GIFTS FOR THE TWEEN GIRL: A LITTLE GIRL WITH BIG GIRL ASPIRATIONS
My almost 10 year old daughter is a mash up of the greatest hits from Amy Grant, Queen, Wicked The Musical, the Hashack Sisters, and the girl knows her sh*t, too! She’s a little girl with Big Girl aspirations! Sometimes she’s surrounded by 100 stuffed animals and sometimes I find her in the mirror applying her own mascara! These are formative years when they need the guidance and confidence to keep their youthful spirit while also the freedom to explore and express a growing sense of self! As with so much in life and the process of growing up, BALANCE is essential and it’s definitely applicable for this gifting season! From my styling background, I’d call this a Mix + Match season of life for a young girl and really what she ‘wants’ might be hard for her to identify! From experience of going up and down and around the mountain of figuring out what will actually thrill her and what will be something that she’ll actually appreciate, I’m here to share a top ten list of fabulous finds for your tween!
Athleisure Jogger Set
These girls are always wanting cozy + comfy, but they are sacrificing the element of identifying a style they can call their own! At this age its important to guide young girls in what’s appropriate to wear and when. Because you’re buying it for them, send them messages of self expression through appropriate style balancing their wants with what they need. This Alisha jogger set from MJ Tween is a perfect blend of that cozy athleisure look that tweens are gravitating too, but with a polished edge! The heathered gray fabric has a fuzzy fleece lining and a sporty embroidered black + white stripe down the pants leg! The hoodie is a little cropped because, well, balance, and that’s how they like it! Size up for a little extra length or an alternative slouchy fit.
Suede Rizzo Moto Jacket
Balance those big girl fashion aspirations with the tailored Rizzo Jacket also by MJ Tween! This Jacket also comes in women’s sizes and is a piece that will bring a fashion forward style to every sweater, dress, or even little shirt in her closet! When paired with anything from a denim skirt to leggings and fuzzy boots, the Rizzo Jacket will be a show stopper! If you are looking for that ‘shock and awe’ reaction when your tween opens presents on Christmas morning, this piece will ensure that you’ll get a run over hug and a squeal of delight! The unexpected gifts that show you’re listening often mean the most.
The transition for little girl to tween doesn’t mean letting go of little girl hobbies and creativity certainly sticks around! Taking it up a notch from kinetic sand and paint by number is the hottest “toy’ on the market, the 3D pen! It involves artistry, creativity, and using the other side of the brain with everything STEM that brings imagination to life! Tweens bounce quickly between independent focus and needing social stimulation, but when it’s time for that solo quiet time and she needs a hobby, this 3D pen will be perfect! While I am still not exactly certain how this even works, it is amazing! My tween daughter, tween son, and teen son are all getting different versions this year, too! Similar to Legos, a 3D pen allows you to follow along with a pattern or you can free style it and create your own! Mess, maintenance, and ease of use are all manageable! This is definitely a gift that will be used the afternoon after opening!
While wearing full make up outside of the house is not something a tween is quite ready for yet, the art of using make up and learning how to wear it tastefully is fun and age appropriate! While makeup is more like painting at this age, a plethora of colors and palettes makes it exciting and we know how tweens feel about colleting too! One is not enough even if it’s just a square piece of plastic with bubbles, oh yes, we’ll get to fidgets, too! My recommendation is a complete make up palette kit from Ulta’s Gift Collection including everything in a caboodle box! The colors go from subtle to wow with this 36 piece kit including brushes, primers, pencils, and glosses, too! If you’re looking for something safe and sweet without the bells and whistles go for the Petite in Pretty Palette!
Ultimate Hand Spa
Although seemingly too cool for toys, your tween girl still loves to browse the toy aisle and really still wants them too! Thow into the mix something from the toy category that again, balances that innocent little girls heart with her big girl feelings. The Ultimate Hand Spa is a a mini spa day “toy” that is the perfect crossover gift. It includes nail polish, hand soaker & massager, sugar scrub, dryer, and nail art!
Tree House Shea Sugar Scrub
Tweens are moving on from the bath bombs and into sugar scrubs! You name their favorite flavor or scent and it’s out there! For the holidays, candy cane was just released and it’s flying off the shelves! While the girls think it’s a grown up part of their hygiene routine, using a sugar scrub has so many great qualities for their skin that it balances what they see has a fun bathroom treat with really great results. I mean, tweens don’t really need a healthy glow or better circulation, but if they are getting positive healthy effects from adding a sugar scrub to their shower time, I think we’re moving this to the need category.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Most tweens do not have a phone, but it’s safe to say that most have an ipad, ipod, or mom and dad’s old phone to use for music! I remember so vividly when I started getting into music and having my favorite artists and songs- it was starting to be a topic of conversation among friends too! As a dancer, my daughter is always more in the known with top hits than I am! A portable speaker is going to give her that independence to play her music wherever she feels comfortable! You know, tweens sometimes are hanging upside down from their bed, cuddled up under a pile or blankets, hanging out on the trampoline, or on a tumbling mat outside- I never know where my gal is going to find her space everyday, but now she’s going to be able to enjoy her music wherever she goes!
Books Books & More Books
I feel like books were always a stocking stuffer when my kids were really little and then I just started buying them books that were recommended by teachers throughout the year, but honestly, it was never something that they got really excited about. It’s not too late to cultivate that spirit of enthusiasm in our tweens, though! Here’s my tip, find a movie that is peeks their interest or was based on a book! Then instill a challenge that once the book is read and finished, a family movie night will be the reward to compare which is better, the book or the movie! While tweens aren’t reading hunger games or other book to movie series, there are still a lot of options! Even classics like “The Bridge to Terabithia” would be fun and gift it along with a popcorn container, popcorn, candies and a new cozy blanket! My recommendation for you is the STARGIRL book series! Disney+ debuted StarGirl last year, but most tweens were probably still too young to grasp it’s message, so you get a re-do! While the movie ends you wondering what happens next, the author wrote a second book to give closure! This 2 books set paired with a fun movie theme will make a really fun and enriching gift set!
There is nothing more TWEEN than fuzzy slippers! Why? Because socks can do the trick, but what’s dramatic about that, right?! She will love these for the upcoming season when we are inside more than outside and then you’re going to wonder why you’re the one wearing holey socks and she’s fashion forward on her feet! …and that’s probably just how Tweens like it! Brands shouldn’t mean anything to your girls, but reality is that for some, it does! Maybe it’s because of big sisters influence or other friends, but I’ve found UGG SLIPPERS on SALE at Nordstroms that makes a splurge a little more reasonable, but still a splurge! You can still get the same effect for a fraction of the cost with this cute option from Target! Your budget will allow you to add a silky sleep mask to it too!
Land of Dough
For the girl who has outgrown playdoh and for the mama who is OVER slime, land of dough has created dough that is hits the mark for tween girls desire for cool textures, sparkle, and little girl playtime. The kit come with wooden rollers and luxe cups have themes to fit your gal’s personality! All ingredients are natural and blended with organic essential oils for sweet smells that our tweens are ALL ABOUT right now, too! It’s a little hard to find and sold out a lot of places, but I’ve found a small business retailer who still has some inventory available!
*Editor's Note: The contributor of this post - Ashley Baughman - is a fabulous Trunk Keeper for Matilda Jane Clothing Co. And she's able to offer Give Cheerfully readers FREE SHIPPING on any Matilda Jane purchase! To redeem this offer, email email@example.com with your order # after purchase and Ashley will reimburse you! Because that's the kind of amazing contributors we have here at Give Cheerfully xoxo*