If you have an 11 year old girl in your life, then you probably already know that she’s undergoing lots of changes. You’ll notice physical changes, cognitive changes and yes, even changes when it comes to the gifts she wants. What was great a year or two ago may be too childish and yet, she is still a kid. We’ve found that most 11 year olds still love to play, they just need to be properly engaged. To help solve this pre-teen present problem, we’ve searched high and low for the very best gifts for 11 year old girls. Each one was selected based on its capacity to be enjoyed and be educational. To learn more about the milestones that these gifts will help with, read on. Otherwise, skip right to our top toys for 11 year old girls list below!
11 Year Old Developmental Milestones
Physically, 11 year old girls are going through some pretty big changes. In fact, your daughter may grow as much as 4 inches this year! Because of all this growth, your tween needs more sleep than you might think, on average 9-11 hours a night. In addition to growing taller, your 11 year old may be experiencing puberty, resulting in weight and body composition changes. Ensuring she keeps a healthy diet and empowering her to develop a positive body image are two great ways to support her development.
Cognitively, you may notice that your daughter is questioning the concepts she’s learning more deeply. This introspection will lead to her developing her own worldview as she figures out what her values are. Pediatricians recommend limiting screen time to 1-2 hours per day, but screen time rules may be tough to enforce, especially if your child already has a smartphone. Helping your daughter engage in fun activities away from a computer or phone can make this battle easier. (Most of our gift recommendations are screen-free activities.)
Socially, developing and maintaining healthy friendships is critical as peer pressure becomes more apparent at this age. Helping your daughter feel confident about herself is the best defense against falling prey to peer pressure. Your continued support and encouragement will bolster her sense of self. Finally, as a parent, you’ve likely noticed her growing independence these last few years; this year is no exception. Friends may be her primary focus, but she will still look to you for guidance, support and love.
11 Best Toys & Gifts for 11 Year Old Girls
If your daughter loves to paint her nails but has grown tired of the standard single color manicure, Klutz Nail Style Studio may just be the perfect gift. The kit includes detailed instructions for 25 different nail designs, specialized nail art tools, practice peel-off polish in 6 colors and more than 250 stencils. With these supplies, if your daughter can dream it, she can design it. In addition to being fun and stylish, the Nail Style Studio is great at helping your 11 year old improve her fine motor skills and find new ways to express herself.
Great for social or solo play, the Nintendo Switch makes it a snap to play on the TV at home or on-the-go with its handheld mode. We all know that video games can be fun and entertaining, but they can also be great for improving executive functioning as well as problem solving skills. While gaming obviously does count as screen time, we like that it’s not a passive experience. When it comes to games, there are a lot of great options for the Switch. Some of our favorites for 11 year olds are Nintendo Labo, Letter Quest Remastered, Snipperclips Plus and Super Mario Party.
If your daughter is looking for a new hobby that she can do anywhere, crocheting may just fit the bill. Working with her hands will help to improve her fine motor skills and the repetition of crocheting has been proven to release serotonin, making it a great activity to combat depression and anxiety. Studies have also shown that crocheting improves mindfulness, so it’s a wonderful hobby to start early. This kit comes with detailed instructions and all the supplies she’ll need to make a headband, placemat and belt.
Have an inquisitive kid in your life? The Snap Circuits Jr. provides hands-on education about how electrical circuitry works without any of soldering or destruction of your prized home electronics. The kit comes with an expansive manual that details the instructions for 105 different electrical projects including how to build a flashlight, flying saucer and a volume-adjustable siren. This recipient of the National Parenting Center Seal of Approval will provide hours of entertainment as your daughter learns about the differences between resistors, capacitators and inductors. Once your child is finished with all of the projects in the manual, she can upgrade her equipment and even design her own circuits.
This musical card game comes with 60 transparent cards that your daughter can use to compose her very own music. Because the cards are transparent, they can be flipped and rotated to make different melodies; adding up to more than a billion musical possibilities. Once she has drafted her melody, she can upload her composition on the Compose Yourself website and hear her song (with or without accompaniment), share it with friends and family, and print out sheet music so she can play it on an instrument of her choosing.
Lip balm is a tried-and-true cosmetic among the tween crowd. Help her take her burgeoning beauty routine to the next level with the DIY lip balm kit. The easy-to-follow instructions and high-quality materials, including shea butter, almond oil and beeswax make it simple and fun for your 11 year old to make 12 tubes that she can stockpile or share with friends.
7. Prime Club
Part strategy, part luck, all fun – Prime Club is a fantastic game for 2-4 players that reinforces math skills and makes multiplication and division as easy as combining colors. It’s tough to find a game that’s a favorite among educators, parents and kids but this award-winning board game appeals to most everyone and has quickly become staple in classrooms and at family game nights.
If your daughter enjoys making traditional friendship bracelets, the Loopdedoo Spinning Loom Kit is a natural progression. The small loom and 12 enclosed skeins (narrow balls of yarn designed to be pulled from center) are all she needs to make one-of-a-kind bracelets, anklets, zipper pulls, belts and more. There are also add-on accessories, like charms and metallic thread, if she’d like to add a little shimmer. Completing crafting projects like this is a great way for your 11 year old to unleash some creativity and boost her self-esteem.
If you feel like it’s sometimes a struggle to get your kid to spend time outside, adding a little variety to their outdoor activities might help. Kan Jam is both a fun and competitive game for kids (and adults!). It comes with a frisbee and two targets and is designed for 2 teams of two. Even when it’s not your turn to throw, you have the opportunity to block the opposing team’s shot, so it’s never boring. We also like that it’s simple to set up, store and transport, making it great for the beach, the park or the yard.
For the fledging fashionista, we can’t recommend The Fashion Sketchpad enough. Let your daughter get her design dreams down on paper by utilizing the 420 pre-made croqius (proportionally accurate human figure) drawings. Once her outfit is complete, she can scan or photocopy her sketch and see the croquis image disappear. Because the croquis is printed with a specially formulated pantone color, it doesn’t show up when the image is replicated, leaving behind a professional and proportionally accurate fashion sketch.
This Darice 80-Piece Deluxe Art Kit comes with everything your 11 year old will need to produce her next great work of art (except for the paper. Check out #10 above!). A wide array of colored pencils, pencils, watercolor cakes, oil pastels, paintbrushes and more are all neatly packaged in a durable and compact carrying case. What we love about this kit is that it offers great exposure to a variety of mediums without breaking the bank. Priced at $15, this starter set is an ideal way for your daughter to figure out which mediums she prefers. The art set is a great companion to the fashion sketchpad above.
Toys for Other Age Ranges
For more toy and gift ideas for girls, check out our other great articles:
- Best toys for 1 year old girls
- Best toys for 2 year old girls
- Best toys for 3 year old girls
- Best toys for 4 year old girls
- Best toys for 5 year old girls
Or get inspired with the best toys for boys:
- Best toys for 1 year old boys
- Best toys for 2 year old boys
- Best toys for 3 year old boys
- Best toys for 4 year old boys
- Best toys for 5 year old boys
- Best toys for 6 year old boys
- Best toys for 7 year old boys
- Best toys for 8 year old boys
- Best toys for 9 year old boys
- Best toys for 10 year old boys
- Best toys for 11 year old boys
- Best toys for 12 year old boys
- Best gifts for teenage boys
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list. While we don’t suggest that these are the only toys your child will ever need, we do think this list of great educational toys for girls is a strong start. If you have any suggestions or feedback, please reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Criteria for Placement
While listing the best educational resources is never an exact science, we’ve done our best find products that rank highly on the following criteria:
- Developmental impact: Many toys out there like plush dolls are somewhat limited in their developmental impact. We’ve critically evaluated the toys on this list for their impact on physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development.
- Safety: All toys on this list are safe to use, free of toxic compounds like lead and BPA
- Durability: Children love to throw, jump on, and touch everything in sight. The toys on this list are fit to withstand the bumps and hard landings.
- Price: Parenting doesn’t need to be outrageously expensive. We looked for the cheapest products that still meet our developmental and quality requirements.
- Developmental milestones for typical middle schoolers – understood.org
- Developmental milestones for middle childhood (9-11 years of age) – cdc.gov