Kids are great fun to shop for, but you’ve got to take their ages carefully into account before you buy. It’s amazing how a year or two will make a real difference in what a kid will go for!

In a recent blog, I covered five great gifts for teens that are available for Christmas 2010 . This time, we’ll take a look at gifts for their tween counterparts: that is, children aged from about 9-12 years. Again, I’ve made an effort to stick to gender non-specific toys.

And BTW: both of these items may appeal to teens, too — and to you for that matter!

And, Wii!

To paraphrase a squirrelly song by Internet phenom Threebrain: when you’re a kid and you wanna go Wii, you gotta pick up one of these. The Nintendo Wii may be oddly named, but it’s a great gaming platform that you can use for an amazing variety of fun activities.

Tweens love ’em. Well, heck, so does everyone else.

The Wii offers lots of game cartridges in an amazing variety of categories, and also cartridges for lots of things you might not think of as games. You can even get fit with a Wii. Now, realize that like any gaming console, the Wii is kind of pricy: it retails for about $250.

Check ’em out here.

LEGO Mindstorms

Plain old LEGO blocks are cool, but they eventually become kind of limiting, being basically non-interactive bricks of ridged plastic. With Mindstorms, LEGO completely blows away those limitations.

Not only can you build basic blocky things with Mindstorms, there are specialty blocks that let you create dinosaurs, robots, and other fantastic creations that don’t just sit there when you’re done. These sets include microcomputer bricks that actually let your creations do things.

Yep. Just follow the instruction booklet, and you can built critters that “see, speak, feel, and move.” By all accounts, Mindstorms are mind-blowing toys, but in a cool, instructive way. These LEGOS will set you back about as much as a Wii, but you don’t have to buy any new cartridges, either.

Take a look right here.


Tags: ,