up (at least not in my house!) it's fun for them to experiment here.
It's also a good age to start introducing the basics of looking after your skin, and the importance of taking time out for yourself to de-stress and reduce anxiety.
Makeup - eyeshadow palettes, glitter and lip gloss are fun ways to experiment with makeup in an age appropriate way. Check out Twinxie Girl for a natural, no nasties option.
Mani/Pedi vouchers - these are popular with girls and if you go with them it's a lovely opportunity to have some quiet one-on-one time with them
Yoga mat - a kid-sized yoga mat is the perfect way for your mini to practise some mindfulness when the stress of school, activities and friend troubles gets too much.
We love Sun Child Yogi mats (how beautiful is this one featuring designs from Indigenous Australian artist Natalie Jade?!).
Scented candles or diffusers - these can help them unwind after a busy week (and maybe freshen up the smell of their room if they aren't the tidiest!)
Hair styling tools - straighteners, curlers, wavers etc - my girls have their eye on the Mermade waver
A robe and/or slippers and slides - a fancy robe can make them feel extra special when they want to indulge in some self care, an eye mask or some cute slippers or slides complete the package - I love the fluffy ones from Kip & Co.
This is the age where (unfortunately or not!) many girls want to have more say in how their bedroom looks. This is the main area we are focusing on this year in my house, as both my girls have asked for a bedroom makeover for Christmas.
Here's a few items we've been looking at:
Cork Board / Pin Board - this is a great way for them to display postcards, notes from friends, photos etc without them ruining your paintwork. The display can also be easily changed as frequently as their mood(!)
Fairy Lights / LED Lights - most tween girls are a big fan of these! No need to spend up big - you can find a good selection at KMart or eBay.
Plants ( real or faux) - another favourite with my girls; mine have both requested faux hanging vines to decorate their walls as well as a real pot plant they can look after.
You can also pick up a selection of smaller prints so they can create their own wall collage - Etsy has some great options here.
Calendar - help them manage their own activities, appointments and birthdays with a cute calendar
Alarm clock / wall clock - as they grow older this is a good way to encourage them to manage their own time.
Typo have cute retro versions in a range of colours that tween girls will love.
Locker - at an age when girls begin to desire more privacy, a locker like the ones at Mustard Made offer them a space to keep their diaries, notes from friends and their lolly stash locked away from siblings. Bonus points for help keeping their fidget toys, stationery and other assorted bits and pieces hidden away.
They have a variety of sizes and colours but for tweens we love their "shorty".
Furniture - The Family Love Tree have an awesome range of tween-friendly bed heads (and how good is this rainbow shelf?!)
Whether your tween loves the outdoors or needs a little more encouragement to get outside, it's a nice idea to gift a few items that will help them enjoy a healthy, outdoor lifestyle.
Activewear - can't leave this one off the list! I don't have the exact figures but am pretty sure you're at least 130% more likely to be active when you're wearing activewear.
Beachy stuff - help bring extra fun and enjoyment (and less whinging!) to a day at the beach with some new beachy gear:
- new towel
- snorkel set
- boards (boogie/surf/paddle)
- a cute beach chair (try Sunday Supply Co)
- a beach bag for carrying all their gear (try Kollab for their oversized, waterproof and wallet-friendly version - great for mums, too!)
- younger water-loving tweens will love a wetsuit from Move 2 Change
Bike - if your tween has recently shot up overnight, an upsized bike might be just the thing to get her interested in biking again. Especially as girls grow their independence, a cool bike is perfect for cruising around to nearby friends houses.
Outdoor Games - outdoor games are a fun way to encourage more family time, especially at a time when some kids think they're far too old for games.
Something like giant jenga or bocce is a lovely way to spend more time together in a relaxed way.
Balls - basketball, netball, soccer, footy; whatever their favourite sport is a new ball is usually a winner.
Fishing Gear / Camping Gear - are you a family that loves to fish or camp? Some new gear of her own will make her feel more independent.
They can be harder to master so will give them a great sense of accomplishment when they figure out new skills.
GAMES AND PUZZLES
Whether your tween likes raucous board game nights or a bit of quiet time puzzling on her own, here are some of our favourites:
- Cards Against Humanity (the family edition. Most definitely pick the family edition!)
- Bop It
- Spot It (great for travel)
- Colour Brain
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Nintendo Switch
- Oculus Quest (virtual reality game - NOT a cheap option but a super fun option as a gift for the whole family)
ART & CRAFT
Perfect for occupying little(ish) fingers during the long summer holidays, art & craft kits are always a winner.
The benefit of gifting these to tween girls is they need a lot less help with them than they did a few years ago!
Some kits to try:
- Art supplies
- Beading/jewellery kits
- Stationery sets
- Slime kits
- Tie dye
- Simple cross stitch/embroidery kits (penguin lovers will adore this felting kit from The Good Yarn!
- DIY donut baking & decorating kit (so fun!)
- Rock tumbling kit
- Resin Jewellery Kits (these are a huge hit with my girls - look on Etsy or eBay for sets that include everything they need)
CLOTHING / FASHION
As tween girls start to establish their style, new clothes are often near the top of their list for Christmas. If you're not sure what will impress a teen, try these on for size.
Clothing - it can be hard to find clothing that both you and your tween agree on!
De Cjuba and Sportsgirl are popular with older tweens/early teens; we also love Bella & Lace for special occasions, and Minti for colourful and fun everyday wear. Play Etc is also super cute for younger tweens.
Pyjamas - a couple of sets of cute pyjamas make a lovely gift that's of course functional, but also a good idea as girls start attending more sleepovers. Peter Alexander is a fave with tweens.
Oodies - can a tween girl ever have too many Oodies? Apparently not.
Activewear - tween girls love wearing activewear out and about, not just for sports. Look for brands that offer slightly longer crop tops and high-waisted bike shorts so they can feel a little bit grown up but in an age-appropriate way.
Accessories - hats, jewellery and bags are a fun way for tweens to put together an outfit that speaks their style; Seed Teen and Country Road have a range of tween friendly styles, while Lovisa is popular for its huge range of affordable jewellery options.
Food maker - think waffles, donuts, ice cream, smoothies. They'll love getting creative in the kitchen and it will help build their independence
Lunch boxes, lunch bags and drink bottles - not the most exciting gift but we always include this at Christmas so the girls can start the new school year fresh.
Fitness Tracker - a tracker helps makes fitness fun (and might even put an end to whinging when you need to walk places!). We like the Fit Bit 3 for its fun challenges and long-lasting battery.
Polaroid Camera - a fun way for tweens to explore their creative side and create memories; polaroids make a fun gift for their friends or they can use them to decorate a pin board in their room.
Spriggy card - a Spriggy card helps kids manage their pocket money online (through an app which you control); you can allocate money for particular chores and control how much is for saving and how much is for spending. A great way for tweens to learn how to manage their money in a cashless society (plus they'll LOVE having their own card)
Overnight / Travel Bag - perfect for sleepovers, school camps and kids who need to cart a lot of dance or sport gear around; a high quality weekender or duffle bag is a lovely way to show your tween that you understand their developing independence. Country Road & Daily Edited both have canvas versions you can have personalised for a special touch.
Portable Speaker - as your tween starts to develop her own musical taste, a portable speaker will let her play her own tunes wherever she is.
Pick a waterproof version like the JBL Flip so she can listen to it at the pool or beach without stressing out, and set her up with her own Spotify account (you can connect it to a family account) so she doesn't corrupt your playlists with her *excellent* taste in music.
Period pack - she might not want to open this one in front of the rest of the family, but for girls who are going through puberty and have questions about their period, a period starter box like those available from Little Miss Period is a thoughtful gift idea that will make her feel more comfortable about the changes that are happening with her body.
These are a great way to help them value experiences over "things" and are a fun way to get some more family time.
- mani/pedi/massage vouchers
- movie tickets
- activities (eg surf lesson, drama classes)
- tickets to a show/musical
- theme park tickets
- Apple gift cards for gaming
We ALWAYS gift a few books in our house - I don't need to highlight the benefits of reading to you here, but I do have some ideas for books for tweens in case you get stuck!
- Babysitters Club series (Ann M. Martin)
- Wolf Girl series (Anh Do)
- Harry Potter Series (J.K. Rowling)
- Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret (Judy Blume)
- Blubber (Judy Blume)
- Tomorrow When the War Began (John Marsden)
- The Extremely Embarrassing Life of Lottie Brooks (Katie Kirby)
- Hating Alison Ashley (Robin Klein)
- Real Friends (Shannon Hale)
- Goodnight Stories For Rebel Girls (Elena Favilli)
- Girl Stuff (Kaz Cooke)
- Welcome To Your Period (Melissa Kang and Yumi Stynes)
Here are some fun ideas you can use as stocking fillers for older girls.
- Temporary tattoos
- Bubble Tea kits
- Loom bands
- Bath bombs
- Face masks
- Hair chalk / temporary hair dye
- Nail polish & nail art
- Incense / mini candles
- Fidget toys
- School bag tags
- Crystals & tumbles (try Salt & Air by B)
- Scrunchies / hair accessories
- Socks, undies and crop tops
- Affirmation cards or pencils (try Core Kids)
- Whoopie cushion or magic tricks
- Coin purse