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Gift Guide for Tween Girls ($30 or less)


Ah, the “tween.” Such a silly, awkward moniker for that age when your child is no longer a “little kid,” but not quite a full-on teenager yet either. But it really is a stage of its own and sometimes picking up a perfect present can be a little more challenging. You don’t want to make the mistake of getting something too juvenile, but you also don’t want to push something on them that’s too grown-up either.

If you’re looking for ideas this holiday season, here are some of my favourite picks for tweens.

Marusenko Spheres

Remember how much we loved the Rubik’s Cube when we were tweens and teens? Here is a new twist on the three-dimensional puzzle. There are five levels of difficulty, so you can pick according to the individual you’re buying for. $26.99 CDN. Available locally in Ottawa as well as online at Tag Along Toys.

marusenko spheres

Ecojot Sketch Book (9″ x 12″)

Just because there’s been a digital revolution doesn’t mean that the age-old enjoyment of doodling, journalling, and sketching is dead. My daughter loves to carry a sketch book everywhere she goes … one just never knows when the next creative idea will strike! $11.50 CDN. Available locally in Ottawa as well as online from terra20.


Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

Not all books for tweens have to be about vampires! I found this graphic novel from Raincoast Books. It’s an action-packed account of the work of three trail-blazing women scientists. Charming illustrations and inspiring subject matter! $22.99 CDN. Available locally in Ottawa or online from Indigo Books (online price is currently $16.60 for hardcover!).


Family Charades

This classic game is the perfect treat to draw your tween away from a digital device and to jump into some fun family face time. With different difficulty levels, everyone in the family can join in too (yep, even the annoying little brother!). $29.99 CDN. Available locally in Ottawa or online from Tag Along Toys.


Lady Jane Wacky Watermelon Lip Balm

‘Tis the season for chapped lips! Some tweens start to become interested in makeup, and this, my friends, is what I like to call a compromise: it’s not lipstick and it’s completely safe (all natural and non-toxic ingredients). $4.00 CDN. Available locally in Ottawa or online from terra20. (If you think the tween in your life is beyond lip balm, you could inch forward to lip glaze.)

lip balm

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  1. Great gift ideas! Love how unique they are. :)

  2. Great list! I have a tween too so I can totally relate. And I am pretty sure she’d like everything here!

  3. Some great ideas here. I know at that age I couldn’t get enough books so that’s almost always a winner. Also love the idea of the sketch pad. Writing, drawing, etc at any age is a great tool!

  4. That primate book is cute.

  5. Great roundup! I think the Charades game would solve all of our “can’t pick the words” problems when we play!

  6. Thank you for sharing your gift ideas! I have been thinking of smaller things to get my daughter and the sketch pad looks like something she would use. She LOVES to draw, doodle, colour etc ALL the time. Great list!

  7. We go through a lot of sketch pads at our place. Both DD8 and DD6 love to draw. We figured we’d get sketch pads so they can keep them.


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