Tween boys are hard to buy gifts for because they are starting to outgrow the desire for toys, yet they still like some types of toys. However, at the same time, they are starting to like more adult-type gifts too. Yet, they don’t want to just get a bunch of clothes because that’s boring. Since I have bought many gifts for tween boys (and I’m still doing this) I’ve brainstormed a bunch of ideas for my own life. And, lucky you because I’m sharing my tips and ideas of what to buy for Christmas Gifts for Tween Boys in this post so you can have some good ideas for the tweens in your own life:)
This post contains affiliate links to products on Amazon. I include them here for your convenience. If you were to purchase, I would receive a small advertising fee at no added cost to you. Please see my disclaimer for details.
Also, here is my link to my Amazon Influencer page that also contains many of these products. This is an easy way for you to check out these products and determine if they are a good fit for the tween boy in your life.
Buy a Mix of Toys and More Adult-Like Gifts For Your Tween
My suggestion with going into the holidays is to buy a mix of gifts for tweens that are toys and some gifts adults would also enjoy (such as a wallet or cologne, more ideas below).
I have experience buying for tween boys because I’ve had to shop for two tweens over the past few years. How are my babies getting so big!
I talk with moms at the bus stop and around town and many ask each other what they are buying their tweens for Christmas. We all are looking for ideas for what to buy these hard-to-buy-for tween boys. I thought I’d compile this list for myself and to help other moms out there struggling for ideas. Even if you don’t like my ideas, the list may spark another idea for you.
I hope it does!
Don’t Just Do What The Tween Asks For on His Wish List
One word of advice, even if the tween asks for money, still get them gifts too. Give them some money, but get them gifts too.
One year my oldest son, a tween at the time, just wanted money and didn’t give out any ideas for actual gifts. He kept insisting he just wanted money to shop with, however, once he saw both his younger brothers opening gift after gift he changed his mind. He wanted gifts to open too, but it was too late.
I had gotten him a few small gifts but I had honored his wish to get him mostly money. He was disappointed and the feeling even surprised him. As his mom, it made me sad because I want my kids to enjoy the holidays and have that smile with excitement glittering in their eyes when they open a gift. I want it to be fun!
Best Advice I have for you: Tweens are still kids, no matter what they say, still get them some gifts to open and not just money and gift cards.
Alright, Here We Go: Over 75 Christmas Gift Ideas for Tween Boys Including Stocking Stuffers
1. Under Armor SackPack
All the tweens (and teen) boys use these. I’m sure girls do too, but I have boys so I see many more boys in my daily life and they all have these lightweight sackpacks or drawstring backpacks. They are a sort of sling type backpack. When my sons have friends over, often their friends bring these sackpacks for their phones, chargers, wallets, money, swimsuits, water bottles, sunglasses, or anything else they may think they need.
They will often bike around town with the sackpacks on their backs, and often will stop in a gas station to buy some candy. The sackpack gives them a spot to store their stuff while biking.
2. Amusement Park Passes
We’ve bought amusement park passes for several years in a row for our boys for Christmas and I will tell you it’s the best gift! In fact, we get the season passes because we only have to go twice in a year to be getting a discount. Our boys absolutely love the passes. Their friends also have passes so they can go together which is giant for tweens.
It also gives us something fun to do as a family in late spring, summer, and fall that is already paid for and we can go as many times as we want. We make it cheap by bringing a cooler and eating lunch in the grass near the parking lot. We only buy snacks inside the park and keep that to a minimum.
Our local amusement park also has a water park too. This is perfect because we don’t ever pay to go to any other water parks because the one at the amusement park is already paid for in the pass.
Amusement park passes are the best investment for a tween gift (teens too).
3. Xbox One remote or other gaming system remote
We find we often need more than one Xbox One remote at our house for when we have friends over. Right now we only have two which is a bummer when a game could have up to four players but only two of them can play. They have to take turns, which isn’t bad, but an extra remote makes hangout time better.
A remote is a great gift tweens will actually want to own.
Tween boys definitely bond over playing video games together. I find having more than one or two Xbox remotes is a major bonus for the kids to have access to in their hangout time so more of them can play at once.
4. Gaming Chair or Bean Bag
Many tween boys love to do gaming. To play games, they need something to sit on that is comfortable. Middle school is stressful and they need some downtime at home and at least for my boys, gaming is one way they unwind and relax after a long day of school.
They also love to watch movies and tv so having a comfortable seat is important.
I’m SO excited this CordaRoy’s Bean Bag chair is arriving at my house on Monday! I bought it at half price in a Black Friday sale.
My boys fight over a chair in our living room when they play video games. It’s so silly because it’s an old computer chair that is broken. The seat isn’t even attached anymore so it falls off all the time, yet my boys fight over it because it’s from my oldest son’s room. Their fighting drives me crazy!
I’ve found my solution in this bean bag chair because they are all getting it for Christmas so it will be all of theirs. I hope they don’t see this, but as far as Ican tell, they don’t read my blog. So you have to keep my secret;)
I love this bean bag also because the bonus is it can turn into a bed for sleepovers. We have so many sleepovers at my house so this is the absolutely perfect gift for my boys this year. I can’t wait to give it to them!!
Now I just need to figure out how I will hide it until Christmas!!
Our bean bag arrived and my fears about where I was going to hide it until Christmas were completely erased because it came in a small box (so it is highly compressed). I was overjoyed because now I can easily hide it and the kids won’t guess what it is when it’s wrapped:)
5. Cologne or Body Sprays
Ah, the all-important cologne! Cologne starts to become important to tween boys.
Some tweens will be totally into starting to wear cologne, yet some will want nothing to do with it yet. They do start to have more body odor (and stink) after sports practices. They may be starting to like girls and want to impress them so cologne starts to appear on their radar.
I’ve found body sprays are also a nice alternative and they are cheaper than cologne. If you are looking for something cheaper, body sprays are a great introduction to cologne for tweens. Nautica makes a great body spray too that my son loves.
Make sure you educate them on how much to use so they don’t saturate themselves and you can smell them downstairs while they are still getting ready upstairs!
Here are some I’ve bought from my own household that are under $25.oo.
I tell my boys that loose money falls out of pockets easier. If the money is secure in a wallet, it will be safer and less likely to be accidentally lost.
Plus as a bonus, my son always says he feels more like an adult when he uses his wallet to house his money in when out and about. If having a wallet makes his feel more responsible, I’m all for that.
They can also add fun things to their wallets like pictures of friends.
A simple cheap wallet is all they need. I found this one for under $8.00.
My son just bought a laptop with his own money he had saved up. It doesn’t have a lot of storage, but it will serve his purpose for school and some online games. It was very reasonably priced and he absolutely loves having his own.
Flash drives can be used to expand the storage if more is needed for games.
I’m so overjoyed he bought it because now when he has to type up something for school, he doesn’t have to use my computer–which was always hard to schedule because I’m always on my computer with writing and managing this blog:)
My son bought this one for around $216.oo.
8. Movie Theater tickets or gift card to a Movie Theater
Tweens love to go to movies with friends. They are getting to the point where they are old enough to be dropped off to go with friends to a movie. This gives them a bit of independence. It can be hard as parents to feel we are ready to start allowing this independence to happen, but they do love to do it.
If they have a gift card, they can go anytime and they don’t need to ask their parents for money. This makes theater gift cards or tickets a great tween boy gift idea.
9. Under Armor Sweatshirts
Under Armor sweatshirts are very popular with tween boys.
Many tweens refuse to wear winter jackets (even in a snowy winter climate like where we live) and they opt to wear sweatshirts with a winter hat instead. Under Armor sweatshirts are a gift of clothing they actually want. I often try to have a couple of these for each kid so they have a few colors to choose from plus extras in case they lose a sweatshirt.
Professional sports team sweatshirts are also a hit with tween boys.
10. School Spirit clothing, hats, gloves, jackets, bags
Kids love to wear their school spirit clothing. Most schools sell spiritwear in either online stores or at events. Anything with the school logo is good whether it be clothing, hats, gloves, jackets, water bottles, or bags. This is a gift they will want even though it is practical and not a toy.
11. Favorite Team Sports Jersey or Other Clothing
Many tween boys love to watch professional sports, and even if they don’t, I bet they still have a favorite team. Buying a tween a jersey from their favorite team will surely be a hit for them. Any clothing with the professional sports team on it will be a hit. Unless the tween hates sports, they will love this type of gift.
12. Xbox Games
Tweens love Xbox games and there are so many games out there that you could find one to match the interests of any tween. This is a great way for them to unwind and have fun playing with friends.
Here are two we like at our house:
13. Long colored socks for sports
Boys wear long socks for many sports including basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, and baseball. Some boys like to wear them even when they aren’t playing a sport. They are also great for boys who like to ice fish, hunt, ski, snowboard, or do outdoor activities in the cold.
Many schools also sell school spiritwear socks.
14. Slip-on shoes
Slip-on shoes are great for sports. Kids can wear the slip on shoes and then they can change into the sports shoes once they arrive at the destination where they will play the game. This is important especially for basketball where coaches urge kids to put shoes on once they reach the gym to prevent dirt and wetness from being added to the gym floor from shoes that were worn outside.
Slip-on shoes are also great for summer, swimming, and anytime they are heading outside where running isn’t involved. We have the slip-on shoes below and we are happy with them.
15. Sports Equipment
Any kind of sports equipment, whatever sport your tween is interested in. Faves at our house include:
- football or baseball gloves
- basketball or basketball shoes
- football, goals posts, and tee
- lacrosse pads or stick
- hockey skates
- baseball shoes, baseballs, glove
- eye black
- bag for sports equipment (personalize it with school name or first name embroidered onto bag)
My oldest son even still uses these goal posts so if you have a football loving kid, these are what to get him. They are also great for improving kicking aim accuracy.
My son loves also loves these products.
16. Gym bag
If your family belongs to a gym and your tween goes to workout, buy them their own gym bag.
17. Fluffy new pillow
Pillows get flat and worn out so a new pillow is always a great option any tween would love. I’ve wanted to try the My Pillow for some time now, but haven’t yet, this product is on my wishlist to buy. I hear many good things about this pillow. Even purchasing a new pillow of any caliber would add comfort to your tween’s bed.
18. New Comforter for His Bed
Maybe a new comforter is in need for your tween. Perhaps the design it too young for him or it’s just worn out. This is always a good option too if your tween is just looking for a change of room design.
19. Back pillow
I probably should have listed this first! This pillow is so worth buying because tweens can use it in their beds to read, do homework, play on electronics, or talk on the phone. Everyone teases kids today about how they all text and don’t talk, but mine do talk on the phone to friends too. Conversation is not dead!!
This pillow is also great for pulling out into the living room to watch movies or tv.
My boys love their back pillows and they use them all the time. This is my favorite too!
20. Fleece Throw Blanket
This is an easy no-brainer because anyone can use an extra fleece throw blanket. There are so many styles and prints including sports teams to choose from on the market.
21. iPod or Portable MP3/MP4 Player
Many tweens start getting into music so these are a great choice, plus they are cheaper than phones because there is no monthly plan to pay for.
Kids love playing on devices so an iPad is a present they would love. Owning an iPad is also beneficial for learning games or doing research for homework on. We have an iPad 3 at my house.
Oh boy, do we go through the earbuds! My boys use them every day and they aren’t always gentle with them. After a while they just get too twisted or stop working so we are always needing new ones. Giving a pair of earbuds to your tween is a great idea because when they wear out they will already have a backup pair. I like to because they are easier to pay for when replacing.
Many tweens would be very happy with getting a good quality pair of headphones. There is such a range in prices available on the market that a parent could spend a little or a lot depending on their budget.
We have these:
Tweens do like to get money, but as I mentioned above, don’t get them only money or they will be disappointed they have nothing to open or use right away.
26. Water Bottle with straw for football, with a spout for other sports
Another thing we go through a lot of at my house is water bottles. My kids lose them or they get cracks or begin to leak and we need to get a new one. My boys like the water bottle with the long straw for football, or the kind where they can squirt water into their mouth.
We have found a wide base water bottle with a spout works well for baseball. This is because bottles that tip easily fall in the sand of the dugout and the water bottle or spout can become dirty. If the water bottle has a stable wide base it is less likely to tip and get all dirty.
Or we love this one too because it is very heavy duty and keeps water cold which is super important for days of sports team practice in the extreme heat.
Tweens are getting into music and many download songs so buying them music or a gift card for music is a good idea they will enjoy.
28. iPhone or Smartphone
I think giving a child a phone is a great idea for a gift because the child wants it and as a parent, I want them to have a phone too.
As a parent, I find giving a child a phone in middle school is important. I know there are parents on both sides of this opinion, but I need a way to communicate with my child for changes in after-school sports schedules and when they are at a friend’s house. I want to be able to text them to give them a message when I need too and I want my kids to have a phone for emergencies.
I also like my boys having phones because I can send them a message to cheer them up or wish them good luck on a test. It’s the modern-day version of putting a note in their lunchbox. At this point, I can’t even do that for my tween because he takes hot lunch every day so a phone has become a communication tool between myself and my kids.
Tweens love to relax in comfort. A new bathrobe is a perfect addition for them to enjoy and pamper themselves for self-care.
30. Rip Stick
A rip stick is a popular choice for tweens. Many kids love to rip stick so this continues to be a good gift into the tween years. My boys started to rip stick in elementary school and they continue to enjoy zipping around our street in their leisure time. It’s also great exercise and a way for them to get off playing their screens for a while.
We have several of these at our house:)
31. Trick Scooter
My tween loves to use his trick scooter at local skate parks. He can spend hours doing his rip stick at the park. This is a toy but it is also great exercise.
My son has this one and he loves it.
We have experience with this one too.
Fuzion X-3 Pro Scooter Blue Aluminum
Many tweens like to bike to a nearby friends house or bike up to the gas station with a buddy to buy a treat. A good bike is a perfect gift for a tween. This gift could be elaborated on with buying a new helmet, a light, a water bottle holder, or a phone holder for the bike.
33. Ski Equipment
Skiing is expensive, but it’s a great lifelong sport so learning it at a young age is a great life investment. My family loves to ski and we all have equipment, however, it is all used equipment. Even though it is used, it works just great. This is one sport you don’t have to own new equipment to enjoy. Swap meets or Craiglist or garage sales are great places to find used ski equipment.
Many middle schools also offer ski club for tweens in my part of the country. This is a great winter past-time tweens can enjoy with their friends.
34. Snowboard Equipment
Snowboarding has become a very popular sport. Many tweens and older kids find they love to snowboard. Just as I mentioned above for skiing, I suggest used equipment to make this more affordable.
35. Tickets to a professional sports game or play
Buy tickets to a professional sports game. I love the idea of giving an experience to a tween for Christmas rather than an item. Many tweens would love to attend a professional sports game. Many online sites offer discounted tickets. I have purchased some through Groupon.
If your tween loves drama, perhaps they would enjoy tickets to a play or stage production of some sort (like a concert).
36. Amazon Gift Card or other gift cards
Gift cards are nice because the tween can go shopping. Tweens love gift cards.
37. Hair gel or paste
Tweens start to want to style their hair. Buy them a nice quality hair gel or paste, perhaps one that you wouldn’t normally buy because it’s too expensive for everyday use.
38. Game table
We have a game table at our house with four games in it. The games can be switched by flipping the top or adding in a board. This is a great past-time for tweens and our table gets used the most when my boys have friends over.
39. Dart Board
A home dartboard is great for leisure time when friends are over, or it can be played alone by the tween as a downtime stress reliever.
We have had three different types of drones at our house and they have brought my tween much entertainment and joy. These electronic toys are meant for older kids because they are hard to fly so a lot of hand control is needed. They are also very fragile so the person flying the drone needs to be careful with flying it so it doesn’t crash and get damaged.
We have 2 different WonderTech drones at home.
Tweens with a phone always have a clock, unless their phone runs out of power. A watch can fix that problem so they always know what time it is to stay on schedule. Many tweens like to wear a watch also because it makes them feel more like an adult.
42. Fit Bit
Getting a fit bit for a tween is a great idea because it promotes healthy habits and exercise. Plus, tweens love electronics so this is a great investment for a tween gift.
Slippers are a classic comfort item that any tween would love. Slippers get worn out so having an extra pair is never a bad idea. Isotoner is my favorite for slippers.
44. Craft Supplies For the creative tween
My tween loves to create and make things. He loves to draw and make gadgets and slime/putty. He loves to use his own toolset to make things. The toolset he owns he bought with his own money because he wanted to have his own set. My husband loves it because now my son leaves his tools alone (for the most part;).
- drawing pad
- copic markers
- slime/putty ingredients
- colored or patterned duct tape
- rubber bands
- craft wire
- pipe cleaners
- small tool set
- how-to books
- post-it notes to make little cartoon flip books
- packaging tape, masking tape, or scotch tape
- hot glue gun
My son loves these copic markers. The markers are really a great product. They are spendy so I often wait for them to go on sale or buy when I have a coupon.
DIY Craft Gifts
Try making your own custom-made DIY craft kit as I did for my younger two sons: DIY Craft Bin for Boys
As a bonus, here are some fun slime recipes from some of my awesome blogger friends:)
45. Religious Themed Gifts For Christians
- Buy your Tween his own Bible, one that is geared towards children.
- cross necklace
46. Crazy Aaron Putty
My tween loves the Crazy Aaron Putty. There are so many different and awesome types. The putty brings hours of entertainment for my son. He loves to stretch it and make things with it.
Here are a few of the Crazy Aaron Putty types my son loves. We have lots of this stuff, a definite favorite at our house.
47. Snorkel Gear
Snorkel gear is great for swimming or for when your family goes on vacation to the beach. Owning their own snorkel gear is something tweens would love. We love U.S. Divers and have several models at our house including this one. A perfect gift for use in pools, lakes, and the ocean.
This is an obvious one, but there are so many books out on the market that a person could find something to fit any child’s tastes.
Tweens still love to play games. They don’t outgrow this because all people play games throughout their entire lives. However, what does change is the types of games tweens may want to play. Here are some types of games my tween/teen enjoy.
Some of the favorites at our house include the following games: apples to apples, jenga, uno, trouble, go fish, old maid, and cribbage.
The Junior edition is great for when younger kids are playing. We tend to play our junior edition way more often than the other edition.
50. Lawn Games
My boys love to play lawn games. Some of our favorite games to play outside include corn hole, lawn darts, bocce ball, ladder toss, lawn bowling, and giant wooden toppling tower made of wood blocks. We don’t own all of these, but my boys have played them either at home, a friend’s house, or on vacation. These are great options to get those tweens off their electronics and doing something else.
We own a trampoline and it’s a great investment for entertainment and exercise for tweens. The one we own is this:
Using rollerblades is great exercise and it’s fun. Rollerblading is also a lifetime activity so it’s great to get tweens started on this leisure sport.
Tweens like to skateboard at home or skate parks. This is great exercise and an activity they can do with friends.
54. Digital Camera
Giving a tween their own inexpensive digital camera is a great idea because they can have fun taking pictures and begin to learn about the fun hobby of photography.
55. Flash Drive
Tweens will like having a flash drive to store photos or games on.
Movies are a great gift for tweens. Many tweens enjoy watching movies alone or with friends.
57. Water skis
Water skis are something my boys want, so they are on my list of things to get at some point. Waterskiing is a great sport for tweens. They are old enough to learn how to water ski and enjoy it.
58. A pet guinea pig
We have two pet guinea pigs at our house. Guinea pigs make great pets for kids. I admit I like the little guys too:)
They are social little guys who love to snuggle and they really recognize us. They can come out and hang out with the family or go in their cages. There is work to caring for them, just like with any pet, but they are great companions for kids. Being a guinea pig owner teaches kids responsibility and compassion. Read my post about 10 Tricks to Get Your Guinea Pig out of His cage more and interacting with your family.
Check your local pet store for prices, but to give you an idea when we purchased our guinea pig and his cage, it cost us around $100.00. We purchased a smaller cage because we knew we would be taking him out a lot. The guinea pig was $38 and the remainder of the cost was for the cage and supplies. Remember you will need to keep buying litter, hay, food, and fruits/vegetables on an ongoing basis.
Taking care of the guinea pigs is work, but they are worth it. The more you hold the guinea pig when they are young, the more social they will become.
59. A subscription to Xbox Live
My boys have so much fun with the Xbox Live account because they can play games with friends online from their own homes. It’s a great way for tweens to connect with friends and even cousins. At my house, this is used on a daily basis and I love it that they can talk and converse with friends as if they were in the same room together playing.
60. A Netflix Subscription
A Netflix subscription is another subscription my whole family really enjoys using. My boys love the wide variety of movies and shows available. My husband and I enjoy this service too so it benefits our whole family for entertainment. It is much cheaper than going to the movies or renting them.
61. A Bluetooth Speaker
We have this one at my house. Amazon offers many fun emoji speakers. Tweens like emojis. My tween loves emojis and he will text many of them to me just for fun. I actually enjoy this speaker. My son has been putting Christmas music from his iPad onto this speaker for me and he delivers it to me wherever I am in the house which is so sweet! He knows I love Christmas music:)
62. Nerf Guns
Tweens are still into Nerf guns so this is a great option. Tween boys like to have Nerf gun wars with their friends. We have these plus many more at my house with having three boys:)
My tween son bought this toolkit with his own money last spring. It’s a great little toolkit to get him started on using tools. He uses it all the time because he likes to make things.
There are so many uses for a flashlight from playing with them in the dark to camping/hiking to using them for practical reasons like looking for something. This is a grownup gift they will like and keep for many years to come.
We have these little LED flashlights at my house. I love how compact they are and how they give off big light. I even like them and keep one in my purse for emergencies.
25 Ideas For Small Gifts For the Stocking:
- earbuds (my boys are always breaking or losing earbuds, so extras are good!)
- charger for phone or iPad
- selfie stick
- beef jerky
- candy or mints
- flavored chapstick: fun flavors like cake batter, peppermint, pumpkin pie, or fruit are fun flavors for tween boys
- money or a gift card to Dairy Queen, local fast food restaurant, pizza, itunes
- portable phone or iPad charger
- golf balls
- lacrosse balls
- baseball gloves
- flavored sunflower seeds
- deck of cards
- werewolf game Werewolves of Millers Hollow
- cribbage board
- fishing tackle
- mini drawing pad
- cologne works greats for stockings too
- Professional sports team socks or school spirit socks
- men’s hair products: hairspray, gel, paste
- men’s lotion
- fishing tackle
I sincerely hope my list gives you some ideas for what to buy your tween this year for Christmas. Holiday time is the best time of the year, I have so much fun with it with my family. It isn’t about the gifts, it’s about making memories, but I also enjoy giving my children gifts.
Related tween/teen posts: Gifts for a Younger Teen Boy
Take care, and Merry Christmas:)
Copyright © 2017 Julie Hoag writer. All Rights Reserved.
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