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This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

If you're buying a gift for a kid in the tween zone (between the ages of 9 and 12), you already know how difficult it can be. They're not little anymore and they're not teens yet, but their tastes have matured. But they all have something in common: Tweens are definitely still into holiday gifts. Our research of the top products for this age group has yielded this all-purpose gift guide, which is perfect for the holiday season and beyond. 

The latest toys and products coveted by tweens are here, from a light-up hoverboard to affordable AirPods, plus creative offerings. Whether your preteen is into gaming, cooking, hanging out with friends or simply relaxing, you'll find a great gift here to suit their interests. And what gift guide would be complete without a Nintendo Switch? Read on to discover our suggestions and win some major cool points with your tween.  

Target

Ride up to 10 mph on all-terrain tires with the all-electric Jetson Sync. Tweens are just skilled enough to ride a hoverboard, and still young enough to love it, making it a perfect gift for this age. We love the Sync model because the wheels and deck light up and your tween can sync their music with the integrated Bluetooth speaker.

Urban Outfitters

Tweens are crazy about boba tea, and your preteen will love cozying up with this cute vibrating pillow. Not only does it vibrate, but it will massage their back while they read a book or binge-watch the latest show their friends can't stop talking about.

Amazon

What better way to take selfies and fun pics with friends than with an Instax? It's easy to throw into a large pocket or backpack so you can document your daily life. And there's something great about immediately getting a physical photo to hold onto as soon as you take the pic.

Urban Outfitters

Once your tween starts snapping pics with their Instax, they'll need a way to display all their pics of their BFFs. These dreamy fairy string lights have clips that are perfect for showing off their snaps, and they add a magical feel to any room. Your tween will love their new sparkling retreat.

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

You can now preorder Apple's new, third-gen AirPods (also known as AirPods 3) for $179, but if you want a lower-cost option, Apple recently cut the price of its AirPods 2 down to $129, and that price is expected to drop even further soon. Both versions are great for listening to music, tuning into TikTok and more.

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 review.

 

Amazon

Zuru's dart shooter is a perfect blaster for tweens. Best for ages 8 and up, the X-Shot Excel Crusher includes a 25-dart capacity belt and can launch those darts up to 90 feet. It can even shoot up to four darts at once, which you know your tween will love. Bonus: You don't have to worry about injuries with foam darts.

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!

I've saved the big one for last: If your kid doesn't have a Nintendo Switch, you can't go wrong with this gaming system. It's a splurge, but the gaming system provides hours and hours of fun with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Mario Odyssey. Check out more great game suggestions here. It's fun for adults, too.

While it's hard to get your hands on a Switch OLED right now, your best bet is currently Best Buy, which has been periodically restocking its inventory. A lot of locations have the console available for in-store pickup, too.

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