What do 10 to 15 year old girls like?

My family and I are going to Hong Kong later this month to visit some family members on my mom’s side. I have three cousins who are 10, 12 and 15 who I’d like to get presents for. The thing is, I don’t want to pick up any old made in China toys for them because it’s a little ridiculous to bring back things that have been shipped out from where I’m going. I’ve had some suggestions to get make up or jewelery as that is what I was interested in when I was 15 but I think that’s more of a North American thing to like those things at that age. Besides, my aunt is a little bit on the strict side (ie. makeup is for WHORES! :rolleyes: ) so I don’t think she’d be very happy if I introduced them to these things. My parents aren’t really any help in this as they don’t know their nieces very well either so I seek the wise intelligence advice here! Help?

In that age range clothes are usually a hit. In the past I have known people outside the US to be really thrilled to get American denim. Maybe that has changed with globalization, but you might consider something like Levi’s or Gap jean jackets.

Well, last week I brought Blix with me to be part of my best friend’s parents’ halloween display (he’s an alien baby doll designed by the X-Files special effects team). He went over really big with the middle school aged girls who were facinated that something could be cute and creepy at the same time. You might have to do a lot of digging around to find one, though, since they were made a decade ago. I’ve seen them on ebay more than once, so there are still some out there.

Anyway there are lots of things that walk the line between cute and creepy, and the younger two are the target age for them. Apparently there’s a new skeleton bear out there too, and other things of that nature.

If you’re thinking of clothes, take them shopping! The break will also be a present for their parents (read: quality time together :smiley: ). Don’t buy clothes beforehand because you can’t guarantee they will fit.

I’d approach it with a small-but-meaningful present, something relevant to where you’re from, which will serve as a momento. Then make sure you have an opportunity to buy them each something which they’re keen on, which will probably be very different for each of them, is cetainly easier to judge once there, and can easily be done with a little help from their parents. Indeed, you could maybe mention your predicament to them in advance and they’ll have a good idea of what to do.

I was a 10-15 year old boy and my father went to Asia once or twice a year. I wanted books. I wanted pictures of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and other Asian countries. My father brought home some nice travel guides to Asia. I loved showing them off when we did our social studies unit on Asia.

Find out what kind of music girls that age like and bring them some CDs. My 13-year-old housemate is really into Tokio Hotel, a German group that’s been pretty successful internationally lately.

Thanks for the suggestions so far. I tried asking my aunt what her daughters would like and of course she was being gracious and very Chinese-like and told me that I don’t have to get her daughters anything when I visit. I couldn’t even get her to give me a few hints.

This sure doesn’t make it easy… but I was thinking of getting a colouring book set for the 10 year old. I know the 15 year old would not be into that, but is 12 too old for colouring?

Do they have computers or mp3 players? I keep a handful of iTunes gift cards at the ready for my pre-and teenage nieces and nephews.

Yeah, this is a hard question…

Clothes are hard because they may not fit.

Finding out what music the age group likes could go badly if some of them really don’t like, as then they’d assume you had just grouped them into their demographic to pick out a gift…I am speaking from being only about three years older than a fifteen year old. I always hated gifts that seemed so…overdone.

But seeing as you dont really know them, what else can you do? I would suggest classic and interesting jewelry, but you ruled that out.

How about…oddities or games? Toys that have more grown-up appeal, I would say. Think Geek has a couple of interesting looking stuff…ooh…small wooden catapult sets…DIY music box kit…bunches of things for marshmallow warfare…and now I am starting my christmas list for everyone I know…

Is she 10 or is she 12?

Either one is too old for most coloring books. If you’re thinking one of the fancier coloring books, printed on heavy white paper and with complicated pictures, that seems fine for a 10 year old. I’d have been happy to get one at age 10. If she’s 12 then that’s much more difficult, because a 12 year old might love a fancy coloring book as a gift or she might find it totally humiliating and that you think she’s a baby. It really depends on the girl.

I don’t have kids but I think even 10 is way too old for colouring. Have you considered some kind of crafts kits, for example, where they could make their own jewellry?

Cute accessories and some glossy American magazines full of cute boys.

Art supplies.

Seriously, I have never gone wrong getting a 10-15 year old girl art supplies.

Not coloring books, mind you, but independent, art-making stuff. Specifically, a marker set with at least 48 different colors. You could do the same with colored pencils, but stay away from crayons and Crayola, as those are still considered kid stuff.

You could also look at craft supply, but get the higher end stuff - glass beads for making bracelets, a tie-dye kit, a keepsake box they get to decorate, that sort of thing.

At that age, girls love personalizing their belongings and getting creative.

Back when my daughter was 12, and I was about to visit the US for the first time (from Australia), what she asked for was a t-shirt – specifically, one from a Hard Rock Cafe. So if you buy each a t-shirt with some distinctively US design, you probably won’t go far wrong. (And t-shirts can be bought a little too big for the wearers, since at that age they will still be growing up).

Thanks again for the extra recommendations. I started off on this mission with the purpose of buying only things that are made in North America but I took a wander through Toys-R-Us yesterday and realized this might be a lost cause. EVERYTHING is made in China. Well, except for this one Crayola Tinkerbell Coloring kit that was made and assembled in USA.

The three girls are 10, 12 and 15. I was thinking about getting that coloring set for the 10 year old, but from the responses I’m getting here, maybe not. The fifteen year old is less of a conundrum because I think she’s old enough to be allowed wear simple pieces of jewelery if it comes to that. It’s the 12 year old that has me stumped because I vaguely remember that when I was 12, I wanted to do “grown up” things like wear high heels and carry purses because in another year, I was officially going to be a teenager, and it was a BIG DEAL. But once again, there might be a cultural disconnect between a 12 year old living in Hong Kong and a 12 year old 10 years ago in North America.

I’ve been poking around online to see if I can find something along the lines of “arts and crafts” and I’d appreciate opinions on whether it’s age appropriate for any of the girls.

Disney Crystal Art (Cinderella) (too baby-ish for the 12 year old?)

Jewelry/Keepsake Box

Hannah Montana - Make Your Own School Gear (I’m not sure if they know who Hannah Montana is though… I barely do)

Dream Catcher Maker - This one actually has me very excited… I could take this opportunity to explain to them the history of North American Natives and how we accept each other in our heterogeneous society.

Rock and Gem Dig Okay, I’m a nerd, but I think as a fifteen year old, I would have been fascinated to get something like this. Especially if I get shiny rocks at the end of the activity.

If I’m going to get these girls activity kits, I fully expect to sit down with them for a couple of hours to help them out and read/translate the instructions. Of course, there is always this little nagging worry in the back of my brain that is saying that they won’t like doing arts and crafts and would rather have gotten a stuffed pony or something. (Which is silly, of course because Chinese culture dictates that they will accept the gifts with a smile and thank me profusely even if they hate it and will go in the trash as soon as I leave.)

If I may hijack for a moment…

Here are the sequential thread titles I just saw:

What do 10 to 15 year old girls like?
Are you a measurer or a taster?

And here is how my brain parsed this title:

What do 10 to 15 year old girls taste like?

I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed that I won’t be entertained by all the troll feeding that there would have been.

hair ornaments and tiny purses, and kitties and fairies

makeup and stickers and ponies

11-18 year old boys. :smiley: