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23 Best Gifts for Tweens in 2023 – CNET

It can be hard to find the right gifts for tweens, or kids who are in the 9- to 12-year-old zone. Tweens will be the first to tell you that they aren’t little anymore, and they want their clothes and toys to reflect that. They might not know exactly what they want, but tweens do know what they don’t want. And even though they’re not quite teenagers yet, they aren’t afraid to tell you that the gift you chose for them is sooooo last year. 

To help you find the best gifts for tweens, we researched the top products for this age group and compiled this list using input from the actual tweens in our lives — since what was cool when you were a tween might not resonate with Gen Alpha or the youngest of Gen Z. These are the products most coveted by tweens, from an electric scooter to an action cam, a DIY mochi ice cream kit and more. Whether your preteen is into gaming, snapping selfies or simply relaxing, you’ll find a great gift here to suit their interests.

So, ready to get an amazing gift for your favorite tween? Read on to discover our suggestions and win some major cool points with your tween for their birthday, a holiday or another special occasion.


If your tween wants to document their next action adventure, GoPro cameras can’t be beat. We love the GoPro Hero 11, but not its $550 price point. The GoPro Hero 8 is still pricey, but it’s half as much as the 11. It doesn’t come with 5K video, but you can still shoot 4K videos, which is plenty for your tween, and it has a 12-megapixel camera.

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If the tween in your life is into PC gaming, take their gaming setup up a notch with a gaming keyboard. The SteelSeries Apex 3 TKL is our favorite budget gaming keyboard thanks to its durability, super-quiet gaming switches and eight lighting zones. Bonus: It’s also IP32 water-resistant so it won’t matter if your tween is a chronic spiller.

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Once your tween starts snapping pics with their Instax, they’ll need a great backdrop and lighting. These dreamy string lights help add a magical feel to any room. With 50 clips to hang up their favorite pics, your tween will love their new sparkling retreat.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

AirPods are a tween staple. But if you don’t want to shell out $249 for Apple’s AirPod Pro 2, you might want to consider the lower-cost first-gen AirPod Pro buds, which still offer a comfortable in-ear design and solid active noise cancellation. Both versions are great for listening to music, tuning into TikTok and more.

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Uncommon Goods

What tween doesn’t love mochi? Making homemade mochi can be tricky, but this kit makes it super easy, and it’ll be a fun rainy-day project for your preteen. Flavors include matcha green tea and cocoa powder, but you can come up with your own flavors too!

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