Buying a gift for a tween can be fraught with peril. "Oh, Mom, that is so last year!" your daughter tells you, complete with eye roll. You shrug, "How was I supposed to know you didn't like [fill in the blank with pop star] anymore?" Next time your favorite tween has a birthday, or a gift-giving occasion comes up, try some of our ideas and you just might be his or her new hero!
Many tweens keep an online wish list. We suggest always checking that first -- that way you'll be 100 percent sure you're getting them what they want. But if you have no wish list to work from, here are a few ideas:
- Alarm clock with MP3 dock
- Lip gloss and matching nail polish
- Knit earmuffs with earphones built in
- Adhesive wall chalkboard with chalk
- "Monster High" books and dolls
- Friendship bracelet kit
- Mini indoor basketball hoop
- Computer or video games
- "Retro" gifts, like Frisbees or Shrinky Dinks
You can always do a quick search online, too, for the most current hot gifts. Some Web sites even have a "giftfinder" option, where you can select the age and gender of the recipient and the site will give you recommendations on appropriate gifts.
Even though some think they're impersonal, gift cards are always a good idea for a tween. A gift card gives the tween -- who is already learning to assert his or her independence -- the opportunity to choose what he or she wants. You can find gift cards for MP3s, books, videogames, clothes and more.
So, there you have it. You seem cooler already! For more about tweens, teens and family, check out the links on the next page.