If you have an 11-year-old girl on your gift list, you know that it’s harder to buy good presents for someone in this age group than it is for almost any other. She’s no longer a young child and not yet a teenager. There’s a lot of societal pressure for her to act and dress like she’s older, but she still has some childlike interests and impulses. If you pay close attention and find out what she really likes, you can buy her a gift that will do more than please her; it will let her know that you understand her (at least for the moment).
Craft Kits and Supplies
Crafts are one way that girls make the transition from building blocks to more grown-up arts, and kits are an easy way to introduce a new hobby or encourage an old one. Many young girls love making jewellery, and there are beading kits available for every interest and skill level. If she’s interested in fashion, give her oversized knitting needles, trendy-coloured yarn and an instruction booklet for making a scarf. Find out what’s popular with her crowd at the moment: Perhaps she’d love embroidery floss for weaving friendship bracelets, or gimp to make lanyards.
Tickets and Gift Tokens
An 11-year-old girl is a social creature, and just about anything she does will be more fun for her if she can do it with a crowd of friends. Give her a handful of tickets to the movies, or (if you want to splurge) to a concert given by someone you know she loves. The children’s museum is now considered too “babyish,” but she and her gang might enjoy an outing to the local pottery studio to paint their own mugs and have them glazed and fired. Clothing and music make such personal statements at this age that it’s almost always better to give her gift tokens to a popular local teen boutique (ask her friends if you don’t know what it is) and a music store than to try to choose them yourself. That way, she gets the gifts as well as a shopping excursion with her friends.
If your gift recipient is already an athlete, buy her top-of-the-line equipment for the sport(s) of her choice--a really good lacrosse stick, for example, or a week at basketball camp. Even if she doesn’t think of herself as competitive, an 11-year-old’s body is changing so quickly that sports and dance are good ways for her to develop grace and confidence. She may enjoy a longboard (with helmet and pads), a dance class or swim lessons.
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