Shopping for tween boys can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.
By this age, most kids are into some type of activity or have a strong interest in something.
So you would think this makes it easier to find a gift.
Just get them something they need or want having to do with their hobby.
Well, there’s one problem with that….everyone else is doing the same thing.
Bombarding kids and parents with tons of Lego’s or all things baseball can get old.
Grandparents seem to take this to a whole new level.
When our oldest was about 4, we had everything Scooby-Doo you could imagine. It’s fun for a while but most kids have outgrown or given up most interests.
It the long run it gets to feel wasteful and as the interests change, how many Wiggles, Scooby, Cat in the Hat, Lego, Ninja Turtle, Beyblade, Minion, Superman, Walking Dead blankets do they need anyway.
But if you do get one, seriously, get a full size one, the tiny toddler size ones seem fun, but it doesn’t cover anyone for long.
I like finding a balance between useful, fun, needed and long lived… if I can. A few of these hit them all.
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1. Gift Cards to Do “Stuff”
While this may seem like a cop out on the shopping side and not a need, I disagree.
For one, as a parent of three kids, it can get expensive taking them fun places. Because of these cards we have been able to do fun things with the kids even when we couldn’t afford it.
Museums, movies out, Redbox movies in or go out to lunch. Mini-golf. Roller skating. Ice Skating.
What’s in your area that kids like to do?
Family fun time is a necessity, and yes, I know there are so many things you can do for free. Memories of these trips and the bonds they help create are important. Even if there’s yelling and crying involved. Or is that just us? LOL
But be honest, we all love to go bowling, or to Chuckie Cheese, okay well maybe not actually Chuckie Cheese. But everyone looks like the fun parent or the awesome gift giver when we get to go places we might not normally be able to dish out for.
If you buy gifts for families with more than one kid, get either one big card for everyone or individual cards for each member.
Similarly, if you do store gift cards, all the same store can turn into a family gift. We have pooled together gift cards to get one big family gift. That’s fun too.
This water bottle is not inexpensive. But it does have great features:
Reusable LifeStraw Go BPA-free water bottle filters water while drinking; great for travel, backpacking, camping, and emergency kits
Award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane water filter removes bacteria and protozoa from lakes, streams to ensure safe, clean drinking water
2-stage activated carbon filter reduces odor, chlorine and leaves zero aftertaste
Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites without chemicals, iodine or batteries
Durable, 23-ounce, leak-proof bottle made of BPA-free Tritan and features a food-grade silicone mouthpiece; replacement filters available separately
If they hike, camp, or play sports this is great because you can refill on the go without worrying about the quality of the water at its source.
3. Sleeping Bag
This is the time to go big or go home.
Look for sales, look for coupons or go in with someone else. But get a good one. Done right, this gift can last a lifetime.
Whether your family camps or your kids get involved in scouts or goes on sleep overs or tents in the backyard. Or heads off on a road trip with his girlfriend at 21.
A good sleeping bag is an awesome thing to have. And the Wiggles one won’t last, neither will Toy Story. Cheap bags are too small and not at all warm.
Not to mention, he will not want to snuggle with his girlfriend inside The Wiggles bag. Then again, on those occasions, anything will do 😉
We also have another one by Northface bought back around 1995. It’s still perfect.
4. Kindle Fire
We got these last year. Two of the kids and I have them. It has saved fights over the TV. Over Netflix. Over the computer. It has kept them busy at doctors offices. On long car rides. And have been used during home school for learning apps.
While I’m not promoting excessive screen use, these tablets are excellent. They perform like an expensive tablet, with a nice price tag. Only $ 49, though we snagged them during Black Friday for $35.
They do offer a kids edition, however, we just have the regular one. Ours came out before the version with Alexa, so I don’t have any opinion on that.
Regular internet usage is a bit slow, but we don’t use it for that. Games and apps work great. The camera isn’t great but for beginning with photos and video, the kids enjoy it.
Amazon has its own app store, it contains MOST apps you find in Google Play.
I use mine exclusively for reading. Not just for purchase, e-books can be “borrowed” from the library.
Don’t’ forget the volume limited headphones or earbuds to go with it.
5. Solar Lights
We have two of each of these at our house. While we bought them for emergency use, the kids love them. We have used them as night lights, bedside lights for camping, taken them on vacation or used them for fun.
We bought them three years ago and they’re still just like new after tons of use.
We LOVE this book. We used it during home school. We not only used it to learn about the plants and animals we studied but used it to draw them as well.
copied from the seller – “North American Wildlife is a valuable reference guide to the most common and conspicuous wild plants and animals in North America.
Birds and butterflies, ferns and frogs, mushrooms and manta rays, seashells, and salamanders—this 576-page book include more than 2,000 plants and animals of all types. Spanning the land from Florida to the Northwest Territories, it embraces field, forest, pond, and prairie—all the natural communities that make our North American flora and fauna so splendidly diverse.”
We don’t have one of these yet, but we want one. Music is an interest that can be a life long hobby. The ukulele has become quite popular with many age groups, but I think the size makes it much easier for kids than a guitar.
Our friend’s daughter has one and taught herself to play. Within just a few months she can play quite a few adult popular songs. and we have seen her live and via the internet. She does have a musical background and just turned 14 (so a bit older than the tween set). But she’s already amazing.
Check out these posts for more gift ideas:
7 Awesome Gifts for Teen Boys (some overlap)
Christmas Shopping from Your Coupon Stockpile
Gift Ideas for Caregivers