Gifts for Kids Who “Hate” to Read: Grades 4 to 8

Two words: opinionated and keenly observant. Preteens are one tough audience to please. It isn’t easy to sneak stuff by them, but we are pros. We’re going to slide that literacy right under their noses! 

There are plenty of great options for tweens (ages 9 to 12) among the ideas we shared in our previous Not-a-Book Gift Guide. Puzzles, brain teasers, craft kits, art or writing supplies, etc., are still great options for this age group. When it comes to online lessons, there may be more opportunities than there were for younger kids.

Tap into something they already love, match the age group and, voila! You’ve got the perfect gift. But just in case you’re looking for something a little bit different, we have a few additional ideas.

Hands On: Coding and Robotics

Let me put this out there: gender Does. NOT. Matter. Every preteen I know is gadget obsessed. Give them a chance to match their imagination and problem solving skills with Learn-to-Code Kits or Robotics Kits.


Magazine subscriptions come kissing close to looking like reading-related activities. But if your child is head-over-heels crazy about soccer – or animals, the latest fashions, teen idols – a subscription could be a perfect gift.

Along a similar line, an audiobook subscription could be appealing. Yes, it has the word “book” in it, but kids don’t always connect “listening” to “reading.” A service like Audible may be just what they are looking for, too: a way to read the latest from their favorite author or check out the book(s) their friends are all talking about.   

Periodicals aren’t the only option, either. There are TONS of Subscription Box ideas for preteens. Arts & crafts, cooking, travel, woodworking, coding & robotics, self-esteem & positive affirmation, puzzles, snacks … if you can think of something they love, there is probably a Subscription Box for that.


Gifts that Caught Our Eye

In researching options and ideas for this post, these were the items that we thought would make unique gifts. Each of them also happens to have 4+ stars. We didn’t spot that until after we pulled them into this post.


NOTICE: All links go to will donate a portion of your purchase to the Reading Tub. Your purchase supports our literacy mission. Because we are all volunteers, 100% of all income goes to our family literacy mission.