18 Cool and Trendy Gifts Your Picky Tween Will Love
Buying gifts for tweens can be tough, especially considering how picky they can be. No longer interested in kiddie stuff, tweens' tastes are changing daily as they move toward their teenage years and into middle school and junior high. With each birthday and holiday it gets trickier to think of the perfect gift. But one thing is for sure: tweens love to be trendy. From fun makeup to tech to clothes, they have the power to deem what is cool — and they aren't afraid to let you know when something isn't.
We love their brutal honesty, but it can also make buying tween girl gifts and tween boy gifts super difficult. With that in mind, we've curated this list to help direct you to a cool gift the tween in your life will love — even if they're notoriously difficult to shop for. The holidays can be stressful enough without having to spend a ton of time figuring out what precisely to get for those recipients who have everything, which is why we've narrowed down a few of the season's hottest products, many of which span the categories of beauty, fashion, home, and more. From the brands they're obsessed with, like Free People, Lululemon, and Ulta, to the ones they'll thank you for introducing them to, like Uncommon Goods, here are the best gifts for tweens.
Best For Tweens on the Go
This belt bag is a cult favorite for its practical yet stylish design. It can hold their phone, keys, wallet, and any other little items they need while out and about. Plus, it comes in a variety of different colorways, one of which is bound to fit your tween's personality. See why the practical accessory is an editor-favorite in this review of the Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag.
Editor Quote: "The Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag is best for those who want a compact, hands-free alternative to a purse. The design lends itself to a casual–cool 'fit that's perfect for people who are always on the go yet want to look chic and stay organized all the while." — Marisa Petrarca, contributing editor, Commerce
Best Decor Gift For Tweens
Tweens will enjoy making their space feel more personal thanks to these stringy smart lights, which are designed with photo clips for hanging pics of all their besties. With eight different modes, they'll also be able to set the vibe of the room to reflect their mood.
What reviewers say: "This looks great in my tween daughter's room. It took a little planning to decide where and how to hang it. I suggest using painter's tape to secure the string to the wall until you find the perfect spot. I used tiny command hooks (instead of nails) to attach it to the wall. LED lights are very fun too."
Best For Aspiring Tween Artists
Copic Sketch 12-Piece Markers ($66, originally $96)
Does your tween dream of being a professional artist? Show them you believe in them with these premium professional art markers. The 12-color set includes basic and primary colors, and the ink is a fast-drying transparent alcohol that is low-odor and nontoxic.
What reviewers say: "Copics are still the best sketch markers I've used, this pack is no exception. I also appreciate that they were well wrapped to protect from damage during shipping."
Best Gift For Tweens Who Love Music
If they're obsessed with all things pop culture or just a huge music fan, gift them a classic T-shirt that they can wear to their next concert — or just lounge around in at home. This style features the album art for one of Lana Del Rey's most iconic albums splashed across the front.
What reviewers say: "The shirt was the perfect size. The image is clear and even the shirt is a nice comfy material!"
Best Cozy Gift For Tweens
For a style that they'll want to snuggle up in all season long, go for these plush socks from Barefoot Dreams. The cozy accessory is made from the brand's signature "CozyChic" material and would make the perfect stocking stuffer for any tween.
What reviewers say: "I bought these for several of my favorite people and they loved them, so this pair is for me. Soft, cozy, and they don't fall off my feet. I hope my dog lets me keep them awhile."
Best For the Curious Tween
Anyway Magazine Subscription ($40, originally $44)
This new magazine for kids and teens will entertain your tween while they learn — about their bodies, their passions, and the world they live in. Past issues featured articles about dealing with body odor, advice about friendship, and beauty tips and tricks from real kids. Parents will love how inclusive and positive this mag is (while still keeping it real), and tweens will love that they can see themselves — not just airbrushed models and celebs — in its pages.
Best For Tween Gamers
Tween gamers will be wowed by this console that allows them to program and play their own video games or enjoy the classics from anywhere on the go. Plus, it doubles as a smartwatch with a pedometer, which will get them up out of the gaming chair and outside.
What reviewers say: "My son has used it already and loves how easy to follow the instructions were. Great item!"
Best For Tweens That Love Skincare
Actress Millie Bobby Brown's beauty line, florence by mills, is an exclusive with Ulta, and if your tween is into skincare, she will love using this Mind Glowing Peel Off Mask. It's great for acne, and contains charcoal and witch hazel to help clean and clear out skin from dirt and oil. The pearly, purple hue is also a fun touch!
What reviewers say: "If you have oily, acne prone skin this mask is for you! I have the hardest time with masks due to my oily skin and a lot of masks leave residue behind or just don't do anything but I saw this beautiful purple and had to give it a shot and I'm obsessed!"
Best Tween Gift For the Bedroom
Your tween can wake up and go to sleep in style with this ombre bluetooth speaker and white noise machine. It offers 3 levels of adjustable warm lighting and 15 soothing sounds. Plus, they can play their favorite tunes after school from the same speaker.
What reviewers say: "Oh my gosh! Way better than expected!! Mind blown! At all the capabilities, the various color changes, the vast array of music and the alarm!! Wow! Highly recommend."
Best For Tween Makeup Artists
FENCHILIN Lighted Makeup Mirror ($49, originally $66)
Applying makeup (or a face mask!) will never feel more glamorous to them. This lighted makeup mirror uses 12 LED bulbs and offers three light color modes (day light, cold light, warm light). Need to adjust it? It rotates 360 degrees to give them the perfect angle for makeup application.
What reviewers say: "Just how I expected it. It has 3 different lighting modes that can be dimmed. I love the size it's just big enough for my makeup table. Love the Hollywood/celebrity makeup mirror look. A must have for every makeup fan."
Best Gift For Tween Music Lovers
Apple Airpods Pro ($200, originally $249)
This gift is a bit of a splurge, but they'll be thanking you for years to come. One of the best things about these Apple Airpods Pro is the noise canceling feature. Annoying sibling getting in the way of their peace and quiet? These have got you covered. Plus, they have an extensive battery life (over 24 hours of use in one charge), as well as a rechargeable case that makes it easy to charge on-the-go and listen to all their favorite tunes.
What reviewers say: "I have had these for over 2 years now and I love them. Proof is in how long I have had them and they still function perfectly."
Best Tween Gift For Outdoor Fun
TOSY Flying Disc ($36, originally $60)
This flying saucer will make for tons of outdoor fun, especially at night. Your tween will love throwing it around with their friends during a playdate or sleepover. Plus it only requires a 30-minute charge that lasts up to a thousand throws which means the fun doesn't have to stop for long.
What reviewers say: "Coolest item ever. Easy to charge up. Kids had a blast tossing it around after sunset. Was really cool to use on the beach at night."
Best For Tweens Who Love Glam
What tween isn't obsessed with Ariana Grande? The "7 Rings" singer's beauty line is sold exclusively at Ulta. And this shimmery Midnight Shadows Lustrous Liquid Eyeshadow is super easy to apply thanks to its gel formula and precision applicator. With 11 fun shades to try, it will add the perfect amount of sparkle and color to any tween's makeup look.
What reviewers say: "R.E.M. Beauty's Lustrous Liquid Eyeshadow is a game-changer! The formula is incredibly smooth and easy to apply, providing a rich and vibrant color payoff that lasts all day. It's perfect for adding a touch of glamor to any look. Plus, the packaging is sleek and convenient. A definite must-have for eyeshadow enthusiasts!"
Best For Sporty Tweens
Razor RipStik ($59)
If your tween loves being active, then they'll really enjoy the Razor Ripstik, a cross between skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. The uniquely designed board offers 360-degree casters that will allow them to twist, turn, and shred to their best ability. And it comes in four vibrant colors: black, blue, pink (shown here), and red.
What reviewers say: "It's my daughter's first time owning one of these two-wheeled skateboards and she loves it. It's sturdy, you can extend from the middle area, is easy to ride, and the color is beautiful. She is able to balance herself without having to constantly pedal."
Best Hair Tool For Tweens
Whether your tween loves to straighten or curl their hair, this dual BaBylissPRO Mini Prima Styling Iron 3/4'' will allow them to do both. With a convenient 6-foot swivel cord, it's easy to use anywhere. Plus, it comes with a travel pouch and thermal styling glove to avoid burns.
What reviewers say: "This iron warms up quickly and straightens hair on the first pass. It also has a curling ability as well which I'm excited for. Basically and 2 in 1, plus it is small, cute and easy to travel with."
Best Tween Gift For Comfy Days at Home
Olivia Wendel Koalas Blanket ($195)
How cute are koalas?! This Olivia Wendel Koalas Blanket is the perfect blanket for any tween that's obsessed with koalas. Made of 100 percent cotton, it's super soft. Bonus: it can also be hung as a tapestry.
What reviewers say: "The moment I saw this blanket, I knew I had to get it !! Although it was a bit pricey, it was definitely worth it :) Better than pictured, this is by far my favorite present to myself. The seller included a cute handwritten note <3."
Best Splurge Gift For Tweens
Apple 10.9-Inch iPad in Pink ($349, originally $449)
An Apple iPad is a great gift for a tween that is into tech. It has 64GB of storage, so it can hold everything from pics to downloads of your tween's fave music and shows. The Apple Pen is great for note-taking or drawing. The 10.9" screen also makes family FaceTime with the grandparents a blast. Plus, the pink is a vibe.
What reviewers say: One reviewer wrote, "Purchased this iPad for my daughter as a birthday gift and she LOVED it! Very nice and sleek for everyday use and for work use. Also purchased an Apple pen and it made it even better!"
Best Activewear Gift For Tweens
Your sporty kiddo will love being able to style this half zip with their team uniform before a game or with leggings for a hangout day with the girls. The top is crafted from 100 percent recycled polyester and will provide them with a super comfy microfleece they'll never want to take off. With over five different colorways to choose from, they can stock up on the piece in multiple shades.
What reviewers say: "My daughter loves this fleece! She said it's very cozy and "not too hot or too cold" for her at school. She can be very picky with clothes, so we bought this in both colors since she loves it so much!"