Buying for tweens can be tricky, especially if you’re looking for gift ideas with some educational value that they won’t roll their eyes at. Here are our top suggestions of educational gifts for tweens that are sure to be a hit.
ThinkFun Laser Maze Game
Lights and mirrors may make it feel like magic, but it’s really science and a good dose of brain power that’s needed to direct the laser beam through this series of mind challenging mazes. Tweens will get a satisfying mental workout as they flex their strategic thinking muscles and ignite the laser beam.
Ages 8+. $39.99 Available from Mastermind Toys.
Perplexus Epic 360 Labyrinth Game
The latest 3D labyrinth game from Perplexus is the most challenging yet, with 125 challenging barriers of varying difficulty as you try to defy gravity. This game helps kids develop motor and dexterity skills, problem solving skills and improve their hand eye coordination while providing hours of challenging, three dimensional fun.
Ages 8+. $29.99 Available from ToysRUs.
K’NEX Roller Coaster Building Set
Construction toys offer many educational benefits to kids, including the development of problem solving, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cognitive and spacial thinking skills. But all of that aside, what kid wouldn’t like to build and play with their own roller coaster? K’NEX offers a range of sets at various price points and complexity levels, including the space-themed Supersonic Swirl Coaster Set and the more complex Atomic Coaster that’s over 4 feet tall. Ages 7+ Prices vary. Available from Amazon.ca.
Snap Circuits Light
Tweens can enjoy hours of fun while learning about electronics with the Snap Circuits Light set. A great introduction to circuits, kids can build over 175 exciting projects with this set. They can connect their ipod or any MP3 player and enjoy listening to their music as the lights change to the beat with amazing spinning patterns and visual effects. All parts are mounted on plastic modules and snap together with ease. No tools required.
Ages 8+. $79.99 Available from Amazon.ca.
Bella’s Mystery Deck
Tweens can join 13 year old sleuth Bella in solving 50 mini mysteries that will keep them engaged with fun illustrations, fascinating characters and clever and captivating scenarios. Kids will apply their powers of deduction and comprehension to solve the mysteries, while developing their logical thinking, concentration and deductive reasoning skills. Some of the puzzles can be solved with clues internal to the story, while others require some knowledge of natural history, science, geography and culture.
Ages 8-14. $36.99 Available from Amazon.ca.
Klutz Encyclopedia of Immaturity
The ultimate how-not-to-grow-up guide, The Encyclopedia of Immaturity contains more than 300 entertaining and informative entries including How to Do a Wheelie, How to Hang a Spoon from Your Nose and How to Really Annoy Your Older Sibling — all illuminated with full-color photographs, illustrations and diagrams. Tweens and adults will love this funny and educational book (unless they happen to be on the receiving end of some of the pranks!)
Ages 8+ $21.99 Available from Amazon.ca.
LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Remote Control Robots
The ultimate gift for a LEGO fan, the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 lets tweens build their own robot and then program it to perform commands such as throw a ball or move forward. Includes instructions for building 5 different robots, which can be controlled by remote control or by downloading a free app on their smart device. Ages 10+. $399.99 Available from Amazon.ca.
Lessons or Workshops
Another great gift idea for hard-to-buy-for tweens is paying for lessons or a workshop for something in which they have expressed an interest. Possibilities include:
- guitar lessons (or piano, drums, etc)
- photography lessons or workshop
- art classes (drawing, painting, pottery, etc)
- dance classes
- computer coding workshop to learn to build their own website or video game
- kids’ cooking classes
You can probably find suitable lessons close to where you live, but online lessons are also available. For example, Thrive Art School offers beginner, intermediate and advanced video art lessons for kids ages 6-12 and Kids Photography Academy will be offering online photography lessons for kids ages 6-12.
Tickets to places like a museum, art gallery, science centre or ballet, opera or theatre can be both educational and fun for tweens. Make it a special day by including lunch or dinner at their favourite restaurant and you’ll have a gift that’s sure to get top marks from your tween.
Do you have other ideas for great educational gifts for tweens? Please share them below!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)