Gifts ideas for girls that will promote creativity and ingenuity for girls that are ages 8-12, including art gifts, science gifts, building gifts, and fairy garden gifts
I have two daughters, ages 10 and 12, and the last few years it’s gotten harder to buy them gifts. They don’t like the little girl gifts anymore, like dolls, dress-ups, and kid crafts. Their tastes are changing, but they aren’t into teen things yet either, like make-up, fancy toiletries, and electronics. They are definitely tweens, that in-between stage.
Plus, I don’t like to give stuff, things that will just sit on their shelves and add more clutter. I want to give them gifts that will help them learn and grow and become more creative. Gifts they can do and make. So, I’ve come up with 25 gift ideas to give tween girls that will encourage them to create and grow. And I have to admit, I’d like to play around with most of these myself.
Williams Sonoma Kids’ Cookbook
In the picture at the top of this post are 2 cookbooks from Williams Sonoma. The orange cookbook, Williams Sonoma Cooking Together, is for beginner chefs because it divides each recipe into kid steps and adult steps. Even older kids who are just learning to cook can be intimidated by chopping with a knife and cooking over a hot stove.
The second cookbook, The Kid’s Cookbook, is for kids who have done a little cooking already. Each recipe is short, easy, and kid-taste friendly. Each recipe is written for kids to make on their own. My girls have loved both cookbook and Williams Sonoma recipes are always delicious.
Painting silk scarfs is becoming a popular art right now, and there’s no reason tweens can’t get in on the fun. This kit comes with a scarf that already has a pattern and paint to color in the design. So it’s easier than painting a blank piece of silk, but you still get a beautiful scarf to wear in the end.
This set takes your young artist beyond the Crayola paints. These are real watercolors with rich colors and good, even coverage. They even come with watercolor pens to create details that are too small for a brush.
This cute gift teaches your tween how to felt wool and they get to create a cute animal. This link goes to a kit that makes an owl, but there’s also an octopus, a shark, a sheep, a moose, and even a Santa ornament to make by felting wool. And all of them are adorable.
This set by Klutz combines the creativity of decorating Shrinky Dinks with jewelry-making skills. If you’ve never tried Shrinky Dinks, it is so much fun to draw and design, cut it out, and watch it shrink and get stiff in the oven. And now you can turn those designs into beautiful jewelry pieces.
Let your tween learn the basics of physics with this invention set. Build rockets by recycling used water bottles and see how high you can get it to launch.
If your little artist enjoys drawing super heroes, manga, comic books, or any human figure, a mannequin gives them a perfect reference and lets them explore how the human body moves. It allows them to draw their characters in positions that look realistic.
While making your own terrarium isn’t hard (my daughter even wrote a blog post about it), this kit takes it up a notch by turning the small terrarium into a night-light. Plus it comes with little accessories to create a little fairy garden.
Use both sides of your brain to decorate and build this 3 dimensional puzzle. There are several different options for these 3D coloring puzzles, but the link takes you to a kit that includes pieces for a house, butterfly, horse, and elephant.
No list of creative toys would be complete without LEGOs, but if your tween girl is getting a little too old for LEGO Friends, a LEGO Architecture set is sophisticated enough for even an adult, but still fun to build. LEGO makes several famous building and landmark sets plus a few big city skylines. I think my daughter would like the Eiffel Tower the best because she loves all things Paris.
Gel pens are big, really big. I’m not sure why they are so popular, but my daughters and their friends love using gel pens to write, color, draw, and more. So I had to include a set in my gift idea list.
This gift set encourages social creativity and interpersonal art skills. It comes with 4 statues to paint so your tween can host her own painting party with 3 friends. There are different set available, but this link goes to a set of 4 dragon statues because this age is when fantasy is really popular.
Embroidery Floss can be used to make so many things, especially friendships bracelets. This rainbow pack would let your tween make bracelets in every color combination. Or maybe she’ll learn to embroider.
These little cinder blocks are actually made of cement and look just like the real thing, only 12 times smaller. They would be perfect to build a wall in a fairy garden or just to play with at your desk.
These inks are permanent on fabric, so you can give one or more with a t-shirt so your tween can design and create her own personalized shirt. Read more about how it works in my post on making a custom t-shirt.
My good friend Danielle, who blogs over at StoryPiece.net, shared how to make a basket full of cross-stitching supplies so your tween can learn how to cross-stitch in fun ways, like decorating the cover of a journal or making cross-stitched bracelets.
Fairy gardens are so much fun to create and a perfect way for girls to learn about gardening while creating a magical world. This blog post tell how to make a fairy garden in a pot, but it also list a lot of supplies you could give to your fairy gardener, including craft supplies, dollar store accessories, plants, and more.
And here’s 14 more gifts for girls if you like DIY projects and making handmade gifts. Have fun!