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Older Teenager
Young Adult
Young at Heart


Preteens are 9 thru 12 year olds going on 30.  They are very independent, but are still young children at heart (as well as emotionally).  These are the years when a child's parents begin to drop their protective shield and they begins to develop the skills they need to fully cope with the real world.  Keeping this in mind, the gifts that you should purchase for a pre-teen should be "grown-up" in some ways (e.g., real makeup for girls instead of that pretend stuff you have been getting them), provide some protection for the outside world (subscription to pre-teen magazines so they could read about other kids their age), and things that will begin to give them real responsibility (like a pet that they are fully responsible for), but also remember the child in them, so it is okay to get something fun, as long as it is not "baby-ish."

Gift Ideas for a Pre-Teen:

  • Items that they need to take care of, have responsibility for, or items that you have told them in the past that they were not old enough for yet to own.

    • Gold Watch

    • Adult Makeup/Beauty Kit that they could use on special occasions

    • A small TV for their own room

    • Computer of their own

    • Pets that they are fully responsible for (e.g., Hamster, fish, lizard, etc.)

    • Designer clothing & accessories

  • Subscription to Pre-teen magazines.  This is the age where they begin to not listen to what adults have to say.  However, they might listen to the advise in some of these magazines - just look at the magazines first to ensure that the type of information is appropriate for the recipient.

  • Fun Gifts

    • Video Game System w/games

    • Bicycle

    • Books (fictional)

  • Trip to Disney or other adventure parks

  • Hobby Related

    • At this age, the pre-teen may have begun to show interest in a particular hobby or sport.  They might even begin to show signs of a having a particular talent.  Get a gift that will help to promote their interests.  For instance, get a science kit if they show an interest in science or purchase a new ballet uniform if they show a leaning towards dancing.  For gift ideas particular to a specific hobby, see our Hobbies and Interests department.

  • Clothing. This is always a good birthday present, but also buy something real nice, like a designer shirt or bag to show them that they are able to have responsibility for an adult like item.


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Copyright 2002-2012
Last modified: March 20, 2012

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