Now that they’ve entered the early tween stages, shopping for gifts can be a challenge. She’s no longer that little girl but also not quite your teenager. She’s in between. This is the time where she explores and discovers new interests. Wanting to do things independently, but not totally. She wants her privacy at times, but still needs her parents very much.
So, let’s cut to the chase. I (or perhaps ‘we’) have come up with a list of gifts which have been tested (played with) and approved by my daughter.
Note: This is not a sponsored review, as all gifts mentioned were personally purchased.
1. Amazon’s Echo Dot (Smart Speaker with Alexa)
If you’ve got a girl who loves listening to music, I can’t think of anything better than the Echo Dot by Amazon. Yes, it can do much more than just playing music and answering questions, which is what my daughter is currently using it for. However, we got it because it has unlimited play of music (on Amazon Prime), and it plays radio stations as well, which is way better than getting a radio/CD/MP3 player. I also like the fact that it’s small, user-friendly and affordable. Suitable for any kid who loves music.
2. Folding Art Kaleidocycles by Djeco
I remembered making Origami when I was a school kid using just a normal Origami paper. The Kaleidocycles from Djeco is way more fun than that! Kaleidocycles are Flexahedron, which can be turned around showing different patterns or colours. Instructions for assemble are included, which my daughter had no problems following them. She finds it fascinating while I find them relaxing just looking at the different patterns transform. What I like about the Djeco arts and crafts are they are convenient to bring along on trips, flights and restaurants. Believe me, a 9-year-old could still get bored just waiting for her food to arrive in a restaurant. Suitable for ages 7 to 13.
Who doesn’t like puzzles? I know mine does. And we’re not talking 250-500 puzzle pieces but 1000! If your girl likes solving problems and needs a challenge, then jigsaw puzzles are great! No, I’m not saying to go get a 1000-piece of puzzles. Of course in accordance with her level (of difficulty) and in her favourite character. Mine is a huge Harry Potter fan so we got her the Ravensburger Harry Potter 1000 pieces jigsaw puzzle. And don’t forget to get a frame before starting, which we got it from IKEA, the RIBBA 50cm x 70cm. This way, she can fix her puzzles directly on the board (provided by the frame) and once it’s finished, you could frame it right away. Trust me, you don’t want your daughter to spend her hard work completing a puzzle and realize how you’re going to frame it up, or figure it out what you’re going to do with it.
The famous UNO card game! Who doesn’t know UNO. I used to play them when I was a kid. So, we got a pack for her for Christmas and she was hook! She can’t get enough of it! And I can tell you that I was hooked myself too. It’s a great family game and compact enough to bring along anywhere and everywhere you go. Definitely a thumbs-up! Suitable for ages 7+.
5. Kid’s Carving-Knife Set by KOSMOS
For all nature loving kids, I think a carving-knife is a great gift. My girl will find a stick, cut it, or carve it and it makes nature walks in the forest a little more exciting. I do understand every parents’ horror of their kid having a knife in their hands. I was too. However, she doesn’t get hold of the knife (only during nature walks), neither she keeps it in her room. Do tell your child to take extra precautions and explain the do’s and don’ts.
We got her the set from KOSMOS for Christmas as the price was reasonable. It comes with the necessary materials and instructions to carve a sailboat, which my daughter has yet to do. She’s more interested in the carving-knife whenever she’s out and about. Suitable for ages 8+.
My daughter is still obsessed with Aquabeads and I think they’re great. It does not only provides hours of creative fun but practices patience and precision. She received a 3D Crystal Carriage Set as a reward, and did it without using the bead-pen. Suitable for ages 4+
The good ol’ Legos. Which kid doesn’t own a Lego set or two, or more. My girl is still very much into Legos and she’s currently into Harry Potter and anything wizardry. Legos are generally suitable for ages 4+ depending on the difficulty of the set.
List of recommended Harry Potter Legos by my daughter :
- LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall
- LEGO Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Hogwarts Whomping Willow
- LEGO Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban Knight Bus
- LEGO Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets Aragog’s Lair
- LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Toy Train
8. Brain Game Puzzle Books
Puzzle books or activity books are my favourite gifts for kids. Anything that can stimulate my kids’ minds is a go-to gift. Whether it’s logic puzzles, brain teasers, math games, Sudoku, mazes, crossword, word searches, or sticker album, there’s always something that’ll interest them. It also cater for various age-groups soo there’s always something that your child or toddler will enjoy. What’s more, it’s convenient to bring along with you when you’re out and about i.e. on flights, road trips, restaurants, or whenever they’re bored. Suitable for any age group
Books are always an item I’ll never miss in my list. It’s a must-give gift. And there’s really nothing much to elaborate in this category other than reading is essential. Suitable for all ages
My daughter is into everything arts and craft. So, when she saw this, she thought it was cool and had to get it. I thought it was just OK. The gel wax provided was too little to make 4 glasses of candles. And it doesn’t burn really well. Lastly, as the gel wax needs to be melted on low heat in a pot (plus all the glitter), it took me a while to clean it. So, my daughter liked the fun of making her own candles, while I had ‘fun’ scrubbing the pot. 🙂 However, there are many candle making sets out there, which I’m sure you’ll find something that suits your child. Suitable for ages 8+
Another one of my girl’s favourite is soapmaking or making bath bombs. I think it’s a fun set which can be done during the rainy days. My daughter managed to create the soap independently by just following the instructions. And it did turn out cute. Only flaw was all the toppings fell off the cupcake soap once it was dried up.
We got this starter-set for her 9th birthday and she has not stopped playing with it. It’s a great kit to introduce kids the basics of physics and being creative. With more than 50 components, they can build their own individual ball track. The manual is easy to follow and guides them step-by-step through endless of fun! Suitable for ages 8+