I don’t know if you find the same, but the tweens and teens in my life are always the hardest to find gifts for. Every time Christmas or a birthday rolls around, I find myself scrabbling to guess at what they might possibly be into this year – it gets harder and harder to keep up! Settling on something that is age-appropriate, on-trend and reflects their growing independence can be a challenge – it’s a tricky balance to get right. Obviously we’re slightly biased and have long been advocates of subscriptions for kids, but they are also an option I think works particularly well for this older age group. There are lots of benefits to a subscription for tweens and teens, whether you are purchasing for your own family or as a gift for someone else. Here are five reasons why subscriptions have become one of my go-to gifts for tweens and early teens:
Because anything Mum and Dad pick is so uncool!
What better way to deflect responsibility than with a subscription box! You might have chosen the overall theme, but everything they receive in their monthly subscription parcel will have been handpicked by someone else, removing the stigma attached to anything that older relatives might think is cool, but really isn’t! Seriously though, I’ve noticed that my own son is increasingly resistant to my suggestions for what to read– but he will happily consider anything that comes through the post or that is recommended by someone else. It’s a natural part of growing up as they assert their independence from their parents. Parents tell us that one of the benefits to them of our book subscription service is that their child is more likely to willingly read a book we’ve sent in a parcel addressed directly to them, rather than something picked out by mum or dad.
They make a great digital-free alternative
If your teen or tween is anything like mine, their phone is a permanent fixture nowadays. Persuading them to engage with anything that doesn’t involve a screen is increasingly difficult! But they all still like receiving post (who doesn’t?) and the regular arrival of a subscription box is a great distraction from whatever viral video or group chat they are absorbed in. A book subscription like ours, for example, is a great way to re-engage them with a physical book and off-line activities, without endless nagging on your part.
It's an opportunity to try something different
Our teens and tweens are busy exploring the world, but are so heavily influenced by their peers that it can sometimes be difficult for them to find their own preferences and interests. A subscription box literally puts something new and different in front of them every month. For example, we make an effort with our book subscription to offer our subscribers books in a range of genres, so they have the opportunity to try something different every month. With our Macaw subscription for 12 to 14-year-olds, they actually get a choice of two books each month, allowing them to forge their own path through their reading subscription.
Be confident they will receive something age-appropriate
It’s an age at which our kids are constantly pushing at the boundaries of content that is appropriate for their age group, and of course all children mature at different rates – some are ready for more grown-up content earlier than others. Most subscription services aimed at kids and young people offer packages recommended for particular age bands, so you can be confident that you are choosing a subscription that will send them material appropriate for their age and level of maturity.
There are lots of sustainable options
Something that I’ve noticed my son and his friends are increasingly aware of is how sustainable the products they are consuming are. It’s topic that matters a great deal to our young people and rightly so. I’ve been so impressed listening to them talk about why it matters and what they think we should be doing to minimise the waste we produce. There are some excellent sustainable subscription boxes out there, many of which do not include any single-use plastic. We’re pleased to say that applies to our book subscription boxes too, which are all delivered in fully recycled (and recyclable) packaging.
Read more about the many benefits of subscription boxes for kids, in particular education subscriptions and book subscriptions. Find out how to choose the right subscription for your child and more on why we think subscriptions make a great gift.
Still got questions? Why not check out the lowdown on subscriptions for kids.