Great Gifts for Tweens

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What a Tween or Teen Wants for Christmas
a special guest blog for all of you with older kids, stepkids or young babysitters!

Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the parenting book '??You'??re Grounded!'? She writes a parenting blog along with 12 other teen writers from the kid's perspective to help parents. Her work as a young family peacemaker have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Teen Vogue, Fox 5, CBS 4 and much more! http://www.OnTeensToday.com

Teens are very tricky creatures. When thinking about getting them the perfect gift for the holidays, I always say first, get them what they asked for. If they have only responded to this questions with monosyllabic answers or grunts, here are a few tips for what teens want to get this holiday season:

Teens Want Fun:

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I know it is in parent's nature to get their kids a pocket reference guide as a stocking stuffer, but Teens always want things that have no logical sense and will help them have more fun...

Prank Candy Teens I know eat a ton of candy and we got some of these as stocking stuffers one year and it caused a lot of laughter and stories for later...

Chalkboard Wallies If your teen has been begging you for a room makeover, this can hold them off a few more months...this spray paint can be put on walls to create chalkboards. This can give them lots to do and make their room very cool.

NHL Stanley Cup Air Hockey Game We always wanted one of these in my house. If you have boys, and you have the room, this can be a great gift.

Dart Board: Soft-Tip Dart Game Notice the soft tips, darts can be a great thing for kids to do offline and the soft tips will not poke someone's eye out.

Teens Want Technology:

Technology is in, in, in here are some things I am seeing:

iTrain This is a great way to encourage your kids to be active and a new way to workout. These are workout programs for your kid's MP3 or iPod.

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Earringbuds Your kid always wearing earbuds? At least they can look like jewelry now. Also check out Earbud Charms.

Call of Duty: World at War This is so cool, if your teen has a system that is compatible, this is great for both boys and girls, and very popular at the moment.

Wireless Speakers These can be really great for when you are all in the family room, or when you teen plays outside with friends.

Teens Want Usefully Unique:

Fun and silly is great, but I am seeing a lot of wishlistswith useful items that are still cool and unique. Some examples:

Spreadshirt: Custom design silly tshirts or make your own slogans and print them for your teen.

Funky Thumb Drive Umm how super cool are these thumb drives shaped like sushi? There are a bunch of cool ones out there based on your child's interests.

Solar Computer Backpack Does your teen have a ton of electronics? This might help keep everything charged (I kinda want one)

Sigg bottles Nalgenes are great because they help the environment by using less plastic bottles and they can easily strap onto backpacks to carry around to class.

Personalized Notebooks: Shutterfly and a couple of other cool sites allow you you to upload and design notebooks as gifts. You could make a collage of pictures of your teen and their friends for them to doodle in.

Teens Want Things that Are Just Unique:

Yup, here are some really cool unique gifts for teens:

Carbon Offset "The basic idea of a carbon offset is to figure out your personal contribution level to the global warming problem. This contribution is called a "carbon footprint." Your purchase funds reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets help you take personal responsibility for the environmental consequences of your activities." I think more and more teens are going green and this is a great way to encourage that trend.

The Something Store Ahh I love this idea. if you really do not know what to get the teen in your life, this is a good option: "We will send you something, an item selected randomly among many things from our inventory, for $10 (free shipping in the US) and you will find out what your something is when you receive it." I have known people who have gotten a bag of mints and people who have gotten an Xbox...it is a fun game Christmas morning.

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