Physically and mentally, your eleven-year-old girl is experiencing some big changes as she enters her preteen years – in fact, her interests, moods, and shoe size may all seem to be changing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up. She’s focusing on her hobbies while nurturing her budding social life; games, toys and gear that encourage her to explore, learn and have fun in a casual setting are some of the best gifts for 11 year old girls. We’ve assembled a guide to choosing a gift she’ll love as well as a list of potential picks, so check out our favorites for some inspiration.

The Winners

#1

Orion Scanner Reflector Telescope

Best Overall

If she’s getting curious about the universe, beginner stargazing is a hobby that can expand her mind and encourage an interest in astronomy. Orion is a respected name in telescopes, and their compact starseeker Orion Scanner Reflector Telescope is a kid-friendly pick that’s great for gazers who are just starting out.

The telescope’s 100mm aperture and 400mm focal length means she’ll catch a vivid and highly-detailed glimpse of the night sky. If she wants to take a closer look, she can use one of the included eyepieces to boost the device’s magnification by 20x or 40x. Although it’s a powerful tool, this reflecting telescope is also space efficient, storing easily in a closet or cubby and taking up minimal space on a desk or tabletop.

Developmental & Play Insights Orion Scanner Reflector Telescope

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#2

Firmstrong Urban Cruiser Bicycle

Upgrade Choice

At eleven, a good bike ride is both a ticket to age-appropriate independence. The retro style of the Firmstrong Urban Cruiser Bicycle is classic cute, and it’s available in pink, blue, and green pastel shades with bright white accents. Another fun throwback? The wide, white-walled balloon tires, which make her ride extra smooth and stable.

It’s a single speed bike, which makes it easy for young riders to keep a consistent pace while riding, and braking is simple – all she has to do to stop is pedal backwards, slowing the bike to a smooth pause. Whether she’s cruising the neighborhood with her pals or taking on trails at the beach or campsite, she’ll be getting a great workout when she rides.

Developmental & Play Insights Firmstrong Urban Cruiser Bicycle

Entertainment
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#3

Babycakes Cupcake Maker

Best Budget Buy

If you like cupcakes as much as your little chef, you just might find yourself breaking out the Babycakes Cupcake Maker for a midnight snack – we won’t tell. The convenient appliance can create 8 small baked creations; it’s made for cupcakes, but brownies, quiches, cheesecakes and other bites can also be cooked in here if she’s especially creative in the kitchen.

The body of the appliance is solid pink plastic which remains a touch-friendly temperature, and the lifting lid has a latch to keep things secure while it’s in operation. Non-stick interior plates allow her to easily remove her creations from her cupcake maker, which even comes with a basic piping set she can use to practice icing and decorating her tasty treats.

Developmental & Play Insights Babycakes Cupcake Maker

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#4

Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 Chemistry Set

Tools that enable scientific exploration offer big-time cognitive boosts. Your eleven-year-old can engage in some age-appropriate chemistry education outside the classroom with this feature-packed of the Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 Chemistry Set, which includes 250 exciting experiments for her to complete. The 128-page lab manual outlines proper use of her new tools, details important safety tips, and walks her through the completion of many simple, safe experiments.

The kit includes goggles, droppers, beakers, swabs, a funnel, storage containers, reagents and additional supplies, including an alcohol burner that should be used with parental supervision.

Developmental & Play Insights Thames & Kosmos Chem C2000 Chemistry Set

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#5

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Photography is a hobby that encourages kids to get out and explore, expand their mind, and even share their journeys and work with friends. If she’s eager to get behind the lens, the Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera can offer the functionality and high-definition imagery of a digital camera with a kid-friendly interface and a sturdy body that make it a great choice for young photographers.

It’s a Polaroid, so she also has the option of instant gratification via printable 2″ x 3″ photos, but this cam’s unique digital twist means she can pick and print her favorites instead of wasting film on those inevitable, accidental blurry shots.

Developmental & Play Insights Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

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#6

ALEX Spa Super Mani Pedi Party Kit

Girls’ slumber parties are often served up with a side of kid-friendly spa treatments and makeovers. If your Essie polishes are running low after sharing with your little beauty queen, the Super Mani Pedi Party from Alex Spa delivers her very own set of manicure and pedicure supplies and tools.

She can choose from five different polishes, four sparkling glitters, 72 fun nail art stickers, shining sequins, tweezers, a brush, pedicure separators and, of course, files to prepare and perfect her creations. There’s also instructions for creating plenty of cute mani and pedi looks she and her friends will love, and lots of supplies makes this kit a great addition to a sleepover or girls’ night with her pals.

Developmental & Play Insights ALEX Spa Super Mani Pedi Party Kit

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#7

Holy Stone Shadow FPV RC Drone

Soaring to new heights and capturing previously unattainable pictures and video is simple with a good drone. The Holy Stone Shadow FPV RC Drone is an app-controlled drone with an interface that’s easy for your eleven-year-old to understand. The game-style controller lets her launch, control, and land her drone easily, with no previous experience needed. She’ll be able to enjoy a streaming first person view via the drone’s 720P camera, which streams to the app and allows her to capture incredible footage for photo and film projects.

The drone’s body folds to a compact square shape, protecting its arms and blades and making it safe and easy to transport when not in flight. It also comes with a bonus battery, which means double the use time as long as both are charged up.

Developmental & Play Insights Holy Stone Shadow FPV RC Drone

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#8

Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphones

Whether she’s listening to her favorite tunes or watching the shows she loves on the go, sometimes headphones are necessary to keep the peace. She can ditch the uncomfortable, easily-tangled earbuds for this much cuter and more convenient pick from Brookstone, which can pair with any Bluetooth-enabled phone, MP3 player, or computer. As she streams high-quality audio, she’ll also experience superior comfort and noise reduction thanks to the headset’s cushioned earpieces. The accent lights on these cat-ear headphones are independently controlled, so she can switch things up depending on her mood or the style she’s rocking that day. There’s also a built in mic, so switching from her music to a chat with friends is seamless.

Developmental & Play Insights Brookstone Wireless Cat Ear Headphonesl

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#9

Lenox Engraved Jewelry Box

The older she gets, the more treasures and trinkets your eleven-year-old girl no doubt has to keep track of. A personalized, Engraved Jewelry Box from Lenox is an elegant way to protect her favorite keepsakes, especially any valuable jewelry pieces she may have received as gifts.

This classic silver jewelry box features a sculpted silver quilt pattern on the outside; when she opens the lid, the brushed pink exterior also reveals a ballerina, who dances en point to Fur Elise when she winds the box’s knob. On the front, a heart surrounds an engraving of your choice – names, initials and special dates are all great picks for commemorating her in a special way. There are four large and two small compartments present for storing her trinkets, as well as a padded ring holder in the center of the box.

Developmental & Play Insights Lenox Engraved Jewelry Box

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#10

Pinwheel Crafts Fairy Craft Kit

At eleven, artistic kids are really beginning to show their skills, and arts and crafts continue to offer opportunities for cognitive development. Unique projects like this fairy jar kit from Pinwheel Crafts give them a way to channel their creative energy into something they can be proud of.

The Pinwheel Crafts Fairy Craft Kit comes with a jar to decorate as well as fairy silhouette decals, colorful tissue paper, glitter, cheerful flowers, six ribbon colors, decorative twine, a butterfly clip, and the brush and glue they’ll need to get the job done. The end result is a stylish fairy lantern, featuring real LED illumination that’s powered by 2 AAA batteries. It makes a cute addition to her bedroom, and can double as a night light or evening reading lamp.

Developmental & Play Insights Pinwheel Crafts Fairy Craft Kit

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#12

Kano Computer Kit Touch

Projects that encourage kids to learn the basics of STEM skills like coding improve their use of logical thinking and can encourage the development of a productive and lucrative future hobby. With this upgraded version of the Kano Computer Kit, she can build a Raspberry Pi 3-powered computer with keyboard, track pad and touchscreen inputs.

Learning new skills is made fun and simple by over 100 coding challenges, but she can also play games, experiment with Google’s song maker, watch her favorite YouTubers, write a great story, and test out the device’s many apps. It’s an ideal first computer for encouraging technical learning with no prior experience required for success.

Developmental & Play Insights Kano Computer Kit Touch

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#13

3Doodler Start

A love of drawing is common around eleven, and it’s easy for your girl to bring her drawings to life when 3D printing is made accessible and kid-safe. This particular version of the 3Doodler is a great pick for fans of the Powerpuff Girls, as it features a PPG-themed doodle pen, a doodle mold for character creations, and four doodle blocks loaded with accessories that they can use to design Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup or their own original character.

They can also use the 96 strands of eco-friendly plastic to make creations out of their imagination, and refills are available once they’ve used up the 4 packs this set comes with. Even though this toy extrudes plastic, it’s designed to operate at low temperatures with all hot parts protected, a design feature which prioritizes her safety.

Developmental & Play Insights 3Doodler Start

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#14

SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games

Most project kits don’t have infinite reuse potential, but this electrical engineering lab, SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games offers your eleven-year-old the opportunity to assemble the included components again and again to practice her circuitry skills. She can create an interactive quiz game, a real drum pad, an alarm which detects motion, and other novel inventions using a real computer microprocessor and circuit board.

The included guide walks her through 50 projects she can complete with the electronics lab, but she can also use her imagination to come up with customized gadgets, which encourages her to think critically, focus, plan, and use cause and effect.

Developmental & Play Insights SmartLab Toys Smart Circuits Games

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#15

Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden Set

One of the most fascinating processes in nature takes place when a fuzzy caterpillar forms a chrysalis and morphs into a beautiful butterfly. A butterfly habitat is a great way to give kids hands-on experience with this amazing metamorphosis, and this Live Butterfly Garden Gift Set from Insect Lore has all the supplies she’ll need to humanely raise five baby caterpillars and nurture their journey into their winged form.

When the butterflies have hatched, she can enjoy caring for them for a few days before releasing them in the backyard on a warm day. It’s a memorable way to teach a scientific lesson outside the classroom, and she may be able to spot her fluttering friends in the garden for a few days if there’s flowers around to keep them interested.

Developmental & Play Insights Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden Set

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How to Pick the Perfect Gift for A 11-YEAR-OLD Girl

Consider Their Developmental Stage

While your eleven-year-old is rapidly approaching puberty, she’s still a kid at heart who requires guidance and thrives on play. Physically, she’s gaining body fat and growing taller and stronger, and she may begin undergoing the chances of early puberty – keeping an open, casual dialogue about what’s going on can help her feel comfortable instead of awkward. Staying active is an important part of her healthy lifestyle, and her competitive drive may keep her interest in team sports high.

From a cognitive standpoint, she’s beginning to observe the far-reaching results that her actions can have. She’s also more able to look at things from different points of view, grasping the basic difference between objectivity and subjectivity. Her ability to tackle new responsibilities is improving, and her capacity for paying attention is high despite a frequently-rotating set of personal interests. She responds well to hands-on activities that make real-world learning fun and engaging.

Socialization has been an important component of your eleven-year-old’s life for years, but dynamics begin to change during the preteen years as classmates begin to break off into more defined social groups. She may begin to feel pressure to fit in, and it’s a time when early experiments with risky behaviors often occur. The best way to combat this is to be open with your child about what she’s hearing and seeing while reinforcing her sense of personal value and positive relationships.

Entertainment vs. Education

Busy schedules packed with homework, sports practices and after-school activities can leave your eleven-year-old without a lot of downtime. Facilitating creative free play that’s fulfilling and entertaining is more important than making sure every toy is educational now, although she’ll still learn from and enjoy kits that make scientific exploration fun and accessible. It’s perfectly reasonable to strike a balance that reflects her personal interests and pursuits, because she’s already learning a lot at school.

Physical vs. Cognitive vs. Social

Physically active play still holds a lot of benefits for your eleven-year-old, keeping her healthy and strong and helping her avoid childhood obesity as she grows. It also often incorporates social elements that are playing a big role in her personal development, so continuing to encourage team sports participation and outdoor activities with her pals can keep her on a healthy path. Picks like sports gear, bikes, scooters, and skates all provide an impetus to get moving.

When it comes to cognition, it may seem like her interests are bouncing around quite a bit, and she may be beginning to feel some amount of frustration with schoolwork. Her focus is growing, but she may also be eager to try more new things than can reasonably fit into her schedule. Encouraging her to choose one or two pursuits which are really meaningful to her can help to channel her enthusiasm into serious skill-building. STEM kits can re-energize her interest in learning by engaging her in a hands-on way and piquing her scientific curiosity.

As social dynamics change, your eleven-year-old’s hangouts are likely shifting to sleepovers and mall trips that seem more germane to a teenager. It’s a normal change, but with it comes inevitable peer pressure that can be hard to resist, especially when kids are bored. Encouraging healthy friendships and keeping an open dialogue go
a long way in keeping her responsible, especially when she doesn’t feel judged. Providing casual structure through games, toys and activities lets her hang with friends in a constructive way.

Digital vs. Manual

At eleven, many kids are in possession of their very first laptop, cell phone or game console, but screen time limits and lessons on responsible use are an important part in keeping their role in kids’ lives beneficial. A two-hour daily screen time limit is reasonable, allowing them to enjoy their digital toys while also encouraging them to spend the majority of their downtime doing something that will be more productive for their body or brain.

Wrapping Up

As she draws ever-closer to her teen years, your girl thrives on your guidance; you’re the force that helps her make good choices and stay focused on her goals. The best toys for 11 year old girls help them to pursue what drives them, keeping them physically, mentally, and socially active while engaging their unique sense of self. You know who she is – now that you know what she needs, you’re geared up to choose something great.

Quick Decision

Orion Scanner Reflector Telescope – Best Overall
a kid-friendly pick that’s great for gazers who are just starting out if she’s getting curious about the universe.

Firmstrong Urban Cruiser Bicycle – Upgrade Choice
A cute single classic speed bike which makes it easy for young riders to keep a consistent pace while riding.

Babycakes Cupcake Maker – Best Budget Buy
The convenient appliance can create 8 small baked creations; it’s made for cupcakes and other bites can also be cooked in here if she’s especially creative in the kitchen.

 

THE BEST gift FOR 6 yr-old-girls

Looking for gifts for your 6 year old girl? Look no further. We’ve put together a guide to some truly fun and useful picks we think you’ll both love.

Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

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