Recommended Gifts - Early Teens

Looking for gift ideas for a different age?


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
  • Develops strategic thinking, problem solving and cooperation skills.
  • Ages 10 -15

That Shakespeare Kid by Michael LoMonico

Every kid needs a book they will enjoy, at every birthday and holiday. That Shakespeare Kid by Michael LoMonico is the perfect gift for your middle schooler -- whether they're literary or hated reading Shakespeare in school -- because it makes reading Shakespeare easy and fun!

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?

An engaging, fanciful tale of a boy who inadvertently brings the beauty and majesty of Shakespeare into everyone's lives.

"When you open the front cover, be warned. You won't be getting much done until you reach the end of Peter and Emma's journey through Shakespeare." Dan Bruno on NCTE's High School Matters

Spark Family Game: The Magic of Storytelling

THE SOCIAL STORYTELLING GAME: A wonderful family night game that will have everyone talking and laughing together. Simple enough for kids as young as five but teens love it too. Even experienced storytellers will find an exciting challenge. A round can be played in as little as 3 minutes, but there are enough cards and music to support hours of play -- which is good, because no one will want to stop. Imaginative play supports social and emotional development, builds social confidence and communication skills. This is a game that lets the imagination run wild bond. With a few cards and the right music, your family will have wonderful bonding adventures - right from the living room. The stories you tell together will become family favorites. 

Mother and Son Letter Book

This is a terrific tool for bonding with your tween/early teen son. It can be hard to get tweens and early teens to share what's on their minds. This journal is a wonderful solution for that. The topics are fun and interesting. Highly recommended as a gift that keeps on giving, all year long, to both of you.

"Love this journal so much already! My son just turned 13 and I knew we’d have fun doing it together. The journal is even better than I expected - great quality and the topics of things to write and work on together are just great!"

Mindfulness Matters: The game that uses mindfulness skills to improve coping in everyday life

Fun card game that teaches kids 9-18 mindfulness daily life skills and strategies to reduce stress, anger, and worry, and enhance focus and social skills.

  • Mindfulness Matters is the original mindfulness card game, developed by a therapist.
  • Mindfulness strategies are useful for combating stress, anger, worry and increasing focus.
  • Teaches and engages children and teens in critical mindfulness skills. Players learn different mindfulness techniques and how to apply them in their everyday lives.
  • Fun cooperative game play helps to enhance social skills. Ages 9-18. For 2-4 players.

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.

Sensory Swing

This sensory swing can be installed indoors or outdoors for use with children or adults. This swing is awesome for sensory seeking children or adults, can accommodate a wide range of body shapes and sizes, and helps with balance & motor skills. Gives kids of all ages a safe place to self regulate. Easy to install with a drill and a stud/joist finder. 

  • Swinging is a way to help with brain development, bring calm and peace or just to entertain.
  • Stretchy & comfortable, this snuggles kids with a deep, enjoyable pressure.
  • Easy to get in & out of.
  • Works for preschoolers through teens, up to 200 pounds.

Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Almost Everything

A walk-the-walk, talk-the-talk, hands-on, say-it-loud handbook for activist kids who want to change the world!

Inspired by Abbie Hoffman's radical classic, Steal This Book, author Alexandra Styron's stirring call for resistance and citizen activism will be clearly heard by young people who don't accept "it is what it is," who want to make sure everybody gets an equal piece of the American pie, and who know that the future of the planet is now.

Styron's irreverent and informative primer on how to make a difference is organized into three sections: The Why, The What, and The How. The book opens with a personal essay and a historic look at civil disobedience and teenage activism in America. That's followed by a deep dive into several key issues: climate change, racial justice, women's rights, LGBTQIA rights, immigration, religious understanding, and intersectionality. Each chapter is introduced by an original full page comic and includes a summary of key questions, interviews with movers and shakers--from celebrities to youth activists--and spotlights on progressive organizations.

The book's final section is packed with how-to advice on ways to engage, from group activities such as organizing, marching, rallying, and petitioning to individual actions like voting with your wallet, volunteering, talking with relatives with different viewpoints, and using social activism to get out a progressive message.

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


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.

Between Dad and Me: A Father and Son Keepsake Journal

A one-of-a-kind journal for the father & son who crave a rule-free, creative way to connect with each other.

This engaging prompt journal is the perfect tool to build father-son relationships. Kids can record memories, swap stories, compare perspectives, and explore common and unique interests with their dads! Interactive lists and letters back and forth invite both dad and son to reflect, write, and doodle about topics timely to their lives as kids and build self-confidence.

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. This DIY kit will allow your teen to pamper themselves with all-natural emollients.

  • Each kit comes with four 100% Pure Essential Oils for a relaxing, calming feel, including peppermint, rose geranium, lavender, and lime.
  • MOISTURIZING BUTTERS – Shea butter and coconut butter help keep lips soft, supple, kissable, and plump with deep-moisturizing support. Great for daily comfort.
  • YOUR VERY OWN CUSTOM LINE OF LIP BALMS – Every DIY lip balm set comes with 23 total tubes and tins to let you create a wide range of flavors and styles!
  • MAKE IT YOURS WITH PREMIUM CUSTOM LABELS – Along with all the lip balm making kit necessities, you’ll also receive 23 round and square labels so you can name and organize each one.
 

Father & Daughter Journal

This light-hearted and engaging journal will bring fathers and daughters closer together through easy, fun, and interesting questions!

  • Some are fun, some are thoughtful. All will strengthen the critical bond between a father and a daughter.
  • No essays or long answers required, although there is room for longer responses if you love to write.
  • Questions are fill-in-the-blank, checklists and short answer.
  • All are engaging, quick and easy. If you want deeper discussions there are additional questions and space for answers at the end of every question

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.

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.

Grateful Together: A Gratitude Journal for Kids and Their Parents

It isn’t always easy for kids and parents to talk. This shared, back-and-forth journal inspires communication and gratitude, doing surprising and wonderful things to strengthen the bond between any child and their caregiver.

  • There’s a huge range of activities and prompts that don’t repeat, so each entry reveals something different.

Hand Held Scalp Massager

The fastest way to instant relaxation! This innovative massager is a 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

Indoor Scooter Board

Work on balance and coordination while having fun with this scooter board for kids! Children will have fun building motor skills inside and out. Safe to use inside on a rainy day or outside on pavement. 

Jewelry Making Kit

  • Create your own jewelry: The jewelry making kit contains jewelry making tools, jewelry making charms, jewelry making findings, jewelry making beads. Includes all jewelry finding and tools that you need for jewelry, necklace, bracelet, earring making and repair.
  • Spark creativity: this kit will spark your child's imagination & creativity while promoting the development of fien motor skills.
  • Huge variety of beads

Just Between Us: A No-Stress, No-Rules Journal for Girls and Their Moms

The perfect opportunity for your to strengthen your connection with your tween this holiday season. Meredith and Sofie Jacobs have been sharing a journal since Sofie was nine. They created this fun, fresh volume to help other moms and daughters get to know each other in a whole new way. Advice and thoughtful writing prompts pave the way to discussing everything from friends and school to crushes and growing up. Also includes pages for drawing pictures and making lists and plenty of free space for writing about whatever comes to mind. With perspectives from both generations and a hip look, this one-of-a-kind journal is a surefire hit with moms and girls alike!

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.




Monkey Noodle Stretchy String Fidget

Stretch, pull, twirl, wrap and squeeze the Monkey Noodles - then watch them bounce back to their original shape! They're perfect for sensory and tactile stimulation.

NinjaLine Intro Kit

Encourage your kids to be physically active while having a great time!

  • Ninja Training with seven obstacles including: a three piece 10" x 2.5" nylon rope knows, two piece 16" monkey bar holds with triangle safety carabiners, and two gymnastics rings with textured finish
  • Hang Slackline webbing between two posts or healthy trees

Our Sharing Journal: Journal Notebook for Kids and Parents

In a little as 5 minutes a day, both parents and kids can enjoy this simple and fun journal. This journal is sure to get you and your kids laughing, doodling (every page has space for drawing) and connecting like never before.

PEACEFUL PARENTING MANTRAS COLOURING BOOK

This coloring book of lovely designs is a fun way to further yourself on the path to becoming the parent you want to be or remind yourself of what you already know. Each mantra design is accompanied by a peaceful parenting lesson. The coloring book includes:

  • 10 beautiful & meaningful peaceful parenting mantras, each with a mini-lesson.
  • Reminders of your best intentions
  • Relax and connect with yourself and/or your children

Click here to download the digital file and print at home!

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.

 

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!

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.


The Floor is Lava - Interactive Game for Kids and Adults

The Floor is Lava! is a game where players must imagine the floor is molten hot lava while spinning the color wheel to jump to the right foam pieces to reach safety. The Floor is Lava! is a family game that promotes physical activity, an active imagination, and engaging excitement for kids and adults. Perfect family activity for moving your body inside or out!

  • This game gets children jumping, leaping, playing, and improving their strength, conditioning, balance, and endurance! 
  • Each of these cushioned, durable, slip-resistant foam stepping stones can be used during outdoor parties or indoor sleepovers.

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.


Totem the feel good game

Foster and strengthen positive relationships between family members by playing a conversation card game that encourages people to look at their bright side.

  • Great self-esteem activity
  • A way to develop your mindfullness by simply being in the present moment feeling all these good vibes about your unique talents.

 

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  More Recommended Gifts

Looking for gift ideas for a different age? Here are more recommendations. Enjoy browsing!

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DOES THIS KIND OF PARENTING WORK?

Today I say thank you, tears streaming from my face, so proud of my little boy and all he will become. Thank you. - Jennifer B.

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