When your child becomes a tween, holiday shopping isn’t as easy as browsing through the toy aisle. The gray area between a kid and a teenager makes it hard to find gifts that match your child’s maturity and holiday gift list. Because you may need to get a little creative when shopping for this age, here are a few gift ideas that will please both you and your tween.

A Fun-filled Day That Creates Memories

Tweens are at an age when they can start to appreciate and enjoy day-long events and activities. So this holiday season, give them a gift of a fun-filled day centered around an activity they will enjoy. If you have more than one child, make a day for each child separately so they get the added bonus of one-on-one time with you.

  • Concert
  • Sporting Event
  • Museum
  • Arcade Restaurant (Give a gift certificate to Dave and Buster’s or something similar.)
  • Workshop/Classes for a Hobby They Enjoy (skiing/snowboarding, acting/dancing, painting/crafting, etc.)
  • Play or Musical
  • Theme Park
  • Zoo/Aquarium

To make the day extra special, see if there are any add-ons to standard tickets (like an animal encounter at a zoo or backstage pass at a theater)

A Subscription That Spreads Out the Gifts

Tweens are old enough to appreciate the gift that keeps on giving. Subscriptions to magazines and monthly packages will give your tween something fun to look forward to months after the holiday has ended.

Magazine Ideas

  • Mental Floss: Full of interesting facts, this magazine will bring your kids bizarre stories about history, animals, food, and science — entertaining and teaching them the whole year. Currently nine issues $27.96
  • Girls Life: For the girl who wants to read Seventeen but isn’t quite old enough, Girls Life offers an excellent alternative featuring age-appropriate entertainment news and fashion, fitness, and beauty tips. Currently two years $14.95
  • Sports Illustrated for Kids: The budding athlete or sports fan in your family will enjoy stories about sports news and professional and aspiring athletes. Currently 12 issues for $19.95.

Subscriptions Box Ideas

  • Tinker Crate: Described as a “laboratory for hands-on experiences,” this gift box arrives monthly and encourages fun while exploring science, engineering, and technology. Starts at $60 for three boxes
  • Darby Girl by Darby Smart: For kids that love to craft, the Darby Smart box is sent bi-monthly with tools to create your own dazzling and trendy fashion accessories, room decor, and more. Starts at $19 for one box
  • Loot Crate: A gamer’s treasure chest, this monthly box includes a surprise array of gifts from Marvel, Stars Wars, Nintendo, and more. Starts at $20 for one box

For the gift, wrap the first box or magazine of the subscription with a note that explains how many more packages will arrive. (Note that subscription boxes do not typically last for the entire year.)

An Electronic Device that Is Useful and Fun

If your tween is ready for their first electronic device, use the holiday as a time to purchase electronics they will enjoy, but also find practical use for.

Laptop: Give a laptop that works hard and plays hard, and select computer that your child can use for pleasure and education. Recode suggests the Lenovo Yoga, which is a versatile Windows PC that works as a touchscreen and a laptop. Your tween will love the style and you will love the cost, starting at $570.

Smartphone: If you are apprehensive about giving your tween their own smartphone, consider styles and functions that will make you feel more comfortable. Select a phone that can withstand tough tween treatment and provide additional safety bonuses. We recommend the Samsung Galaxy S 4 Active or iPhone paired with a OtterBox case as they are stylish, durable, and compatible with family safety apps like MamaBear.

By giving your tween a smartphone with the MamaBear app, you are giving them a gift they will enjoy, while offering them additional safety and security. The app, which is available for Androids and  iPhones, protects your child by enabling you to use GPS location services, monitor social media activities, and  receive one-click check-ins. It’s a win for both parent and child.

With these shopping tips, you should be able to give your tween a gift that both of you approve of this holiday season On behalf of the MamaBear App team, we wish you and your entire family a happy and safe holiday!