Gifts and Holidays

Best Gifts for 12-Year-Olds for Christmas or Birthday

Christmas is fast approaching and if you’ve still got some gifts to get you’re far from alone! While we all have that one annoyingly-organized friend who had all her Christmas shopping bought and wrapped back in August, most of us are still on the festive cliff-face when it comes to our to-do list.

Twelve-year-olds can be particularly tricky to buy for, so if you’ve got kids, nieces, nephews, or friends’ children to buy for, you may be scratching your head for ideas. Many children in this age group will still enjoy playing with toys, while others may appreciate a tech or craft gift.

We can help! The list below contains all the inspiration you need to pick out the very best gifts for 12-year-olds, whatever their personality and preferences. Whether you need to buy for a sporty kid, a gadget-loving girl, or a bookworm, you’ll find the perfect present here—so grab a cup of tea, or a festive hot chocolate, and let’s dive in!


Good Christmas Gifts for 12-Year-Olds

christmas gifts for 12 year olds


For kids, Christmas is the most special holiday of all: we can all remember the magic of the festive season when we were children ourselves, and the building excitement as the big day approached! While it’s true that this time isn’t just about presents, there’s nothing that can beat the look on a child’s face when they open a gift that’s exactly what they wanted. And the very best gifts will keep them smiling all year round!

Games & Toys for 12-Year-Olds

Lego Architecture: New York City—$54

toys for 12 year olds


This highly detailed model kit is part of the Lego Architecture Skyline collection which has been designed for ages twelve and up and is scaled to offer an accurate representation of the size of each structure, with true-to-life color depiction. This is the perfect gift for Lego-loving kids who are ready to take on their next building challenge!

Each model comes with a booklet containing information about the designer, architecture, and history of the building represented, and this particular set includes the Flatiron Building, Chrysler Building, One World Trade Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building.

Original Tamagotchi—$19.99

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The original 1997 toy we all loved has returned! With the same vintage graphics and a retro flower shell, kids receiving this gift will get to appreciate the joy of looking after a back-in-the-day Tamagotchi pet. Both younger and older kids alike will love to care for, feed, clean, and play with their new digital pet. Plus, how well they take care of their Tamagotchi will determine the adult Tamagotchi that develops…

Clue Board Game: Treachery at Tudor Mansion—$11.99

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This escape-and-solve mystery game combines the intrigue of the classic Clue board game with the challenge of an escape room puzzle! Players need to join forces and use their detective skills to find their way out of the mansion before the police arrive, and then work collaboratively to solve the mystery. It’s an immersive, single-play experience that is a great pick for older kids who enjoy board games with a difference.

Hover Shot: Orblitz Floating Ball Shooting Game—$37

good gifts for 12 year olds


On the lookout for a competitive game? Then the Hover Shot should be top of your list of Christmas gifts to buy! With its blaster gun, shooting darts, and eight floating orbs, kids can take turns shooting at the target to battle it out for who has the best aim. Best of all, the setup is quick and easy—you virtually need to just take it out of the box—so when the recipient opens it on the big day they won’t have to wait for it to be assembled before they can start having fun!

DIY Squishies Set—$22.99

cool toys for 12 year olds


In terms of keeping them busy and happy for hours, this has to be one of the very best choice for 12-year-olds. The set is made up of twelve slow-rise blank squishy toys, a color paint set, six brushes, a palette, a bottle of glitter, and a pretty gift box. Children who enjoy crafts will love the opportunity to get creative and let their imagination run wild to create their very own custom-designed squishes!

‘5 Second Rule’ Game—$21.99

cool gifts for 12 year olds


Looking for a fun gift that all the family will enjoy? This game could be the answer! Each player simply pulls a card and then has just five seconds to name three things that fit with the topic on the card. Sounds easy? Think again! As the timer ticks down, expect tongue-ties and funny answers as players struggle to spit out their answers! With nearly 600 topics, this game could become a family festive favorite for years.

Monopoly Deal—$7.99

fun toys for 12 year olds


Kids will love this quick-playing, affordable game: players need to collect three complete property sets and collect as much cash as they can while steering clear of Debt Collectors, Deal Breakers, and Forced Deals!

Monopoly Deal is easy to play and is travel-friendly, so it could be perfect for children to play on those long Christmas journeys to visit relatives!

Magic: The Gathering 2022 Starter Kit—$10.99

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When it comes to board games, they don’t get more epic than Magic: The Gathering. If you need to find a gift for a 12-year-old who loves a strategy challenge, then this is a great introduction to the highly popular game that can be played both in-person and online.

The kit comes with two decks of cards and a guidebook and is designed for players to be able to get started quickly and learn as they go—so there’s no need to read an instructional tome before the fun can begin!

NERF Elite 2.0 Motoblitz Blaster with Scope—$26.99

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Wondering about the most popular toys for 12-year-olds? We’ve got you covered! With two blaster modes, air blitz action, a ten-dart clip, and NERF elite darts included, this kit is so much fun that kids will totally forget about the screen time they were asking for! They’ll love the ability to unleash six darts at a time with an awesome air-pressurized blast and use the integrated scope for even more effective targeting.

Monster Jam Official Megalodon Storm All-Terrain Remote Control Monster Truck— $67.99

best christmas gifts for 12 year olds


A great gift for a kid who has got their eye on a remote control vehicle for Christmas, this option can drive on any terrain—even water! Its water-resistant design and custom-performance tires mean there’s nothing it can’t take on. Monster trucks fans will appreciate that it’s an authentic replica of the Megaladon, with true-to-life graphics and details.

The truck can be controlled from a distance of 100 feet and features an out-of-range sensor that’ll start beeping to let your child know when they need to bring the Megaladon back!

Funko Pop! Gold NBA Warriors: Steph Curry—$11.99

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If your child loves the NBA, then they’ll be chuffed to bits with this five-inch vinyl figure of superstar player Steph Curry. And to add to the fun, there’s a one in six chance that they’ll receive a pack containing a chase variant for an even more special gift! This fully-articulated figure could become part of a collection: there are loads more NBA Warriors to get hold of!

American Girl Hogwarts Uniform with Skirt for 18-inch Dolls—$55

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It’s not just little kids that love dolls—older children often enjoy collecting special, high-detailed dolls such as those offered by American Girl. This outfit will be a sure-fire hit with Harry Potter fans, who will appreciate the range of authentic details, such as a hooded robe with the Hogwarts crest, a white button-down shirt, a pleated skirt, knee-high socks, and sweet pair of black Mary-Janes. American Girl offers a range of themed uniforms and outfits, so this could be the start of a new collection for your 12-year-old.

Gravity Maze—$28.99

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Gravity Maze supports STEM learning, through its promotion of the development of critical and logical thinking skills and ties into subjects such as engineering and science. There are sixty increasingly challenging puzzles in this gravity-powered maze, and it is one of the best gifts for teens that enjoy solving smart games and conundrums.

TrueBalance Coorindation Game—$32.99

best gifts for 12 year olds


Got a middle school child to buy for? No problem! This fun and STEM-supporting game will provide hours of fun—which is why it won the 2018 Creative Kids Toy of the Year.

Each of the magnetic discs rotates independently so that kids can enjoy experimenting with balance. It’s also a great way to help kids relax and release stress—and may be especially helpful for kids on the autism spectrum.

Related: Toys for Autistic Kids: A Guide to Help Them Thrive.

Best Creative Gifts for 12-Year-Olds

Bonnyco Cinema Light Box—$30.99

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Give her room decor an upgrade with this gorgeous cinema light box! This set comes complete with 220 letters and 180 emojis, as well as two markers and a pack of transparent cards, so your 12-year-old can have lots of fun switching up the messages as often as she likes. There’s also a handy 59-inch USB cable so you won’t be restricted to where you place the light box in terms of the nearest plug!

Jellyfish Lava Lamp—$35.99

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Kids of this age love being able to get their own room exactly as they want it, to reflect their distinct style and personality—and this Jellyfish Lava Lamp will do exactly that! The remote control can be used to set a range of color-changing modes and brightness level. The ‘jellyfish’ is incredibly realistic, and the lamp will add a peaceful, soothing ambiance to any room. It’s low-noise, too, so may help to promote calm sleep.

162-Piece Deluxe Mega Wood Box Art Painting and Drawing Set—$49.99

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This is the best gift for a creative 12-year-old who is keen to develop their skills and take their paintings and sketches to the next level. The kit includes colored pencils, oil pastels, watercolor cakes, wax crayons, mixing trays, paintbrushes, a sanding block, a sketch pad, a palette, and a color mixing wheel. This deluxe mega set contains everything your young artist needs to create their very own masterpieces.

100 Movies Scratch-Off Poster—$27.29

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One of the best gifts for movie lovers—kids can scratch off panels as they work their way through the 100 classic films featured on the poster. But it may be more challenging than it seems! The must-watch movies come from around the world, and while all are fantastic, thought-provoking watches, some are much more well-known than others.

Winning Fingers Flashing Cube Electronic Memory and Brain Game—$39.99

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Super easy to get to grips with but difficult to master, this is one of the best puzzle toys on the market right now! This high-tech cube can help improve logical thinking and coordination skills and features a range of speed and memory games. It also incorporates lots of fun sound effects—although don’t worry, parents: the volume level is adjustable!

Best Video Game and Tech Gifts for 12-Year-Olds

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen—$159

great gifts for 12 year olds


Your 12-year-old will be able to listen to their favorite music on the go with these sleek AirPods from Apple. They’re designed to provide a superior-quality listening experience and also deploy advanced noise cancellation so your kid can enjoy their playlist to the maximum! Kids need to simply swipe the stem to adjust the volume, and the customizable fit guarantees comfort.

Mini Drone for Kids—$25.99

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Presents for 12-year-olds don’t get much better than this mini drone specifically designed for young flyers. It’s easy to handle and fly with one-key take-off and landing and is simple to stabilize once in the air. It’s also extremely lightweight, making it easy to carry, while its propellor guards mean added durability. A major bonus is the Altitude Hold function which allows drones to auto-hover, meaning the drone can stay at a set height even when its pilot’s hands are off the controller!

3-in-1 Wireless Charger—$39.99

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Phones, Apple watches, and AirPods can be charged via this one device, so your mini tech lover can power up all their gadgets at the same time. It’s fast charging, incorporates a foreign object detection function, and can also prevent damage caused by overcharging.

The charging base incorporates anti-slip silicon, so it won’t move about and risk damaging the device being charged.

Soundbox Bluetooth Portable Speaker—$39.99

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A portable speaker par excellence, this model from Soundbox is powerful, with two full-range drivers and dual passive radiators that work together to produce 20-watt stereo sound with zero distortion. This means, in plain English, that it makes an amazing noise! It also features a super fun beats-driven light show, so your budding DJ can really get the party started!

Gskyer AZ Astronomical Refractor Telescope—$99.99

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This Amazon bestseller is perfect for astronomy beginners. It boasts high-quality optics and magnification, the mounting bracket and crosshairs make it easy to locate objects in the sky. Best of all, it comes complete with a wireless camera remote and smartphone adapter, so your child can view images onscreen and capture stunning photos of the night sky.

Best Educational Gifts and Books for 12-Year-Olds

Snap Circuits ‘My Home’ Science Kit—$86.81

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This one kit contains everything your kid needs to create dozens of gadgets! The idea is to explore how electricity works in our homes, and to this end, the set includes more than seventy Snap Circuits pieces that can be used to build at least fifty projects. No extra tools are needed: everything they’ll need is in the box.

K’NEX Architecture London Eye—$59.99

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If your 12-year-old has big dreams of being an architect, then they’ll appreciate this highly-detailed kit that features motorized movement: the finished model stands an impressive two-feet tall! The easy-to-use K’NEX rods and connectors simply snap together, so your child will be able to get to grips with the building work in no time.

The Boys’ Book of Survival—from $6


This book tells the reader how to survive anything, anywhere, whether it’s quicksand, a man-eating tiger or even the school dance; it even includes tips on what to do in the event of a zombie attack! As well as the more fun elements, The Boys’ Book of Survival is full of practical advice, such as how to put someone in the recovery position and some pointers on the basics of orienteering.

This Book is a Planetarium—$21


Top of our pick of unique gifts is This Book is a Planetarium—it is a pop-up spectacular! When it comes to picture books, they don’t get more show-stopping than this: the pages transform into six fully-functional projects, including a planetarium that projects images of the stars and planets on the walls, an infinite calendar, and a message decoder.

The Giver Quartet Box Set by Lois Lowry—$32.99


The wildly popular book The Giver is collected here with three other companion volumes, to take the reader on an extended dystopian future adventure—the boxset also includes an exclusive map of The Giver’s fictional world, which fans will love. These books are adored by kids and adults alike, so you may find yourself turning its pages when your child puts it down for the night!

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Paperback Boxed Set—from $11.71


Rick Riordan is one of the most popular children’s authors writing today, and it’s not hard to see why: his books are jam-packed with great characters, mythical creatures, and rip-roaring adventures. The three volumes that make up the Magnus Chase series are collected here in one boxset: the stories follow the teen hero on a quest across the Norse realms of ancient legend.

Good Birthday Gifts for 12-Year-Olds


It may be all about Christmas right now, but there are plenty of kids who have birthdays on the build-up to the festivities, or even on the big day itself! If you’ve got birthday gifts on your list of things to sort out, then we can help with this score, too. Below you’ll find some fabulous ideas to please a child celebrating their special day over the holiday period.

Best Outdoor Gear for 12-Year-Olds

Tiki Toss Hook Game—$28.36


Looking for outdoor toys for 12-year-olds? This fun game is perfect to play with friends in the backyard, on the beach, at a picnic, or on a camping trip—and best of all, it assembles in less than five minutes! Sturdy, durable, and made from 100% bamboo, the Tiki Toss Hook Game will provide literally hours of fun.

Flybar Pogo Ball—$25.99


A balance board, pogo stick, and jump board in one, the Flybar Pogo Ball is one of the best toys for an active, outdoor-loving 12-year-old! The heavy-duty grip tape is designed for maximum traction, and it’s been exhaustively tested to make sure it can withstand even the most exuberant play! And in the unlikely event, the ball becomes damaged? No worries, a replacement bounce ball will be shipped free of charge.

Outdoor Hover Soccer Ball—$24.99


This hover ball will slide on any smooth surface and can be used for indoor or outdoor play. It has super streamlined surfaces to reduce the risk of a bump and bright LED lights to enhance the fun! Plus, it’s fully rechargeable in just forty-five minutes, so the game never needs to stop for long.

Best Clothing and Accessories for 12-Year-Olds

Nike Dri-Fit Tie Headband—$12.86


Comfortable, lightweight, and featuring the legendary Nike swoosh mark, your 12-year-old will be top of the sporty fashion stakes with this easy-wearing and eye-catching headband. The sweat-wicking material incorporates Dri-Fit technology to help keep your child comfortable on the football field or the basketball court.

Lululemon Clean Lines Belt Bag—$58


For your fashion-forward 12-year-old this bag is a must! It features plenty of pockets for her to keep her stuff organized on the go, including an exterior pocket for easy access to frequent-use items like lip balm and hand san. The belt bag is made from beautiful, high-quality materials, and the body is made from recycled nylon.

Super Smalls Pearl Hair Tie Bracelet Kit—$26


She’ll love being able to switch up her style with this fun kit that includes six differently-designed bracelets that can also be used as gorgeous hair ties. Perfect for everyday wear or special occasions, these accessories are a great way to add some flair to her hair or jazz up a party outfit.

Best Food Gifts for 12-Year-Olds

DIY Rainbow Bagel Kit—$41


Kids will love making their very own designs that taste as good as they look with this fantastic bagel-making kit! This set has everything your child will need to rope, loop, and make a dozen eye-catching bagels that are just as delicious as any you’d find in a shop. Have fun in the kitchen together, and then round off the experience by sampling your creations!

Bubble Tea Kit—$40


Your child can use this kit to make delicious black or rooibos chai bubble tea at home! As well as the tea itself, the set also includes tapioca pearls and two reusable stainless steel straws for an authentic boba tea experience! New to bubble tea? Don’t worry, full instructions are included!

Max’is Creations The Mug With A Hoop—$29.95


Breakfast, snack, or hot chocolate time will never be the same again! This is the original basketball mug that comes with an attached hoop: your kid will love trying to score some hoops with cereal, crackers, or marshmallows as they eat. Transform their morning routine with this unique gift that they’ll want to use every day.

Related: Birthday Party Ideas for Teens: Fun Activities and Places.

Great Gifting Made Easy

Hopefully, the list above has given you all the inspiration you need to find the perfect gift, whether you’re looking for the best toys for 12-year-olds, a present for a kid who’s into escape rooms, or a video game lover. At this time of year, careful shopping pays off: there are plenty of promotions and exclusive deals around, so check out a few vendors before purchasing to get the best price possible.
And once you’ve ticked off all the gifts on your ‘to buy’ list, why not sit back, relax, and think about choosing a treat for yourself, too? Because after all that hard work, you’re most definitely on the Nice List this year.



Which Gift is Best for 12 Years Old Girl?

There’s no need to feel restricted when it comes to choosing a gift for a 12-year-old girl: if you think she’d love something traditionally considered to be for boys, then go for it. Select a gift based on her personality, whether that’s a bath bomb-making kit, a neon signs light box, or a Lego set.

Can a 12-Year-Old Play with Toys?

Yes, for sure! As above, it all depends on the personality and unique preferences of the child. Many kids are still playing with toys at this age, although they have likely to have moved on to more ‘advanced’ toys such as digital devices, electronic games, and high-performance remote-controlled vehicles. Toys for 12-year-olds come in a vast range of types, so choose the one that best reflects the recipient’s interests.

What Gifts Dhould a 12-Year-Old Get?

Choose depending on their interests, preferences, and personality. It’s also a good idea to think about whether they’ve expressed an interest in trying something new when it comes to selecting a gift; for example, have they recently become interested in baking? If so, a present like the DIY Rainbow Bagel Kit above could be perfect.

What Do You Buy a 12-Year-Old Gamer?

As well as games—obviously!—you could also consider gaming accessories, such as state-of-the-art charging stations, new controllers, or a custom gaming chair. You could also opt for merchandise that features graphics or a slogan related to their favorite game.

The picture on the front page: VidEst/

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