Recommended Products - Early Teens


Mother and Daughter Letter Book

What a wonderful way to connect with your daughter while creating a keepsake that will last forever! A nostalgic set of 40 cards are meant to be sent, shared and treasured until the very last envelope is sealed. Need a little inspiration to get started? Look to the hundreds of personal prompts that encourage you to share facets of your personality that family otherwise wouldn't see. Once completed, cards find their way back into the secret pockets of the book. Rich with sentiment, each personalized book is meaningful way to honor your bond, and be passed down from generation to generation as an heirloom from the heart.


Teen Table Topics

At parties, on the phone, online - teens love to talk with their closest friends. These lively questions will provide thoughtful conversations and lots of laughter with friends.

And for parents, this is a treasure trove of questions to ask your teen to create more connection with fun, casual chats.

Sample Questions: Who's the funniest person you know? What five foods do you wish were banished from the earth? If you could shop for free at one store which would you choose?


My Life in Graphs Journal

All teens benefit from self-reflection and are interested in thinking about themselves, but not all teens are journalers. Now your teen can think about their life and chart their course with the miracle of fill-in-the-blank diagrams. Whether they’re looking for clarity in mundane matters or in life’s more intense topics, My Life in Graphs will help them simplify the whole process the infographic way -- one chart at a time. This fun and fresh book features topics as diverse as personal taste, self-image, and an attraction to snake-handlers. Includes a handy detachable ruler to aid in straight line execution and accurate percentage estimation. (And it actually teaches kids to understand graphs at the same time!)



Punch Bag / Laundry Bag

Now your teen can use their dirty laundry for a work out or just to vent some stress!

Big enough to hold a heavyweight load of washing and tough enough to take a beating. Hang the bag in your wardrobe or the corner of your room, until you're ready to take your laundry to the cleaners, literally. Ideal for boxers, trousers and shirts, there's even enough room to throw in the towel. (No puns intended).

  • Turn a chore into a workout
  • Big enough to hold a heavyweight load of washing
  • Measures 12 by 40 by 12-inches


Verilux Rise and Shine Natural Wake-up Light, White

A Better Way to Wake Up. Most teens need a little extra help learning to get themselves out of bed in the morning. But a jarring alarm puts anyone in a bad mood, and a sleepy teen is likely just to hit the snooze button. Unlike the sudden jolt of an alarm clock, the natural sunrise simulation of the Rise and Shine Wake-Up Light won't disrupt the last stages of sleep. As its soothing, white light progressively brightens, your teen awakens slowly, providing the body with the stimulus required to transition from sleeping to waking. The result is a feeling of being rested, revitalized, and ready to start the day. Gradually awakens even the heaviest sleepers.

  • Light gradually brightens to wake you gently and help normalize natural sleep patterns
  • Sleep mode feature slowly decreases lamp's intensity to aid in falling asleep peacefully and gradually
  • Wake to your choice of four natural soundscapes or FM radio stations. Dual alarm with snooze feature
  • Drug-free alternative for addressing sleeplessness, fatigue and lethargy
  • Also a reading lamp -- Select from 20 levels of light intensity
  • Provides the external cues required to regulate circadian rhythms


642 Things to Draw Journal

A rolling pin, a robot, a pickle, a water tower, a hammock, a wasp, a safety pin, a kiss. Budding artists and experienced sketchers alike will find themselves invigorated by this collection of offbeat, clever, and endlessly absorbing drawing prompts. Some are deceptively simple (just try drawing a bicycle!), some are conceptually mind-bending (sketching the sound of girlish laughter?), and some are refreshingly basic (the only hard thing about drawing an egg is deciding how you want it to be cooked). Hip and helpful, 642 Things to Draw is the perfect inspirational sketchbook, sure to entertain and provoke the imagination of anyone ready to pick up a pencil.


Aqua Farm

The Aqua Farm is a unique and interactive gift for your tween or teen that demonstrates a symbiotic ecosystem in a fun and visually intriguing fashion. It combines a 3-gallon fish tank with a vegetable and herb grow bed into one closed-loop system that fits easily on any kitchen counter. The waste from the fish provides nutrients for the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish!

  • Self-cleaning fish tank that grows food.
  • Fish waste feeds the plants. Plants clean the water.
  • Includes everything you need to get started as well as organic seeds and a discount coupon for a Betta fish.
  • Fish waste feeds the plants. Plants clean the water.


Artterro Canvas Storybook

Have a budding artist in the family? Give him or her this terrific fabric art storybook-making kit. Combine gorgeous hand-dyed batik and solid cotton fabric with ribbon, beads, and artist quality acrylic paint to illustrate a unique canvas book. Sew or glue fabric shapes onto the 6x8 inch pages. Multiple award winner. Ages 8 and up, right through the early teen years.

Another eco-friendly, sustainable, non-restrictive creative art project kit from Artterro. Includes hand-dyed batik, solid cotton fabric, ribbons, beads, and artist quality acrylic paint.

Artterro Wire and Bead Art Kit

Inspiring project kit for ages 7 through early teen. Kids can make jewelry, twist and bend into cool sculptures or mobiles. Shape colorful wire into a large mobile adorned with beads, design many small sculptures, fashion a beautiful crown or create a unique creature. Includes a large variety of beautiful glass, wood and shell beads, marbles, thin and thick wire. Add your own "funky junk" to extend the life of this kit even further. Great for kids to make presents for their friends' birthdays.

  • Bonus project - box turns into art frame
  • Assembled in the United States at Goodwill
  • Smart eco packaging

Dead Men Tell No Tales Board Game

Dead Men Tell No Tales is a co-operative game for 2-5 players. The game uses the common Action Point system to determine what a player does on their turn. With a twist. As players work together, they can pass their Actions on to their teammates in order to best utilize the assets that they have. Players will build the board as they play, ensuring that no two games will ever be alike. As they search the ship for the Treasure, they will encounter Enemies and Guards that they must battle, along with various items that will help them in their quest. all the while, battling the inferno that resulted when they took over the ship. Unique systems for tracking fire, enemy movement and a player's fatigue all combine into an interesting and unique cooperative gaming experience. Recommended for ages 13-15.


DIY Lip Balm Kit

Kiss your newest project hello. Karen Lee and Mary Kearns' DIY kits will allow your teen to pamper themselves with all-natural emollients while providing valuable job-skills services for women in the Washington DC area. Assembling these lovely kits provides ladies living in transitional housing with the opportunity to build their resumes, develop basic job skills, and participate in a structured social skills program. 

Each kit includes everything your teen needs to make their very own moisturizing lip balm from Fair Trade cocoa butter and organic spearmint essential oil, for a delectable and refreshing fusion of chocolate and mint. Inside the recycled box, crafters will find a vibrant, soy-ink-dyed recipe card and valuable information about the contents of their lip balm to be, including cocoa butter, sunflower oil, beeswax, and organic essential oils. Every kit makes five tins of mint-cocoa balm, making it an ideal endeavor for a rainy day or a fun task to take on with a group of good friends.


Doodle Pillowcase

Encourage your child to get creative with this truly unique pillowcase/pen set. On one side the Doodle pillowcase looks like a giant piece of paper complete with printed lines, holes and red line margins. On the other side is a decorative frame giving you twice the area to sketch, draw, scribble, write a message, draft a letter, make a storyboard, or write a poem. As an added bonus a secret message pad is printed on the inside flap. You have an empty slate to make your own design. When you are ready for a new look, simply machine wash and dry your pillowcase and start all over again. Constructed from top quality 200 Thread Count 100-percent cotton ensures a pillowcase that has high durability and is smooth to the touch. This standard size pillowcase measures 20 by 30-inch and will fit standard and jumbo-sized pillows. Set includes one reversible pillowcase and eight wash-out fabric pens.

Forbidden Desert Board Game

Gear up for a thrilling adventure to recover a legendary flying machine buried deep in the ruins of an ancient desert city. Players will need to coordinate with teammates and use every available resource. This game is a sequel to Forbidden Island. For 2-5 players and recommended for ages 10-15.

Forbidden Island Board Game

Dare to discover Forbidden Island! Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this perilous paradise. Your team will have to work together and make some pulse-pounding maneuvers, as the island will sink beneath every step! Race to collect the treasures and make a triumphant escape before you are swallowed into the watery abyss!

  • 2 to 4 players
  • Strategic thinking, problem solving and cooperation required
  • Ages 10 and up
 


Funny Nose Pencil Sharpener

A fun and functional gift for gradeschoolers up through early teens, this silly sharpener makes a great stocking stuffer!


Glow In The Dark Wonder Stars

If you had stars on your ceiling as a child, you'll know how terrific these are. If you didn't, wait until you lie with your child in her dark room looking at her glowing ceiling! Relaxing as kids fall asleep. Even teenagers love them.

These stars have a Lifetime glow guaranteed by the manufacturer. 50 "glow in the dark" plastic stars of varying sizes, with adhesive. Made by Great Explorations.



Hand Held Scalp Massager

The fastest way to instant relaxation! This innovative massager is a stainless steel conduit of healing energy. It relieves tension as it softly massages acupressure points and stimulates sensitive nerves in your scalp. Great for tweens right through the teen years, this invigorating device is a great way to unwind.

  • Increase blood circulation
  • Provides deep relaxation and helps reduce stress
  • Small enough to take with you anywhere
  • Set of two in assorted colors


Little Paper Planes

An awesome celebration of a timeless pastime, this book collects constructible paper airplanes—and a few other airplane-inspired crafts—created by some of today's hottest artists. Featuring work from rising stars and indie darlings from the aptly named artists' collective littlepaperplanes.com, including Gemma Correll, Michael Hsiung, Julia Rothman, Alyson Fox, and Lisa Congdon, these patterns take the paper plane to a whole new level. Printed on perforated pages for easy removal and assembly, the planes are accompanied by instructions, artist interviews, and loads of cool visuals. From paper doll planes and shark planes to plane mobiles and mix-and-match gliders, this delightful collection is jam-packed with creative ideas sure to launch the imagination into flight.



Make Your Own Music Box

The Music Box hole punch is a music makers delight. A charming gift for tweens and teens that allows them to create their own melody by punching holes in the music paper strips provided. The Happy Birthday melody is included for you to get started. For musicians, crafters and lovers of music this is a must have item. Paper strip refills also available.





Murder Mystery Party Games - Panic at the Prom for Teens

OMG, Centerville's High School's Prom Night is ruined! Someone's pulled the fire alarm, drenching everyone in attendance...well, ALMOST everyone. Instead of enjoying one last dance, seven students and their principal must shelve their dancing shoes and figure out who's rained on the prom's parade!

Lots of fun for early teens to play this game with their friends at parties and slumber parties. Great substitute for the electronics that otherwise often invade teen events. If your teen loves mysteries, this is the perfect gift -- along with your offer to help her host a murder party!

NOTE: Character booklets do not contain scripted dialogue, however they do include detailed information that directs players' improvised dialogue.

  • Everything you need to solve a murder mystery
  • Who rained on the prom's parade
  • The boxed set comes with a complete party planner
  • Includes character booklets, invitations, name tags and menu suggestions, clues and more
  • A dinner party game for 8 players (you can assign two people to a character if your party is bigger than eight.)


Notebook with 100 Elements

Is your tween or teen a writer or artist? This unique journal has a cool, changeable cover that your teen can personalize with icons, letters, and numbers.

  • Personalize your cover with icons, letters and numbers - a title or make sure everyone knows it is PRIVATE
  • Refill paper is available
  • Easy to push in elements stay in place
  • Lots of messaging options that can be changed over and over
  • Art quality paper unlined and lined


Ooze Tube

Very calming for kids from toddlers to teens. (Works for frenzied adults, too!) If you sit with your child to watch this the first few times, and hand it to your child when she's over-excited, you'll find that she gravitates to it when she wants to calm herself down.

Pandemic Board Game

Four diseases have broken out in the world and it is up to a team of specialists in various fields to find cures for these diseases before mankind is wiped out. Players must work together playing to their characters' strengths and planning their strategy of eradication before the diseases overwhelm the world with ever-increasing outbreaks. For example the Operation Specialist can build research stations which are needed to find cures for the diseases. The Scientist needs only 4 cards of a particular disease to cure it instead of the normal 5. But the diseases are out breaking fast and time is running out: the team must try to stem the tide of infection in diseased areas while also towards cures. A truly cooperative game where you all win or you all lose. For 2-4 players. Recommended for ages 10 - 15.


Pick Punch

This fun tool will allow your musical teen to create guitar picks out of an endless supply of materials – from old credit cards to gym membership badges. The pick punch is the original and the best guitar pick making tool on the market and punches the standard 351 shape guitar picks.

 


Rubik's Cube

Preteens and Teens love to use their minds, which are exploding with new capacity for conceptual thinking.  The Rubik cube is a puzzle that teens love to experiment with, and it expands their problem solving abilities.  Terrific stocking stuffer!


Samurai Scorpion Aluminum Kit

Perfect project for 12-15 year olds. Smaller than it looks in the picture, with small pieces. Not for younger kids to put together on their own. High cool factor!

Almost lifelike Scorpion that you assemble from metal and bendable aluminum parts. The Samurai Scorpion is comprised of two major parts: head and body. The head consists of a pair of eyes, mouth, and claws used to capture prey. Body consists of eight legs, tail and curved aculeus (stinger). Did you know that scorpions are nocturnal? They often feed at night by lying still and surprising their prey (dinner). On the other hand, they are dinner for tarantulas, bats, and birds (especially owls). Kit contains 30 hard and soft pre-punched aluminum parts, 7 screws, 7 nuts, 3 springs, and even assembly tools.

  • Step-by-step instructions
  • Claws, arms, legs, and tail are all moveable
  • Body consists of eight legs, tail and curved aculeus (stinger)
  • No soldering required


Scratch Map

 Now your teen can track their travels with this beautiful scratch-off-where-you’ve-been map that charts globetrotting in a colorful and innovative way. Just scratch off the areas you’ve visited to reveal fun pops of color that are sure to enliven any room.


Stackable Lunch Pot

Make packing up school lunch easier and more fun! Simplify the process with this versatile lunch pail, designed with airtight containers and a smart stacking system for keeping food fresh and portable. Its two bins keep servings separate and cleverly pile into a tight, vertical column that saves space--and spills! 

You can pop either section into the microwave for a hot main dish and just as easily pop it into the dishwasher when you get home from work. Packed with a handy, reusable "spork" and a carrying strap, its thoughtful design is sure to please adults and teenagers alike.




Staying Connected To Your Teenager: How To Keep Them Talking To You And How To Hear What They're Really Saying

At last, a book of sage advice that will help frustrated parents reconnect with their teenager and keep that connection even in today's often-crazy world. The first step is simple: realizing that inside every teen resides two very different people -- the regressed child and the emergent adult. The emergent adult is seen at school, on the playing field, in his first job, and in front of his friends' families. Unfortunately, his parents usually see only the regressed child -- moody and defiant -- and, if they're not on the lookout, they'll miss seeing the more agreeable, increasingly adult thinker. With ingenious strategies for coaxing the more attractive of the two teen personalities into the home, family psychologist Mike Riera gives new hope to beleaguered and harried parents. Staying Connected to Your Teenager demonstrates ways to bring out the best in a teen-and, consequently, in an entire family.



Tetris Constructible Desk Light Lamp

The neon magic-cube design is sure to bring fun and style to your teen’s desktop. The seven interlocking pieces can be stacked in any combination. The light turns on when the pieces are stacked together, and it turns off when dissembled.



That Shakespeare Kid by Michael LoMonico

12-year old Peter is knocked unconscious & awakes unable to speak normal English. He can only speak Shakespeare. What to do?

The perfect gift for your literary teen, this book by English teacher Michael LoMonico strives to make reading (and teaching) Shakespeare easier and more fun!

Here's the plot (from LoMonico’s website):

Twelve-year-old Peter can't fill a teaspoon with what he knows about Shakespeare, but when a copy of the Riverside Shakespeare falls and hits him on the head, he wakes up spouting "What the dickens" and "But soft, methinks I scent the morning air."

He can write and text in normal English and his friend Emma learns to speak for him when he needs to be heard. His misadventures take him to CitiField to see a Mets game, to a school psychologist, to restaurants, and to his various classes in school.

But when a YouTube video of Peter speaking like the famous bard goes viral and he finds himself on the Today Show, he begins to wonder if he's doomed to be a freak forever. During the course of studying Romeo and Juliet in class, he and Emma get to play the star-crossed lovers in a school production and find themselves more and more attracted to each other. Will a kiss with his Juliet in a school performance be enough to break the spell?



Ticket Stub Diary

This handy journal is just the ticket for preserving and showing off tickets saved from sporting events, museum openings, rock concerts, and more. The roomy sleeves store tickets of all shapes and sizes, and lined margins provide space to (new art enclosed) jot down notes about the events. The acid-free pages will keep memorabilia in tip-top shape for years to come.



WhatchamaDRAWit

A great drawing game for kids and adults alike! One player at a time judges each round by pulling from a stack of 110 cards, reading instructions aloud and flipping the timer. Contestants immediately scribble to silly prompts like: "Draw a rowboat floating on top of a mountain" or "Draw a laughing squid talking on a cell phone while sitting in a bathtub." First to finish wins and keeps the card. The player with the most cards wins! Imaginative fun for kids and adults alike that unplugs you from the computer, television and telephone. Draw from the stack whenever you feel the need to doodle - or dawdle.



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DOES THIS KIND OF PARENTING WORK?

I have seen amazing improvement in my *very* angry 17 year-old son after acknowledging that there was a reason he was so angry and acting out. We have had several heartfelt conversations and I have seen a real change in how he treats his younger brother, and how he treats me.

WHAT I'M READING

Reviews of the best parenting books l've found over the years