The Best Tween Gift Guide for Christmas 2018 (and why you won’t find any affiliate links here)

I've been there. You're searching the internet for some inspiration to buy your kid a gift, something that will actually be used and loved, not discarded a few days post Christmas. You click on a blog with some enticing title and start browsing their gift guide. As you go along, you realise you aren't quite sure if your child is actually going to love suggested item or if it's has just made the cut cause there is an affiliate link attached to it... Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the use of affiliate links on blog sites - we use them on our site as well. Bloggers need to earn an income. I'm just letting you know that we have selected these particular gifts on the basis that a tween is really going to LOVE them. Which is why you won't find any affiliate links in this gift guide (nor in our teen one which will come out very soon). Happy shopping! x

1. Fuji Instax Mini 9

Why we love it: I grew up with Polaroid cameras and the new generation of kids love instant film just as much as we did. The Fuji Instax Mini cameras are ridiculously cute and come in a range of colours to suit. There's not a huge amount of difference between the Mini 8 and 9 (both look nearly identical and both use the same film) but the 9 has a small selfie mirror attached directly to the lens (no more guessing and hoping that you and your friend are actually in the photo!) The 9 also comes with a close up lens (previously you had to purchase it separately).

Purchase from: Amazon

 

2. Hasbro Bop It! Game

Why we love it: This is the updated version of the much loved and original 1996 Bop It toy. Designed for ages 8+ years the game has 10 hilarious commands (Whip it, Drink it, Selfie it, Hammer it, Answer it, Cradle it, Saw it, Sing it, Golf it, and Comb it) and can be played with one or more players. Yes one. Move over Solitaire! We've found a game that will keep your tween happily playing on their own as well as with their family and friends.

Purchase from: Amazon

 

3. Percy Jackson & the Olympians Box Set

Why we love it: If your child is already a Percy Jackson fan then the boxset makes a beautiful collectors gift but if they haven't been introduced to the Rick Riordan series then this is a great way to start. There are two Percy Jackson series (Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Heroes of Olympus) plus three spin off series. In the first book Percy is 12 years of age and he grows throughout the series. These books have been a huge hit with both tween boys and girls who continue reading them into their teens. Check reviews first (Common Sense Media) as there are some grown up themes that you want to check that you will be okay with first.

Purchase from: Book Depository

 

4. Bonaok Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone

Why we love it: A few months ago, our kids were gifted a karaoke microphone from some friends of ours that live in Japan. They LOVE it. You just need to connect the mic to your smartphone or tablet via bluetooth or cable for hours of entertainment. Just google karaoke songs on YouTube and go for it! If your kids love to sing or love music in general they will love this. This particular model has great reviews and excellent customer service should any problems arise and is available in eight different colours!

Purchase from: Amazon

 

5. FIFA 19 - Standard or Champions Edition

Why we love it: Because as my son would say "soccer is life"! If you have a soccer fan in the house or just a kid who is into gaming, either way FIFA 19 will be a winner. The latest edition to the very popular game has a new active touch system which allows for closer control of the ball, new tactical options as well as players now have better control of scoring. The Champions Edition has additional features which you can read about here.

Purchase from: Amazon or pop over to your local gaming store. Best to purchase a physical version rather than a digital copy so you don't have any issues downloading or accessing the game. Plus it's nicer to open up on Christmas Day!

6. Sharpie Special Edition 23 Piece Permanent Marker Pack

Why we love it: I'll be honest, I'm not quite sure why tweens love their Sharpies but they do. They love them. Some possible reasons: they're quick-drying, odourless, fade-resistant, water-resistant, AP-certified non-toxic and the ink doesn't smear.

Purchase from: Amazon or if you have a Costco nearby it's worth checking out. I once bought a set of 30 Sharpies for AUD$10 from our local Costco. Absolute bargain!

7. Stories for Kids Who Dare to be Different

Why we love it: Following the runaway success of Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different (see below), parents asked for a celebration of role models of both genders for boys and girls within the same book. Stories for Kids Who Dare to Be Different is the answer. These are the extraordinary stories of 100 famous and not-so-famous men and women, every single one of them an inspiring pioneer and creative genius in their own way, who broke the mould and made their dreams come true.

Purchase from: Book Depository

Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different

Why we love it: There is an ongoing crisis with regards to young men and mental health, with unhelpful gender stereotypes contributing to this malaise. Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different offers a welcome alternative narrative. It is an extraordinary compilation of 100 stories of famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and innovator in his own way, and all going on to achieve amazing things. A must-have book for all those boys who worry about stuff and all those parents who worry about their boys. It will educate and entertain while also encouraging and inspiring young minds and parents alike.

Purchase from: Book Depository

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

Why we love it: If you haven't already got this one on your bookshelf, it's a must have. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls is a children's book packed with 100 bedtime stories about the life of 100 extraordinary women from the past and the present, illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world. Each woman's story is written in the style of a fairy tale. Each story has a full page, full colour portrait that captures the spirit of the portrayed hero.

Purchase from: Book Depository

8. Elecstars Touch Bedside Lamp

Why we love it: The perfect bedside accessory. This touch lamp doubles as a bluetooth speaker. When not in use, this lamp will (thankfully) appear white to match most decor. When turned on the default setting is a white light or you have the choice of six bright colours to choose from.

Purchase from: Amazon

9. The Baby-Sitters Club The Classic Collection Box Set

Why we love it: I LOVED The Baby-Sitters Club books so much when I was young (seriously, who didn't?) that I even had The Baby-Sitters Club board game which no-one could beat me at because I had read the books so many times I knew all the answers! When my daughter was in primary school I bought her a whole heap of them and she really enjoyed reading them. This box set is such a lovely introduction to the series if you can't be bothered buying them second-hand off eBay like I did!

Purchase from: Booktopia

10. Litenergy A4 Size Cinematic Light Up Box

Why we love it: Both you and your tween will love this. They will enjoy writing "get out of my room" messages to their siblings and funny song quotes while you can leave positive and encouraging messages for them to start their day with. Bonus points for doubling as a night light (a kind of bright one, but light nonetheless!)

Purchase from: Amazon

11. Nintendo Switch

Why we love it: It’s the first gaming system that allows you to start playing a game on the big screen at home, then be able to grab the console, slot in the controllers and continue playing on the bus or in a car (until the battery runs out). It's also great if you've got a big kid playing on the TV but then a little kid wakes up and wants the TV! That's a win win for sure!

Purchase from: Amazon

12. Ezyroller Drifter

Why we love it: Suitable for ages six through to 14, the Ezyroller gives you an awesome ride that is even better than a billy cart. It combines the control of a bike and the fun of a scooter. Kids use their feet to steer the Ezyroller. Super-easy and super-fun!

Ezyroller Features:
– Low center of gravity for a safer, reassuring ride
– Sturdy all-steel frame with reinforced solder points
– Cable operated handbrake
– Extensions included so that Ezyroller can grow with your child
– SAFE ” Sunshine” wheels with unique design so kids cannot put their fingers through the spokes

If you looking for something for an older child, you might want to consider the Ezyroller PRO which is suitable for ages 10 years + (through to adults).

Purchase from: Global Kidz

13. Aurora Hoverboard Self Balancing Scooter

Why we love it: Hoverboards are an easy to carry, fast learning, self-balancing system. Perfect for pre-teens! It's not quite Back to the Future but it comes pretty close! This particular model has light up wheels and a built-in Bluetooth speaker. This one doesn't ship to Australia (totally fine for our U.S. readers though) but if need be, do a quick google and you will be sure to find one that is suitable and available in your market.

Purchase from: Amazon

14. Just Dance 2019

Why we love it: Fun dance routines for the kids to move along to that will keep them occupied while getting physically active at the same time. The package comes with 40 songs/dance routines. You may want to check the playlist first and make sure you are comfortable with your child listening to all of them as there is some swearing/sexual references (typical pop music you would hear on the radio).

Purchase from: Amazon or just head to your local electronics store.

15. Aquila Magazine Subscription

Why we love it: Aquila Children’s Magazine is the ultimate intelligent read for inquisitive kids. 28 pages of magazine with no adverts, gimmicks or cartoons. Full of exuberant articles and challenging puzzles that will get the whole family involved, every issue covers science, history and general knowledge. A quality production, beautifully illustrated throughout with contemporary artwork.

Purchase from: Aquila

Wonder Magazine Subscription

Why we love it: Wonder is an Australian publication that empowers pre-teen girls to be creative, brave, kind and to inspire them to think about who they are and what they could be. Wonder Magazine is released quarterly, with each issue inspired by the seasons in the southern hemisphere. Each issue will cover role models, adventure, science, reader contributions, recipes, craft, beauty, DIY and more. Read more about it here.

Purchase from: Wonder

National Geographic Kids Magazine Subscription

Why we love it: National Geographic Kids is an exciting monthly read for boys and girls that make learning fun. Best suited for both girls and boys aged between 6-14, the magazine covers everything from wildlife to space, geography to the environment. It has all the incredible stories and dazzling images you’d expect from National Geographic packed into bite-sized chunks.

Purchase from: National Geographic Kids

16. Ubtech Jimu Robot BuzzBot & MuttBot App-Enabled STEM Learning Kit (264 pcs)

Why we love it: Jimu Robot is the award-winning interactive robotic building block system for ages 8 and up. This kit includes everything a kid needs to build and program the playful BuzzBot, his trusty companion MuttBot or an original creation.

Two, lively robots with 6 robotic servo motors and over 250 snap-together parts deliver STEM learning smartly and memorably. Take the new pals out for a day in the park or create a robot dance party in your living room!

Purchase from: Amazon

17. Moxi Lolly Roller Skates - Strawberry Pink

Why we love it: My daughter has this exact pair and boy has she given them a good work out! Strawberry Pink suede high top roller skates can be used for indoor or outdoor skating. All Lolly Roller Skates come with Moxi Gummy Wheels and an adjustable toe stop. Moxi Lolly Strawberry Skates are a lifestyle skate, designed for recreation and street skating. The soft leather boot breaks in quickly with minimal discomfort and forms to your foot more than less expensive synthetic skate boots. They are an investment so are more suited to the serious skater.

Purchase from: Moxi

18. Geekercity Mini Flying RC Drone Helicopter Infrared Induction LED Remote Ball

Why we love it: You may have seen these popping up on your social media feed a zillion times (I know I have!) This flying toy is motion-sensitive so when it detects an object underneath or nearby it will move away intelligently. You can put your hand underneath to control it in the air for interactive play.

Warning: the reviews are very mixed (more good than bad and the good are great) but are worth reading yourself to decide if you are up for this purchase!

Purchase from: Amazon

19. Vuly 360 Pro Swing Set

Why we love it: This big ticket item is actually on my own wish list for my kids. A fully customisable swing set, the 360 Spin Swing is the selling point for me (even my thirteen year old thought it was cool!) Kids can surf, skate and snowboard at home, with adjustable spin sensitivity. Or maybe you want the 360 Yoga Swing and let your kids release their inner acrobat or lie back with a book and pillow. Whatever configuration you go with, your kids are bound to love it.

Purchase from: Vuly

20. How To Be a GIRL (An A to Z Guide for Tweens!)

Why we love it: A visual anthem for the pre-teen nation. Using art, photography, community service and creativity, this book is a living manual of self-discovery and a road map for world change!

Girls are given an opportunity to:

- Learn about amazing role models

- Explore how the attributes of these role models fit into their own story

- Plan how all of that awesomeness can be extended into their own community, with lots of little adventures that add up to big change!

Purchase from: Amazon

21. Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb

Why we love it: Ever wondered what bathing in deep space would be like? Invite the cosmos into your bathroom with this interstellar bomb and become the guardian of your own galaxy. An awesome mix of refreshing peppermint and neon colour sends your mood rocketing, while popping candy takes you on a trip around the Milky Way. Constellations swirl and pop, creating vibrant lustre vortexes in the night sky. Tweens (both boys and girls) are OBSESSED with Lush bath bombs. This one ticks all the boxes for that age group and is a perfect stocking filler. Check out a YouTube video of it dissolving here.

Purchase from: Lush

22. Luv Ur Skin Face Pack Trio Box Set

Why we love it: Luv Ur Skin is a range of natural skincare products, that have been specially developed using specifically selected natural ingredients and key plant extracts to ensure that girls have the best possible chance to keep their skin clean, clear and healthy. The Face Pack Trio Box Set includes a face wash, moisturiser, lip balm and headband. Their products do not contain synthetic emulsifiers or fillers, artificial preservatives, colours or fragrances and a great introduction into the world of tween/teen skincare.

Purchase from: Luv Ur Skin

23. Sons + Daughters Hunter Sunglasses (Forest Camo)

Why we love it: These are my absolute favourite boys sunglasses (and I may be a little bias because I did buy them for my son last Christmas!) Born in Canada, Sons + Daughters Eyewear has become synonymous with classic style, forward-thinking design and premium quality children’s eyewear. Their range of kids eyewear utilizes the finest hand-made materials and highest grade lenses to provide crystal clear, 100% UV protection sunglasses for kids, deserving of the same quality, protection and style of their adult counterparts. Check out the entire collection available on their website.

Purchase from: Sons + Daughters Eyewear

24. Baby-G Watch

Why we love it: Okay I'm going to be completely honest here. I have not heard that these watches are "in" or "cool" at the moment but I'm calling it on my own. The nineties are in and these were super cool when I was growing up (showing my age here). Plus they are a super sturdy (so perfect for playing) and a fun looking watch and there are ridiculous amount of colours to choose from.

Purchase from: Amazon

25. Flower Crown Llama Money Box

Why we love it: Cause llamas. That's all. Okay that's not all. Cause it's a llama AND a money box. Enough said!

Purchase from: Sportsgirl

Charmaine Ana Chung
Charmaine Ana Chung

{Founder of Somewhere Between} From record labels in Sydney to barefoot & pregnant in Vientiane. Now back in my hometown, Canberra, with the husband and four kids. Getting through each day the opposite of a supermum.

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