Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys

Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys

After sharing my Tween Gift Guide for Girls, I received a lot of feedback from my readers about a gift guide for boys. So I consulted with the experts, my friends and readers, came up with this list of Best Gifts for Tween and Teen Boys. These toys can cross over for girls too because we have a good selection of these at home for my tween daughter and me! So dig in!

// This post has Amazon Affiliate Links //

It’s a great list with a mix of techy fun, outdoor play and more. We have a few of these products and others have been tested by my colleagues and friends. So all products are reviewed, played with and legit recommended. Have fun shopping! I also have a Tween/Teen gift list on Amazon that has a lot more ideas. So hop over to the Gift Guide for Tweens and Teens! 

Go Pro. I have a Go Pro and Love it. I literally throw it in my pocket when we travel for capturing video and images on the go! You can download an app to your smart phone and import images immediately to your phone for social sharing. The accessories for the Go Pro are also pretty amazing and kids will love creating new grids and ways to rig their go pros!

Under Armour is THE brand for the tween and teen set and these joggers are a classic must-have. Parents will score serious cool points if these pants show up under the tree this season. Additional colors are available but I love classic black!

Lily, my 12YO, has this Razor Hoverboard and it’s SUCH a hit in the neighborhood. So here is the deal about Hoverboards. You have to pay money for the real ones. The cheaper Hoverboards, the can potentially blow up, are made with a cheaper battery. The Razor is the highest quality and made with a strong lithium battery that costs money. So pay or it, get a great product and have fun! This hoverboard is not just for kids… adults can rock it out too. soooo fun!

Anki Overdrive Starter Kit is a MUST this season. This is a super high-quality race track with built-in techy goodness that will not let the car fly off the track. You are going to love this set and again… another one for parents and child to enjoy together.

A Bumper Bubble Ball... YOU NEED THIS! This is a great outdoor toy that brings the sense of silly play to “too cool for everything tweens and teens”. These balls come in various sizes and can fit adults as well. Family Game Night just got uber awesome!

Longboards are a must for outdoor play. We are a skating family and even the newly 5-year-old knows how to skate. There are tons of options for skateboards with various price points. You don’t have to spend a lot on a beginner board. We love the graphics on this longboard and the smooth wheels make for easy learning.

LEGO Technic. Have you discovered LEGO Technic yet? You are missing out. These huge sets are a great challenge for older kids with moving parts. It’s building and circuitry in on awesome LEGO toy.

Crazy Socks. A simple fun dose of whimsy, crazy socks are all the rage with the tween/teen set! You can find tons of variations of these socks online and in stores everywhere A great stocking stuffer.

XBOX One. The hottest gaming accessory this season! If this finds it’s way under the tree… you win!

Laser X Laser Tag Game. Take your Laser Tag game anywhere! This two-person Laser Tag game has realistic sounds and a receiver vest that you can blast up to 150 feet away. This can be for outdoor or indoor use and your kids are going to looove it.

Nintendo Switch. Another great gaming system that was rolled out earlier this year. We love the switch and it allows you to play on the game console included or unattach the controls to play on your home console. You get all the power of Nintendo for a take-along experience!

Sky Viper Drones. This is one of my favorite drone brands. The Sky Vipers are durable, lightweight and come at various price points with lots of extras you can opt for. You can get them for under $100 and up depending on what fancy drones needs you have. That’s‘ it kids! My big Gift Guide for tween and teen boys… have fun! 

 

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Best Gifts for Tweens

Best Gifts for Tweens

Tweens are one of the toughest age groups to shop for. But not to worry, I have my own resident tween who is not afraid to tell us what she wants. And this year, I think we have hit the jackpot with these gifts. I secretly want these for myself! Don’t tell her because then it won’t be cool. Lily helped me with this list and she hand-picked all of these gifts. I think these are definitely the Best Gifts for Tweens this year.

// this post contains Amazon affiliate links //

Best Holiday Gifts for Tweens
 

 Unicorn Onesie What tween does not like this right now? This unicorn obsession has gone from stationary to clothing and there is no shortage of super cute Unicorn Onesies for kids. ( and adults – I may or may not have bought myself a pair)

Tassles on your iPhone! This too is a super cute trend that I am secretly – not so secretly– coveting. You can find tons of variations on this fun accessory with variations on colors and hanging goodies.

Cat Ear Headphone I mean! Who doesn’t need gold cat headphones! Suuuper fun accessory for the tween who is always listening to the hottest tunes.

iPhone PopSocket Another great accessory for your phone. The Pop Socket allows you to hold onto the phone without the chance of dropping and is pretty great for getting that ‘just right’ selfie angle.

Bath Bomb Gift Sets We love bath bombs around this house. Lily has been making them and it’s such a little luxury in the bath. Total MUST and again… I’m getting some for me too.

Nailmatic  Nail Polish & Rollette Lip Gloss SetI love Nailmatic products. This French brand has custom colors and is water-based. The kids nail polish can easily be washed off with soap and water but if you want something that stays on longer, Nailmatic makes an adult line of polishes that stay on longer.

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm
Remember a couple years ago when Baby Lips launched and it was sold out everywhere! While the craze is not THAT crazy, it is still a pretty popular option for a lip balm with the tween set. Maybe it’s the kitschy packaging or the soft scents or that it actually works, either way, it’s wallet-friendly and a cute something to add to stockings this year.

Fuji Instax Mini Camera
This is a classic gift for tweens and teens. The Fuji Instax takes photos and has a built-in selfie mirror. I recommend the bundle that is offered that includes a case, extra film with filters and more.

Minnetonka Junior Trapper Faux Fur Lined Moccasin
Super comfortable and can be worn indoors and out, The Minnetonka Moccasins are a great gift for the cold weather. These mocs come in various colors allowing you to choose from the classic browns or new pastels.The faux fur lined mocs are super cozy for the toes!

Google Home Mini – Chalk : Target
The Google Home Mini is a great gift for kids. There is SOOO much you can do with this gadget and it’s a great price point. Kids can have these in their rooms and parents can control the privacy setting of what they listen to or ask google.

 

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Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017

IT’S HERE! THE NEW YORK MOM’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2017 – TOYS! Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017

I have compiled my favorite toys that the kids have been playing with for months… some since February and they still have life in them. These are our hand-picked toys that we absolutely love. The quality is great, the educational and fun factor is high and the prices are for every budget. So sit back, and start tackling that Holiday List. I’m updating this list daily so please check back often for more additions. I have included my Amazon Affiliate Link so you can easily access the Black Friday Deals on Amazon!

If you are like me, you have yet to start your holiday shopping. Not to worry the big Black Friday shop is a couple days away and I’m sure your kids are busy circling their favorite must-haves from all the store catalogs.

As you know I have been working as toy and baby gear expert for the past 5 years and know my fair share about this market. I know which toys are worth the money and which ones are duds and marketing gimmicks!  So this year, I’ve made it super simple for you by making a full list of must-have toys. Each and every one of these toys have been tested by me and the kids… and yes, most of these are in the house and some we have had since February! So after much testing and reviewing and playing with these toys I’m sharing my favorite toys for all ages for Holiday 2017!

There are building blocks and STEM toys, dolls and Hotwheels, Crafty things and even stuff for tweens and teens. I’ll be adding to the list as I go so be sure to swing back to check for updates.

My curated Tween/Teen Guide is coming up because as any parent of this age group will tell you… it’s a different beast of toys and tech gadgets!

Shop the list —> Hottest Toys for Holiday 2017!

Happy Shopping all!

 

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Tween Scene – 6 Must Haves for Tweens

Tween Scene: 6 Must Haves for Tweens

Tweens are a picky crew and you can’t ever seem to keep up with what’s in and what’s out. It always amazes me when tween trends take off… I mean… lets talk about putty! who knew!

These days we have lots of items around the house that my tween has been obsessing over! Parents of tweens everywhere will tell you that putty is the #1 item. We have putty making stations throughout the house and Lily just can’t get enough!

So I’ve put together a list of our faves. It’s hard to find gifts for teens and tweens that are not tech or high ticket items. These are our go to gifts these days. You can find them at specialty stores or online. But I like to shop local… so maybe your downtown gift shops might carry these goodies!  A lot of these items are for fidgety tweens and adults.

Here is my list of Tween Must Haves. This is what’s being obsessed over and trending in the tween space!

  1. The Fidget Cube– We love this cube. each side has things that click, slide, roll and is great as a stress reliever or busy hands.
  2. Thinking Putty – This is the best putty .. hands down. Crazy Arron’s comes in all sorts of amazing themes and our favorites are the Liquid Glass that is totally clear, the Magnetic and the Electric Teal!
  3. Bath Bombs – I just spent $10 on ONE bath bomb from Lush…. but it was divine! Bath Bombs can be found in all price points, we love Lush products and they are natural and smell amazing. The glitter bath bombs are our favorite.
  4. Spinners! Lily has a few of these and again, perfect for calming nerves, anxiety, focus. These are hard to find so if a store near you sells it… grab it up quick!
  5. Lokai Bracelets – These bracelets claim to have mud from the black Sea and water from Mr. Everest. These are colorful bracelets that raise awareness for various causes and ideals. mental illness, balance…etc.
  6. Electro Dough – not sure that this is a tween must have but it’s pretty amazing. The kit encourages you to make your own dough with house hold items and for putty obsessors.. this is great. But once you have made your dough, there are LEDs and buzzers and all sorts of things that connect for circuitry play! Super cool!
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#YouthMarchTogether

#YouthMarchTogetherLike many of you, we, in this house, are feeling out of sorts and at times hopeless. This is something that our kids perceive and understand. The question I have myself as a mom is, do I want my kids to think that hopelessness wins or do I give them some tools for not just coping, but for being part of a movement that stands for something different.
What kids really need to know now…

they need to know they are Safe

they need to know they are Loved

they need to know they are Accepted

they need to know that GOOD WINS

Kids need hope, they want to be involved, and kids need concrete action. I’ve been going back and forth about how Lily, my 11 YO, can feel involved in this current climate. She feels the unease and asks questions, observes harsh words being tossed around at her school and wants to do something. But what?


Your news feed is being filled with plans of people who will march this weekend, in DC, in NYC, in states all across this country. Some of us won’t be able to make these marches and most kids won’t be there. So how do kids, our youth, who are so very effected by this electoral outcome and the conflicting environment, how do our youth participate in this, how do they get involved?

I suggest a project.

This is for our youth. YOU are the future change-makers, YOU will make a difference, YOU will ensure that kindness and good will win and YOUR VOICE is POWER!

To YOU marching this weekend… our kids, young people, our youth stand with YOU… the millions marching this weekend… we stand with you and this is how we will show our support.


Use the reach of social media to get the message out. I encourage you to write #YouthMarchTogether on the palm of your hand and share an image via your social channels.

Tag @YouthMarchTogether on Insta!

We are all in this TOGETHER. We MARCH forward TOGETHER.

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Back to School: Backpacks for Tweens

Back To School: Backpacks for Tweens
The kids are in the middle of the hot days of summer and while we here in New York still have over a month and half to go before school starts, most of the country starts in mid August. Lily starts 6th grade, this fall,  and it’s very exciting. Her sense of style is really becoming her own and no longer will I be able to pick out her accessories, clothes and backpacks.
To keep up with your picky tweens awesome personality, I’ve picked a few of our favorite backpacks this season. Everything from the trendy Pokemon to the classic Herchel is here on this list to fit your picky tweens style!
1. Miss Selfridge Holographic Mini Backpack $53 // 2. Accessorize Galazy $59// 3. Realm Divide Backpack $40 VANS // 4. Nintendo Backpack – $40 VANS // 5. Multi Tropical Backpack $34 GO JANE // 6. Herschel Supply Company $100 Nordstrom // 7. Aeropostale $25 // 8. Pokemon $20 HOT TOPIC //
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Painting Eggs – Our Easter Tradition

So much gets lost in translation with consumerism during religious holidays. Easter has become nothing more than bunnies, egg hunts, toys, chocolates, unwrapping chocolate toys and overstuffed baskets of more toys and chocolates.

We haven’t fallen for most of this hype and do try hard to keep the reason for the Easter season in the forefront.

The church that we have been attending since our move had a great Good Friday program for the kids and both Lily and Thomas came back with lots to report. Thomas was especially excited to tell us that JESUS LIVES! he didn’t die… he lives!

We tried to dye eggs last week and both kids lost interest really quickly and really just wanted to play with the colored water more than dying eggs. Lily and I started painting eggs a few years ago. We would boil the eggs and then get out the watercolors and acrylics and just paint. I love this tradition and hope to hold on to it for years to come. We sit at the kitchen table with our cup of tea, eggs, paints, brushes and chat. Golden moments of tween insight!

The biggest news for the year is that this year we have a new Easter Bunny – L I L Y! It’s bitter-sweet. She sorta knew the truth and wouldn’t let me talk about the bunny anymore so I final told her the real deal and she’s had such fun shopping for sweet treats and bubbles for Thomas’ basket.

Another tradition that we have is planting flowers around the yard during Easter weekend. The kids and Matt went to the local nursery and bought a few flowers, but the ground is still sorta frozen so we have to wait a bit to plant. But the flowers are here and we did some yard work and refilled all the bird feeders. This afternoon there was a bright red cardinal who was busy collecting materials to build his nest and Thomas and I watched him for a while as he hopped around and foraged for his supplies. We’ve been waking up to the loud chirping of birds every morning and I don’t mind it at all. like clockwork around 5:45/6am… the birds are up!  I am so ready for spring!

 We came home to find that Jonah had rummaged through the trash to pick out the chicken bones from the previous nights dinner.

Me: Oh goodness Jonah! You are going to die if you eat all these chicken bones! 

Thomas: (without missing a single beat) He’s not going to die mom! We will just put him in a cage ( cave) and he will come back to life. 

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Happy Easter Everyone.

 

 

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Favorite Easter Basket Picks

It’s time for filling up our Easter baskets and I wanted to share a few creative and NON-CANDY ideas for the perfectly balanced basket with my Favorite Easter Basket Picks.

Lily knows the truth about ole E.B and this year she gets to be in on the fun and has been helping me collect a few things for the baskets.  I am not one for candy filled baskets, I try to keep the sugary treats to a minimum to avoid a massive sugar crash later in the day.  So for parents who are torn on giving into the sugar hype of it all …. here are some Easter Basket picks I know you will like.

  1. Kites – Kites are the BEST gift and every year we sneak a themed kite into the basket!
  2. Bubbles – This is a year round outdoor toy. Even in the snow… you can find us blowing bubbles!
  3. Stickers – You can never have enough stickers especially with toddlers. Thomas is getting dinosaur stickers and Lily is getting Shopkins stickers.
  4. Puzzles – A small box of puzzles is also a MUST for a sweet basket.
  5. Chocolate Bunny – I don’t have to tell you that every Easter Basket needs a Chocolate hollow bunny… right!
  6. Jelly Beans – Jelly Beans are Easter Bunny poop… but you knew that! How could you NOT include these!
  7. Butterfly Net – It’s springtime after all and a butterfly net not only makes for charming pictures but kids will spend a good amount of time running around trying to catch a butterfly!
  8. Art Supplies – Every basket needs art supplies – Sidewalk chalk, crayons, watercolors anything to get the kids making art.
  9. Gardening Supplies – The kids are each getting their own shovel, rake and watering can. Lily gets a metal version and Thomas is a small kids plastic set.
  10. Plants – a small bag of seeds for kids to plant is always such a treat. My kids immediately plant them in the ground and within days we have sprouts! Here in NY the ground is still frozen so this year a small potted plant is part is included.

Have fun making your baskets hope you found this helpful!

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Back to School with The Kissing Hand

Thomas started a new school today and now that he’s 3 he goes to the ‘preschool’ program. The monkey is most nervous and anxious for him and read him – the kissing hand – tonight. It’s the same book we read to her before the first day of school every year! It’s a great book for calming those back to school anxieties.

 

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, is a book about Chester the Raccoon who is nervous about his first day of school. Him mama plants a kiss in the palm of his hand and says, ‘ overtime you get sad put your palm against your cheek and think mommy loves you, mommy loves you.”

It’s the sweetest and before Thomas headed off to school this morning… Lily gave him a sweet kissing hand reminder.

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daily dailies…

Matts been out of town for pretty much the entire month of November. He gets back to us tomorrow and I am just thrilled to have another adult in this house!

Thomas is going to be three years old in a few days. Anyone with a 2.5/3 year old will tell you that this age is nothing short of madness. It pretty much like dealing with a drunk mentaly unstable madman… all day!

Things get thrown across the room at any given moment, he pitches fits, he kisses me, he is a love bug AND a bit-ey little dragon all at the same time. You never know who you are going to get at any given moment.

Lily, amazing, moody, hormonal, space cadet, artsy and all art supplies are all over the house, moody, all of the above!

It’s tough being alone with the kids. it doesn’t help that the winter sunset clocks in at 4:58pm and it’s darkness after.

We also have a bobcat in the back yard. these woodpeckers are STILL pecking at the wooden shingles on the house and no one sleeps in this house.

Also Thomas is in the middle of potty training madness. So at any given moment…a ” Mom i made a potty” is announced with me running to the potty and there isn’t any poop in the potty but on the floor because we didn’t quite make it.

you guys… i’m going to lose me mind! I want to just run away the second Matt lands but he’s going to be jet lagged and I have missed having him around so I won’t run away.

Sometimes It’s just a lot!

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