Gift Suggestions for 10- to 12-Year-Olds

These pre-teens have a foot in both camps – they are still kids but are running up the hill to adulthood. If you ask them what they’d like as a gift, you might get the list of electronic devices, and yet, they still like to play “offline” sometimes. Yes, the Barbie dolls and the train sets may be gathering dust, but happily for parents who aren’t ready for their kids to be grown-up just yet, childhood isn’t over!

At Home

  • Board Games: Monopoly, Scrabble, Nine Men’s Morris/Mill (Mühle), Quadrillion.
  • Cards: Cheating Moth is a favourite at our house (translated as: Mogel Motte / La Tarma Imbrogliona / Mito). Uno: enjoyed since the children were younger and still a favourite.
  • Bedroom: Something special for their room such as a beanbag, handmade or photo-printed cushion, framed photograph/picture.
  • Magic set


  • Sporting equipment: snorkelling gear, tennis racquet, golf clubs, volleyball net and ball, basketball hoop, hockey stick, roller blades, ice-skates, badminton set, fishing rod, snowshoes, cricket set, inflatable boat, baseball bat.
  • Vouchers: Horseriding, go-karts, tenpin bowling, adventure park (Alpamare, Europa Park, climbing park, etc).
  • Tickets to watch a sporting match or event.


  • Tickets to a: film, concert, ballet/dance performance, play, museum.
  • Musical instruments.


  • Click here to see our fiction booklist.
  • Non-fiction books: Guinness Book of World Records, books with crazy or unusual facts, joke, animal, science, magic, sport, maths, puzzle.

Nature & Science

  • Experiment sets: there are a diverse range such as chemistry, solar power, electronics and more.
  • An insect house (Insektenhotel/Insektenhaus) for outdoors. Some of these can be self-assembled. Other names for them are bee hotel (Bienenhotel) and butterfly house (Schmetterlinghotel).
  • Lego Technic and robotics: Either your child has grown out of Lego or not! There are advanced Lego sets for 10 – 12 year-olds and beyond.


  • Sewing machine and sewing lessons
  • Tool set
  • Craft sets: knitting, crocheting, jewellery
  • Baking set
  • Diary
  • Camera


  • Personalised t.shirt with a self-created design or a favourite photo such as the family pet printed onto the t.shirt
  • Handknitted beanie, scarf or something else handmade with love


Guinea pigs, bird, cat, dog, hamster, etc….a pet will often be a popular gift but it should not be a surprise gift. A child must know about it and be educated as to the pet’s needs and committed to assisting in the care of the pet. Parents need to be aware of the potentially expensive veterinary costs including sterilisation and annual vaccinations, compulsory training course and registration for dogs, food, bedding, holiday boarding fees and other expenses. Be aware that dogs and cats can live 15 to 20 years. Your 10-year-old may be attending university and living far away in eight years time but the dog could still be with you and then for another eight plus years after that. The dog or cat might live with you longer than your child does!

Experiential Gift

Build memories with the gift of a special experience: overnight camping trip, a cycling adventure, a hike perhaps combined with an overnight stay in a hut, a fishing weekend, etc. This present is great for those children who have everything, and a useful gift idea for aunts, uncles and godparents to give to kids.

By Andrea Snashall

Andrea has two tween-aged kids and is always on the lookout for different gift ideas for them.

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