Perfect gifts for your fearless pre-teen girls curious about the world
Looking for the perfect gift for a tween girl can be a challenge. Tweens are developing their own sense of style and independence but sit on that cusp between child-like innocence and rapid maturity.
This is a super extensive list of gift ideas for tween girls put together with the help of our very own tween girl Miss Z and her friends. We’re looking at gifts the adventurous tween girl may enjoy from stylish travel accessories to essentials for the outdoors, along with comfort items and entertainment for those long journey’s.
This post is part of our gifts series, you’ll find more inspirational ideas for that travel lover in your family, plus plenty of handy tips for travelling with kids
What sort of gifts do tweens love?
First, what’s a tween you may be asking! There’s no defined age but it’s generally referring to the pre-teenage group around 9 to 12 years of age. In the US this would be middle-schoolers, or UK/Australia kids transitioning from the end of primary to the start of secondary school.
As much as the age range can vastly range so can interests. While some will still be into everything pink & purple with unicorns and llamas, others will want nothing but black now and no outward sign of ‘girliness’. Take each recommendation here with your recipient’s interests in mind (and yes, they reserve the right to completely change those interests when they wake up tomorrow!)
Although we may forever live in fear of buying them something that may be considered “uncool”, the good news is the tween in your life has also learned enough manners to say thank you, and even if they don’t openly admit it, they will appreciate the gesture!
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Best Gifts For Tween Girls – Tween Luggage
The practical stuff every tween girl needs to start planning for her own adventures:
- The start of all great adventures for tweens is with the bag they will take! Be it overnight sleepers or packing for short trips from home, fit all their essentials from clothing to electronics in a big roomy backpack to suit their style. We love the quality of the High Sierra range plus the huge variety of colors and styles.
- Perfect for smaller trips or on the plane. A mini backpack fits just the essentials on holiday. Match it with their personality and favourite colors, anything that’s galaxy glitter or sparkly works well with our tween girl or play it safe with classic black.
- Available in several fun and playful designs, American Tourist is a reliable sturdy brand for your tweens first personalised suitcase. Always look for rolling suitcases with 4 independent rolling wheels for ease of use (just check sizing; only up to 21″ is cabin complaint, or if you’ll be packing for bigger vacations abroad, go with a larger checked size 24″ – the largest 28″ is probably too big for a tween to lift when full).
- If they’ll be dragging along their own case or for simple day trips when you travel, their own purse is a must! A cross body bag they can keep close to them is the best design – you’ll just need to judge the level of girliness!
Best Tween Girl Gifts – Camping & Outdoor Adventures
Got a tween girl who loves spending her time outdoors? Here are our favourite picks in 2021 for really practical gifts they’ll love.
- The perfect addition for your camping trips, your tween girl will have graduated well beyond a cute novelty camping chair and will look for something a little more sophisticated that they are fully capacble of carrying themselves. We love these fold out chairs as they’re wonderfully light and compact but can hold up to 300lbs (but I’m pretty sure Miss Z picked it because it comes in purple!)
Kids Fitness Watch Tracker
- Perfect for tweens who love to take on the trails or biking outdoor adventures. Far more than just telling the time, this cool accessory has plenty of practical benefits too. Step counting, reminder alarms (great for telling them when its time to come home!), waterproof and in a great range of feminine colours.
Metal Cutlery Set
- Super useful on the move, be it a school trip or making road side stops. This would be the ideal gift for a tween girl about to go on her first independent camping trip (Miss Tween again specifies it must be purple though!)
- Tell me I wasn’t the only girl to be truly excited by my first pocket knife! Of course, a child needs close supervision with such items but their tween years is the perfect time to introduce them to many of the functions of a pocket knife long with proper care and usage. Stick with quality brands like Victorinox.
Outdoor Safe Smart Wristband
- Another wonderful safety innovation for your outdoorsy tween girl. This super lightweight wristband uses encrypted technology to store important medical information such as blood type, allergies and medical conditions and connects to a smartphonefor emergencies. Water resistant and no battery needed, it comes in a smaller size suitable for younger girl’s wrists. An essential for tween girls taking on more daring adventures, especially if tehy have any allergies or medical conditions.
Wise Owl Outfitters Kids Hammock
- Perfect for outdoor adventures – from your own backyard to camping trip, these lightweight but sturdy hammocks are perfect for your tween girl who loves the outdoors, a great place to cosy up with a book and get lost in their own space.
Youth Sleeping Bag
- Any tween girl mum will tell you just how quickly girls can shoot up – like literally overnight! Once they’ve outgrown the cute novelty sleeping bags of their childhood, they need something soft and comfortable to fit their growing frame. Look for something that can fit up to 6″ if you want it to see them into their teens.
Fun Marshmallow Sticks
Entertaining Toys and Activities for Tween Girls – Perfect for When You Travel
This selection brings you some of the best items for putting in your tween girls travel bag. We’d also recommend you pop over to our guide to the best tween toys for more ideas if you’ll be undertaking a long journey soon.
Extraordinary Travellers: The Little Museum
- If your tween girl is a keen reader she will love this debut novel by Karen Beddow. The Little Museum joins Lucy and Tom in France on their quest to discover why the Eiffel Tower has disappeared! An absolute page turner to fill your tween girls (and boys!) with a sense of adventure, and a little French thrown in!
- The perfect travel accessories for your tween girl. This is such a great age to start recording your own adventures and keeping track of where you are going – try this fun, colorful guided travel journey, or go with an elegant and pretty leather-bound journal for a little more freedom in what you record.
Scratch and Sketch
- A beautiful scratch and sketch set for your more advanced artist, this will keep your tween girl occupied for hours (just careful of bringing sharp tools on board if you’re flying).
- Tweens are the perfect age to introduce to scrap booking. Keeping journals of our adventures as we go, scrapbooks rather than journals give your tween girl the possibility of endless creativity. We’ve a severely dyslexic tween we’ve found this a great way for her to put her spin on our adventures.
Travel Sized Crafting Kits
- One of the most popular gifts for tweens, there’s a huge range of travel-sized crafting kits available great for taking on vacation. You could try this weaving set or friendship bands have long been a popular choice with this age group. A few other fail-safes are charm bracelets, along with loom bands and dream catchers.
- Love or loath the idea of your tweens on electronics, there’s no denying on long journeys how much having a tablet has helped our kids pass the time. We love the Kindle Fires for our kids (they should be ready to upgrade to a more classy case by the time they’re a tween!). make sure they had a great selection of music and books before you set off – why not try pre-loading it with Kindle Unlimited?
Battery Charger Pack
- Its all fun in the back of the car until someone’s battery runs out… don’t get caught short and make sure your tween has their own battery pack (and compatible charger cord) to get them through to your next power point destination! May not be as personal as other tween gifts, but trust me, one of the most practical they’ll thank you for! You could always personalise by having it engraved.
- Your tween may be ready for small earbuds, great for slipping into your bag as they don’t take much space. Whilst the branded Airpods and Samsung buds (that come in purple FYI!) are great, there are plenty of other compatible brands, in many bright and fun colors for tweens. Think about the investment here vs chance they could get lost.
- Many tweens still prefer the comfort and sound quality they get from overhead headphones. Look for something wireless with a good battery life for travel, and make sure they have a built-in mic too if you want them to chat with their friends or do online schooling with them too.
Fuji Insta Mini 11
- Is this THE tween gift trend of the year? Like so many things from our own childhood, these Fuji Insta cameras are back on trend – but with so much more functionality than our old polaroids! Make sure you get a bundle including plenty of Instax Film so they can have some fun with their friends.
Face Mask Tie Dye Kit
- Necessity turned into fashion! Mask wearing need not be a task when you travel with your tween if you invest in some good-quality reusable masks. What could be more fun than combing this with the ‘back-in-trend’ of tie dye!
- An even smaller version of the popular Nintendo games console, perfect for travel, can be played solo or in pairs so a good one for siblings to enjoy on long journeys. (NB games and travel case not always include, look for a bundle deal that will give you these extras if you’re going to invest in electronics).
- Possibly THE tween toy of the year! Coming in a huge variety of designs to be squashed, squished, clicked and fiddled with. The great thing is their small and easy to pack! Save and buy these things in a bundle, super easy stocking stuffers.
Magnetic Gel Pens
- We love the versatility of these Magnetic Pens! not just for colouring, endless creativity possibilities with construction too. Anything magnetic makes them easier to keep together when you’re on the go.
3D Modeling Pen
- Move aside play dough! Tweens need something more advanced, so they’re going to love 3D modelling kits. takes a bit to get the hang of it but then they can make some amazing creations.
Travel-related gifts for tween girls – inspiration and after a journey
Whether it’s looking for a way to display your holiday memorabilia or getting inspired on where to travel by yourself once they grow their own rings, tweens girls will love this selection of ideas.
100 Things To Do Scratch-off Poster
- A great and original inspirational bucket list for your tweens wall. Far more than just ticking off countries, this will broaden their mind to experiences too (I bet you’ll want one for yourself!)
Shadow Box for Ticket Displays
- The perfect way for your tween to remember her adventures. Shadow display boxes can be as messy or organised as you like. We love this one with a travel theme (of course) but they come in plenty of classic black and rustic wood designs to suit your tweens decor. A treasured gift they’ll use for many years to come.
- A great fun way for girls to display their treasures from adventures near and far from home. Arrange them as you wish for a fun touch to their bedroom decor. You can move the clips around so it’s easy to display fun memoribilia too, not just photos.
LED Light Photo Clips
- A super fun way for your tween to display their holiday snaps and favorite things in their room. This combines LED lights with adorable room decor perfect for a tween – look out for LED brands that come with remotes for color changing, a little bit more but very well worth it!
Charm Bracelet of Places They’ve Been
- A unique and fun way for tween girls to display the places they’ve visited, and makes for a fun souvenir collectable to try and seek out when you travel. Start them with a simple sterling silver bracelet (don’t go for cheap metals) and watch their collection grow!
Best pool and beach gifts for tween girls
Before heading to the beach with your tween, make sure she’s properly kitted out in her favourite gear sure to be a hit on the beach and in the waves.
Microfibre Beach Towel
- A wonderful sand-free, quick-dry towel in a fun and colorful pattern is sure to brighten their trip to the beach. Microfibre folds smaller but will still keep them warm and cosy with its extra-large design.
Stylish Beach Bag
- The great thing about tweens, they can actually start doing so much more for themselves, and carrying their own bag to the beach is one of them! For all this useful beach gear, they’ll need a great looking bag made for wet/dry use. We love these robust beach bags with wet and dry compartment and adjustable shoulder straps for ease of carrying.
Cover Up For The Beach
- Your tween girls will love this cover-up after a trip to the beach. Cute and stylish, find a design to fit their personality and give them a little modesty out of the water. (If they’re still in the sun, make sure they’re using sunscreen still!)
Tropical Beach Clips
- The perfect beach accessory for your young ladies. Nothing screams tropical vibes more than a pretty beach hair clip, and practical too for tying back their salty hair! There’s nothing too girlish when it comes to looking after their lush locks on a beach vacation!
- Our personal favourite has been made to withstand the treatment that kids can put them through, leak-proof and keeps water chilly all day long. Ecovessel comes in several bright and colorful designs for instant tween appeal.
Inflatable Pool Toys
- Add some serious fun to your swimming pool this summer with these giant inflatables! You’d be surprised how much dexterity you need to make the unicorn work but its bound to be hilraroius. For a more relaxing float try an easier donut or fruit shape – one you can totally match to their personalities!
Chillbo Shwaggins – Inflatable Couch
- Tired of fighting over the family beach blanket? Get your tween their own chair! These air-filled chairs are a great gift idea and the perfect beach accessory of the season. Creating an instant outdoor relaxation space, they are super lightweight and easy to carry.
Classy Beach Sun Hat
- Essential sun wear but why not make it fun too. Another we’ve had to reach compromise on that the wide brimmed waterproof hats of their early childhood are simply no longer ‘cool’, however, it’s still vital they keep their head protected. Look for something fun and fashionable.
Fancy Sunscreen and After Sun Gel
- Getting kids to keep covering up and keep their skin protected can be an ongoing challenge but made easy with their own cute little accessories pack. All a handy size to easily slip in their beach bag.
Hair Detangler Spray
- Perfect after a day in the sun, never too young to learn good hair care. This spray is perfect after a busy day at the pool, water park or beach to revitalise after the drying effects being in the sun to keep those luscious locks in place.
- Theres nothing worse than the ultra drying and chemically smelling sanitizers. Add some fun and pizzazz to this essential task, get your tween girl something she’ll love to use. These are super easy and practical stocking stuffer.
Hair Brush with Vanity Mirror
- These are a superb addition to your tweens travel bag – or even their every day purse, perfect for little fix ups on the go.
- Another 90’s classic back in trend! Sparkly, fluffy – you name it – worn as a wrist accessory or actually in their hair, a great stocking stuffer for tween girls in 2021.
- Out in the sun your tween girl needs to keep her eyes protected from the harsh sun rays. No doubt they’re will be a big transition over this age group on what’s cool – try classic girly colours for younger tweens or play it safe with an almost teenager girl with a sleek pair of black sunnies! The important thing is to have them in a nice case so they can learn to keep them unbroken and scratch free for as long as possible before investing in something more durable in their teens.
- For a generation brought up on YouTube and TikTok, its no surprise your tweens are in to recording the action! A great fun addtion for a day at the waterpark or splashing at the beach is a waterproof action camera.
You can find our complete guide to the best sorts of underwater cameras for kids here
Waterproof Smartphone Case
- A great idea for tween girls with their own snartphone, don’t hit the waves this summer without one of these if your tween wants to capture the beach fun with friends and family. Keep their precious electronics protected (and safely with them) with these waterproof phone casings.
Fun Flip Flops
- Fun and funky flip flops are a must-have for your tweens beach bag. Plenty of colorful tween-approved patterns and colors to choose from.
- Give your little girls wardrobe a refresh when they hit the tweens with some classy new bathers for beach season. It’s always a difficult toss up with this group between one piece and bikini, and style over practical needs. We know just how hard the suns rays can be so the compromise we’ve met with our tween is a long sleeve rashy that still gives her plenty of freedom to move in the water but keeps her shoulders protected.
- Kids never outgrow the fun of Boogie boards! In fact, the older they get the better the skill level and ability to tackle bigger boards and waves. Investing in a proper tween/teen boogie board will last them for years of fun in the sun.
- A great way to get more enjoyment out of a trip to the beach, a proper snorkeling set for your tween will allow them to explore under water independently.
Winter travel gifts for tweens
Last but not least, we’ll look at some great tween girl gifts perfect for heading to colder climates on a winter family vacation.
- Perfect for cold nights, these easy to mircowave heat bead packs slip inside a cuddly teddy – trust me – when it comes to comfort your tween girls are never too old to still enjoy something warm and snuggly, particularly if they’ve started mensturating.
Funky Ponytail Beanie
- Perfect to get you through skiing season or winter hikes. Your girls with pony tails will be grateful for this cute design that allows them to keep their hair in place while keeping their head warm!
Cute Ear Muffs
- Perfect for those frosty starts where you don’t want a full beanie ruining the hair, you can still keep the extremities warm with some ear muffs to show of their personality and childish fun side.
- For a cosy and peaceful night’s sleep enjoy these weighted blankets. They come in variety of sizes to suit a growing teen and are bad to be a bedtime favourite for anyone who lives in a cold environment.
And if all else fails…. gift cards! Tweens honestly change from little kids to grown-ups overnight and it may be your safest bet if you don’t know the tween girl you’re buying for well.
We hope this guide has helped you with some fresh inspiration shopping for your tween. If you’d like more tween travel tips and advice, head over here.
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Looking for more gift gides?
If you’re still not sure you’ve found that perfectly unique gift for your tween (or any member of your family!), pop on over to our guide to websites for unique gifts. Here we reveal all the places we’ve been online shopping over the years to find something a little out of the ordinary for all those hard-to-buy-for people in our lives!
We also have detailed buying guides for:
- Unique ideas for the boys and men in your life that love travel
- What to get the new parents-to-be who love travel
- Coolest new gear and gadgets for the travel-loving family
- Travel keepsakes perfect for your home
- Gift ideas for Mama’s who love the beach
- Practical Non-Toy Gifts for Kids
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