Christmas Gift Ideas for Preteens

We all remember getting gifts we didn't like when we were kids and preteens. Maybe it was the recipe book, the turtleneck sweater, or the childish encyclopedia. Whatever it was, it made us vow to only choose perfect gifts when we grew up. Now we see that it is not that simple. The same kinds of things are popular with preteens, music, games, and socializing, but they don't fall under the same names. You are bound to hear them say that something is too 'baby-ish,' or that they have no idea if they will ever use it, if it is too mature. Of course, you are hoping that they will tell you what they want, but what they told you six months ago might have changed already. Here are some perfect gift ideas for any budget for those preteen boys and girls (between the ages of 10 and 13).

Video games appeal to almost every age, and preteens are the perfect demographic. Girls tend to like a lot of the driving or Tetris influenced games, but don't be afraid to get them the action or fantasy games, too. If you aren't sure of what game system they have, then try getting them a joystick which comes with the games built-in. These are also known as 'plug n play' and all they have to do is plug them into their TV set.

For girls in particular, scrapbooking, letter writing and journal kits are popular. You can buy everything in a prepackaged kit, or put together your own collection of stickers, trimmings and special scissors and paper. This option will let you get them more accessories which are geared toward their hobbies and interests. To get them started, you can also buy them a disposable camera. The camera idea will work well for boys, too.

If there is a paintball, game center, or roller skating rink nearby, think about getting a boy or girl some passes for them and a friend or two. They are just getting to the age when they need a little more independence and would also love the opportunity to share their gift with a friend. Gift certificates for the movie theater, museum or the mall are great, too. Boys and girls this age like the idea of getting to pick something out that they want and these are good ideas if you are on a budget.

Encourage their physical activities with some sports equipment. Roller blades, skateboards, bikes and balls are almost always a hit. Just spend some time at the sporting goods or department store and think about what looks like fun to you. If you think its fun, they probably will, too.

If you know that a lot of other people are getting them big toys and games, then don't be afraid to be the 'clothes' person. If it is for a boy, think about funny T-shirts, or baseball caps. You don't want to embarrass them with too many undershirts or sweaters, but a cool jacket with their favorite team's emblem, or a shirt with their favorite band's logo could work. Girls tend to enjoy receiving fuzzy pajamas, fun socks, trendy shirts and hair accessories.

Music is always a hit. This may require a little research, but it can be worth it. CDs are convenient, not too expensive and can entertain them for hours. If you can get them a music playing device like a MP3 player or an iPod, you will definitely be a big hit. If you are still unsure of whether they will like what you chose for them, then just make sure you give them the gift receipt. Most stores have begun printing these out automatically, or asking you if you want one as you check out. Also, be sure to tell your recipient that you don't mind if they decide to trade it in for something else. A lot of kids will think that they're being rude by returning your gift. Let them know that you would be much happier if you knew they had something they like.

author: Clarissa Adkins

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