Welcome to Metropolitan Mama’s Christmas Gift Guide for Girls (ages 9-12). Below you will find clothes, shoes, toys, gear, games, and accessories that girls are bound to love for Christmas 2021.
Because we currently have an 9-year-old and a 12-year-old in the house, I have an excellent “pulse” on what girls in this age range are most excited about. The below gift ideas are all items that I know my daughters would be thrilled to find under the tree!
Christmas is the ideal time to pick up a swimsuit or two for the young girl in your life. That way, she'll be ready to splash, dive, somersault, flip, and set a new record in backstroke when swimming weather arrives! We love the adorable swim sets and rashguards by Coolibar. The patterns are fresh and fun with colors that pop! Available in sizes XS 4, S 5-6, M 7-8, L 10-12, and XL 14-16.
Has your tween expressed an interest in make-up and beauty products? The Wild Style Deluxe Cosmetic Kit offers a fun way for her to try a variety of products at home or with friends! It comes with 3 hair chalks (purple, green, and blue), 8 hair ties, 2 glittery toe separators, 2 nail sticker sheets, 3 nail polishes, 3 lip glosses, 1 eyeshadow palette, and 1 nail file. Glitter is a major theme in this girly-girl gorgeous set.
Cuddle + Kind is one of our favorite brands for stuffed animals. These adorable handcrafted dolls double as decor pieces (they are that adorable!). Your favorite girl will want to start a collection and you'll feel good knowing that each doll provides 10 meals for children around the world.
Coloring and activity books are a top gift wish for most girls in this age range and Dover Publications puts out dozens and dozens of amazing options! They have literary coloring books, educational coloring books, advanced coloring books, paper dolls, stickers, and books in a huge variety of themes. For 2021, I am spotlighting four options that I know my girls would go crazy over.
Don't worry about stuffed animals being "too young" of a gift. Even teenagers will go crazy over the beautifully-made, realistic puppets by Folkmanis. P.S. The Snowy Owl looks exactly like Hedwig!
Casual sneakers are one of the best gifts that you can buy for people of any age - and elementary & middle school girls are no exception! The 9-12 year old girl in your life is bound to go crazy over these yellow tie-dye slip-ons by Dr. Scholl's Shoes. They fit the current trends while also offering comfort and cushioning.
Note that these sneakers are in women's sizes. To convert a kid's shoe size to a woman's shoe size, you generally go up 1.5 sizes. For example, if your daughter wears a size 4.5 in girls, she will likely wear a size 6 in women's.
Our 9-year-old is is constantly asking me to put "things to do" books on hold at the library. She loves to fill her afternoons, evenings, and weekends with activities, crafts, and creative projects. Highlights Press recently released two write-in titles that fit this description. The Highlights Book of Things to Write and The Highlights Book of Things to Draw offer engaging prompts, drawing spaces, mazes, challenges, and word puzzles to entertain kids for hours.
Be sure to also consider The Highlights Book of Things to Do! Published in 2020, this is the ultimate "things to do" book (the best one we have found, in fact!). It's colorful and filled to the brim with engaging, age-appropriate, boredom-busting activities!
When it comes to children's cookbooks, American Girl puts out some of the very best! Featuring vibrant, full-color photographs and glossy pages, these hardcover books are keepsakes that girls will love browsing (and using!). For the holidays, we particularly recommend Holiday Baking and Tea Parties!
When your young scholar is ready to move on from her Children's Bible, consider the sophisticated ESV Student Study Bible from Crossway. The beautiful berry-colored cover has a gorgeous floral design and the text comes with 12,000 study notes, introductions and timelines for each book of the Bible, 80+ maps and illustrations, nearly 900 "Did You Know?" facts, 120 Bible character profiles, 80,000 cross-references, and an extensive concordance.
Girls will adore stocking their closets with the timeless, adorable, and in vogue pieces by Janie & Jack. Available in sizes 0-16, Janie & Jack releases new collections every season. Just when you think they couldn't possibly debut anything any cuter, they do! These clothes are skillfully made and wash well, making them the kind of clothes that you can (1) use in photo shoots, (2) pass down between siblings, and/or (3) save for memories.
Cozy, snuggly, oh-so-soft boots are a gift any girl will love! For 2021, we recommend the adorable Lytta Boot by Koolaburra by Ugg. They offer rugged, rubber bottoms coupled with super-soft faux fur lining. The zipper closure makes it easy to slip these on and off for backyard play. BONUS: Koolaburra by Ugg also offers this same boot in adult sizes! Perfect for mommy & me photo shoots during the holiday season!
Throw back to your childhood! Your young artist can use this kit to create one-of-a-kind fashion looks by combining the different rubbing plates together into the Fashion Plates tablet. With just a few passes of the rubbing crayon, the design transfers to the sketch paper. Adding colors and detail to the new look is a cinch with the included artist’s pencils and the fashion textures built into the back of each Fashion Plate.
Klutz is another brand that perfectly reaches the 9-12 age range. They offer hands-on craft, beauty, and activity kits with all of the materials needed along with step-by-step instructions. The DIY Barrettes, Bows, and Hair Ties kit includes enough supplies to make 15 different hair accessories!
As a mom of a teenage girl (15) and a soon-to-be teenage girl (12), other moms often ask me for books, resources, conversation starters, and products related to puberty. When they do, I will almost always introduce them to period underwear. Most women have never heard of them so I enjoy sharing the inside scoop on this revolutionary way for teens to not worry about getting their period at school. Here is a short summary: period panties will allow your girl to go to school, play sports, and hang out with friends - without wearing pads or tampons! No more having to discreetly carry a purse or bag into the bathroom! Depending on her flow, it is very likely that she will be able to go the whole school day without worries! When she gets home, she can rinse them, throw them in the washing machine in cold water, and then hang to dry for the next use. Easy peasy! You can either purchase from Thinx (Btwn), which is specifically designed for ages 9-16, or you can just buy from the women's collection. There is even a Super Fresh Start Period Kit for celebrating the arrival of her first cycle. Thinx offers a period athletic short and sport underwear option also! Great for volleyball, soccer, track & field, etc!
In our family, we're always looking for swimsuits that cover the midriff and chest and that comfortably allow for athletic activity. When our girls are wearing swimsuits, they are usually moving around - boogie boarding, diving, somersaulting, playing beach volleyball, or running up and down the beach. As such, we want modest swimsuits that don't pinch, ride up, or leave you exposed. UV Skinz offers lots of great options in this category! For example, the 2 Pc Pop Stripe Swim Set offers a high neck and a skirted bottom in an incredibly cheerful, cute, and stylish design! If your girls prefers a little more coverage in the chest area, you can pair it with the Swim Mate. Available in size 2T to 14.
A ceramic (not plastic!) tea set is a quintessential Christmas gift for young girls. (Read A Bargain for Frances for fun context). The Belle-themed sculpted ceramic tea set by Zak Designs is a lovely pick. The bottom of the tea set comes apart and makes a corresponding drinking glass in the color and design of Belle's dress.
We have a 9-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old daughter and they would both adore receiving specially-selected charms based on their current activities & favorite things.
Start with a bracelet or necklace base and then add a few charms. One wonderful aspect of this gift is the memory-making potential. You can add a new charm each birthday or holiday based on her ever-evolving interests!
Pictured: Gold Glitter Soccer Ball Charm, Gold Rollerskate Charm, Gold Swivel Bear Charm, Gold Swivel Ice Cream Cone Charm, 4mm Pearl Stretch Bead Bracelet, Pink Flower Bracelet, and Swivel Puppy Charm.
Originally published in 1872, George MacDonald's magical fairy tale still enchants audiences today. What is it about? I don't want to spoil it, but there are kidnapped princesses, old castles, vengeful goblins, and hidden stairways.
Our girls love stickers so I'm always trying to add to our sticker collection throughout the year! Although they are used for many purposes, our girls most consistently use stickers as decorations for letters and envelopes for their long lists of pen pals. If this scenario sounds familiar in your home, check out the thematic Eyelike Sticker books by Workman. Each book has over 400 lifelike stickers!
What more precious gift can you give than that of continuing education? Help your young scholar excel in math, language arts, social studies, and science with a membership to IXL! IXL is one of the best online learning platforms our family has discovered. It's not flashy, but it does work. IXL allows for incremental learning that can be either parent or student-led.
IXL's sister company - Rosetta Stone - is another excellent experiential gift to consider. With a gift membership to Rosetta Stone, a child can learn a second language in a fun and immersive atmosphere...all from the comfort of home!
One can't-go-wrong gift for this age group is a pretty journal and an accompanying colored pencil set. This is an especially perfect present for any girl who has a knack for or an interest in creative writing, note-taking, or nature sketching.
If she's the pen pal type, an eye-catching set of blank notecards would be exactly the WRITE choice for her stocking! ;)
The ultimate gift for girls in the 9-12 age range is something that will allow her adventure, speed, and exercise.
The Madd Pogo Stick will help her soar to new heights (literally!) while having the time of her life. Pogo sticks are making a big comeback in our area and the girl in your life will love the chance to practice her pogo skills all around the yard or park.
The Kruzer 200 Folding Scooter is ideal for girls on the upper end of this age spectrum (ages 12-14+). It offers extra large 200mm smooth rolling wheels, a height-adjustable handlebar with comfort foam grips, and a flip-out integrated kick stand. Ideal for cruising to school or around the neighborhood!
Some of the products in the list below were sent to us to try. Other products are ones that we purchased ourselves or were given by family members and friends. Know that I will always provide both the pros and cons of each featured product. You are welcome to send any follow-up questions to me via twitter (I’m @stephsheaffer).