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nekotish

Need help for gifts for 11 year old girl

nekotish
2 months ago

I picked a card from the Angel Tree in our town, sponsored by our local Lion's Club. Only info I have is "11 year old girl." Apparently the kids are not allowed to make a wish list or suggestions. My daughters are in their late twenties and I don't know anyone who has children or grandchildren this age. Looking to spend about 100.00. Any and all suggestions welcome. I'm thinking of a 25.00 gift card for Claire's but that's all I've got. I love to give books, but not knowing the recipient makes that difficult. Craft kits? Nail polish....

Comments (72)

  • Funkyart
    2 months ago

    Wow. Really? Maybe it is a regional thing-- but I can't imagine any of my 4 nieces playing with a squishmallow over the age of 8 (and that may be pushing it).


  • OutsidePlaying
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I just received a ’wish list’ from my 10-1/2 year old great niece. I’m about to run out the door but will send some of her wish list items as soon as i get back home. Most are not terribly expensive.

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  • bragu_DSM 5
    2 months ago

    too old for a potholder loom and loops? card games like skipbo?

  • GrammaJ
    2 months ago

    I have an 11 year old to buy for. I would say since you do not have sizes maybe a super soft throw blanket, fuzzy socks, art supplies like gel pens and maybe an adult type coloring book, lip balm, lotions, maybe a jewlery making kit. Anytime we have done this there was always suggestions. It is a really bad idea to just give the age and sex of the child. Good luck and thank you for doing this.

  • Julienne Corr
    2 months ago

    I'm sponsoring a mom and 4 yr old son through our local human trafficking organization and even though they put some gift cards, they were really good about listing clothes, socks, underwear, dinosaurs, games, jewelry. The moms top gift card was a gas card, so that was the only gift card I bought. If you see the statistics, most gift cards are not even used.

    Lots of good ideas here!

  • nekotish
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I agree no gift cards as there is no guarantee that she'd get it .... that whoever her guardians/parents are wouldn't take it. I think we must be mindful of the fact that not every child in need is growing up in a crime-ridden household. People do fall on hard times after all.

  • hhireno
    2 months ago

    The years I participated in filling a shoe box with gifts ($25 limit IIRC), I always put in a knit hat, gloves, fun socks, drawing tablet, decent markers or colored pencils, a card game like Uno or Phase 10, hand cream, flavored lip balm, nice shampoo, hair ties (that girls also wear on their wrists). I often wondered if the same kid got my gift box the last year and was stuck with the same gifts. Great, another Uno deck. 😆


  • arcy_gw
    2 months ago

    Funkyart they are like a collectable these days. My 25 yr old just bought herself the harry potter set. hahaha. Just saw nail polish the list and wanted to say fake nails are very in.

  • deegw
    2 months ago

    The kids at school have tons of squishmallows, all I can think of is landfills filled with squishmallows in ten years. Also, many are light colored and they get pretty grungy quickly. Can you tell I'm not a fan? :)

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Skipped down to add my vote for a gift card - maybe inside a mini backpack. Old Navy's great for clothes, Target is good for a lot more, and Walmart might be even better with an even bigger variety of goods.

    Eleven is an age where kids are usually much more self conscious and wanting to fit in, so clothing can be fraught - and you don't have her size.

    I'll go back up finish reading now...

    Yes, gift cards can be used for online shopping.

    You have zero way of knowing how big or small this child is - I can only imagine how sad it would be for a kid to receive a nice gift that didn't fit, with no way to exchange it either.

    Local org.s here do this for kids in foster care. I guess you can't know if that's the case.

  • socks
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Squishmallows, that's a good choice. They come in several sizes and styles, just pick a "cute" one. Fun socks too. Pretty hairbrush or that kind that brushes out snarls in wet hair, hair accessories, clairs stuff. Lip gloss for kids/teens. Small photo album or scrapbook to paste or tape in things. My 11 year old granddaughter had on some kind of stick on nails. Sounds like a beauty theme.

  • nini804
    2 months ago

    Ok, at 11 they TOTALLY care about fitting in, etc. If it were my Angel Tree kid, I’d get one of those trendy Lululemon crossbody bags (I think they are literally the cheapest thing they sell…$30-something.) My college dd uses hers all the time, and I see younger girls with them, too. I’d get her a pretty Stanley cup filled with nail polish and lip gloss, cute hair ties….maybe one enewton bracelet? (All if this might be slightly over, not sure.) I always do these things thinking the recipient would want the expensive, trendy things other girls might have, instead of practical things. The kind of things there may not be a lot of budget $ for, you know? 😊🎄

    nekotish thanked nini804
  • nini804
    2 months ago

    Here are pics of these:





  • bbstx
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Maybe it is regional, but squishmallows are very ”last year” among my grands and their friends. (My grands are 7, 7, and 4.) Last year they were all the rage, but not so much this year.

    DD, her DMIL, and I went together to buy for a family on an Angel Tree through their church. There were clothing sizes listed on the back of the Angel Tree tag. We bought each child a warm coat and a pair of shoes, plus a few other things. DD and DMIL delivered the gifts to the family. That is when they discovered that the XL for the 11 year old boy was not a boy’s XL but a man’s XL. And there were a couple of other issues where the mother was not clear when she wrote the sizes (ex. a little girl’s size 14 is vastly different from a woman’s size 14). It was a mess and so disappointing because we had tried so hard to get useful gifts. All of this to say, maybe a similar situation led to no sizes for clothes.

  • Kathsgrdn
    2 months ago

    I like the 3-D pen and kinda want one for myself now.

  • bbstx
    2 months ago

    @Funkyart, I love those double line markers! I bought DGD1 a set. She and I both had great fun playing with them while she got her IV last week.

  • lily316
    2 months ago

    If you go the gift card route, Claires is a good idea and Target would also be my choice as they have clothing, games, toys, preteen cosmetics like bubble bath..etc.

  • nekotish
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Lots of good ideas to go on - thanks. Art supplies are a good idea that I didn't think of and the Lulu Lemon crossbody bag is a great idea. Every time someone mentions a Stanley cup - I think of hockey LOL!

  • OutsidePlaying
    2 months ago

    I thought I posted a list from my great niece but I don’t see it. well, here is most of it, except for a few things that were expensive.

    - Squishmallows, 5” set of 10

    - board games

    - Exploding Kittens card game

    - fuzzy socks

    - tickets to the new Trolls movie

    - Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty (?)

    - Plushie keychain

    - claw clips (assumes longer hair)

    - earrings


    Good luck! I think most 11-year-olds who are even on the Angel Tree probably would appreciate anything.

  • Funkyart
    2 months ago

    The two I participated in this year have transitioned to shopping via am-zon wishlists. No more Angel Trees.

    The one my company organized had multiple families and each child listed individually... from infant to 17 ish. They also had a group who went on some huge shopping trips as there were photos posted with MANY overflowing Target carts.

    I assumed that my company went this route because so many of us are remote and many of our regional offices (like mine) were closed.

    When another, fully local organization did the same, I started to wonder if it was because there had been issues with odd or inappropriate gifts? I don't know.

    In both cases, the wish lists used the organization's address for delivery. As the gifts started arriving, volunteers in office wrapped, organized and distributed them. That must have been a huge effort since each order could have been for multiple recipients. I know mine was.

  • salonva
    2 months ago

    I think a mxture of practical and fun makes sense,. I'm guessing that to be a recipient there needs to be some "need" and being practical sounds right. Maybe a few smaller novelty toys (I've seen that Crazy Aaron's thinking putty and it seemed cute- or I thought that lip balm making kit as it was "only" under $15.). I agree that a gift card would be able to be used online , and I like the idea of Old Navy and or Target for example. I still think hat/gloves/socks are nice and needed so would be great.

  • claudia valentine
    2 months ago

    I vote for mostly fun things, as opposed to the usual hats, gloves, and practical stuff. That kind of thing can often be had from charitable organizations that dont provide fun stuff. Even at that age they can be thrilled with something that comes all staged in a box, such as a craft/make it kind of thing, or something flashy.

    Just be glad that you did not draw a boys card. Boys are the aboslute worst to have to give a gift to! They get lots of basketballs, whether they like it or not.

    I helped with toys for tots one year and the boys gifts were the ones that were less donated. Just mostly basketballls.

    deegw, I agree with you about the silly stuffed critters. My g daughter, 8, has them and they are the ugliest and most useless pieces of flufff and stuff! Created to be nothing but landiflll,


    I remember when I was about that age all of us kids on the military base recieved a gift and I got a model kit that put together a squirrel and had this stuff to make fur on it. I loved it! Another time it was some box of something to make little jewelry. Kids were more innocent and the world was different back in those days. That was a long time ago.

    I got my g daughter a pom pom maker this year. She is 8, but age is not a factor. Learn to knit and other fabric crafting kits might be a suggestion.

    Something fun. But the boys?....................thats a hard one!!!

    What ever you get, you hope that someone from their life doesnt take it from them.


    When I did the TforT that year, I, personally was just appaled at the pure junk of all the toys and I thought that the nicest thing was that some knitter had made these nice knitted sets of hats and fingerless gloves from nice yarn. The toys were junk, but those were the nicest things. But, not really what the kids want, but they were very nice.

    They all want the big things, like iphones and devices. Aint gonna happen.

    I hate buying gifts of anything for anybody, ever. I declare that this is the absolute last year. The grands are just going to get cash from now on. I am done!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    2 months ago

    nekotish, yes it's true not all families are crime families (did I say they were?) but it's also a mistake to look at their lives through our own privileged perspective...they may not have good internet access or an easy way to get to a suburban chain store.


    At a center in a nearby city, the woman told the story of the woman who needed a stroller so they gave her one. A few months later she said she needed another one. When asked why, she showed them how the wheels were all worn and broken. The stroller was her primary mode of transporting everything as she had nothing else. Another story was of how they lent a book to a child to read, and when later asked why she hadn't returned it, she replied that her father hadn't finished reading it yet. Another related to my project linus efforts, children at a summer camp, each had a blanket on their cot which they were supposed to bring home with them. One child had left it on the bed and when told she could take it home, she said she couldn't possibly, that she'd never had anything as nice as that in her life.

  • faftris
    2 months ago

    I know that my girls at age 11 would have wanted something to unwrap, and if this child isn't going to get much else, I vote against gift cards. You don't know if she is into crafts or sports. I would get a crossbody or belt bag and add in with a mixture of practical and fun things. Maybe a jigsaw puzzle, a Lego kit, nail polish (not makeup--please!), hat/gloves/fuzzy socks, things that are semi-grown-up. Thank you for doing this.

  • rob333 (zone 7b)
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I'm just going to say this one comment, she asked what the little girl would like, current day little girls like those stuffed squishmallows; they're very popular. I volunteered what the girl would like, not what you would like. They're highly impractical, but highly sought after. I'm not really sure why there are those who want to keep denigrating the suggestion? It's a simple gift that will help her fit in with other girls her age.

    That is all.

  • GrammaJ
    2 months ago

    I have to agree with Rob. I have an 11 and 12 year old girl on my list and they both asked for the squishmallows. I guess whether we think they are great or not at least in my area they are still popular. Those along with a very soft throw I think is something that might give comfort to a little girl. I atill like gel pens, and maybe a notebook to draw in, lip balm, lotion etc. There are many ideas.



  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    FWIW, I've been working with school-age kids for over 25 years now - K-8. Keep in mind trends can vary by region - sometimes by neighborhood or school.

    And don't assume that every 11 yr old girl is into, or wants, girly things - some are sporty, some are arty, some are both, some are Goth, some are into fashion, but there's no one size fits all. I'd avoid bling-y pink and sparkly stuff, nail polish, etc. as there's no guarantee it would be appreciated.

    Having something to unwrap is important, and I'd still include a gift card - in a gift card box so it wouldn't be missed accidentally.

    Did I miss it, or have you contacted the Lions Club to ask if there are certain items to avoid giving?

  • Iri
    2 months ago

    Art supplies, especially ones that can be used as fun school supplies are usually well-received. Markers, colored pencils, perhaps a nice journal and sketch pad...if you go this route, you can wrap the items and put them inside a wrapped case. The plastic scrapbooking cases are great for kids' art materials.

  • jsk
    2 months ago

    I think any pre-teen would love those led lights for their room. This kind of thing:

    https://www.amazon.com/Leeleberd-Bedroom-Changing-Control-Bluetooth/dp/B0C2MHG632/ref=sr_1_6?crid=QM64TFUQGZJG&keywords=led+lights+for+bedroom&qid=1701883218&sprefix=led+light%2Caps%2C112&sr=8-6


    Also, as someone else suggested, the lululemon belt bag. They have a mini that I think is perfect for kids. I got one for my granddaughter for Chanukah after clearing with her mom. We think she is going to be thrilled.

    I second the suggestions of nail polish or press on nails for kids. I think most 11 year old girls would love that.

  • krystalmoon2009
    2 months ago

    depending where you live-gloves and stocking hat, warm socks., arts and crafts type things.

  • nekotish
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks all, I didn't expect this to be a stressful endeavour! Think I will go with some gel pens, markers, a journal, maybe an adult type colouring book and get my daughters to help me pick out a "cool" toque and mittens/gloves. A gift card for Old Navy, some sweet treats, maybe a bracelet craft kit. The gifts must be returned to the angel tree unwrapped. I do appreciate all the help and suggestions. We have done food hampers for families in the past - that was much easier! And speaking of that, I saw a great idea for food bank donations - a birthday cake kit. Foils pans, cake mix, canned frosted, sprinkles and candles. Will definitely be doing that one in the future.

  • lakeaffect_gw
    2 months ago

    I work for a human services agency in NNY and I agree with no gift cards, as we hear of parents and other ”adults” basically sweeping them up, and while I know it’s not every family, it’s a lot of them. Also, in rural areas, gift cards do little good if they can’t get to a store, the nearest Old Navy to my home is 45 miles, and transportation is a real barrier for many rural families due to the absymal public transportation situation in the US. We do get many donations of hats, mittens and scarves, but, speaking frankly, most are from the literal dollar store, so *quality* warm socks, mittens and hats are appreciated in northern climes (kids hate scarves, but they’ll tolerate gaitors). Anything that is ”cool” (difficult to assess, to carol_b’s point) is good, but make it too cool, and some asshat adult in their lives will consider it theirs. Personal care products are prized, so shampoo, soaps, moisturizer, nail brush, nail files, even period products, and some special snacks, anything sugary or salty, are always nice for people on strict budgets. Craft items are also nice, just make sure all the materials are included, these kids don’t have a craft cabinet or drawer with extra supplies to raid.

    This is a very difficult year for many families, rents are insane, food prices and utilities too, and the lower gas prices, while great for middle class folks, have no impact on you if your family doesn’t own a car.

    Finally, perhaps, after the holidays, give the organization some feedback about the dearth of info they provided regarding the wishes of the kids. And while I get that many people don’t have the ability to donate a phone or Game Boy (or whatever video game thing is in these days), please don’t shame the kids for asking for items that they believe ”everyone” has, they are just normal kids growing up in abnormally hard situations, that, frankly, none of us can imagine.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I don't have to imagine - I know, since we have had many, many foster kids in our rec programs over the decades. The backstories can be harrowing.

    A nice backpack for school - one that holds up for the entire year - is something most kids need too. It's really too bad you can't know their interests - it makes it that much more likely a gift can miss the mark.

  • claudia valentine
    2 months ago

    It is not just these kids ask for expensive .devices . Grandson wants his own iphone, too, His parents can afford it but he is not getting it. He has a reasonable expectation that he will get it in time, unlike some of these kids.

    No one can blame these kids for asking for expensive electronic devices. Of course that is what they really want, of course. They dont want another basket ball or fuzzy blanket. They want air pods and a phone and a video game console. That is their world and they want to participate in it.

    When I was 11 I was happy with a put together model of a squirrel that I got as a gift like that. I still remember the thrill of that gift, at least 60 years ago, but it was a different world back then. We had yet to glimpse of cyber heaven and electronic goodness.

  • Funkyart
    2 months ago

    I think also as judgements are made about what the kids are asking for... we need to remember that kids don't often "get" the value of gifts or money, for that matter.

    My 8 yo nephew really wants an iphone and he isnt getting one either. I forget what I gave him for his birthday that looked like the size of an iphone box (yes, they know what they look like! LOL) ... but he was SO excited to open this one gift! I was oblivious to what he thought it was until he said he just knew that it was an iphone 12! Oh my! Anything else was going to be a huge disappointment!

    My first reaction was surprise that he thought I'd get him an iphone (both because of the cost and because it is his parents' rule that he can't have an iphone until he is older) ... but then I remembered he was 7 going on 8. He doesnt know these things. They see the ads ... they see some of their friends with iphones.. they have no idea of the costs.

    So yeah, I give the kids a break ... no judgement on anything other than the ads suggesting ALLA the cool kids have this or that.

  • nini804
    2 months ago

    Actually, at the Angel Tree at church one year, there was a 13 year old boy who had put Xbox on his list. One of my friends and I decided to split it and give him his wish. I felt so much joy that year thinking how excited he would be! It was as much a gift for me as him.

  • Judy Good
    2 months ago

    Not knowing her circumstances she might have no way to go to stores. I love the idea of crafts, nail polish kit and art supplies. You could get her one nice larger item for a $100.00, maybe a tablet for games. They do not have to use internet.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Oh geez - I'm now reminded that stepson gave granddaughter an iPhone for her birthday and she promptly broke it - beyond repair 🙄

    One of our other GDs lost her new phone on a rollercoaster ride - it flew out of her hand, never to be seen again...

  • lyfia
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I think Nini has a really good list for what is popular and for that age group and what would help someone feel like they are part of the larger group of girls of that age and likely items that wouldn't be bought by family. I like the idea of electronics as it would provide some benefits of staying connected and check things like google classroom, but parents may take them to sell, or there may be no way of getting connected to the internet to set it up etc. so could be a tough one without knowing more info.

    I do agree kids don't have a good idea of the cost of things and of course an iPhone is a very coveted thing so what they would put on a list for what they want. I've been trying to teach my child very hard the value of money, but she still comes up with outrageous things at times where I'm like you'll have to save your money if that is something you want. She usually does if it is important enough to her. We'll see if she ends up getting this Dyson hair thing she wants. I didn't pay attention to what it was, but saw the price tag and went - nope not buying that for you.

  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    2 months ago

    Isn't it funny how the companies conveniently leave out price points in their advertising? You can be sure if the prices were part of the ads, kids would notice.

  • Lyban zone 4
    2 months ago

    I have a 13 year old grand daughter and she would like anything from sol de Janeiro at Sephora.

    i am in canada so maybe it is not the same in usa but here every girl around 12 wants this stuff.

    https://www.sephora.com/search?keyword=sol%20de%20rio%20de%20janeiro


  • lascatx
    2 months ago

    My son is a teacher for this age group and in an area I'm sure has many angel tree eligible students. I go down there one or two days a week it seems. I'm in Texas, but the things lakeaffect_gw raised for NY are pretty valid here too. Deodorant is something I've heard the girls needing, and you can make it ordinary or holiday special with something like Native's Candy Cane or Sugar Cookie scents. Period products are something these girls need and none of them can afford the special underwear -- a pretty zip pouch to carry products more discreetly would be nice. Lip balm, hand lotion, body wash, manicure tools are all good too. Even toothpaste and toothbrushes -- all my dentist ones go to the school nurse.

    I would try to balance practical and fun. Drawing, coloring, crafting items (self contained kits, not something where they would need to have or buy tools or other supplies) a deck of cards with a book that teaches card games, a fun pillow, stuffed animal, tassels or backpack charms -- the kids also wear them on their ID lanyards. A lanyard (with a breakaway release) or an ID pouch (clear on one side but might have a pocket on the other to hold another card or cash. Costume jewelry -- an adjustable ring or necklace, could be nice -- maybe a locket or one that holds a secret message. The snacks -- oh yes. We see signs of food insecurity at every event.

    This is a big challenge with no size or other info. My son has students wearing youth sizes all the way though Adult XXL or possibly XXXL. You can give gift receipts with any clothing -- pin them into the collar or put them in the pocket. It may be returned by the parent to buy other things, so I wouldn't make that the entire or nearly entire gift, I'm hoping the group has more info and will match up sizes and favorite colors as needed. I hope.

  • nekotish
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    I have finished my Angel Tree shopping, thanks to good advice from my daughters, friends and all of you kind people. I got her a Lululemon crossbody bag (and apparently the small reusable Lulu bag that it came in is

    very popular for use as a lunch bag) 2 pair of fluffy/fuzzy socks from H&M and this bracelet making kit. I'm going to leave a not when I drop off the package on Tuesday so that they realize that the Lulu shopping bag is part of the gift and also to give input that a little more info on the recipient would be helpful in the future.



  • porkandham
    2 months ago

    Yes, those Lululemon shopping bags are popular lunch bags! Ithink you made great choices!

    nekotish thanked porkandham
  • samkarenorkaren
    2 months ago

    How about jewelry making kits? Or maybe paint by number kits? I'm always fascinated with the different ideas you can find at craft stores.

  • nekotish
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Again, thanks for all the great input. As much as I like to give, especially to kids at Christmas, I will look for another way to donate to a specific child/teen next year where I can have more info than their age and gender. It feels awkward to give gender specific gifts when you know nothing about the recipient.

  • chisue
    2 months ago

    Glad you found good gifts. I was interested just reading through the comments.

    The Sephora idea caught my eye, and a child's narrow view of the world as well. When her family took at trip to NYC I gave DGD (10) $20 to spend on a momento. She spent it on something from Sephora -- that she could easily have bought anywhere! "But I know it came from New York," was her rationale.

  • Olychick
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I’m sure some little girl will be thrilled with your choices. I haven’t read all the responses, so this may have been mentioned, but some of these giving trees aren’t really wishes from specific children, but a way to gather and distribute generic, age appropriate gifts to children in need. Thus the only info is 11year old girl.

    nekotish thanked Olychick
  • jemdandy
    2 months ago

    Books about nature, interesting, but obscure animal facts, plants or unusual plants.

    Microscope

    Binoculars

    Magnifier glass

    Art supplies

    Simple sewing projects

    Plant identification books

    Books such as "Little Women", "Anne of Green Gables", "Black Beauty" and "The Yearling"