Reader Question: Gift Ideas for a 13-Year-Old Girl

Hi Swistle, I’m hoping you and/or your readers can help. My daughter turns 13 this month and I am at a TOTAL loss as to what to get her.

This is a hard age I feel like. My mom wanted to get her an iPhone and I told her NO. I’m trying to hold out as long as possible, because once you cross that line, there is no going back. Besides, Sophie is not really home alone (I pick her up from school every day and continue my work day at home), and she literally only has one friend and so…it’d be pointless. Not to mention that we have – let me count – SEVEN digital devices already in the home for TWO people.

Sophie doesn’t like to travel. Or Shop. Or do scary things. Or do adventurous things. Or have any desire to get her ears pierced. Or her nails done. We just moved in here in May, so she just redid her room. She’s not really into American Girl Dolls anymore; she doesn’t really play. I’m at a complete and total loss, and so is she as far as giving ideas. HELP??!!?

Let me know,

Much appreciation,

Farrell

 

I love cool coincidences, and this email came in THE DAY AFTER I CHOSE A GIFT FOR A 13-YEAR-OLD GIRL. Also, I’ve been working on ideas for Christmas, because the three eldest kids are getting really hard to buy for, and one of those eldest kids is a girl of approximately this age. So I would love to collect some ideas.

Here is what I bought for someone else’s 13-year-old girl, on the advice of her friend Elizabeth:

(image from Amazon.com)

An OPI mini nailpolishes set. It was not a Hello Kitty one, but similar, with six different colors. I found it at Marshalls for $6 on a post-Christmas clearance last year and bought two, one for Elizabeth and one to set aside for a future birthday party she might attend, and finally the birthday party presented itself. This might not work for Sophie, since she’s not into having her nails done, but I list it anyway in case it might help with someone else’s 13-year-old girl.

 

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Paint-by-Sticker book. I am a little concerned about giving a potentially frustrating craft to someone entering the peak door-slamming years, but on the other hand it will happen at someone else’s house, so. Also, the easier ones are marked “for kids!,” which I suspect would be displeasing to a 13-year-old. I do recommend having someone TELL the 13-year-old girl that there are grown adult women who found the craft so hard they wanted to cry, because that seems to set expectations at the right level.

 

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Would she like Thinking Putty? There are a ton of kinds to choose from: iridescent, heat-sensitive, magnetic, metallic. But I recommend this only for a Very Careful child. One of my children got some into one of his dresser drawers and onto one of the recliners, and this stuff is TERRIBLE with fabric.

 

Duct tape crafts are still pretty popular at my kids’ middle school. Can anyone recommend a particular book of duct tape crafts that their child used/liked? If so, I can add a link here later.

 

(image from Amazon.com)

Does she like puzzles? Elizabeth has this Ravensburger Happy Animal Buddies one. For her, it’s difficult enough that she needs to work on it with a grown-up or else she gets discouraged—but puzzles are one of the things I like to do with her, so that’s okay. If she wants to do one on her own, she does a 100-piece one; I looked for the ones we have and like, but I’m not seeing them. We have a bunch of Crocodile Creek 100-piece puzzles, but I’m not seeing many of those at all; it looks like they’ve switched mostly to smaller numbers of pieces. Ravensburger is a brand we liked, and Mudpuppy, and Springbok. If I were buying her one now, I’d get her this Mudpuppy Forest Friends one.

 

Here are a few of the things I’m considering getting for Elizabeth for Christmas:

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Clip-in colored hair streaks. She keeps mentioning wanting a colored streak in her hair, but she’s indecisive, and the last time we had color put in her hair (teal ends) they washed out so quickly. This seems like a fun way to avoid those issues.

 

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Pusheen plush. I think I’ve mentioned this one before. We still haven’t bought it for her, because it is my feeling that we have already reached Maximum Stuffed Animal.

 

(image from Amazon.com)

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Nerf Rebelle gun and darts. Elizabeth and I are of one mind on this issue: (1) We are offended by this marketing. Oh, we’re girls so we have to be appealed to with PASTELS and PRETTY PATTERNS? We’re girls so “rebel” has to be spelled “rebelle,” because a word always means boys by default, and has to be changed if it’s going to refer to girls instead?? (2) Sheepishly, we both suddenly want this Nerf gun and these Nerf darts. (It is the same for me with “women’s” tool kits.)

I have mixed feelings about toy guns to begin with, but Henry is SO KEEN on them that I made some decisions I would completely understand if you came down on the other side of. I don’t think Elizabeth wants this toy enough for me to make that same decision—but on the other hand, I don’t like the idea of being like “yes for boys, no for girls,” even though that’s NOT what I’m saying. Also, I want an excuse to buy the pretty darts. Also, I already floated the idea with Henry and he’s very keen to help me choose WHICH of the Rebelle guns I should buy, and he has many opinions about what makes each one good/bad and knows all about which non-Rebelle Nerf gun each Rebelle Nerf gun is based on, and it appeals to me to call in his expertise on this. I don’t know. We’ll see when we get closer to Christmas.

 

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Tiny Hats on Cats book. This I purchased within 30 seconds of learning of its existence. Then I told Paul NOT to get it from the library if he sees it there. Every year, EVERY year, I buy a new and interesting book for each child; and every year, EVERY year, Paul sees one or more of those books at the library in the week or two before Christmas and brings it home.

 

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Rad Women Worldwide. This isn’t something she added to her wish list, but it’s something I’d like her to have.

 

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More nail polishes. We both like the OPI brand, and I can find them for about $4 each at Marshalls and TJMaxx, so I’m planning to buy some and put them aside. My favorite would be to buy her Christmas-y ones—but then she receives them too late to use them that year.

 

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Footless sleeper. She is 5’4″ and getting perilously close to being too tall for these, but still fits into the biggest size.

 

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I’ve been thinking about a coloring book; she still has and uses these glitter pens (she has a set of warm and a set of cool). I’m not sure about this book in particular, but it’s the sort of thing I’m looking for; I’d love to get more recommendations. I’m also looking for recommendations for coloring implements. I use colored pencils but I’ve heard about…is it gel pens? Is that what people use for coloring books? If so, I’d like to get her a nice big set of those. The glitter pens are really fun but there are only ten colors, and they’re all glittery. I’ll come back and add some links here if some favorites emerge in the comments.

 

We’re also considering getting older-model Android phones for both twins. Paul handles this completely so I have no link. It’s gotten to the point where them NOT having phones is causing ME inconvenience and stress (they both do assorted after-school activities, and Elizabeth recently went to a sleepover and then I had a concern that could have been alleviated by a text but was not worth a phone call to the other girl’s mother), which was our deciding factor when considering phones for the older boys. So we could relieve a fair amount of our Christmas stress by getting them each one of those plus a Google Play card to buy apps and app-related merchandise.

The problem would be that we’ve set up a precedent for A Big 13-Year-Old Birthday Gift, and if we give them phones for Christmas we need to come up with something else for the birthdays. So maybe we should just hang on awhile longer.

********

That’s what I’ve got so far. She might want another outfit for her cat, but she hasn’t put any clothes on him in ages so that might be over. I am hoping some of you with children this age can give us more ideas.

Edited to add: People in the comments section are talking about what they wanted/got at that age, and that is such a fun idea. When I was around 13, I got a desk blotter set I really, really wanted (pink, with multicolored hearts, and pink paper, and a pink pen holder that held a pink pen); a pink backrest; pink Reebok sneakers; a pink electric blanket (what, do you think, was Young Swistle’s favorite color?); a boom box (BOOM BOX) that had TWO cassette players (CASSETTES) so you could record from one cassette to the other (MIX TAPES); a little starter make-up set geared toward adolescent girls; a jewelry box; a music box; a purse; pretty stationery; a 110 camera; Bloom County stuff (calendar, books, Opus plushes).

Big hits were ANYTHING chosen by my aunt, because she had a daughter four years older than me, so she gave me things that thrilled my early-teen soul: perfume, a thin gold bracelet, a hot-turquoise button-down shirt, a tapestry vest, a plastic double-strand pearl bead necklace—all stuff my older cousin was interested in and that I was a little too young for but recognized immediately as COOL TEENAGER STUFF.

41 thoughts on “Reader Question: Gift Ideas for a 13-Year-Old Girl

  1. Anna

    Hm, my daughter is only three, but I remember being 13. Actually, the Christmas I was 12 I got the best, unsolicited gift from my dad- a CD player/radio (it was 1997. what.) I guess the current equivalent would be a Digital Device of some kid, and since you are full up on those, the idea of an iTunes gift card is fun. It’s fun at that age to have money to spend. Is she crafty? I remember loving those paint a piece of pottery places. I also remember COVETING a set of these Pentel markers, for yearbook signing and note-writing :
    http://www.amazon.com/Pentel-Color-Pen-Assorted-S360-36/dp/B001E6F108
    Not great for coloring books, maybe, but they sure are pretty. I think a large part of the appeal is the folder they come in.

  2. Marilyn Cole

    I have the Rad Women Worldwide book and LOVE it. We also have Rad Women A-Z and it’s great too. Great art, awesome choices on ladies in a wide variety of fields, super fun to just flip through.

  3. Christa

    I still she into crafts at all? I was very crafty and always enjoyed craft kits or supplies. How about an exciting outing? My aunt took me to see the Nutcracker twice when I was young complete with a fancy dinner and I still remember how special it was. Maybe a day to explore a city where she gets to decide what you will do, eat, see all day. I would’ve loved that! How about an art / music/ etc class she might enjoy? Maybe something you can even do together like a paint night, paint your own pottery or a cooking class . I have always loved gift cards even when I didn’t have my own transportation to use it. Favorite coffe shop? Lunch place? Cute boutique? Bookstore! Does she already have a music device with nice headphones? I always loved stationery and office supplies as well.

  4. Liana

    My daughter is 12, almost 13 and I am fretting about Christmas ideas. For her last birthday she had a sudden onset of love for unicorns, so I got her some fuzzy pajama pants from five below (it gets chilly in our house at night), and also a paint it yourself unicorn from Hobby Lobby. She loved both immensely. She is similar in that she doesn’t really like to travel or do anything scary, but she is a huge bookworm. I got her a nice art kit with a book of sketches from hobby lobby and a barns and noble gift card so she could browse and choose books. Both big hits! Also, she is suddenly big on necklaces. She doesn’t wear earrings or bracelets, but has enjoyed a variety of necklaces. That covered her birthday but am following for Christmas ideas!

  5. Mrs Dragon

    I do not have children this age, but I was once a child that age. Things I enjoyed:

    *Necklaces
    *Craft kits that were a little more involved than the “little kid” kits but which had all the instructions and supplies so an adult didn’t then have to schlep me to 10 more stores when I wanted to try it. (I had a tie dye one and some jewelry making ones)
    *Jewelry making in general was fun. I liked all the tiny beads and stringing together a bracelet is something I could finish in one sitting and I could give bracelets to my friends.
    *This wasn’t around when I was a kid but I LOVED lettering and now chalkboard lettering is so popular. I’ve seen books that come with a little practice chalkboard, which would be fun. Maybe with a set of chalkboard labels and some containers (if she likes such things?).
    *Decor for her room? Posters, a bulletin board with cute pushpins, postcards with pretty/meaningful art of them.
    *Cute pencil cases which can be used for lots more than pencils.
    *Gift cards for music or books
    *Tickets to a concert or play or show so she can go and take a friend
    *New bedding if she hasn’t had an update in awhile. This seems to be a prime age for getting something more “grown up”. I remember getting a new comforter around that age and feeling SO GROWNUP. A big reading/floor pillow or a beanbag chair.
    *A bluetooth music player so she can play music off her phone while she studies, or they even have waterproof ones she can use in the shower.

  6. Kara

    If she doesn’t already own the Hamilton soundtrack in some format, that should be gift #1.

    My middle girl will be 13 in November, and is the only non-sporty girl of my bunch- so new cleats, gym bags or leotards aren’t really want she wants.

    My Mom got her a set of Chameleon pens from Amazon, and they’re amazing. Animal onesies are always fun- also from Amazon, and are available in adult sizes. Monthly subscriptions boxes- Ipsy and Birchbox are $10 a month, Target and Walmart are $5, all are a pretty good value for your money and who doesn’t like getting stuff in the mail?

  7. AnnabelleSpeaks

    I have no particular knowledge about 13 year olds, but I have done almost every one of those paint by sticker style books out there, and if you want one that doesn’t say “for kids” on it but is easier than the Paint By Sticker brand you linked, get this one:
    https://smile.amazon.com/Animetrics-Striking-Color-Sticker-Challenge/dp/1438009917/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1508171067&sr=8-10&keywords=paint+by+sticker
    The stickers are meant to not quite touch and the lines between them are colored on the page, so there is less frustration when a piece isn’t perfect, because you can’t tell. This is far and away easier than the paint by sticker brand, looks super cool when done, and doesn’t say “for kids” on it.

  8. chrissy

    My daughter is 13 1/2, and she is begging for Calligraphy supplies for Christmas. She actually researched fountain pens and ink wells and ‘nibs'(?) and sent me links to what she wants. This level of weirdness may not apply to all. I am also thinking about getting her some brush pens and a how-to book for calligraphy (She assures me that YouTube can teach her, but I like books), and perhaps that will open up a rabbit hole of other accessories, such as fancy paper and such. She also asked for a super-soft polka dotted bathrobe that we saw while shopping the other day.

    1. Britni

      TomBow pens are also great for this and sold at Michaels and Walmart! YouTube has lots of tutorials on how to use them.

  9. Jeanne Worthy

    Are you familiar with Johanna Basford’s coloring books? LOVE them! VERY, VERY detailed. She has a Christmas themed one, an ocean one, butterflies, magical jungle, enchanted forest, secret garden, and other products linked to these…calendars, post cards, etc., you can color.

    Here is her website https://www.johannabasford.com/products/

    Thanks for the other hints! Definitely will buy the clip in hair color extensions for two teenage grand daughters (and maybe even my daughter!!)

  10. Kirsty

    My younger daughter turned 13 in April. Her go-to gifts are gift cards (Amazon, a couple of popular clothes stores), but she also loves gadgets of all kinds (like secret agent-y stuff: infra-red glasses, a notebook you can use underwater, walkie-talkies…), circus equipment (diabolos? Not sure that’s their name in English… things for juggling) because she’s in a circus arts school on Wednesday afternoons, headphones, things for her telephone (she is often on her own, walking to and from school, circus, etc.) like cases, gadgets… She’s not really into make-up at all (gets that from me!), nor jewellery. She still likes soft toys (but has waaaay too many!). For Christmas, she may get a “new” (for her) bike. She also went through the unicorn phase…

  11. Chris

    My just turned 14 year old in June got the following for her birthday:
    Hooded onesie
    Sketch pad and markers as well as blending markers-she loves to draw
    Google play credit for her phone
    Pusheen sleep mask
    assorted Harry Potter stuff

    Hot Topic is a good place to go if she is into any pop culture/anime stuff.

  12. Erin in CA

    I have a 6th and 8th grader, so I am around this age a LOT. Things I would suggest:
    — Spotify subscription
    — succulent terrarium for her room (miniature is even better)
    — small purse/backpack
    — some kind of monthly loot box (could be for video games, YA books,make-up, cooking, etc.)
    — a nicer/cooler/fancier version of something she uses a lot — guitar picks, hair brush, blow dryer, pajamas, robe, slippers, apron, gym bag, etc, etc.
    — both of my kids LOVE their Barefoot Dreams blankets (given to them by a grandmother) and guard them zealously. If you live near a Nordstrom Rack, they often carry them at a better price.
    — what about an experience? Some that have been hits — musicals, behind-the-scenes tour of our aquarium/zoo, concert, etc.

    Good luck!

  13. beeejet

    All the kids around me are still not there yet, but my 13th Christmas is one that I really remember as being one of the best ever! I got $100 cash and a “shopping spree”! My mom and I took a whole day, we got coffee, and a “fancy” lunch and I got to buy whatever I wanted(within reason) with the money. It was awesome! Mom and I still talk about it on the rare times we get to shop together now, 20 years later.
    I remember being rather proud of several of my purchases, but I don’t remember any of them specifically other than a variety pack of Lip Smackers. LOL

  14. Melissa

    Tapestry vest! Yes, Swistle! This was one of my most prized possessions as an adolescent.

    One of my most memorable gifts was a blue-corded (obvs) phone for MY OWN ROOM. No more having to be embarrassed when talking to my friends on the phone in the living room. I could safely crush on boys in the privacy of my own room!

  15. Alison

    Oooh. Looking through the comments and thinking about 13 Year Old Me Now in the Future, I would have loved:

    An experience, like going to dinner or taking an overnight road trip somewhere

    A subscription service, like a cat toys box if you have a cat or a “nerd box” or something like that
    OR
    Audible or Spotify subscription!

  16. Jd

    My niece got rockets and science stuff (crystal growing kit and another kit but I forget which) for her last bday. She is into clothes which is what I normally get her but she was put out that her brother got “cooler” stuff so rockets this year. The nice thing about science kits is that crafty kids like them too.
    Fat brain toys and other similar companies have lots of cool stuff you’ve never thought of.
    Movie tickets? You could drop her and her friend off then pick them up – I would have loved that!

    I also suggest experiences. Good friend takes his niece and nephew (12 and 14) to two events every year. Plays, ballets, concerts, sporting events. The kids love it and he is definitely favorite uncle.

  17. Abbie

    My daughter is 7, but my mom gave her a sewing machine last Christmas, and she uses it independently almost on a daily basis. We got her a couple lessons from local grannies who were thrillled to teach an eager pupil. There are some good books with projects for beginning kid sewers too. And once she mastered the machine, the sky’s the limit on what she can make.

  18. Gigi

    Girls, in my opinion, are usually easier at this age to buy for than boys. When my son was this age, I was at a total loss.

    At this age, girls want “grown up” things – jewelry, makeup, spa days, events (concerts, etc), whatever brand of clothing is popular now, etc.

  19. Carrie

    I have an 11 year old boy who is entering the stage of being very hard to shop for as well. He loves YouTube, as does just about every other child I know, boy or girl. If your daughter has a favorite YouTuber you could use that as inspiration for some gifts (that’s what I’m doing for my son this year).

    1) Favorite YouTuber Merchandise: Most big YouTubers sell “merch” on their website. Last year I bought a tshirt and stuffed animal from my son’s favorite YouTube channel and it was a BIG HIT.

    2) A product from their favorite YouTubers “my favorites” video: A lot of YouTubers do specific videos highlighting their favorite things – this could give you some good ideas of things to buy that she may like to try.

    3) A fancy looking microphone, cool headphones or a ring light if she is interested in making videos.

    If she likes to play video games she may also like a gift card that allows her to buy stuff in the game.

    When I was 13 I really wanted “grown up” jewelry. A nice charm bracelet or necklace with a locket could be nice.

  20. Laura Lou

    My big gift at 13 was a cordless phone. Since we didn’t have a phone jack in my bedroom, a cordless phone meant that I was no longer tied to the kitchen by the spirally cord. Since I had a sister 7 years younger, being able to talk without her listening in was HUGE! Sadly, that gift probably won’t get you the same mileage these days.

    One thing I do remember getting about that age was some “real” jewelry. Nothing too expensive, but a nice necklace from an actual jewelry store that made me feel like I could be trusted with valuable things. If she’s at all artistically inclined, maybe a doodle crate subscription from Kiwi Crate? They come with supplies, enough instruction to get you going but still leave room for creativity, and ideas for more. Definitely gift cards, maybe to Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore–they have so much more than books these days. If you just moved in May, maybe she would appreciate a trip back to your old town?

    Good luck! I have 2 boys, so it’s been fun thinking about girl things for a change.

  21. BKC

    I think 13 was the year I started wanting to document everything: kept a journal, of course, but I got my first decent digital camera. Maybe a Fujifilm Instax? Made a lot of mix CDs too, so I guess that translates to a Spotify subsction these days. I’ll second the suggestion of a movie date with a friend. Or tickets to an event for you both: Cirque du Soliel? Something by Broadway across America?

    My mom was very chill about piercings, so I had my nose pierced at 13. I’m afraid I started too big with my kiddo…she’s bucking for a cartilage piercing. Age 10.

  22. Sally

    If your daughter doesn’t already have “The Care and Keeping of You” I would highly recommend it. Also, a special piece of jewelry to recognize that she is now a TEENAGER! Doesn’t have to be expensive. A nice letter from mom. A beta fish in a cool tank. A lava lamp. A body pillow with a fuzzy cover. A bean bag chair.

  23. Alice

    I think my mother would have described me similarly to the girl in the post when I was 13. I was low on friends and no longer really interested in toys/playing. And I hated shopping and wasn’t into clothes or make-up.

    What I really loved was reading, and I would’ve wanted books or a gift card to get books along with a trip to a bookstore to pick out what I wanted. I think I also would’ve liked some of what I now think of as generic grown-up woman gifts: fancy bath things, small gift basket of food things with a mug, etc.

    I’d also second the idea of the gift of experiences, but with the caveat that at 13, I wouldn’t have welcomed an experience with either of my parents along. Possibly offer to sign her up for a class and let her pick the class? Or have it be something where she and her friend can enjoy the venue without you being present too closely.

    One final thought, not gift-related. Hopefully this isn’t an overstep, but– I think someone should’ve been thinking it with me at 13– is there a possibility that she’s depressed? The fact that the girl herself can’t think of anything she wants as a gift is a little troubling to me. Thirteen was one of the hardest years for me, and looking back, I probably should have been in counseling. I don’t know enough to say anything for this girl, but– I wanted to mention it in case the parent needs to think about it.

  24. Rachel

    I love the idea of a subscription box. Some of my favorite gifts when I was younger were magazine subscriptions. I loved getting them in the mail. My stepdad actually just bought me one for Consumer Reports not long ago and I was pumped, lol.

    13 was when I really started getting into clothes and accessories, so a shopping spree would have been really fun. I also loved hair, makeup and nails…so anything related to that was always good.

    I am 32, but I love my Fuji Instax, which I saw mentioned above. It’s super fun.

    I have always read 1-2 books per week, even at that age, so Amazon gift cards and real, actual books are great.

    I love the concert or show idea. I saw the Nutcracker every year when I was growing up and always loved it. Now I try to see Trans Siberian Orchestra as often as possible. I was also into sports, so tickets to a baseball, basketball or football game were excellent.

  25. The Sojourner

    When I was an introverted, homebodyish 13yo, I liked books and movies and complicated open-ended computer games. (I remember the last Lord of the Rings movie and The Sims both came out when I was 12-13. Apparently I’ve forgotten the many books I read!)

    So maybe an expansion pack for a game she likes? Fandom related swag? More books because you can never have too many?

  26. Shawna

    While I can remember some gifts I got as a kid, I have no idea which I received on which years. I know my 11-year-old asks for very mature gifts, but in case it helps, this year she’ll be 12 in January, and for Christmas or her birthday she has asked for a gym membership and some gym clothes (she’s an avid hockey player and I teach at the gym, so she’s interested in coming with me), and an epilator for her legs (again, probably because that’s what I use for my legs and she’s starting to worry about her darkening leg hair – she already shaves her armpits). Additionally, she always gets pyjamas every year, and new bathing suits every year (since we go south after her birthday and the ones she used in our pool all summer have usually stretched out and/or the elastics have gone crunchy). She’s asked for gift certificates to Home Sense (a discount home décor store) if anyone asks me for hints for her.

    She does not want toys anymore. She would probably want more good-quality art supplies if she didn’t already own all the art supplies in the world.

    1. Shawna

      Also, fake fur blankets have been huge hits with both my kids and their friends.

      Other ideas that have been well received: gift certificate to her favourite sushi all-you-can-eat restaurant, plus a promise to take her there with a friend; certificates for manicures/pedicures/massages (these have been gifts from a couple of uncles); travel stuff since we do go away every winter (i.e. fun luggage tags, neck pillows, earphones for the plane, etc.); home-made certificates promising high tea with mom, or attendance at an event that it’s too early to buy tickets to.

    2. Shawna

      Oh! Strings of LED lights with teeny transparent command hooks to put them up along the wall are big hits!

  27. Andrea Nicole Young

    13 is fun! It is that weird age where some kids still want younger kid things and some want older kid things and some want younger kids things but are trying to pretend they want older kid things. My oldest turned 14 in June and she wanted paper dolls. She loves those things.

    Here’s a linky to a how-to make fairy book. This is my favorite craft book for kids–especially girls–because it is easy enough that the child can be totally independent, but the finished product is fun enough that it is worth making: https://www.amazon.com/Forest-Fairy-Crafts-Enchanting-Supplies/dp/1607056909/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508389151&sr=8-1&keywords=how+to+make+fairies.

    Here’s a linky to my kids’ all-time favorite coloring book: https://www.amazon.com/Enchanted-Forest-Inky-Quest-Coloring/dp/1780674880/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508389257&sr=1-1&keywords=enchanted+forest+coloring+book.

    My kids love things like binoculars, microscopes, sewing machines, fancy schmancy art paper and nature journals. My two boys got feather pens with ink for their birthdays along with a fancy journal. They love writing with legit ink. Something like this might appeal (although we picked more rustic looking feathers for our boys): https://www.amazon.com/FEATTY-Antique-Feather-Calligraphy-Writing/dp/B01J7OFXJ2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1508389382&sr=8-6&keywords=quill+pens.

    Books!!! For a 13 year old girl I recommend The Hollow Kingdom series by Clare B. Dunkle. Absolutely fabulous (the goblin king steals a human bride) and age-appropriate.

  28. Kim

    One thing I thought of because my youngest is hard to buy for – and lately she is really into journaling, but not the kind I would think of – I get the vague notion there is a lot online stuff about it because she was very clear that she wanted a plain, lined book [not a planner with calendar stuff already in it] where she creates every page herself. In fact she has two types – one is more of a planner type that she creates lists and goals and tracks her sleep, moods – as well as using it for a planner; the other one is a leather wrapped with a leather string type thing where she does drawings or writes poems in. I found a link on pinterest I’ll put here, but what I’m saying is – buying supplies for her to create her own thing would be something someone who likes to be home and do their own thing a lot might enjoy. Copic markers are especially good for this, but they are very pricey.

    https://www.pinterest.com/explore/journal-ideas/

  29. BSharp

    I remember loving classes, especially ones I could take with my mom or with a friend–we did woodcarving, watercolors, maybe pottery, some languages. Our “thing” was to go out for chai and chocolate-dipped macaroons while running errands, that felt very special. We’d go to art fairs and I sometimes got to pick out a fancy purse, or earrings. She got me a Very Fancy fountain pen (a green Waterman) and gorgeous paper…to this day, I’d always rather have a top-notch version of something ordinary like pen & paper than something unusual. It makes the everyday feel so special.

    For me, that all-grown-up feeling was what made 13-year-old gifts feel different.

  30. Paola

    Swistle, do you ever get updates on these types of emails? Would love to find out what was purchased and if she liked it!

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