Important Considerations and Tips When Buying Gifts for Pre-Teens

If you’re unfamiliar with yet another recently added word to the English language; pre-teen, you’re hardly alone, though chances are you actually have one yourself or you’ve encountered one when visiting a family member or friend’s home.

Pre-teens – ‘tweens’ in the US – are, as the name suggest, youngsters who are yet to reach that milestone age of 13, most specifically, children aged 10 to 12.


Children of this age are notorious for many reasons, most of which are well-deserved and something many of the cheeky tykes will immediately own up to with a smug, self-assured smirk, including their ability to find something wrong with practically anything one could buy them, with the exception of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber CDs, and who could actually bring themselves to spend money on something like that?

Buying gifts for pre-teens often entails a healthy, wallet draining amount of trial and error, though as you love the pre-teen in question very much – You do don’t you? – that’s something you’ll just have to accept, and with that in mind, here are a few tips to make buying gifts for ‘tweenagers’ – another American twist – a little less painful.

Understand That It’s Cool to Hate Everything and That They Really Love Your Gift

As a young person it’s cool to hate; in fact, kids these days are no longer judged by their peers on what they like, but rather what they hate, or usually more accurately, what they say they hate.

With the notable exception of your boss’s brat child, who really does hate whatever you’ve bought for the little monster, when your son or daughter says they hate what you’ve bought them you need to understand that they love it, couldn’t have possibly hoped for anything better, and that they’re expressing their appreciation for your gift and their love for you in true pre-teen fashion.

Therefore, when they throw the box on the floor and stomp out of the room, you can give yourself a pat on the back because you’ve chosen the perfect gift.

Understand That Kids Really Want to Be Kids for Longer

‘You’re growing up so fast’ – what a way to destroy a kid’s life. Statements like these, although naturally well-meaning, are hardly what pre-teens want to hear because you’re basically telling them that in no time at all they’ll have to go to work, lose their hair and/or go wrinkly, and basically have nothing to look forward to ever again.

Help pre-teens realise their dreams of staying a kid a little longer by giving them one last really cool gift, like a remote controlled airplane or helicopter for boys and something cute and fluffy for girls – they’ll love it even though they’ll most probably tell you just the opposite.

Understand That Gadgets are In, Though If You Like Them They’re Not Cool

Sure, we all love iPads and the latest smartphone releases and pre-teens are no exception to this rule unless you make it obvious that you, or even worse their mother or father, like them too.

There are so many cool gadgets on the market that it really is impossible to keep up, though whatever you decide upon, like really cool headphones, for their next Christmas gifts, make sure that you remain cool and don’t express any interest in what you’ve given whatsoever unless it’s to say something curmudgeonly like, ‘How do kids put up with all that noise?’, because they’ll love what you’ve given even more.

Understand That Some Pre-Teenagers are Already Teenagers

Sometimes you have to understand that pre-teenagers have already passed that milestone age of 13 emotionally, though perhaps not mentally, and are essentially teenagers with all that entails – get over it and buy gifts accordingly.

When you come to this realisation about your own child or someone else’s, the worst thing you could possibly do is try to keep them ‘young and adorable’ with the gifts you buy, because although they’re still young, chances are they’re no longer adorable.

Buying gifts for pre-teens is often trying because children are at emotional crossroads at that tender age; however, with a little thought, trial and error, choosing the perfect gift for a pre-teen is well within everyone’s reach.

Why You Should Employ Play Mats in Children’s Play Areas

Play areas for children are key venues for children’s development. They can be dangerous spaces, as it is likely that the children will fall down or hurt themselves at one point. This is why protective flooring needs to be in place, but there are mats which can provide support and minimise the chance of injury.

In any space where children play together, steps need to be taken to ensure their safety. This is particularly true in school playgrounds, play areas in the park and soft rooms. These are all important places for children as it is where they learn social skills, improve their confidence and have fun. The way in which children play can often lead to injuries and accidents though, and this could be through falling down, running into one another or hurting themselves on a jungle gym, swing or something similar. This is unfortunately unavoidable, but it should not stop parents from letting their children play. It is hugely important in terms of their development, so the best solution is to ensure that the play area is as safe as possible for everyone.

play mats

The best way to achieve this is by making sure you’ve used the right flooring. If you provide flooring that is soft it means that if they do fall down then the flooring will absorb the contact, and minimise the chance of a cut, bruise, sprain or a more serious injury. With flooring like this it will give the kids confidence to play and make it more enjoyable for them. Of course it is important that the flooring is not too soft, as it needs to be relatively firm so that everyone can move around freely. There are all kinds of mats that you can lay which will provide this for the kids, and there is also the option of rubber flooring too which you will find in gyms and similar areas.

The best approach is to look for play mats from specialist suppliers. There are companies that provide mats for playgrounds, gyms, martial art centres, gymnastic centres and any similar space. This way you can be sure that the flooring you are getting will be supportive, but also firm enough so that everyone can still enjoy themselves. If you have ever been in a gymnastic centre or martial art centre then you will know what this is like, and it is perfect for anywhere that children play. With flooring like this, if a child were to fall over then the mat will absorb the contact and not cause them too much pain. This will ensure that every time children play in this space they will be able to enjoy themselves, and not feel anxious about falling down and hurting themselves.

Areas in which children play are incredibly important, but they can also be dangerous places. The children will inevitably fall down or run into one another, and the only way to reduce the damage that this can do is through protective flooring. There are mats that you can get specifically for play areas, and when these are put down it will create a welcoming, fun space for children to play with confidence. For mats like this though it is important that you get them from a specialist supplier that will be able to help.

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Superhero Movies That Aren’t Just For Kids to Enjoy

We live in a world inverted from the one that existed only ten years ago – genuine enjoyment and the very things that used to get a kid picked on mercilessly in high school is now common place. But maybe you’re still not convinced. Spandex-clad superhero movies are for kids, right? Read on to find out why that’s just not true and what you’ve been missing out.

Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Superman has had a bit of a rough trot on the big screen since Richard Donner’s seminal 1978 film starring Christopher Reeve. Donner-less sequels paled in comparison and Bryan Singer’s 2006 Superman Returns was another misfire. Warner Bros then turned to Zack Snyder to direct a grim, grown-up take on the Man of Tomorrow, putting a new spin on his origin, ratcheting up the violence and setting up DC’s own expanded cinematic universe. If you’re missing this movie from your collection, head over to the Warner Bros. website and put it in its rightful place – your DVD player.

Guardians of the Galaxy

One of the most obscure superhero teams in comic books history just became everyone’s new favourites. Director James Gunn’s take on Peter Quill and his merry band of space misfits going head to head with Kree zealot Ronan the Accuser is lighthearted, action-packed, full of heart and is very, very funny. Many of the sly jokes zoom right over the heads of any kids in the audience.


Director Matthew Vaughn’s take on the comic by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. about slightly-demented-but-otherwise-everyday people becoming self-styled, costumed vigilantes is fast-paced, ultra-violent (seriously, you will not actually believe how violent it is) and darkly funny. This is a very adult film and, as such, should be kept far away from the younger crowd. It’s sequel, Kick-Ass 2 was released in 2013.

The Incredibles

One of the best superhero movies ever made. Don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s a Pixar production – this is one of the most grown-up films either studio has ever produced. There are so many things going on here: a mid-life crisis story, a political witch-hunt that sees costumed heroes driven into hiding, super-powered teens trying to figure out the world and their place in it and, to top it all off, a maniacal plot by a disgruntled former fan turned super-villain. As close to perfect as it gets.

The Dark Knight

This is The Godfather Part II of superhero films. Christopher Nolan’s 2008 sequel to Batman Begins took everything that made its predecessor a success and ratcheted up the stakes. The Joker, a mysterious criminal mastermind who hides behind a mask of smeared clown paint, begins a sustained campaign of terror against Gotham City; it’s up to Batman and Jim Gordon to find a way to stop him. Riveting, complex film-making.

These are just a few of the many films that are changing public perception of superheroes being just for kids. It’s a fantastic time to be a comic-book fan but it’s an even better time if you’ve ever wanted to find out more about superheroes but were too afraid to ask. Who’s you’re favourite hero? Which superhero would you like to see get their own movie (Come on, Wonder Woman)? Leave your thoughts in the comments below, True Believer!

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