Gifts for Tweens and Teens ~ Christmas Gift Guide {with a giveaway}

Gifts for Kids Winner:  Congratulations to Lori (b.leman@) who won the complete Imagination Station Series (books 1-9) and a personalized T-Shirt from Petite Lemon!

I can feel it coming on, friends.  Soon to vanish are the days when my itty bitty children delight in whatever (inexpensive) treasures are found under the tree (and purchased at yard sales).  The older ones are even starting to have gift requests, and I’m paying more attention to what they are “into.”  My kids are growing up!

With the help of some Facebook parents of older children, Jen and I have rounded up what we think to be a pretty fun group of gifts for Tweens and Teens.  Yes, I know they want cash, phones, other electronics, and more cash.  Surely some of this would be fun, too?

1.  Amazon Gift Card

Let’s face it. Kids love their gadgets. And their gadgets play music. Amazon Gift Cards are probably high on most kids’ wish lists. (Let’s be real… They’re probably high on most grown-ups wish lists!) You can choose cards from $10 on up. You get free one-day shipping, or you can choose to print your own or email the card. They definitely make it easy to get gift cards into the right hands, and are the perfect solution to last -minute gift giving (not that I would know anything about that).

2.  iPod Speaker Desk Lamp

Our 9yo daughter has an iPod; a “consolation prize” of sorts after enduring an appendectomy last year.  So yes, she is much more high tech than her mother already.  This iPod Speaker Desk Lamp plays, charges, and adds light to your iPod. Plus it comes in fun metallic colors to match the iPod Nano colors. This just might make sitting at a desk doing homework a little bit more enjoyable. I like that it’s made by iHome, a company known for quality iPod speaker systems.

3. Loopdedoo Kit for Making Twisted Accessories

I will always be a fan of gifts that encourage kids to put down the electronics!  This Loopdedoo Kit  spurs creativity and is also a great clutter buster gift.  Kids can use it to create gifts for friends. This spinning tool uses regular embroidery floss to make unique bracelets in minutes. (Remember making friendship bracelets during slumber parties?  We did!)  The spinning tool is kid-powered (no batteries – yay!). It comes with 18 skeins of embroidery floss.

4.  Money Maze {For Cash, Gift Cards, or Tickets}

Big kids love to do their own shopping, but cash & gift cards seem so impersonal. Maybe wrapping them differently can solve that and add a little fun to Christmas morning. Just slide the money, gift card, or tickets into this Money Maze and close the lid. (Your part is easy!) The kids will have to roll a ball through a bi-level maze to get to their gift.  Jen’s Jason got one of these for Christmas years ago, and they still remember it.

5.  4D New York City Skyline Time Puzzle

I grew up putting puzzles together with my dad.  So much fun!  The 4D New York City Skyline Time Puzzle takes puzzle building to a whole new dimension.  This puzzle recreates Manhattan’s famous skyline not only in three dimensions using scale-model buildings, but also along the axis of fourth dimension time, spanning 101 years of its architectural history.  Actually, forget the teens.  I may buy this for my retired history teacher dad!

6.  Radio Remote Control Helicopter

Our then 6yo son received a Radio Remote Control Helicopter for Christmas last year.  While he enjoys getting it down from the (very high) shelf in his room to fly around, it probably would be more fun for him if he was older and could run it unsupervised.  (Totally my whoops.)  These helicopters are small, lightweight, and made for indoor flying.

7.  Sci-fi Slime Science Kit

Glow in the dark slime, color-changing slime, gooey slime. This is a fun (and somewhat educational) gift for the budding slime scientist. Any level of gross resonates with tweens, right?

8.  Scripture Art Gifts

Play hard, pray harder.  From t-shirts (guys or gals), to promise packstablet or laptop coverswall appliques, and all sorts of personalized gifts (mugs, keychains, luggage tags, water bottles, iPhone cases, and more), ScriptureArt offers gifts with a statement for kids of all ages.  I’m loving the way that these Scripture Art products help you remind kids of God’s word. And they do it in a way that appeals to teens and tweens (and grown-ups!).

9. A&W Soda Can Hidden Can Safe

Everyone needs a safe place to stash their valuables, right?  This hidden can safe is cleverly disguised as a soda can. This should keep valuables safe from burglars (especially the younger brother & sister variety). The cans come in sorts of ‘flavors’ too: 7-up, A&W, Arizona Ice Tea, Brisk Ice Tea, Dr. Pepper, Mug Root Beer, Monster Energy Drink, and RC COLA.

10.  ThinkFun Rush Hour

Jen’s dad got this for Christmas last year.  Rush Hour is not a game for the faint of heart (or mind!). The cards show how the cars should be set up. Then your job is to move them to help the red one get out of the mess.  This is a fun, compact game that includes a storage bag.  Not every fun game has to be an electronic game!

11. Zipfy Freestyle Mini Luge Snow Sled

This is not your grandma’s sled!  If your teen is looking for more of a luge-type of experience on a sled, this is it. The bottom rails let you slalom downhill. You can use your feet to control your speed.  And for people like me, there’s a lever you can use for a handle. Check out the video and you’ll agree that the handle is a must-have!  This sled can handle up to 250 pounds.  (Now if we could get some snow in Kansas!  Or rain.  We’d take moisture in any form at the moment.)

12.  Backyard Zip Line

One of my own teen memories is of climbing a tall tree/platform with some friends and my mom, grabbing a rope swing, and Wheeeeeee!  My friends were in awe that my mom participated, and I thought (for the moment) that I had the  I want to be that mom!  Think my own teens would join me on the 35-foot Backyard Zip Line someday?

Ready for a giveaway?  One Finer Things reader will win a $40 gift certificate to the Scripture Art website. Use this for t-shirts (guys or gals), Promise Packstablet or laptop coverswall appliques, or all sorts of personalized gifts (mugs, keychains, luggage tags, water bottles, iPhone cases, and more). You can choose whatever you like!

To enter, simply leave a comment:  What was your favorite gift as a tween or teen?  (I still to this day remember crying happy tears in front of my extended family when I received my first, very much coveted, clock radio corded phone from my godmother.  Ha!)

As usual, you may earn an extra entry or two by sharing this giveaway on twitter or facebook, just be sure to leave a comment that you did!

Giveaway ends Sunday, November 11, at 11:59 pm, CST.  Winner will be randomly drawn and notified by email. 

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. My favorite gift was a green boom box.(cassette kind)My dad still used it in his building for several years after I was married.

  2. My favorite gift was a black hills gold cross necklace when I was 16. The next best was a “boom-box” when I was 14. Yes, I am that old!! 🙂 Thanks for the chance to win!

  3. A blue walkman to play my tapes on long car rides 🙂

  4. What stands out from those years are the James Avery rings that I got to pick out myself. I loved the jewelry but also loved the empowerment.

  5. Michelle E says:

    My favorite gift was a pair of ice skates. Growing up in MN, we lived across the street from a park with an outdoor ice rink and warming house. Loved it!!

  6. Lisa Castle says:

    My favorite gift as a teen was a walkman (the ipod of our days):)

  7. When I was about 12 ….my mom gave me a stereo with a cassett player…I was so happy I could play my own music!!

  8. My boom box and my swatch watch.

  9. I remember some of my favorites were tapes, I also got a “boom box” like one of the comments mentioned, and also I got a caboodle, I think that’s what they were called filled with hair accessories and bonne bell lip smackers!!

  10. a walkman!

  11. Anne Marie says:

    A typewriter – yes I am dating myself!

  12. I got an Easy Bake Oven when I was 18. I’d always wanted one. I played with it all the time. It was great to take with me when I babysit.

  13. Jana Shaw says:

    My favorite Cmas gift was when I was 21 years old. My cousin was born when I was 20, and had been very sick and was in the hospital for the 3rd or 4th time in a month or so. He would get better and go home, then couldn’t hold food or water down, and would be back in the hospital in a few days. On Cmas day, he was again in the hospital. The hospital contacted a specialist from South America, I think, but he was brought in and within a few days, my beautiful cousin was smiling again and doing well. He’s 30 years old today, and I don’t think he even realizes now just how close we came to losing him during that time. Thank you God for giving me the gift of a wonderful cousin to love!

  14. I remember getting an ordinary desk lamp from one of my brothers. Although the lamp was ordinary, he was my favorite brother, so it became a favorite gift!

  15. My favorite gifts from the tween & teens years were a desk (since I was a writer) and when my dad took me out, just the two of us, shopping for new clothes, making it an hilarious time with his joking around. 😀

  16. The original Nintendo! We were that family that didn’t buy a VCR until the early 90s. So when I asked for a Nintendo, 3 years after it was released, didn’t count on it happening! Don’t get me wrong, we were far from being poor! My parents were just very frugal with their money and conservative when it came to us viewing media – as my husband & I are now! So after all the presents had been opened and we were sitting around relaxing, my mom finally said there was one more thing. I felt like Ralphie on A Christmas Story and knew instantly what it was! I didn’t shoot my eye out that Christmas but did spend countless hours perfecting my Mario Brother’s game skills 😉

    • Guess what my kids have been playing “non-stop” (ie. when we let them) in the basement?! MARIO BROTHERS on their dad’s old nintendo! LOL Wanna come over and join them? 😉

  17. When I was 14 mine was a boom box (yeah that is what we called it)

  18. When I was a teen, my favorite gift was makeup and clothes

  19. I have to agree that the original Nintendo was probably my favorite gift. I was probably about 11 or 12 when we got it. Other memorable gifts were a Caboodles (a makeup case) and a small electric keyboard.

  20. I wanted clothes. I loved getting new clothes on Christmas.

  21. Let’s see, I graduated in 1989 so that clues you in…….I HAD TO HAVE a walkman, a couple of swatches, a PURPLE boombox, a Coca Cola rugby shirt, need I go on………

  22. I shared on FB, thanks!

  23. Sometime in our early teens, my mom bought each of us six kids a small portable stereo. Made us feel very grown up.

  24. We never got allowance growing up so my favorite gift was cash or gift cards.

  25. I shared this giveaway on my facebook page.

  26. My very favorite gift was my roller blades. I was so disappointed on Christmas morning when they weren’t under the tree. My tricky parents had arranged for them to be waiting for me at my grandmother’s house. That is one gift I will always remember.

  27. My parents totally surprised me with a signet ring on my 16th birthday!

  28. I always wanted clothes as a tween/teen.

  29. I have looked at getting the Rush Hour game for my kids! I remember the time my parents put juice bottles in the window behind the Christmas tree and they were chilled and ready for our breakfast! It was so fun to find that surprise! It truly was the little things that counted.

  30. Bonnie Fag says:

    My best Christmas present was a new pet – a guinea pig.

  31. My favorite gift was a pet rabbit.

  32. Boom box. 🙂

  33. Ramie Schulteis says:

    A new boom box and cassette tapes from my aunt. (She was 10 years older than I was and the coolest person I knew! I used to sit on my grandma’s couch and watch her practice disco dancing!!!!!)) My kids now enjoy Boston, The Cars, and drumroll, The BeeGees! and other fun 80s music. Good times!

  34. I was so excited to get a typewriter. My kids think that’s hysterical but it’s true.

  35. I shared this on Facebook.

  36. back in the day my favorite was Guess clothes

  37. Sheila Shapley says:

    I remember receiving a watch that had changeable straps and watch face. I even passed it on to my daughter.

  38. My favorite gift,my CD walkman along with the Mariah Carey CD my mom got for me to play on it!

  39. My favorite tween gift was a boom box that played cassette tapes or the radio. I remember that I liked using blank cassettes and using the record feature to pretend that I was the host of a radio talk show, and I would interview my sisters.

  40. Sigh…this brings back memories. My favorite gift was a leather coat; they were so cool when I was a 12-13 years old and I just had to have one. I only wore it for one year because then they went out of style. LOL

    • I’m so embarrassed about the things I just HAD TO HAVE, and then didn’t wear or use for very long… (need to remember that with my OWN kids) 😉

  41. Anything horses…..model horses, books ect….

  42. My walkman was pretty cool!

  43. My favorite was a radio and tape deck in one (no more holding the cassette recorder up to the radio to record).

  44. My pink boom box with blank tapes so my friends and I could record ourselves singing or talking about boys!! Lol!

  45. My Walkman was definitely one of my favorite gifts as a tween!

  46. My favorite was a Mongoose bike that was ready for lots of tricks.

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