ComScore

The 45 Best Gifts for Tweens That Aren't Cringe

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. You can learn more about that process here.

Have a pre-teen to buy a gift for? Don’t be daunted by the seeming impossibility of choosing one of the best gifts for tweens—we’ve got a few ideas to make it and actually fun shopping experience.

What Age Range is a Tween?

These by turns graceful and awkward creatures are between 9 and 12 years old. Think somewhere between bingeing Bluey and Euphoria and you’ve hit the sweet spot of shopping gifts for tweens.

Why Can’t I Just Shop for Them Like Kids or Teens?

Preteens are at a unique developmental stage, according to child psychologists and any harried middle school teacher. They’ve moved on from being identified as “a big kid,” but they’re not yet comfortable in the sometimes rough and tumble world of full-on hormonal teendom. They might be getting crushes but still wanting to sleep with a teddy bear.

So, Just a Gift Card, Then?

Perhaps. But instead of just handing over a gift card, you might experience a special thrill to giving a tween something unexpected that they might love. Here at PureWow, we endorse giving a little bit extra to surprise and delight a giftee. Maybe you can bring a smile to that bat or bar mitzvah kid or middle school graduate or awkward tween pool party host or hostess (this coverup is made for them). Or you could choose something bright to decorate a young person’s room or wrap up a fun craft project that doubles as a stress reliever. Perhaps your tween would like an outdoor game they can play with a few friends, or a baking set to use with a sibling, or even (yes it can be done) a clothing item that they’ll wear to school and feel fly wearing.

The 72 Best Gifts for Teens, According to Teenagers


gifts for tweens punchpillow kit
KiwiCo

1. Kiwico Punch Needle Pillow

Best for Crafty Kids

• Why We Love It: Easy-to-learn, soothing

This kit lets them plan a pattern, transfer it to a fabric, then follow that with the easy punch needle. Extra points if you help them get started, since tweenage years are all about being shown new skills. Note: The kit says for ages 14+, but we totally know tweens can tackle this.

gifts for tweens anklet
Madewell

2. Madewell Seed Bead Daisy Anklet

Best for the Barefoot Gal

• Why We Love It: Retro charm, distinctive jewelry type

What’s cuter than an anklet? Not much, and we predict your giftee will immediately squeal when you explain it goes on her leg not her wrist. The nine-inch length is generous, and the brass plating and glass beads will withstand all the pool parties when she doesn’t take it off all season.

gifts for tweens sleep hoodie
Gap

3. Teen Sherpa Sleep Hoodie

Best for the House Lounger

• Why We Love It: Towel-like softness, cell phone pockets

Ask any tween: Robes are so grandma and grandpa. Gift an oversized hoodie they can toss over their PJs and feel confident in their bod, no matter what is going on growth-spurt wise. Bonus: It’s made with 20 percent recycled polyester.

Available in sizes 8 to 18/20

gifts for tweens aura projector
Amazon

4. Northern Lights Aura Projector

For the Sleep Resistant

• Why We Love It: Soothing multicolor lights, white noise

In a one-two punch of vibey visuals (swirling red-blue-violet lights) and eight white noise settings, this night light lets users set it to auto-off in one to four-hour settings, and can play Bluetooth-enabled tunes. And the colored lights make some dramatic selfies.

gifts for tweens vans
Zappos

5. Vans Slip-on Sf

For the Kid Who Wants to Surf

  • Why We Love It: OG styling, no-lace ease

Whether they are diehard surfers or just want to look cool, these classic waterproof slip-ons will be appreciated. This design has a fold-down back, so they will find it as easy to wear as a pair of shower slides.

gifts for tweens press on nails
Olive & June

6. Olive & June Press-on Mani System

Best for Nail Biters

• Why We Love It: Age-appropriate color selection, easy to apply

Gen Z has made friends with press-on nails, and the new iterations come in subtle colorways and shorter length that are cool without being extra. This kit will help the one with nervous hands get a jump on nail grooming with nine included tools such as a cuticle pusher, nail clipper, file, buffer, strengthener and a set of short, French mani press-ons.

gifts for tweens record player
Urban Outfitters

7. Crosley Uo Exclusive Wood Voyager Record Player

For the Retro Music Fan

• Why We Love It: Vintage styling, stereo speakers

No matter if they’re into Yungblud, Billie Eilish or Wilco for that matter, kids today appreciate collecting and listening to vinyl as a supplement to their steady stream of Spotify. Gift them this Bluetooth-enabled stereo that lets them do both in style.

gifts for tweens jumpsuit
Outerknown

8. Outerknown S.e.a. Suit

For the Absent-Minded and Fashionable

• Why We Love It: 11 colors, roll-up leg

This cotton-and-linen jumpsuit has lots of pockets so she can stash her phone, bus pass and debit card and not have to suffer the anxiety of strolling the mall in her posse without the essentials.

Available in sizes XS to XL

gifts for tweens elements
Amazon

For the Schoolwork-Obsessed

  • Why We Love It: Caffeine-free, sugar-free

This 12-pack of soft drinks is formulated with adaptogens to help your tween focus on schoolwork without the jittery buzz of caffeine or the crash of sugary sodas.

gifts for tweens makeup case
Amazon

10. Makeup Train Case With Large Lighted Mirror

For the Performer

• Why We Love It: LED light, metal lock

There’s always going to be the need to touch up makeup before an audition or a performance, and there’s not going to be a well-lit mirror to do it in…until now, with this lightweight leather-look zip case that holds a complete kit.

gifts for tweens dry shampoo
Verishop

11. Oribe Dry Styling Kit

For the Grooming Newbie

• Why We Love It: Two water-free washing products

Two mini dry shampoo formulas, perfect for keeping in a school locker: Gold Lust Dry Shampoo is a lightweight powder that absorbs product buildup, and Dry Texturizing Spray dries oils at the roots while giving hair traction to hold curl. And rounding out this three-product set, a full-size Dry Texturizing Spray for home use.

gifts for tweens lantern
KiwiCo

12. Kiwicolevitating Lantern

Best for the Science Guy or Gal

• Why We Love It: Hour-long construction, engineering made fun

This easy-to-assemble lamp teaches junior electrical engineers about the principles of tension and tensegrity as they build a lantern that floats in mid-air.

gifts for tweens basketball
Amazon

13. Glowcity Glow In The Dark Basketball

Best for the Driveway Hoops Star

•Why We Love It: Youth-sized, lights on impact

Two LED lights activate on impact in this size 6 basketball that’s just right for pre-teen hands. And unlike many novelty balls, this one keeps its bounce for a good long while. Note: This ball arrives deflated, so include a sport ball hand pump to get the game started.

gifts for tweens water bottle
Amazon

14. Iron Flask Sports Water Bottle

For the Pastel Lover

• Why We Love It: Three lids, 25 colorways

Why just carry a water bottle when you can really express your inner color-lovingspirit? Show your giftee you appreciate her love of bright things along with her desire to stay hydrated with this 32-ounce double-walled cooler.

gifts for tweens boba light
Urban Outfitters

15. Smoko Giant Food Light

Best for Boba Tea Fans

• Why We Love It: Cute overload, functional nightlight

Memorialize their love of all things boba with this LED lamp that is pretty much the cutest nightlight we have ever seen. It’s 5.5 inches tall, so it can fit on their bedside. Note: It runs on three AAA batteries, not included.

gifts for tweens scrunchie
Verishop

16. Ettika Neon Scrunchie

For the Over-the-Top Dresser

• Why We Love It: Crystals, shiny

She will shriek when she gets a load of this excessive in-the-best-way scrunchie. Her parents will appreciate the way it keeps her hair off her face.

gifts for tweens lululemon
Lululemon

17. Lululemon Pace Breaker Linerless Short

For the Guy Jock

• Why We Love It: Zippered pocket, cool wearing

Sure, he’s got a lot of workout shorts, but these are fancy. Quick-drying four-way stretch fabric in a generous seven-inch length means these are so comfortable and versatile, he won’t want to take these off once he’s dominated his workout.

gifts for tweens sunglasses1
Target

18. Ray-ban Original Wayfarer Unisex Sunglasses

For the Cool Guy or Gal

• Why We Love It: Quality lenses, classic style

You’ll not often find a fashion item that’s going to appeal to Gen Z, millennials, X and boomers, but we nominate these Wayfarers as one such item. Lightweight, good-looking on everyone and a way to teach them early to take care of their peepers.

gifts for tweens exercise dress
Outdoor Voices

19. Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress

Best for Court Sport Lovers

• Why We Love It: Built-in shorts, off-court options

The humble tennis dress has been reinvented as warm weather knock-around garb, layered over a T-shirt or just worn as is with sneaker, sandal or flip-flops. Of course, if she wants to slay a pickleball opponent, this dress works for that, too.

Available in sixes XXS to XL

gifts for tweens toiletries kit
LL Bean

20. Ll Bean Personal Organizer Toiletry Kit

For the Sleepover Guy

• Why We Love It: Indestructible, roomy

Heavy-duty nylon packcloth is going to withstand whatever toothpaste tube isn’t on tight or shampoo leaks, and still look tight when he’s tossing it in his bag to overnight at his bestie’s house. After you’ve called to check it’s okay with his friend’s parent, of course.

gifts for tweens hiking boots
Bass Outdoor

21. Bass Outdoor Women’s Peak Trail 2 Mid Boot

For the Hiker

• Why We Love It: Sneaker styling, water resistant

For real outdoor scrambling, ankle support is key. These give her just that, along with deep tread and a leather-flocked outsole, all put together in a cute and colorful package she won’t wrinkle her nose up like she does at most technical footwear.

gifts for tweens orangutan
WWF

22. Wwf Male Orangutan Adoption

For the Budding Conservationist

• Why We Love It: Do-gooder feels, plush toy gift

For your donation, your giftee gets a photo of their charge, a species information card and an orange plush toy that will make them remember how they’re helping to save a hairy orange life with their donation to the World Wildlife Fund.

gifts for tweens beret
Urban Outfitters

23. Kangol 2-tone Beret

For the Emily in Paris Watcher

• Why We Love It: Kicky style, lightweight construction

Is she cutely dropping French hrases into conversation, c’est vous plait? Acknowledge her Francophile tendencies with this nubby acrylic knit beret that updates the classic shape.

gifts for tweens solawave
Solawave

24. Solawave Anti-breakout Skincare Wand

For the Complexion Obsessed

• Why We Love It: Facial massage feel, comes with serum

Skincare feels good with this warming wand that used blue light to kill bacteria and calm redness. For as little as ten minutes post-washing, a few swipes of this vibrating microcurrent wand will really bring out your giftee’s healthy glow.

gifts for tweens crocs
Zappos

25. Crocs Tie-dye Clog

For the One with Wild Style

• Why We Love It: Graffiti print, waterproof

Thermoplastic clogs with a strap that can be flipped back or hinged forward to make a slip-on shoe…convenience, thy name is Crocs. These mold to their footbed as they wear them, and look cute with everything from swimwear to skirts.

gifts for tweens zinn
Amazon

For the History Buff

• Why We Love It: Conversation starter, short chapters

It’s said that history is told from the perspective of the winning side, and this young people’s version of the Howard Zinn’s adult-focused work, tells history using the voices of workers, enslaved people, immigrants, women, Native Americans and more.

gifts for tweens ear cuffs
Adornmonde

27. Adornmonde Keen Asymmetric Ear Cuffs

For the Ear Party Tween

• Why We Love It: 14 K gold plated, crystal insets

Ear parties are trending, and we’re seeing piercings all up and down the lobe. But if her family isn’t set on her getting extra holes in her body, or if she’s just curious about the look, these ear cuffs let her experiment with a little extra bling, in “demi-fine” gold-plated sterling silver.

gifts for tweens mandalorian
Amazon

28. Lego Star Wars: The Mandalorian The Child

For Fans of “The Mandalorian”

• Why We Love It: Posable, makes great room display

This 1,073-piece Lego sculpture is rated for 10 and up, so it’s not going to be impossible to put together. And once it’s assembled, the mouth and ears can be adjusted, and you and pose him with his favorite toy, a gearshift knob.

gifts for tweens ring light
Amazon

29. Sensyne 10'' Ring Light With 50'' Extendable Tripod Stand

Best for the Emerging Vlogger

• Why We Love It: Removable phone holder, 3 light temperature settings

Whether they’re into makeup tutorials, fitness demos or just the latest TikTok dance, your tween can find a use for this ring light when they’re making videos. And even if they’re not starring, they can use the light when they’re joining a Zoom study session.

gifts for tweens astrology book
Free People

30. "astro Brithdays” By Stella Andromeda

For the Astrology Buff

• Why We Love It: Multi-disciplinary insights, cool graphics

This cunning book has 366 profiles, one for each day of the Leap Year, comprising astrological insights, numerology and Tarot intel. This will be fun to look up not just the giftee’s own birthday, but their friends and family’s as well.

gifts for tweens supergoop
Sephora

31. Supergoop! Mineral Sheerscren Spf 30

For the Outdoors Lover

• Why We Love It: Unisex, sheer coverage

You’ll want to start nagging them early about always wearing SPF, and this all-mineral sunscreen goes on practically invisibly, so no one will think they are wearing anything on their face. Bonus: This formula protects against blue light, too.

gifts for tweens acupressure pillow
Free People

32. Bed Of Nails Eco Acupressure Pillow

For Dancers, Gymnasts and Other Bendy Bodies

• Why We Love It: Alleviates tension, passive recovery

Any young athletic person will appreciate how pressure-point manipulation can help loosen strained or tensed muscles. This buckwheat hull-filled pillow has more than 2,000 spiked discs to really get the neck, shoulders, lumbar or other regions going.

gifts for tweens ursa major
Ursa Major

33. Ursa Major Grooming Bundle

Great for the Shower Resistant Guy

• Why We Love It: Customizable, natural scents

Gift a selection of eco-friendly bar soap, pump soap, eco-deodorant and more, and you can be sure to get him into the bath out of sheer curiosity, at the very least.

gifts for tweens oculus
Amazon

34. Oculus Quest 2 — Advanced All-in-one Virtual Reality Headset

For the Gamer

• Why We Love It: Easy setup, immersive gaming

Someone’s going to have to explain the Metaverse to you, and it might as well be the kid who is 11 years old now. This hands-free headset lets the user just slip it on and set up with the smartphone app right out of the box.

gifts for tweens ukulele
Amazon

35. Donner Soprano Ukulele Beginner Kit

For the Campfire Entertainer

• Why We Love It: 12 colors, free online course

A digital tuner, a strap and everything your little warbling giftee needs to become uke adept is in this bundle: a 21-nch soprano ukulele, picks and more.

gifts for tweens bean bag lounger
Pottery Barn Teen

36. Pottery Barn Teen Leanback Lounger

For the Preteen Man Cave

• Why We Love It: Updated beanbag, small profile

Get ready for him to host hangouts in his room with this 39-inch wide bean bag chair that’s a little more structured than yesterday’s free-form blob. The durable cotton canvas cover is spot cleanable, and tough, to stand up to all his ruffian friends.

gifts for tweens stim toy set
Amazon

37. Hhobby Stars 42 Pcs Sensory Fidget Toys Pack

For the Overstimulated Tween

• Why We Love It: Diverse sensory stimulation, stress relieving

With so much information bombardment, social pressure and school responsibility, it can be helpful to let off a bit of steam by squishing a squeeze ball in your hand, setting a liquid motion timer or playing with a flippy chain. All those toys and more are in this cornucopia.

gifts for tweens glow collar
Chewy

38. Mighty Paw Light Up Led Dog Necklace

For the Dog Walker

• Why We Love It: High visibility, easy to custom-fit

It may be raining. It may be snowing. It may be after dark. But that tween still has to take out the family dog, and this light makes the both of them that much more visible and therefore safer.

gifts for tweens pillow
Bed, Bath & Beyond

39. Therapedic Oversized Backrest Pillow

For the Bed Studier

• Why We Love It: Seven colors, cell phone pocket

Soft micro mink texture polyester covers this 36-inch long pillow that can help the student (or let’s be real, YouTube binger) not get a sore neck or back when they’re logging in the hours. It is filled with solid Temperpedic foam, so we’re talking support.

gifts for tweens razor ripstik
Walmart

40. Razor Ripstik Ripster Caster Board

For the Skater

• Why We Love It: Accelerates without pushing, 175-pound capacity

The pivoting deck and 360-degree inclined casters mean that just by shifting their weight, riders can speed up or slow down. At only 5.5 pounds, this is the new wheeled challenge tweens will love taking on, as long as they’re wearing the helmet you’ve gifted along with it.

gifts for tweens binoculars
Amazon

41. Nocs Provision Standard Issue Binoculars

For the Festival Goer

• Why We Love It: Compact, waterproof

These sturdy fog- and waterproof binoculars are rubber-coated, so they’re less likely to slip out of your hands. And they’re so clear, your giftee can take photos with them using the mobile phone adapter, available separately.

gifts for tweens scallop hat
Anthropologie

42. Flower Canvas Bucket Hat

For the Sun Worshipper

• Why We Love It: Accent stitching, scalloped brim

It’s rare that you find a hat that looks as cute at the beach as it does with an entire outfit, but this charming chapeau has all that and more. The floppy cotton is lightweight, to boot.

gifts for tweens plaid shirt
Pac Sun

43. Pacsun Camp Shirt

For the Dress Shirt Denier

• Why We Love It: Low key fashion, plaid

If he’s the type of guy who would just as soon wear a t-shirt to a wedding, ease him out of his comfort zone with this loose-fit, inoffensive plaid number. It’s from Cali cool company Pac Sun, which is popular among his demo.

gifts for tweens bedding
Anthropologie

44. Marguerite Organic Sateen Duvet Cover

Best for the Future Interior Designer

• Why We Love It: Bold florals, organic cotton

Does she have a knack for mixing florals and stripes? Does she know her way around the color wheel? Is she constantly rearranging her room? Then she will appreciate this gorgeous duvet cover that reverses to a ditsy print. (And she’ll really love that you threw in a pair of matching shams.)

gifts for tweens andie swim
Andie

45. Andie The Malibu

For the Serious Swimmer

• Why We Love It: Multi-snap neckline, maximum bust support

This versatile swimsuit has a medium leg cut and comes in long-waist sizes, so it’s not going to pull too much on a growing girl. And the snap top means she can get a bit of sun on the girls when she’s done swimming laps.

Available in sizes XS to XXXL