gifts they might actually want

The Best Gifts for Tween Girls, According to Tween Girls

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

If you thought shopping for the teen girl in your life was difficult, try finding the perfect gift for a tween girl. Tween girls, who are between the ages of 9 and 12, are exceptionally tough to please because their tastes can oscillate between the realms of childhood and proper teenage-hood. To make things easier, we asked 22 girls — most of whom are between the ages of 9 and 12 — what’s at the top of their must-have lists. (Because of their ages, some requested we withhold their full names.) Read on for the 41 clothing items, art supplies, and other gifts they say are sure to impress the tween in your life.

Tech gifts for tween girls

$129

After she served as the flower girl in her older sister’s wedding, model and actor Reed Harlow-Grayce LaRocca says she received two of her favorite gifts ever: an Apple iPad and an Apple Pencil she can use with the tablet. She says the pencil is great because it allows her to write on the iPad and convert it to text.

“I spend a lot of time watching YouTube and TikTok,” says musician Madeleine Valencia. Watching videos has inspired her to make more of her own. This kit from Movo, she says, would allow for a “better setup for recording” because it turns a smartphone into a “mobile studio.” Included are a grip rig, stereo microphone, LED light, and wireless remote — everything an aspiring TikTok star needs to put herself out there.

Apple AirPods Pro
$175
$175

For her birthday this year, Aya Spence received a pair of AirPod Pros customized with her name. You can engrave anything from a date to an emoji for free at Apple. If you don’t want them personalized, Amazon sells them, too. She says they have “great sound quality” whether she’s using them to “listen to music and podcasts, FaceTime with my friends, or dance to TikTok.” And when she wants to chill out, she can just “put them on noise-canceling mode.” They’re on actress Laurel Emory’s list too: “I would really love to be able to walk away from my devices and still be able to listen to music or be on the phone.”

$28

Spence says these are “so great” for making YouTube videos and gaming with your friends. “They have noise cancellation, a great microphone, and the super-fun LED lights make them extra cool.”

While lots of the stuff on this list nods to the ’90s, musician Dallas Knight’s preferred way to listen to music dates to an even older era. She told us she’d love to receive a vintage record player because “I am very into music and, as a singer and guitarist, love listening to classic rock and pop songs.” Since shopping at vintage stores can be a bit of a crapshoot, we suggest this Crosley record player. It has that vintage look while still being compatible with more modern technologies like Bluetooth.

Spence says this kit makes for a great gift because it includes a Fujifilm Instax Mini Camera (which topped our list of the best instant cameras), along with all the accessories you need to take a picture — including a selfie lens, carrying case, and colored filters — as well as stuff to display the instant photos you take like sticker frames, hanging frames, clips, and string. She calls the camera “easy to use” for snapping pics of her family, friends, and puppy Gus. A Fujifilm camera is on Emma Cason’s wish list too: “I want this because it would allow me to take photos anywhere, but instead of it being online like a phone, it would be a physical photo.”

Household gifts for tween girls

Three of the tweens we spoke to say a Hydro Flask — the perennial VSCO-girl accessory — is another failproof idea. One of them is Ariella Maizner, the designer and founder of lifestyle brand Theme, who says the Hydro Flask is the “water bottle all of my friends want or carry right now, so it’s definitely the perfect gift for a tween.” She adds that they’re durable, keep water ice cold for long periods, and are good for the environment (three points of praise we’ve heard from countless others who have recommended Hydro Flask water bottles to us).

Of all the products on her list, Spence is “most excited to get this for Christmas.” The machine turns frozen fruit into nondairy sorbet within minutes. She is planning on experimenting with different flavors like mango and banana. “So much fun!”