What’s more frightening than shopping for a precocious tween girl who is likely to view half of the available gifts as childish and immature and the other half as tedious and boring? Okay, obviously there are more frightening thoughts out there, like a day without coffee or a trip to the dentist, but it is still a tremendous challenge to shop for that difficult age group that falls between childhood and the teen years (hence the moniker “tween”).
Toys for any age group are supposed to be fun and entertaining, but what if you are looking for something that benefits the child intellectually as well? Searching for an educational gift can be even more challenging, whether one is shopping for boys or girls. Shopping for tweens requires a basic understanding of where this age group is mentally and physically, as well as of their interests and needs.
It is not that difficult to find great, educational toys for toddlers and young children. But what about gifts during the so-called “tween” years, where they are not yet teenagers, nor are they still small children? This can be one of the most difficult periods in which to find gifts that they will love!
Girls in particular can be hard to please, because they want to feel grown up, but they still have a lot to learn. They feel too old for dolls, tea sets, and dress-up, but they still want to have fun and play. Educational toys are perfect for this age group because they can still enjoy playful activities in a way that prepares them for high school and beyond!
Tweens can learn and explore the world while still engaging in fun, age-appropriate activities! According to Jennifer Powell-Lunder, of Psychology Today, the “tween” years fall between the ages of eight and twelve, a period once known as “pre-adolescence.” Because they are at an age between childhood and adolescence, tweens are rapidly gaining more ability for abstract thought and critical thinking, yet they often don’t know how to respond to their new way of looking at the world.
Soon they will be ready for high school and the fast track to college or a career, but for now, they are still kids and want to have fun. While educational toys for very young children focus on hand-eye coordination, basic math and reading abilities, and sharpening their imaginations and pretend skills, the tweens have already reached these milestones and are ready for more challenges. Tweens keenly feel the judgement of their peers, real or imagined.
While they may secretly still enjoy playing with dolls or reading their favorite childhood books, they are reluctant to engage in activities that others may view as childish or immature. But they are not ready to sit down and work calculus problems, either. It is important to find activities for this age group that satisfy the yearning for fun and good times without sacrificing their self-esteem or their rapidly expanding sense of self.
Boys may be somewhat easier to shop for, because a boy who loves baseball at age 7 probably still loves to play baseball in his tweens. While girls of all ages excel in sports, many still do not gravitate to these activities. This makes shopping for the tween girl challenging.
She isn’t old enough for dating, but she wants to look pretty. She can’t drive, but she wants to spend more and more time away from home with her friends. And don’t assume that she isn’t interested in sports! What kind of gifts appeal to this in-between age group?
One great possibility would be an educational gifts for tweens. Yes – it’s still a “toy,” but it is one that appeals to the tween’s new status as soon-to-be teenager. So she can still have fun and stay occupied, but she can be learning new skills at the same time.
New abilities will increase her motivation in school and raise her self confidence. Many of these toys are basically gender-neutral, and will appeal to all tweens. There are so many possibilities to choose from!
While educational toys are great, you still may have no idea what to buy! And why buy an educational toy, as opposed to sporting goods, clothing, or make-up? There are many sources for educational toys for tweens, both online and in brick-and-mortar stores, and there are also good reasons to invest in your tween’s future when deciding upon an appropriate gift.
Educational toys will prepare her for high school and beyond, raise her self-esteem, and help her to focus on her priorities and skill sets, while gaining exposure to new areas of interest. So without further adieu, here are ten fantastic toys and reasons you should look for the perfect educational gift for your tween girl.
Find great gifts for tween girls and help them develop new interests and talents.
How does a child become interested in a skill or talent? By trying new things, of course. There are numerous educational toys and gifts for tweens that will help them discover new hobbies and abilities.
A good educational gift allows a child to learn while exploring the world on their own terms. Play is important to children, and they need unstructured time to stretch their imaginations. It is often through play that tweens discover their passions and interests, sometimes leading to a lifetime of fulfillment and joy in their work and hobbies.
Instagram is all the rage, but many tweens are too young and inexperienced for the responsibilities and dangers associated with social media. Why not try a camera to fulfill that adolescent urge to take photos? A camera will teach her many crucial life skills, such as planning, preparation, and patience.
According to Digital Photography for Moms, kids learn a lot behind the lens of a camera. They learn to plan and compose their photos. They will discover that poor planning leads to an unsatisfactory photo.
They don’t need expensive, top-of-the-line cameras. What they do need is to learn how to frame their subject and take their photo. A camera is a great educational gift.
Bluetooth microphone for kids is another gift that can help her to uncover hidden talents. A microphone can be used with a Karaoke machine for hours at fun at parties, but it can also be used to make videos or to practice speeches. It can also help her with pronunciation and speaking.
A microphone can encourage her to overcome a shy, quiet voice. Alternatively, she can use her imagination and become a roving reporter or a pop star. Help her to find her voice with a microphone.
Girls should absolutely be encouraged to explore science. STEM toys are great gifts for tween girls. These toys will help her approach high school Math and Science with greater confidence.
The popular Merge Cube is a handheld STEM toy that enables a child to explore math and science or play games. This toy won several top awards due to its appealing combination of fun and exploration, and there are many family-friendly games available for the Merge Cube.
It makes a great travel toy as well. Kids will have fun learning with the Cube as they interact with the solar system or famous works of art. With an Apple or Android, she can create holograms right in the palm of her hand!
There are a lot of educational science toys available for both boys and girls. A chemistry set is another good option. It will give her hours of fun while simultaneously preparing her to approach high school science with confidence.
Girls often feel unprepared for the sciences. They view science and math as being too difficult and inconvenient. Tweens need to be encouraged to explore the scientific realm.
Younger tweens might enjoy the Crayola Color Chemistry Set. With common, household ingredients and the included materials, children can perform many interesting experiments, including a volcano and quicksand. This educational toy is a great introduction to Chemistry for your tween.
Girls love nature. Whether their interests lie in plants or animals, there are educational gifts to help her to learn about how to take care of fauna and flora. These gifts will teach her about nature while increasing her appreciation of the world in which she lives.
Nature and trendy decor – what could go wrong with a gift for tween girls that incorporates both? Try this nifty terrarium to teach her how to care for plants while she decorates her room. This toy combines creativity with science in a way that allows her to see the finished product and care for her plants from the familiarity of her own room.
Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes, as well as with a variety of plants and succulents. Some may sit on a table, while others may be hung from the ceiling or window. Whether she prefers colorful flowers or low maintenance succulents, she’ll be sure to love this gift for years to come.
Maybe she has an interest in plant and animal life that she can’t see with the naked eye. Try an awesome microscope to heighten her interest in unseen worlds. Get a traditional microscope, or try this pocket microscopefor easy handling!
Either way, she is sure to find a world of discovery in a drop of water or on a strand of hair. She will be fascinated by the microscopic life she sees in her microscope. Hours of fun will also have her looking forward to Biology instead of dreading it in high school!
According to Michelle Anthony, PhD, at Scholastic.com, the tween years are marked by a burst of creative potential that can be encouraged with the right activities. Now is a good time to explore that potential with gifts that foster creativity so that she can express herself artistically. Since your tween feels the need to conform to her peers, art can be an outlet for her individuality and personal style.
Kits for knitting or crocheting are great educational gifts. Knitting is a great activity because it can be done while talking to friends or family or while watching television. It increases her dexterity and provides her with a skill.
She can start small with a scarf or hat, and then progress to sweaters and larger items. She will be able to design her own look and learn to combine colors that complement one another. This is a skill that can provide her with a sense of accomplishment because she can see the results of her work in real time.
Crocheting is another awesome skill that can give her hours of creative fulfillment. Get her a beginner kit, or just get her the necessary tools and set her up with one of the many instructional videos on Youtube. There is a wealth of good instructional videos illustrating basic techniques for either knitting or crocheting.
Crocheting allows her to create a simple chain at first, followed by a scarf or other easy item. Eventually she can crochet a crop top or even an entire bedspread. There are so many ways she can create beautiful things!
Jewelry making is another good way for a tween to explore her personal style with creativity and fun. Girls love a kitfor making necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. She can make them for herself or give them to her friends as personalized gifts for special occasions.
Friendship bracelets are particularly popular. Pendant necklaces, charm bracelets, cord bracelets, and dangling earrings are also common. Many kits provide materials to make all of the above.
These gifts provide an outlet for creativity while teaching her a skill that can benefit her in other ways. She can share her products with friends or become skilled enough to sell her items on sites such as Etsy. Either way, these make a great gift for tween girls that will teach important skills while improving dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
A 2008 study by Microsoft and KRC research found that girls tend to lose interest in STEM at an early age, despite the efforts of educators to encourage girls to excel in these areas. You can’t go wrong by encouraging tween girls to have fun and use their imaginations with technology. She will have so much fun that she won’t even realize that you have given her an educational toy!
Girls enjoy technology as much as boys do, although they often use it in different ways. Nevertheless, a world-building game, such as the well-known Minecraft, will help her become comfortable with computers while using her imagination to build a whole new world with these games, available on XBox, PS4, or online. World building exercises the imagination, as well as computer skills.
Robotics toys are also a good choice in educational toys. Try getting her a robotics kit and let her build her own robot! If she develops an interest here, there are all kinds of robotics teams she can join, and she can participate in a number of local and nationwide competitions!
These gifts will give her a head start in engineering and programming that could benefit her for years to come, all while having fun with her new educational toy! She will become comfortable with technology and learn how to enjoy it. Educational gifts can encourage girls to become technologically proficient.
A vast number of choices appeal to this distinct age group.
There are so many possibilities to explore when seeking a gift for your tween girl. At this age, it is difficult to know whether to get her a child’s toy or something more appropriate for a teen. Neither choice seems exactly right.
Psychologists note that the tween years, between ages 8 and 12, are a time of great intellectual change. Tweens gain the propensity for abstract thought, as well as the ability to apply it. They begin to see the world in a new way.
Educational toys are a good choice for this age group. Many of them are appropriate for boys or for girls. They allow children to have fun an play while affording an opportunity to learn about the world around them.
According to Houston Family Psychology, tweens are a distinct group with specific needs. Educational toys can help them to make that transition from early childhood to the teen years. An educational gift is any gift that a tween can learn from while playing.
Tween girls can particularly benefit from educational toys. An educational gift is one that helps a child to grow, learn new skills, and discover new interests. Such items may or may not be STEM-based.
Gifts that help your tween discover new talents are educational. Arts, crafts, photography, knitting, crocheting, and other artistic activities will help her maintain her individuality against the adolescent urge to conform with her peers. She can discover skills that will help her express herself, share her style with others, or even start a little business.
Toys that help her to learn about nature and appreciate the world around her are also terrific and educational. Whether she is interested in plants or animals, bugs or microbes, there are great products available to help her see the vast diversity of life all around her. She can build volcanoes, make quicksand, and explore chemical reactions.
There are terrific STEM options, too. The Merge Cube and other educational games can help prepare her for the rigors of high school math and science. She will be fascinated by the variety of games and resources available through her Apple or Android device.
Robotics and engineering toys are great choices. She can create and program her own robot, write her own video game, or design her own toy. This could build an interest in engineering, competitions, and teamwork.
Tweens also love video games. World Building games are particularly attractive because they exercise the imagination while sharpening skills. She could eventually become a video game designer or a programmer.
While shopping for your tween, remember that there is no need to push every educational opportunity or technological gimmick. Instead, curate a small number of items tailored to appeal to the interests of the child. Choose gifts that are fun, but based on current interests or on skills you wish to encourage.
Tween girls may not show interest right away. Don’t give up! Sometimes gift shopping is like throwing spaghetti against the refrigerator – keep trying until something sticks!
She may show great enthusiasm right away. On the other hand, she may barely look at the gift, but then rediscover it later on a rainy day or a day she is stuck at home. Today’s apathy could become tomorrow’s most beloved activity.
The important thing is to give her the opportunity to discover her passions through play. It only takes one great, educational toy to launch a lifelong interest, hobby, or career. She will remember your care and thoughtfulness in your choices.