A Tween’s Guide to Shopping for a Tween

by Amy Kraft on December 10, 2013


My tween correspondent, Elizabeth, saw the gift guides I’ve been posting and suggested that she write a guide of her own, letting you know how to shop for a tween. Her last piece of advice is my favorite. Dang, I hope she likes the presents I bought her (some of which are represented on this list.)

I have been asked countless times, “What do you want for Christmas?” People are always saying how hard it is to shop for tweenagers. I am providing some tips from a tween about tween gifting.


Everyone says that shopping for clothes for a tween is not smart. It isn’t smart if they don’t get a little say. My tip for clothes is that you take them to a store website (preferably their favorite stores), and tell them to fill the cart with clothes they like, in their size. Later you go and approve the cart. Then you can pick from there. You can stay on budget, and get them what they want. Uggs and North Face fleece jackets are also really popular, so those are great to get.


I live in books, so I definitely want books for Christmas. Find out your tween’s favorite author and get them books from that author. If they like a series of books, see if you can figure out which ones they don’t have. Box sets are great. E-readers are also great. Kindles and Kindle Fires are perfect along with Nooks.


I would recommend an iPod. Phones are good too. If the tween’s phone has been acting up and is somewhat near the end of the contract, a new phone is a great gift. iPads also are a great gift.


I have two friends who want Lego for Christmas. For a tween Lego will work great for a Christmas present. I know they make Harry Potter Lego, so if you have a Harry Potter fan, that should be a nice gift. I do not know if they make Percy Jackson Lego but if they do I would be in PJOD (Percy Jackson Obsessive Disorder) overload. [ed note: sadly, they don’t.] Even a small rescue vehicle would be great. Lego’s also make great stocking stuffers.


Boys may not want a ‘Make your own…’ for Christmas, but crafting kits should be good with the girls. Although, if they have moved on from kits and are making their own things on their own, get them the supplies they need. I am really into beading and making jewelry. I would love it if I got some cool beads.

Gift Cards

For gift cards, I recommend that you get an iTunes gift card for a tween who has an account. An iTunes gift card allows the tween to go and get the music they want, and allows them to mix around in genres, artist, and soundtracks, unlike a CD.

I hope I have given you enough information to go out and successfully shop for the tween you have in mind. Just remember all tweens are different and have different tastes. Some tweens might love Lego, while others can’t get themselves away from a book. Whatever you do, don’t think, “would I want this as a tween?” because your taste in clothes or CDs or anything else might not align with theirs.

Nancy December 10, 2013 at 5:18 pm

In regards to boys not being into crafting – what about chemistry sets? Those are unisex but I remember as a kid wanting one (and legos) but not getting it, probably because I was a girl. Or am I dating myself and chemistry sets are not a thing anymore?

Amy Kraft December 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I’D want that as a tween, but according to Elizabeth I shouldn’t be thinking that way.

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