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Tween Gifts for Any Occasion

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Why is it that once our children become tweens, gift giving becomes a chore? It was easy to please them when they were younger, but the tween years present careful consideration to gift giving, whether you're buying for your child or someone else's.

After you've decided on a location for your tween's birthday, it's time to give the gift some consideration. Below are a few ideas for tween gifts that might just do the trick. Recommended by parents of tweens, and approved by tweens, these gift giving options could prove to be the perfect selection for a birthday, Christmas, Hanukkah, or another special event.

Tween Gifts: Think Novelty

Gifts
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Novelty gifts make great tween gifts, and are often reasonably priced. The great thing about giving a novelty gift is that the tween probably doesn't already own the item, and it's unlikely that anyone else will think of it as a gift option. Novelty gifts that are likely to please include gifts you might have enjoyed when you were young, such as Sea-Monkeys (the creatures that come to life in ordinary tap water) or a Magic 8 Ball which answers all the questions a tween could possibly pose. Also popular is 20Q, which was all the rage a few years ago and can still be found in stores. The gadget can guess exactly what you're thinking, by asking just 20 "yes" or "no" questions. Amazing.
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Girly Girl Gifts

Girly girls are pretty easy to buy for. Think about stock girly girl gifts such as makeup, fashion accessories, and even magazine subscriptions. 

Retro Rules

Many gifts of yesteryear are becoming popular again, such as Frisbees, Hacky Saks, Shrinky Dinks, Yo-Yos, and more. A gift basket with a few retro items makes a wonderful gift. Consider throwing in a few retro treats such Pop Rocks, to complete the set.

One activity kit of yesteryear that can still be found is the Creepy Crawlers Workshop. The workshop allows children to use goop, molds, and the workshop oven to make rubbery critters. It's a fun item for both girls and boys, proving that tween gifts don't have to be boring.

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Give a Memory

Think out-of-the-box when considering tween gifts. Instead of offering up yet another game for the Wii or a DVD that he probably already owns, you could give him an experience to remember. For example, you could buy concert tickets for two, dinner and movie for him and a friend, a day of bowling, or a day at a local amusement park with Mom and Dad. Tween girls may appreciate a day at the spa or a manicure with a friend. Other experiences could include a shopping trip and lunch, or a class at a local beading store. Boys and girls might enjoy a day at a local rock climbing gym, or a few hours at an arcade or batting cage. Think of the tween's interests when choosing his experience.

Consider Gift Cards

Many people think gift cards are impersonal and boring gifts. But tweens love the idea of having money of their own, to spend as they want. A gift card offers tweens a little independence and most tweens are thrilled to receive them as gifts. If you don't know what stores are popular with tweens, you can always purchase a prepaid credit card which is good just about anywhere, or an iTunes gift card for his iPod.

Think Crafts and Science

They're not preschoolers anymore, but tweens still enjoy the idea of arts and crafts, and craft kits can be fun tween gifts. Craft projects for tween boys could include rock polishing kits, wood burning kits, leather crafts, and possibly even science kits. Girls might also enjoy beading crafts, sewing crafts, origami kits, and other hands-on activities. One interesting kit is The Science of Soda Pop, winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award. This kit allows children to make soda, and learn about the science of it, all at the same time.

Buy a Book

There's a lot of wonderful tween literature on the bookshelves these days, and I'm not just referring to Harry Potter. Tween book series worth looking into include Lemony Snicket, Artemis Fowl, and the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini. There are also some wonderful self-help books , particularly for tween girls, including Fab Girls Guides (published by Discover Girls Magazine). If you decide to purchase a book as a gift, opt for the hardcover option. Hardcover books will keep for years, and if it's a book your daughter or son loves, chances are it will be read over and over again. Don't forget to write an inscription. A note personalizes the gift, and makes it even more special.
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