Preteens can be a difficult crowd to please. They are not young elementary school students learning their ABCs, but they are also not yet teenagers. Some could say they are on a bridge between innocence and teen angst. Giving a gift to someone who is walking both lines can be extremely difficult, never mind following their trends and technology that is always changing. We compiled a list of 20 cool gifts and toys for 11-year-olds, both boys and girls, to help you shop for your lovable youth.
Gifts for the Outdoors
1. Starlux Games Capture the Flag REDUX: The Original Glow-in-The-Dark Outdoor Game
The fun no longer has to end when it gets dark outside. This glow-in-the-dark version of capture the flag is a great game for the whole family. Can you make it back to your territory without getting tagged?
Whether you live two minutes from the beach or two hours, your preteen will love this bodyboard. Why bodysurf and get sand down your suit, when you can surf the waves to shore on a colorful, heat-sealed board.
3. Swurfer Sway Classic Swing
Swinging is still one of the best ways to spend time outside as a kid. Sway your weight back and forth like a surfing pro to move this stand-up swing back and forth in any direction. There are even adjustable handles to accommodate growing kids. The glowing reviews only prove that this item had to be in this compilation of 20 cool gifts and toys for 11-year-olds.
4. Razor RipStik Ripster
Test your sense of balance with this cross between a skateboard and surfboard. The RipStik allows the rider to carve and swivel the board on the pavement. Kids have a blast riding down sidewalks with the RipStik Ripster.
5. Kan Jam
Classic Frisbee with a twist has become a fun game for just about everywhere from the beach to parks and your backyard. Kids will be excited to team up and compete in the sun.
6. Chromebook Spin 11
This classic Chromebook can spin and twist into a tablet and two other new positions. It is easy to use for students remote or in-person in class with 10 hours of battery life. This lightweight computer has an 11.6 in. screen and 4GB for storage.
7. Skullcandy Sesh Evo True Wireless In-Ear Earbud
Skullcandy offers affordable wireless earbuds that come in fun colors. You can feel good about gifting these wireless earbuds to your child because they can be found with Tile™ as well as sweat and water-resistant. When they are fully charged the earbuds last for hours, but also have a rapid charge feature.
8. Kano Harry Potter Coding Kit
Has your child ever wished they could cast spells as a wizard at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry? Kano has created a motion-activated wand that can be coded to perform spells. The step-by-step app will teach your child over 70 codes that are linked to activities. A tablet/ computer is not included.
9. Nintendo Switch
Does your child like Super Mario Bros, Minecraft, Pokémon, Just Dance, or Animal Crossing? The Nintendo Switch is a gaming console that you can play all of these and more at home on your tv, or take the tablet with you on the go. The battery lasts from 4.5-9 hours and Nintendo offers a parental controls mobile app to set restrictions.
10. Zing Go-Go Bird
Birds are such unique creatures in the sense that they were born with the ability to fly, unlike humans. The Zing Go-Go Bird is a remote control toy that flies like a bird. It can fly up to 200 ft away and was made with lightweight, environmentally friendly material. With 7 LED colored light options this toy is bound to excite any child.
11. National Geographic’s Super Slime Kit & Putty Lab
What kid doesn’t love slime or putty? These unique substances have different properties that allow one to ooze, while the other can be molded and shaped. This gift allows kids to make their slime as well as play with the premade fluffy slime, glow-in-the-dark putty, and sparkly putty. On top of all of that, a book is included that describes the science behind the crazy mixtures.
12. Urban Kangaroo DIY Lip Balm Kit
Become a chemist and customize your lip balms. All the ingredients are included in this fun and easy kit. Enjoy creating 10 lip balms and then decorate the cases with a variety of stickers.
13. University Games Rubik’s Race Game
Race a friend to recreate the given pattern with your board. This stimulating game moves fast-paced with competitive souls. Can you match the puzzle first and pull down the frame to claim victory?
14. Snap Circuits Jr. Electronics Exploration Kit
This safe building toy allows your child to assemble electric circuits with the thirties pieces that come with it. They can create a hundred different circuits that power a flashlight, a photosensor, or a siren.
15. Make Your Own Bubble Tea Kit
Tea is a classic drink that has been a part of our culture for ages. Try this homemade bubble tea crafted by Katie and Dustin Watts. Two tea flavors, tapioca pearls, and two reusable metal straws are included for happy sipping.
Arts and Crafts
A ukulele is a perfect gift for a kid that has taken an interest in singing and music! The kit comes with everything a budding musician may need including picks, a digital tuner, a spare string, and a step-by-step songbook. Ukuleles are just the right size for a preteen’s smaller hands, unlike a full-sized guitar which can be more challenging to play. There is a variety of traditional colored ukuleles, but also bright blue or pink for a more personalized touch. Online instructional videos and YouTube tutorials can turn anyone into a pro with little time and practice.
17. Deluxe Drawing Kit
Adult coloring booking became popular a little bit ago for a reason. Nothing can match the calming sensation of working on an art project. This kit provides pastels, pencils, and paint to create any masterpiece desired.
18. Karaoke System with LED Disco Lights
Karaoke nights are such a fun activity to liven up any party or sleepover. The disco light will get people dancing along to the beat of the song. Two microphones are included to recreate epic duets like Aladdin’s “A Whole New World”, “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, and of course “Love is an Open Door” from Frozen.
19. Fairy Lights
As your child tries to find their individuality, let them string color-changing fairy lights to adjust the mood of their room to their liking. With a battery pack to power the lights they are safe for kids to operate on their own. Remote control to turn on, off, and change the color of the lights is also included.
20. Bedside Lamp With Bluetooth Speaker
Room renovations are inevitable. Your baby might not want sheep and stars on their walls anymore as they are moving towards middle school. One way to spice up your child’s room is to add a color-changing lamp with a built-in Bluetooth speaker. The light is touch-activated and has different modes and colors to go from a normal room light to a fun night light. The speaker is Bluetooth so it can be paired to a phone, iPod, or tablet to play music.
Kids at this age are slowly becoming a little more independent and they aren’t interested in the same trucks and toys they once were. There are so many cool gift options out in the market for 11-year-olds today, from outdoor games and STEM projects to music and crafts. While it can sometimes feel like these kids are extremely difficult to shop for and overwhelming, hopefully, this list is a good starting place. Whether you find a gift that plays into a hobby of theirs or just a fun new activity, your child will appreciate the gift because it came from you!
Written by Miranda Balbino