Christmas gift guide 2022: Best gifts for tween boys and girls they won’t return


A girl by a Christmas tree shaking a present trying to guess what it is.
A girl by a Christmas tree shaking a present trying to guess what it is.

Mint Images

Holiday shopping for tweens can be tough — especially in the final weeks leading up to Christmas. However, these unique gift ideas for those youngsters in your life who don’t consider themselves kids but aren’t quite teens yet are sure to excite even the most discerning 10- to 13-year olds on your list. 

Top products in this article:

Apple iPad 10.2-inch 9th generation, $299 (reduced from $329)

Nintendo Switch OLED white model, $349

TickTalk smartwatch phone, $170 with coupon (reduced from $200)

Lush The Art of Christmas Bathing, $150

While Apple products and gaming devices usually land on a tween’s wishlist, we have compiled a number of other, more unique and out-of-the-box gift ideas, ranging from an ultra-luxe bath bomb set from Lush and fun beauty tools to a smartwatch phone that’s totally controllable by parents. Many pre-teens still play with age-appropriate toys, so a few of those made our list, too.

Gifts for tween boys and girls they won’t return

Get ready to shop, as many of the items on our lists are seriously marked down and likely to sell out fast. 

Apple iPad 10.2-inch 9th generation



This 10th generation the 10.9-inch iPad, available in a bunch of colors, gets the job done without breaking the bank. 

Apple iPad 10.2-inch 9th generation, $399 (reduced from $449)

GigaPets StarCat CompuKitty Virtual Pet



With everything from the 1990s back in style, it only makes sense that GigaPets — the take-anywhere, virtual, interactive pet — are back and more engaging than ever. The fun keychain also makes an unexpected stocking stuffer. Price varies by animal. 

GigaPets Virtual Pet, $19

Petite n’ Pretty Clearly Cute makeup set


Petite n’ Pretty

For tweens just getting into makeup, Petite n’ Pretty gift sets introduce the art of face painting in an age-appropriate manner. The Clearly Cute makeup set offers sheer, shimmery eye shadows, a pink lip gloss and clear mascara, all pediatrician-approved, cruelty-free and nut-free. A favorite of CBS Essentials staffers’ kids!

Petite n’ Pretty Clearly Cute makeup set, $39 (reduced from $55)

Little Passports and America’s Test Kitchen Kitchen Adventures


Little Passports

Little Passports and America’s Test Kitchen joined forces to create a monthly subscription box specifically for budding chefs. Each box, which focuses on a specific cuisine from various countries or cities, includes four recipes, a cooking essential — like tongs or a spatula — and other fun things, like board games or arts and crafts. 

Little Passports and America’s Test Kitchen Kitchen Adventures, $25 a month (reduced from $30) and up

Nintendo Switch OLED white model



Age-appropriate gaming for tweens, this brightened-up version of the Nintendo Switch OLED features a vibrant seven-inch OLED screen and 64 GB of internal storage and easily docks for HD gaming on the television set. Pair the console with a Nintendo gift card so they can select their favorite games. 

Nintendo Switch OLED white model, $349

Nintendo gift card, $10 and up

Erin Condren Hello Kitty 2023 planner bundle


Erin Condren

The gift of organization keeps on giving. This adorable Hello Kitty Erin Condren LifePlanner set comes with a January 2023 to December 2023 planner, Hello Kitty stickers, a magnetic To Do dashboard and a Hello Kitty pen. 

Erin Condren Hello Kitty planner bundle, $74 (reduced from $93)

Caboodles vintage case



Another favorite, recently resurrected 1990’s throwback, the classic Caboodles makeup-slash-accessory case makes the perfect gift to keep everything from cosmetics to crafts organized.  

Caboodles vintage case, $22

JBL Clip 4 speaker



Don’t be fooled by the small size of this speaker. In terms of sound, the JBL Clip 4 packs a serious punch. Tween will love listening to tunes and hooking the tiny device onto everything from backpacks to jackets. Up to 10 hours of play per charge. Available in several punchy colors. 

JBL Clip 4, $50 (reduced from $80)

Vineyard Vines Whale Classic Mini Tote


Vineyard Vines

Going on a trip this holiday season? This multi-tasking tote makes the perfect travel companion for any tween. A smaller version of the traditional Vineyard Vines tote, little ones love using the convenient bag as a carry-on item or an everyday purse. Also, save up to 30 percent off with the current buy more, save more promo going on. 

Vineyard Vines Whale Classic Mini Tote, $85

Patagonia Down Sweater



Super toasty without being too heavy, this Patagonia down sweater, filled with reclaimed duck and goose down, keeps everyone in the family (including tweens) warm this winter and those to come — just size up for young ones. The timeless coat also comes with a lifetime manufacturers guaranty, minus damage from wear and tear.  FYI: Backcountry offers a lowest price guarantee. 

Patagonia Down Sweater, $139

Chi Vibes Wave On Multifunctional Waver



Indulge hair and beauty obsessed teens with this fun and fabulous iron. This rainbow-hued hairstyling tool crimps and curls at lower heat levels safe enough for younger hair. 

Chi Vibes Wave On Multifunctional Waver, $100

Blissy silk sleep mask



Crafted from 100 percent mulberry silk, this tie-dye sleep mask will make any tween look forward to bedtime.

Blissy silk sleep mask, $30 (reduced from $50)

JBL Tune 230 noise cancelling earbuds



Not ready to invest in a pair of AirPods for your tween? This noise-cancelling alternative from JBL costs a fraction of the price and deliver serious sound, and thousands of Amazon reviewers agree.

JBL Tune 230 noise cancelling earbuds, $50 (reduced from $100)

UnHide Shleepy wearable blanket



A wearable blanket? Yes, please. UnHide, famous for making ultra cozy blankets, designed The Shleepy so that comfort-minded kids (and adults!) can cuddle up anywhere, anytime. 

UnHide Shleepy wearable blanket, $79 (reduced from $79)

Kitsch satin heatless curling set with gold claw clip



This Kitsch satin heatless curling set gives bouncing curls without heat damage or the risk of getting burned. Get the set with or without a gold claw clip. 

Kitsch satin heatless curling set with gold claw clip, $18 (reduced from $27)

Kitsch satin heatless curling set without gold claw clip, $16

TickTalk smartwatch phone



If you aren’t quite ready to splurge on an iPhone but want to stay connected with your tween, a TickTalk smartwatch phone makes a great alternative. The interactive watch makes video and voice calls, sends and receives voice and text messages, takes photos, streams music, tracks activity and features a GPS tracker to keep tabs on precious cargo. Parents also have access and control to block or approve contacts and set Do Not Disturb modes during class time or bedtime. Works on AT&T and T-Mobile networks, and pay-as-you-go options are available. 

TickTalk smartwatch phone, $175 with coupon (reduced from $200)

Amazon bookmark gift card



A great gift for any tween reader? An Amazon gift card in the shape of a bookmark to fuel their love of reading. You can even buy a book for them and slip the gift card inside.

Amazon bookmark gift card, $25 and up

Lush The Art of Christmas Bathing 



If your tween spends a lot of time at the local Lush store, indulge them with a Christmas-themed box filled with 17 limited-edition holiday bath bombs and bubble bars.

Lush The Art of Christmas Bathing, $150

Barefoot Dreams x Barbie CozyChic hoodie


Barefoot Dream/Mattel

Even if they have grown out of Barbie-doll play, they will love cozying up in this hoodie, just as soft as a Barefoot Dream blanket. The collaboration, which includes blankets, robes and even an eye mask, scrunchie and sock set, celebrates the Barbie Dreamhouse 60th Anniversary.

Barefoot Dreams x Barbie hoodie, $128

Minecraft: Portal Dash game



A fun gamer-themed board game that gets tweens off their screens, this up to four player game takes 60 minutes to play and explores the Minecraft worlds in a socially interactive way. Ages 10 and up.

Minecraft: Portal Dash, $40

Lola and the Boys retro sequin bomber


Lola and the Boys

Add a little sparkle to their everyday wardrobe with this retro-style sequin bomber courtesy of Lola and the Boys. Available in tween sizes up to 14. 

Lola and the Boys retro sequin bomber, $88

Super Mario Lego Cat Peach Suit and Frozen Tower Expansion Kit



One of the latest additions to the wildly popular Lego Super Mario line, the Cat Peach Suit and Frozen Tower Expansion kit offers a building experience and play set all in one. Comes with Mario, Luigi and Peach interactive figures.

Super Mario Lego Cat Peach Suit and Frozen Tower Expansion Kit, $80

Real Life Crafted custom journal


Real Life Crafted

Journaling encourages creativity, sharpens writing skills and helps teens process thoughts and emotions. Customize one of these handcrafted and hand-bound journals from Real Life Crafted, a small, woman-owned business to align with their likes and interests for a truly unique and thoughtful gift. 

Real Life Crafted custom journal, $40

Puma x Pokémon Big Kids’ Hoodie


Puma x Pokémon

Puma and Pokémon just dropped the ultimate collection for fans of the incredibly popular franchise. Sold exclusively on the Puma website, this hoodie stands out in a crowd.

Puma x Pokemon Big Kids’ Hoodie, $55

My Avastars KawaiiPie



One of the hottest toys of the season and a 2022 TTPM Most Wanted Toys winner, My Avastars bring fashion dolls to life. After personalizing a doll with outfits, reusable stickers, clothing decals and more with an included code and the My Avastars website, build the same doll online and then play My Avastars Fashion Game. 

My Avastars KawaiiPie, $20 (reduced from $25)

FAO Schwarz Make-Up Vanity


FAO Schwarz

Indulge budding makeup artists in a vanity from FAO Schwarz, featuring a light-up mirror and real makeup, including nail polish, beauty brushes and tutorial beauty templates. Ages 8 and up.  

FAO Schwarz Make-Up Vanity, $28 (reduced from $40)

Big Blanket Co. Premiere Plush blanket


Big Blanket Co.

One of the most wanted gifts for tweens? Cozy bedroom essentials. These oversized 10 x 10 blankets from Big Blanket Co. might be some of the coziest plush we ever tested. Big enough for a king sized bed but also perfect for sofa snuggles for the whole family. Available in 16 colors. 

Big Blanket Co. Premiere Plush blanket, $259

Athleta Girl So Toasty sherpa jacket



Some of the other popular athleisure brands don’t offer sizes for tweens, making Athleta the go-to brand for younger girls. This cozy sherpa coat makes the winter months bearable and perfectly pairs with most casual clothes. 

Athleta Girl So Toasty sherpa jacket, $95 (reduced from $139)

Early Black Friday 2022 deals to shop now 

While there’s still some time to wait until the official Black Friday 2022 sales start, there are plenty of great deals you can get right now. Check out our early Black Friday deal articles.  

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