The Top 25 Birthday Gifts for Tweens (Ages 11-13)

Updated: October 29, 2020
Wondering what to get your preteen for an upcoming birthday? Try these birthday gift ideas to make this a birthday to remember for any young teenager.
25 Best Tween Gifts_featured
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Editor’s Note: We know raising kids can be hard. That’s why we’re dedicated to making your life easier with the latest and greatest parenting advice and products. We wanted to let you know that if you chose to purchase one of the items featured in this post, we may receive a small commission for it.

Wondering what to get your preteen for an upcoming birthday? Shopping for tweens doesn’t have to be difficult. Try these top 25 birthday gifts for tweens to make this a birthday to remember for any young teenager.

More: The Ultimate List of Gift Ideas for 11-Year-Olds

Our Top Picks

  1. The Best Gift for Artistic Tweens to Create Calm: Original Buddha Board at Amazon
  2. The Best Gift for Gamers: Nintendo Switch at Amazon
  3. The Best Gift for Active Tweens: Hydro Flask Water Bottle at Amazon
  4. The Best Gift for Tweens who Need to Communicate: Smartphone at Amazon
  5. The Best Gift That Can Be Personalized: Phone Case at Amazon
  6. The Best Gift for Tweens Who Love to Sing: Karaoke Microphone at Amazon
  7. The Best Gift for Budding Photographers: Fujifilm Instax Mini at Amazon
  8. The Best Gift for Harry Potter Fans: Harry Potter Magic Knitters Book at Amazon
  9. The Best Gift for Tweens Who Love to DIY: Klutz Tiny Campervan at Amazon
  10. The Best Gift for Artists: Master Guide to Anime Drawing at Amazon
  11. The Best Tween Lounge Gift: Sofa Sack Memory Foam Bean Bag at Amazon
  12. The Best Gift for Music Lovers: Echo Dot at Amazon
  13. The Best Headphones for Tweens: JLab Wireless Bluetooth Headphones at Amazon
  14. The Best LEGO Gift for Tweens: Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet at Amazon
  15. The Best Gift for Bath Lovers: Bath Bombs at Amazon
  16. The Best Gift for Your Tween and Their Bestie: Cat Lovers BFF Necklace at Amazon
  17. The Best Gift for Laughs and Immaturity: Kids Against Maturity Game at Amazon
  18. The Best Gift for Make-up Lovers: Botanical Roll-On Lip Gloss at Amazon
  19. The Best Gift for Board Game Lovers: Pandemic at Amazon
  20. The Best Gift for Tweens Not Ready for a Phone: Walkie Talkies at Amazon
  21. The Best Gift for Promoting Inner Peace: Japanese Zen Garden at Amazon
  22. The Best Gift for DIY Fashionistas: Tie Dye Kit at Amazon
  23. The Best Gadget for Tween Athletes: Water-Resistant Athletic Watch at Amazon
  24. The Best Room Decor Gift for Tweens: Cinema Lightbox at Amazon
  25. The Best for Tweens Who Are Hard To Shop For: Gift Card at Amazon

What to Consider When Purchasing Tween Birthday Gifts

Consider purchasing products that are age-appropriate. Tweens are in an awkward group where they still have the capacity of being kids, but are also on the verge of becoming teenagers. Cater to both of these by finding items that:

  • Fit their age group
  • Can be shared with family
  • Have parental controls
  • Create peace of mind
  • Doesn’t overload their sensory system

How We Chose Our Favorites

As always, Family Education chooses the best products and ideas. We utilize our huge database of professionals including teachers, parents, grandparents, reliable review ratings, and so much more. These tween birthday gifts are the top 25 on everyone’s list.

The Original BUDDHA BOARD:Relaxing Water Painting with Bamboo Brush & Stand, Mindfulness & Meditation Practice, Environmentally Friendly.Zen Concept Live in The Moment. Master The Art of letting go.
Original Buddha Board
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The Best Gift for Artistic Tweens to Create Calm

It's the perfect gift for letting your child explore his artistic side, without the mess of paint. It's like a sophisticated etch-a-sketch with water. Simply wet your brush, and it will leave black marks on the paper. When the water dries, your art will disappear, so you can use it over and over again.


"I love this for all ages. Great gift idea. My 3rd time purchasing. Nice tool for young artists working on practicing brush strokes, but also great to just keep on desk and doodle. Great for the elderly to keep dexterity. Mess-free fun for little kids too! I bought some inexpensive rocks and placed them in the water tray. Looks great just sitting out, but can be easily stored too."

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
Nintendo Switch
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The Best Gift for Gamers

This gift is for the tween who loves video games, especially ones that are mobile. The Nintendo Switch is a bestseller and is easy to use, play and setup on a tv or on its own.


"I love my Switch, this console really brings me back to my childhood, there is something about it that recaptured that magic I felt playing my Super Nintendo and even the GameCube. Not only are the exclusive games amazing, but, the console and even the joycon controller rig are something special. I can't put my finger on it, and I really can't put it into words, but this is a great system and for kids or those trying to rediscover the child inside of them, this is a must-have."

Hydro Flask Water Bottle - Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated - Wide Mouth 2.0 with Leak Proof Flex Cap - 32 oz, Pacific
Water Bottle
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The Best Gift for Active Tweens

For the active tween in your life, go all out with the Hydro Flask water bottle. These water bottles are state of the art and built for durability and keeping water super cold. The wide mouth makes it easier to drink, fill up, and splash some ice cubes in for extra chill. For added fun, consider purchasing stickers to help them personalize their new water bottle. You can find them on Amazon.


"Wow. Hydro Flask really is unrivalled by all other bottles. My daughter can leave one with ice in it for over a day and the ice will still be there! It is beautiful and well made. The best part is it is dishwasher safe! I will be buying these in every color!"

New Apple MX9N2LL/A iPhone SE (64GB, Black) [Carrier Locked] + Carrier Subscription [Cricket Wireless]
Product Price

The Best Gift for Tweens who Need to Communicate

Whether it's an Apple iPhone or an Android, your older tween is most likely drooling over a chance to get a new smartphone. Even if it's just for listening to music, they'll love having it handy. You might even get a better deal going with the Cricket offer.


"I've used iPhones since the 5, so I'm not new to iPhones, but this is the first time I have not gone to a store and had someone set up the phone for me. It was super-simple. Insert the SIM, power up the phone and follow the prompts on-screen. No hiccups, no glitches. Easy! Cricket sent a text with a link to set up the phone number. Also very easy - click the link and follow the on-screen prompts."

MOSNOVO iPhone XR Case, Pop Culture Clear Design Printed Transparent Hard Back Case with TPU Bumper Protective Case Cover for iPhone XR
Phone Case
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The Best Gift That Can Be Personalized

For tween who have an iPhone or Android that need a cover, consider a phone case like this one with emojis and other fun illustrations. Just make sure it fits the phone they have!


"I’ve been using MOSNOVO cases for the past few years and I love them! They offer enough protection to keep your phone safe after nasty falls (had an iPhone 7 for 2 years that fell HARD on multiple surfaces and the screen never cracked) while not being bulky. The designs are also really cute and I always get compliments on my case."

BONAOK Wireless Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone,3-in-1 Portable Handheld Karaoke Mic Speaker Machine Christmas Birthday Home Party for Android/iPhone/PC or All Smartphone(Q37 Rose Gold)
Karaoke Microphone
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The Best Gift for Tweens Who Love to Sing

Do you have a tween singer who could make it on the next American Idol? Try a karaoke microphone to test out those vocals. This one is not only wireless, but it's also Bluetooth so it makes it easy to pick and play songs from your mobile device.


"My daughter is always singing, always. I figured this would be an awesome gift. I tried it out after she went to bed and loved it. I just wanted to keep playing with it. She will definitely love it, and there was red (her favourite colour). Update: We have loved it and it’s been used every day. My niece also loved it that I just got hers for her birthday!"

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Camera with Fuji Instant Film (40 Sheets) & Accessories Bundle Includes Case, Filters, Album, Lens, and More
Fujifilm Instax Mini
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The Best Gift for Budding Photographers

The Fujifilm Instax Mini is for the tween in your life that love taking photos and making memories. This bundle set comes with everything you need, including a case and extra film so it's ready to start clicking and printing just like a Polaroid camera!


"Seriously, this pack is worth its cost, especially if you love film photography as much as I do, or you have a kid that wants to get involved with it! It was so much fun sharing this hobby with my younger sister, and teaching her the tricks of the trade!"

Harry Potter: Knitting Magic: The Official Harry Potter Knitting Pattern Book
Harry Potter Knitting Book
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The Best Gift for Harry Potter Fans

Do you have a tween that loves Harry Potter and knitting? Look no further! The Harry Potter: Knitting Magic book has 25 ideas for your favorite knitter. Knitting is a great way to practice dexterity, focus, and creativity, so why not add a dash of magic?


"Wow - this book is gorgeous. It's much larger than I expected - 207 pages, including 27 patterns. The photos and book design are wonderful. Throughout the book there are photographs, drawings, anecdotes about and quotes from the Harry Potter films. These "Behind the Magic" sections are a delight for fans of the series. The book is definitely not a beginner's knitting book! Though there are a few easier patterns, most of these involve more complex knitting techniques and will be fun and challenging for an experienced knitter."

Klutz Make Your Own Tiny Camper Craft Kit
Klutz Tiny Camper Kit
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The Best Gift for Tweens Who Love to DIY

This cool craft kit is perfect for the tween who is not interested in dollhouses but finds building them more interesting. The Tiny Camper kit is a DIY craft that has everything she or he needs to create a neat setup for a camper van.


"My eleven year old spent all day on this. Perfect gift for her! An eight-year-old would need help, but even teens and some adults could enjoy this."

The Master Guide to Drawing Anime: How to Draw Original Characters from Simple Templates (Volume 1)
Anime Drawing Book
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The Best Gift for Artists

The Master Guide to Drawing Anime book is especially for tweens who are not only very interested in learning how to draw anime characters, but also for those who want to fine tune their skills. With tons of templates and six of the most popular anime types, your artist will be confident in their anime skills in no time.


“I bought this book for my artistically inclined 11-year old daughter who has fallen in love with anime characters. I am a professional animator myself and this book reminds me of the things I learned while getting my fine arts degrees. The book's quality exceeded my expectations. The illustrations are large and clear and the steps to each are very clear and easy to follow. The colors are vibrant and exciting. There are loads of visuals and great images in this book. I love how it is broken into sections to explain how to make characters have different emotions, how to make lovable heroes or evil brooding villains. Or how to make clothing styles.”

Sofa Sack - Plush, Ultra Soft Bean Bag Chair - Memory Foam Bean Bag Chair with Microsuede Cover - Stuffed Foam Filled Furniture and Accessories for Dorm Room - Aqua Marine 3'
Sofa Sack Bean Bag
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The Best Tween Lounge Gift

A Sofa Sack bean bag seat is the perfect gift for a tween who loves to lounge. This beanbag features memory foam to make it personal for your tween’s impressions and also super soft micro suede for those who are sensitive to touch.


“My son wanted a bean bag for his room "to read". I've never liked them, so I wasn't willing to spend a lot for it.... we ended up getting this one.... and he LOVES it and truly DOES read on it. It's good quality fabric and we got the Charcoal color and we can't see any spots on it - no lint collects either (I've heard that's a concern with bean bags). I like the orange one better, but it wasn't for my room lol. It takes several days or maybe even over a week to get to full size - so jump on it a ton and be patient. This was a great buy that made everyone in my house happy.”

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Smart speaker with Alexa - Plum
Echo Dot
Product Price

The Best Gift for Music Lovers 

This smart speaker with Alexa is for the tween who loves smart technology, music, and telling Alexa what to do. It’s also an affordable choice for those on a budget but who want to get a neat gadget for their tween!


“I love my echo dot. I have four of them and they really help make my life easier. They can control almost everything, lights, locks TV, music, thermostat. It hears you almost all of the time and I've run into very few issues with it overall. I really couldn't ask for a more helpful device. I love that I can take it into the bathroom with me and listen to music while I shower or take it outside and listen to music.”

JLab Audio Studio Bluetooth Wireless On-Ear Headphones | 30+ Hour Bluetooth 5 Playtime | EQ3 Sound | Ultra-Plush Faux Leather & Cloud Foam Cushions | Track and Volume Controls | Tropical…
Bluetooth Headphones
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The Best Headphones for Tweens

Some tweens are desperate for reliable Bluetooth headphones that have a long battery time. Try the JLab Wireless Bluetooth Headphones that are super comfy, sleek in design and have 30+ hours Bluetooth playtime!


“My daughter received one for her birthday and after trying it out myself I realized why she liked it a whole lot better than regular earbuds. I had to buy myself one. The sound quality is excellent, it's light when I wear it on my head and the functions are easy to use for volume, skip track, equalizer, etc. My other daughter ended up wanting one as well. I love it!”

LEGO Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet 75276 Building Kit, Cool Star Wars Collectible for Adults, New 2020 (647 Pieces)
Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet LEGO Set
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The Best LEGO Gift for Tweens

Really, LEGO anything is perfect for a tween who loves the brand but also loves to build things. LEGO is always coming out with some amazing stuff for kids of all ages, including this Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet.


“My 12 year old daughter built this with minimal assistance (mostly reassurance that she had interpreted the instructions booklet correctly) in one day, over a 10 hour time span with obvious breaks and meals. This set looks great on display. I highly recommend picking this up if you're a fan of LEGO and Star Wars.”

Refugee Bath Co. Variety Pack Bath Bombs | 2.5 oz. Each | Cocoa Butter and Plant-Based Ingredients | Support Refugee Employment in USA (Variety 12 Pack)
Bath Bombs
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The Best Gift for Bath Lovers

For tweens and teens who love to take nice baths, these Refugee Bath Co. bath bombs are personalized and offered towards a refugee charity. These kind gifts also make a great stocking stuffer.


My teen daughter was looking for a birthday gift for a friend and this was perfect. It was the favorite gift from the party and all the girls exclaimed over them picking them up and smelling them. They enjoyed reading the enclosed card with the story about the woman who made them. They admired the environmentally friendly packaging. They smell really great without being overpowering. There are other choices but the Refugee Bath Co. bath bombs were our best choice because of a few reasons: Quality ingredients. No harmful colors or chemicals. The mission and impact on the lives of the people making them. Highly recommended!!

Boormanie Cat BFF Necklace for 2 Girls Stainless Steel,Silver Plated Cat Friendship Best Frined Necklace for 2 Fashion Puzzle Pendant
BFF Gear
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The Best Gift for Your Tween and Their Bestie

A cool gift that's built for two, especially for those tween girls who love cats. Best friend necklaces help to maintain a lifelong friendship so you never feel alone. They also make great gifts for sisters, cousins and daughters.


“It is super cute in person. We live far and away from each other but this keeps us as close as ever!”

Kids Against Maturity: Card Game for Kids and Families, Super Fun Hilarious for Family Party Game Night
Kids Against Maturity
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The Best Gift for Laughs and Immaturity

Do you have a tween who is “so not mature”? If so, Kids Against Maturity is perfect for him and his friends. It’s super simple and totally hilarious!


“My family’s favorite game to play. We have family game night once a week and this is always the one everyone wants to play. Our kids are 12, 10 & 8. It’s great to hear everyone laughing and having a great time while playing it.”

Blossom Roll-On LIP GLOSS Set Strawberry/Mango/Watermelon
Roll-On Lip Gloss
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The Best Gift for Make-up Lovers

For those tween girls who aren’t ready for makeup, but love to have shiny lips, try the Blossom lip gloss with flowers inside the bottle. She can choose one out of three types from the pack and toss it in her purse or wallet to take with her wherever she goes. (Parents will appreciate that it is considered “pre-makeup,” and isn’t full-on lipstick!)


“My 10-year-old daughter loved this as a birthday gift. They smell great and it's a good alternative to makeup for your tween.”

Product Price

The Best Gift for Board Game Lovers

How fitting to have a board game about a pandemic? Let our tween have more control over an outbreak, especially for that tween who loves strategy and cooperative games. Board games are also good for sleepovers, camping trips and family nights.


“I love Pandemic. I originally picked it up because I got Pandemic Legacy for a very, very good price, and in the directions they tell you to play a few games of the original first to get your feet wet, so I bought it. This is probably one of my favorite games. I play anywhere from 1 to 4 players, while playing alone I'll play 2 rolls. Be warned, you won't win. Out of 17 games, I have a 29% win ratio on it. The game normally wins, but that is part of the fun of the game, when you win as a team it feels more of a victory.”

Walkie Talkies for Kids Adults Long Range Rechargeable 2 Pack, Topsung USB Walkie Talkies for Teen Girls Boys Age 3-12, NOAA FRS 2 Way Radio Walkie Talkies for Family Camping Hiking Boating Fishing
Walkie Talkies
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The Best Gift for Tweens Not Ready for a Phone

Not quite ready for a smartphone? A long range walkie talkie like this TopSung is a great choice for tweens who want to do some long range talking, either from homes nearby, in the woods, at a concert, or just in separate rooms. Parents will have fun with them, too, to remind their tween to clean their room!


“I got these for my 2 grandsons but after looking them over I am tempted to keep them LOL, they actually may be better than the ones I have for emergency use. I mean with functions like this : Auto squelch system, Auto memory function, Auto scan function, Auto power saving, Low battery alert, Keypad lock, Adjustable power, Drop-protection(ABS), 22 channels each with 121 privacy codes, LCD screen with backlight, NOAA's Weather Emergency Alert they are more of an adult item but they are designed for kids.”

Japanese Zen Garden for Desk - 11x7.5 Inches Large - Bamboo Tray, White Sand, River Rocks, Pebbles, Rake Tools Set - Office Table Accessories, Mini Zen Sand Garden Kit - Meditation Gifts
Japanese Zen Garden
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The Best Gift for Promoting Inner Peace

Zen gardens are notorious for helping people to calm overactive minds. If you have a tween that could use some mental peace, or even might like drawing designs in the sand, try a Japanese zen garden. The soft sand and tiny objects are just the beginning to make peace within.


“Absolutely perfect! Almost exactly as pictured. I love the wooden zen sandbox! The wooden box is spacious and it's nicely built with no flaws. The box is made from decent quality wood and it comes with some small basic things such as a figurine, a wooden rake, a bridge and other small stuff it does the job for me.”

Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit 15-Color Party Kit, Standard, Rainbow
Tie Dye DIY Kit
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The Best Gift for DIY Fashionistas

Have a tie dye party with a tween who loves tie dye. This kit contains enough for up to five people and nearly 30 projects, so there is plenty of creativity to explore.


“So happy with the purchase for my daughter's birthday party! The girls had a great time and the t-shirts turned out GREAT! The package said it could do 5 shirts, we did 9 and still had color leftover. Will definitely buy again!”

Timex Women's T5K784 Ironman Essential 10 Mid-Size Orient Blue Resin Strap Watch
Water-resistant Athletic Watch
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The Best Gadget for Tween Athletes

If your tween is into athletics, consider picking up a reliable and durable waterproof athletic watch like this Timex Ironman Essential for tween girls and boys. There are a variety to choose from and they look nice while also being functional.


“Bought for my 7th grade daughter. She's running with the cross country team and needed a watch with a stopwatch mode. Because she's a preteen, I wanted a smaller watch and she wanted a fun color and design. This is perfect and she loves it. She even quit using her phone as an alarm and instead sleeps in this. She's a tough customer and if she's happy I'm ecstatic.”

Color Changing Cinema Light Box with Letters - 244 Total Letters, Numbers & Emojis | 16 Colors Remote-controlled PREMIUM Cinematic Marquee Sign Light Box | NEW for 2020! LED Light Up Letter Box Sign
Cinema Lightbox
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The Best Room Decor Gift for Tweens

This is a unique gadget for a unique tween or teen. This color changing cinema lightbox is perfect for a tween who loves to spell things out - creatively and in bright lights. This kit comes with over 200 letters, numbers and emojis so your tween can squeeze in a short quote for inspiration.


“I ordered this product because I thought it would be a cute addition to my room and I am so glad I did! There are a ton of different light colors to choose from but I think I am most excited about the additional settings for the lights (flash, strobe, fade, smooth).”

Amazon eGift Card - Happy Birthday Balloons
Amazon Gift Card
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The Best for Tweens Who Are Hard To Shop For

Amazon has so much to choose from and is a perfect place for tweens who to shop, especially if their family has Amazon Prime. If you’re really struggling to come up with a gift idea, gift cards are an awesome option for kids of any age. They can treat themselves to everything from books and toys to clothes and accessories.

Before you know it your tween will be a teen, here are our favorite gift ideas for teens or mature tweens.