There is something unique about being 12 years old, as if kids this age are at a unique meeting point between their adolescence and their upcoming teenage years. While kids this age are by no means finished playing, they are getting to the age where their form of play is beginning to advance, and as such, anyone who is looking to buy a gift for a 12-year old needs to keep this in mind.
Whether it is computer programming, musical performance, or extreme-mountain biking, kids who are twelve almost always have their “thing” figured out (even if it could very well change without a moment’s notice!)
This edition of our “Best-Of” toy review takes a look at the Best Toys, Gifts, & Gadgets For 12-Year Old Boys. As you scroll downwards, you’ll see 50 of the best gift ideas, as decided by not only our team but also by what we could glean from both user reviews and sales trends.
Afterwards, we’ll share a few pointers on how to go about shopping for a 12-year old boy, as well as reveal which of these toys really spoke to our inner 12-year old.
50 Of The Best, Most Unique Gift Ideas For 12 Year Old Boys
Well it seems like we are officially in the future. Playstation, one of the most popular and powerful gaming consoles on the market, has released a virtual reality (VR) headset that is dominating all of the VR competition with its insane graphics and engaging game play. The catalogue of games that is available for the Playstation VR is getting larger every month as new games come along to take advantage of this remarkable technology. And it’s not just the visuals that are amazing … the Playstation VR features 3D audio technology that will really bring those virtual environments to life in a realistic way.
You might not even want to know what “Vlogging” is, but if you have a 12 year old in the house, then there is a good chance that you already do, like it or not. Kids these days love to record their experiences, whether it is through an intimate live-cast to their friends or with a thoughtful edited travelogue of their most recent adventure. No matter what the intent, the Kicteck HD Camera Recorder is capable of capturing a high-definition digital feed and then saving it to a 4GB on-board hard drive, though it only costs a couple of extra bucks to upgrade to a 32 GB hard drive.
The BUGANI M83 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is one of the best accessories to bring to the beach or your next pool party. Designed for rugged outdoor use, this little speaker packs a real punch when it comes to blasting out the tunes, with a booming bass and high-def tones coming out in four directions. When fully charged, the M83 can offer up to 40 hours of playback time. While this number is dependent on how loud the volume is, that is still a pretty big battery life compared to any of the competition. Included in the box is a USB charging cable and an AUX audio cord, making it possible to connect this speaker to just about any audio source, even the old stuff that is not Bluetooth enabled.
There is no turning back from the popularity of drones and drone toys, so we might as well lean into it and make sure that our kids have the best ones that they can get, without draining the bank account if at all possible. The SNAPTAIN WiFi Drone With HD Camera is the best-performing drone in its price range, offering instantaneous video transmission straight to the smart-phone-connected remote courtesy of the on-board HD-camera. An altitude hold function lets this drone hover in a completely stationary space, something that gives drones their unique intrigue and entertainment value. Whether recording a movie or simply pretending to fly, this drone is an absolute blast on a warm summer day.
When it comes to next generation video games, the X-Box One X is the most powerful one of the bunch when it comes to processing power, offering 1 terabyte of internal storage on top of an already powerful processing system. With nearly 40 percent more processing power than other consoles, the X-Box One X is the best option for kids who appreciate good graphics, high definition movies, and wait-free gaming from a blazing fast console. With over a thousand titles available for play on the X-Box One X, there is no doubt that your kid will be able to find something that they love. Just don’t forget to also buy them a game while you’re at it!
If you are thinking about buying a keyboard as a gift for a 12 year old boy, then there are a few important things to know about. The first and most important one is that ‘keyboards’ and ‘digital pianos’ are not the same thing, though they may look a lot alike. This Yamaha Weighted Action Digital Piano plays just like a real piano with a full size board and weighted keys, which means that the harder you strike the key, the louder the note will be. This is the chief difference between electronic keyboards and digital pianos, and while it does usually cost a bit extra, it is the only way to go if you kid is getting serious about the piano but you don’t have the room for a full-sized instrument.
The young marksman in your life might not be ready for a real hunting rifle of their own, but at 12 years old, it is a good time to consider starting them off with a high-performance air rifle that can not only teach them about proper gun procedures, but also help improve their aim and stability as they learn how to shoot. This Gamo Varmint Air Rifle shoots .177 caliber pellets, which are capable of delivering 1250 fps of muzzle velocity. Included is a shockproof scope and an adjustable 2nd-stage trigger. Gamo offers a 1-year full warranty on all their air rifles, which is a bit of extra confidence when buying online.
If you have spent any significant amount of time with a child, you might have notice that the majority of them share that one unique trait that simply comes ‘part of the job’ of being a kit, and that is an insuppressible hunger for knowledge and learning. Want to know what the deal is with those pyramids in Egypt? Or maybe why human beings still have thumbs after all these years? There are over one thousand different questions that are posed in the pages of this interesting, colorful book, and to each one an answer that is equally colorful and interesting.
Anyone who has a 12-year old gamer in their house is sure to immediately appreciate the tone and sentiment of this simple yet hilarious t-shirt, and chances are, the boy is going to appreciate it himself. Featuring a comfortable grey fabric with bold, screen-printed text. The perfect gift for any video-game-loving kid who wants to express themselves, this shirt is sure to get a few laughs from all his friends and relatives. This is available in ever size from Child’s XS to Adult XXL, ensuring that absolutely anyone can sport this cool shirt with ease and style.
It seems like every toy company out there is trying to get in on the cube-based puzzle scene, trying to make their own version of the Rubik’s cube that will have kids clamoring to get one of their own. Adam’s Cube, an awesome little puzzle game by Think Fun, combines 6 different puzzle styles into one. Each side of the cube provides a different puzzle-based activity, making this a great toy to keep in the car or backpack for anytime on-the-go puzzling. All the required pieces, as well as the handy informational booklet, can be stored inside the cube for easy transport and access.
Headphones sure have changed a lot over the last few years, but when you are getting a pair of AirPods, you can rest assured that you are buying you kid one of the best pairs of portable headphones that you can get anywhere. These are perhaps the most popular headphones on the planet, not only because of how they can interact seamlessly with your iPhone with features like voice activation and automatic connection, but also because they provide many hours of high-quality music on a single charge. Speaking of charging, the carrying case doubles as a portable charger, allowing for plenty of on-the-go recharging making it possible to listen to your favorite tunes all day long.
No matter what age child you are shopping for, finding the perfect gift is rarely as easy as you think it will be. Kids grow up fast, so keeping up with their developing tastes and personalities can be difficult, especially if you are looking for a gift for a nephew, grandson, or family friend. The Amazon Gift Card is perhaps the most guaranteed way to put a smile across their face, giving them the power to choose their own gift from the millions of products that are available on Amazon.com. These gift cards are immediately redeemable for the pre-selected amount of your choice, anywhere between $25 and $200, or whatever custom amount you want to enter.
As boys start to reach the age of middle school and high school, not only to their educational routines start to become more intense, but they also become more in need of convenient, quality entertainment to keep the stress levels down. The Apple iPad is certainly the most popular multimedia tablet device in the world, and the newest model has just been released to great acclaim. Featuring a 10.2” HD screen, a massive 12GB storage drive, and a significantly increased battery life, the new iPad is the perfect gift for a young boy who is about to become a teenager.
According to the manufacturer, none of us have ever “seen a watch like this”, and to be honest, we totally agree with them. Smart Watches are an all new category of high-tech wearable electronics that kids these days have the pleasure of growing up with. The Apple Watch is designed to work with your phone’s cell signal to make calls, send & receive texts, and even run specialized apps of your choosing. A great choice for the active 12-year old or the simple tech-head, the Apple Watch is a deluxe gift that the kid is not likely going to forget anytime soon.
There is a primal draw to the Bow & Arrow, especially for boys around the age of 12. In many native cultures, this was the age that boys would become men and start to join in on the hunts. Now, the Bow & Arrow is a great toy that provides lots of entertainment while also developing important skills like patience and hand-eye coordination. This Bow & Arrow 2-Pack from Adventure Awaits comes with 2 quivers and 2 sets of arrows as well, making it the perfect gift for birthday parties or for a household with 2 brothers in it.
Whether it is fending off imaginary bad guys or keeping in shape for middle school athletics, this Boxing Set from Tech Tools is an awesome toy that comes with a whole lot of physical activity built right in. A firm punching bag rests on top of a spring-assisted pole stand, allowing it to receive punches, kicks, and elbow attacks with ease before swinging softly back into place. With one foot on the stand pedal, kids can make sure that even the strongest super-punches aren’t going to knock this thing over. Also included is a set of beginner boxing gloves so that everything is ready to go right out of the box for an awesome training session or workout.
The classic gameplay style of Catch Phrase from Hasbro is so simple that it is impossible not to enjoy this cute little electronic game. The whole game from start to finishes is played on a small electronic ‘puck’ type thing, which has a small LCD display and a few simple buttons to get everything started. The game is simple: one player will read the word on the screen and try to get the other player to guess it correctly, using descriptions that include anything but the word itself. The digital unit will keep track of each player’s score, so even after long road trips everyone will know who the true champion is.
The newest adventure by Czech Games is called CODENAMES, and the hundreds on online reviews seem to agree that its simple but exciting premise is both easy to learn and difficult to forget. Codenames will put two secret spymasters against one another in a word-based competition to make contact with all of your secret agents by trying to guess their codenames. This fast-paced word puzzle is great for the brain, but you might be more surprised at how many hours of quality entertainment it can provide without ever getting boring. A great game for 2-4 players, so highly recommended for spy-themed birthday parties.
Fender is one of the most highly respected names when it comes to guitar construction, and that goes for beginner instruments as well as professional ones. The FA-115 Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar is a great way to introduce a 12-year old to a full-sized guitar that is also easy to play. This full set not only comes with the guitar, but also a few key accessories that will make it possible to start playing gigs right away, such as a clip-on tuner, a strap, a set of picks, and a brand new set of strings. Most online retailers offer a few options in terms of color and finish, so take the time to find the right style for the 12-year old boy that you have in mind.
Smart Speakers are all the rage these days, and everyone knows how 12-year old boys like to rage. Whether they are just really into their music or they are a tech-head who loves to have the newest stuff, the Echo Dot is a great gift for any middle or high school aged boy looking to upgrade from a simple boombox. This voice-activated smart speaker features the advanced intelligence of Alexa, who alongside an internet connection can to an amazing number of different things … everything from telling you the weather forecast to patching through phone calls and reading text message. Oh yeah, and the sound is amazing too!
The most obvious drawback to buying a full drum set for you little rocker is the amount of noise that it will create while they are learning to play. Because you can’t expect your 12-year old to start off with calming jazz rhythms, you might want to give them a practice space that is a bit more private, and a heck of a lot more versatile. The Electronic Drum Set from PAXESS features seven different drum pads, each with a sensor that is connected to the on-board computer. With a good pair of headphones, it will be possible to rock our for as much as 10 hours at a time with the included portable battery, or plug into AC for extended jam sessions.
Sadly, not every park or field is equipped with soccer nets, which can be a big let-down for kids who are looking to practice their shots or even get a game of drop-in 4v4 going. This Folding Soccer Goal from Franklin Sports is the perfect balance of portability and sturdiness, setting up in minutes and holding strong against even the most powerful shots. The steel frame is not only durable, but also rust-proof and weather resistant, making this a great goal to set-up in the backyard and leave standing for the entire season. Multiple sizes of this goal are available online so it’s possible to find the best size for your space.
Boys love competition almost more than anything else in the world, and Foosball is a game that provides just that and in no small amounts. This deluxe, natural-wood Foosball table is simply gorgeous, but that’s not what makes it great. A sturdy design and arcade-style functionality makes this setup just as good as the one that you might find at the local arcade, and is in fact sized to competition specs. Still, it is small enough to fit in any 12-year old’s room with ease, or maybe on the back porch for some summertime soccer-style gaming. Play either 1v1 or 2v2!
For the young gourmand in your household, the Cuisinart Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream Maker might just be the piece of kitchen equipment that kickstarts their career of making tasty, world-class deserts for all their friends and family to enjoy. There’s no bigger life of the party than the guy who brought his own ice cream maker! This large-capacity machine can make up to 1.5 quarts per batch, all within 20 minutes or less. Everything is fully automatic, meaning that there is no tiring pumping, mixing, or churning like with traditional ice cream making. This is one of the highest rated Cuisinart machines on Amazon, so it seems likely that people are really enjoying it thus far.
When it comes to adventure cameras, GoPro pretty much wrote the book, hitting the market just as we entered the new millennium, offering hikers, skiers, backpackers, skateboarders, and more the ability to capture their best adventures in an easy, lightweight way. These guys have released dozens and dozens of different models of their iconic miniature camera, but the HERO 7 stands out among them as a particularly good buy. A new voice control feature makes it possible to change functions from video to still photo while you are still in the midst of adventure, such as riding on the top of a mountain bike. Also new is the live streaming feature which can connect kids’ video stream to their social media so their friends and family can get in on the action.
One of the most iconic scenes from the Harry Potter film franchise is when the heroes must square off against evil in an oversized game of Wizard Chess. While the version in the film is far more animated and magical than any tabletop game can be, this authentic, detailed home version of Harry Potter Chess Set is a must-have item for any Harry Potter Fan. Featuring all the classic moves and strategies of chess with character pieces taken straight from the movies, this chess set has everything needed for a challenging, exciting round of one of the world’s oldest strategy games.
If you’re looking for a new tabletop game to keep the kids entertained, then it certainly doesn’t hurt to start with Hasbro, the toy company that has truly become a behemoth when it comes to churning out new board games. ‘Hearing Things’ is the name of their newest release, which challenges players to slip on the included noise-cancelling headphones and try to make sense of what the other players are saying. Part charades, and part lip-reading challenge, Hearing Things is a hilarious blast for up to 4 players and a great addition to any board game shelf.
Here is a game that is something of a blend of both darts and a classic carnival ring toss game, all in a light and compact form that can hang easily on any wall in the house. The premise of this game is incredibly simple, so much so that we are kind of jealous that we didn’t think of it ourselves. The baseboard is a round wooden circle that has a series of upward-turned metal hooks. The game is played by tossing small rubber gaskets at the hooks, trying to hit certain numbers in a row in order to beat your opponent. But that’s not the only way to play! This fun new game is simple enough in design that you can make up your own rules as you go.
While there are plenty of mechanical building kits available for 12 year old boys, there are almost none that don’t require any kind of power or batteries. The Hydraulic Arm Kit from Elenco is an off-grid building kit that allows your child to learn a lot about hydro-mechanics while also having fun constructing something that is entirely unique and personalized. With 6 axes of movement and a number of different cool functions, the Hydraulic Arm Kit is a fun and affordable way to engage your kid for more than just a single afternoon. A full-color easy-to-read-guide allows for easy construction and education at the same time.
While it is a real shame that kids who are growing up in this day and age might never be able to experience the hands-on magic of an old-school Polaroid camera, the experience is not entirely out of reach. The Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera brings the premise of the original Polaroid to a whole new generation, capable of creating instant, Polaroid-style prints while also capturing a digital version of the image that can be immediately uploaded to a phone or computer for sharing. This dual-nature design makes this one of the best cameras for not only capturing a great party, but also remembering it!
This adorable little doodling robot is uses both vibration and spin generated by a miniature on-board motor to create circular works of art that are nothing if not impressive. This fun artistic pal does the work all on his own, so there is no advanced knowledge of robotics required to understand how it works. The basic construction of the robot is a quick activity that boys will love, and once it is all setup, he will be able to create amazing works of art with the help of his new robot companion. All your kid will have to do himself is change out the colors every now and then.
One of the things that we appreciate most about Lego is their dedication to continuously updating their product line with new and exciting toys, and the Lego Ship In A Bottle is a perfect example of what we are talking about. This all-new building set comes with 962 pieces, which is no cakewalk when it comes to assembly. Fortunately, it will be the perfect challenge for your Lego-loving 12 year old, or any kid that loves the magic of shipbuilding. Part of the design is even a classy-looking display stand, which turns the finished product into a great decoration for the coffee table or bookshelf.
It might be the best thing to happen to soccer since Beckham, and it is most certainly a heck of a lot cheaper than he was. The Glow City Light Up LED Soccer Ball has a pair of internal LED lights that are pressure activated, meaning they will illuminate as soon as the game begins. Night games are now possible, passing around the glowing orb on the beach or in the park, with a neon-like trail of luminescence following behind. The ball itself is both sized and stitched to the regulation size, meaning that even advanced players will enjoy the unique charm of a light-up soccer ball.
There’s nothing like a bit of electricity to shock us into attention, which is perhaps by the Lighting Reaction game became so popular that it warranted an all-new updated version of the classic tabletop version. Lightning Reaction features four chrome-style handles for players to grasp. As a red light on the pedestal blinks and suspenseful music is played, kids will watch closely, trying to get the timing just right. When the light turns green, players race to be the first to press the thumb button. The last one to press the button, however, receives a stimulating (but harmless) electric ZAP, making all the players squeal in laughter and excitement.
There is nothing more effective at encouraging your child to get outside than the slick and stylish wheels of a new skateboard. The Longboard Cruiser from Retrospec is made from sustainably sourced bamboo and 8-play Canadian maple, offering a smooth ride that is also good for the planet. These long skateboards are great for cruising down the road or bike path, and their more restrained control style makes them easier for some beginners to get a grasp of. There are over a dozen different color designs available online, making it possible to find the perfect longboard to suit your kid’s style.
For a kid, keeping up on your basketball skills is the best way to ensure that you will make the varsity team in high school, so if that’s your goal, it’s best to be working on your aim 24/7. This awesome glow-in-the-dark Mini Basketball Hoop from SKLZ is not only a great way to bring the action of the court into the bedroom or play room, but it also installs effortlessly over the top of any average door in the house. Included is a 5” mini basketball that also glows in the dark, which you can dribble up to the breakaway hoop to practice dunking.
We have entered a whole new decade, and with it comes an entirely new era of foam-based battle systems. Nerf, once known for their iconic foam dart design, has put a new spin on the classic design with the Nemesis series of pelleted foam bullets. These little spheres are fires out the front of this high-capacity rifle with ease, soaring across the room at your opponent as they cower with fear. The blaster comes with 100 Rival rounds, all of which fit in the high-capacity ammo-hopper. If your kid is really looking to dominate the battlefield, the Nemesis MXVII is the best way to do it.
No matter what a 12-year old’s personal preferences are, they are reaching an age where they will be becoming physically active in all new ways, whether it is by joining the intramural soccer team or developing a keen interest in rock climbing at the school’s gym. Because you might not even know what kind of adventures they will be getting into, the best way to keep them properly outfitted is by letting them choose a gift out for themselves. The Nike Gift Card is available in denominations of anywhere between $25 and $500, making this an excellent way to please a young sports fan or adventure fanatic.
We can pretty much guarantee that you have never used a boomerang like this, that is, if you have ever used a boomerang in your entire life. Either way, your kid is absolutely going to love the far flying, return-action of the Aerobe Orbiter Boomerang. This innovative, triangle-shaped piece of plastic has specially designed hook-shaped tips that will cause the toy to turn around in mid-air, and head straight back for the place from which it was thrown. You can bend the rubber tips in any direction to change the flight pattern, making this one of the most high-tech boomerangs on the market.
Here’s a new sports toy that we have never seen before: the Passback Junior Football from the company of the same name allows kids to practice their football throwing and catching skills all by themselves, meaning they don’t have to wait until after-school practice to get some action in. All the kid needs is a hard wall, and the Passback Football will do the rest. The flattened front end of the football works like a spring when it hits a wall, sending the football right back in the direction that it came. This lets any boy work on their ball skills anywhere they go, ensuring them an eventual spot on the varsity team.
The Puzzle Pod Cryptex is one of the most unique gift ideas that we came across for boys who are 12 years old. This brain-teasing puzzle allows parents or friends to load the hard plastic chamber with whatever price they choose, from toys and candy to cold hard cash. The pod is then locked shut by a series of rotating letter rings. The puzzle master (you) can choose any 5-letter word that you wish to use as a secret code. Then, make the kid really work for it by finding every letter individually based on your clues!
Whether you like it or not, your growing 12-year old is soon going to be a teenager, and with that comes all the social rigors and pressures of the era. One way that kids are able to cope is by immersing themselves in their own, personal style. A nice pair of Ray-Ban shades is a cool, nostalgic way to demonstrate to their peers just how stylish they are, while also protecting their eyes from harmful UV rays. There are hundreds of different Ray-Ban sunglasses for kids to choose from, so it’s possible to spend the time to find the pair that most perfectly matches the boy that you have in mind.
Any kid who has ever ridden on a Razor scooter can tell you that there was one significant drawback to that awesome little toy, which was that the wheels were too small and hard to handle any type of off-road travel, restricting them to the smooth pavement of sidewalks and skate parks. The RDS looks to compensate for this drawback by providing bigger, air-filled wheels that can handle even larger rocks, sticks, and loose dirt. This means that you kid will be able to take this scooter on dirt trails, or cut across fields and forests with ease. The rear foot-brake is just like the classic model, which is one element that they were smart not to change.
The classic and well-loved game of Scrabble is one of the best board games to keep on the shelf at all times, not only because it is a heck of a lot of fun to play with up to 4 players, but also because it provides some expert-level spelling and vocabulary training that you simply cannot get in any other tabletop game. The board and tiles don’t seem to have changed a bit from their original form, giving this set a classic and nostalgic look. Never played scrabble? All you need to do is use the letter tiles in your hand to build words on the board in front of you, the only catch being that you have to use at least one letter that is already in place.
All over the world, 2-wheeled “hover-boards” like this have become incredibly popular, both as a unique toy and as an effective means of transportation. While it might seem a bit strange, these cool devices are totally self-balancing, which makes it possible to stand atop one and simply float around, whether it is at the skate park or for a leisurely ride through the park. A few extra bells and whistles include rainbow LED lights around the tire rims and an integrated Bluetooth speaker that can play tunes right from your smart phone as you ride.
The Daisy B52 is hands down the best kids’ slingshot on the market. More advanced than the wooden models you might find in gas stations in Arizona, the Daisy B52 features a solid steel frame with an extra wide firing fork. A super-stretchy medical-grade rubber tube provides the propulsion power for whatever projectile is at hand … everything from bottle caps to pebbles. A flexible wrist support helps keep an aim that is steady enough for advanced target practice. No doubt, Dennis the Menace would be drooling at this updated & improved take on the classic kid’s toy.
If your kid has never tried Spikeball, then they are in for a real treat. This action-packed game kit features a circular net on short legs, the perfect game to be setup on the sand or grass. Three bouncy yellow balls are also included and form the main part of the game. Standing in a circle around the net, players with spike the ball downward at the net, causing it to spring up rapidly at an opposing player. While there are plenty of different sets of rules that can be played with, the most exciting way to play is simply to see how long of a volley you can create with your friends and family. The whole game collapses into a handy carrying bag, making this an excellent beach day toy.
The brain of a 12-year old boy is specially wired to run all sorts of scenarios internally to see how one might react. While we tend to call this mental device “imagination”, it can actually be attributed to our innate human sense of survival. What happens if you get stuck in quicksand? How would you go about fighting an angry tiger? What is the proper procedure for dealing with a rattlesnake bite? These survival questions and many, many more are compiled in The Boys’ Book Of Survival, a tome of useful knowledge and tricks that teach boys how to survive “anything, anywhere”. Even just as a leisurely read, this is the perfect book for the young adventurer.
Until we were putting this review together, we actually weren’t aware that Lego’s new Architecture series of building kits had been released to the public, but it seems like they This 321-piece snap-together building set is a moderate challenge for the experienced Lego builder, but the real value is in the 12-inch high true-to-life model that comes as a result. The completed product will look great on a desk or bookshelf, and many Lego connoisseurs will simply appreciate the unique grey & flat tiles that come exclusively with this kit. Either way, it sure is an easy way to see the city of Paris!
The difference between regular on-ear headphones and the Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones is pretty astounding. The key is Active Noise Cancelling, which is what makes the Beats headphones so far ahead of the game in that respect. The fast-charging battery offers up to 22 hours of listening time on a single charge (depending on volume) which is enough for even the longest plane rides. These also offer some of the best sound quality around thanks to the high-tech design. They are also able to be paired with a phone or smartwatch, offering a greater level of control than has ever been possible with traditional headphones.
Gift & Shopping Guide: 12-Year Old Boy Edition [Updated]
Perhaps they are not saying it out loud all the time, but 12 year old boys are feeling more grown-up that ever at this age, prepared to enter their teenage years with confidence and style, provided that they get a little help in the gift and gear department.
One of the reasons that shopping for a 12-year old boy can me overly complicated is because this is truly an age that sits between the child-like years of youth and the sometimes tumultuous teenage years. At this cusp of adulthood, kids are simultaneously looking to hold onto the simplicity of their childhood while also taking their first step into the larger world of being a teenager.
For this reason, picking out a gift for a 12 year old involves balancing what you know to be their interests with what you will guess to be what teenagers as a whole will like. After all, with any luck the gift or present that you choose is going to last for more than just a single year.
The Different Varieties of Gifts & Presents That 12-Year Olds Love
When shopping for a kid this age, you can’t just grab them any old thing off the shelf and hope that they’re going to like it. It takes a certain amount of skill to deduce precisely what kind of present a pre-teen wants to receive, whether it is for unwrapping on Christmas morning or a reward for another great report cards.
Fortunately, with a bit of planning it is possible to make the right call, ensuring a gift that won’t just be tossed to the curb after a half-afternoon of play.
Here are some of the different types of toy that are available for this age group, as well as a brief description of the unique benefits that come with each:
Sports & Exercise Equipment
Middle school-aged kids are reaching a time in their life when they begin to develop serious and lasting relationships with the sports and activities that they might be playing for their entire life. From football to soccer, track & field to martial arts, there is a myriad of different directions that they might be drawn to.
When it comes to buying a present for a 12-year old boy, choosing something that encourages this kind of activity is a great way to keep them moving while also nudging them along their gradual path to becoming a professional all-star (& finally buying you that beach house).
Punching bags, mountain bikes, scooters, & boomerangs are only a small selection of the kind of physically-engaging toys and gifts that we reviewed on this guide.
Puzzle Games & Educational Kits
The young mind is thirsty for knowledge and entertainment, but what it really craves is a challenge. Keeping your 12-year old’s mind as sharp as a tack can be as easy as selecting a toy that either challenges them to solve a puzzle or perform and experiment, and to this end, the toys that we featured here do a great job of that.
Our favorite puzzle toy for this age group is the Adam’s Cube Puzzle Game, which is a super affordable puzzle toy that can be kept in the car or backpack for great any-time play.
Digital Devices & High-Tech Entertainment
Because 12 year olds are basically miniature adults, most of them are responsible to care for more expensive gear and gifts, such as a X-Box One X or their very own iPad. While the extra cost of these items might put them outside the realm of affordability for many parents, it is important to remember that these are both powerful processing devices that are capable of much more than just playing video games.
From streaming educational videos on YouTube to acting as a handy e-book reader, the iPad is capable of doing just about anything that you want it to. And let’s face it, the PlayStation is pretty much the best option if you are really trying to get a 12 year old to love you!
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Q: My 12-year old loves music, but doesn’t know how to play an instrument. Should I get him a guitar or a piano? Which is easier to learn?
A: A lot of people will tell you that Piano is harder to get the swing of if you are just starting out, but the flip side of that is that the piano might possibly offer a more visual way to learn music theory as a whole.
However, when it comes to strumming out some of your favorite hits, picking up a guitar can offer more immediate satisfaction because of the relative simplicity compared to the piano.
Q: How much money should I plan on spending on a present for a 12-year old boy?
A: There are some pretty affordable ways to make a boy happy, and many of the gifts that we are talking about are featured on this very guide.
Simple sports equipment like footballs and soccer balls aren’t going to cost very much at all, while more complicated equipment like scooters, long boards, and the like will be a bit more expensive, in the $50 to $75 range and perhaps more.
Then there’s the super-deluxe level stuff, like the Apple iWatch or iPad, which are going to be significantly more expensive that everything else but are capable of doing so much more than just entertain.
Conclusion: The Top 50 Toys & Gifts For 12 Year Old Boys
While it may have been a long time ago, most of us can remember what kinds of kids we were at the age of 12. Many of us can even remember what kind of toys that we were playing with, and some of us may even still have some of those toys, whether it is because they’re becoming valuable collector’s items or valuable reminders of when life was simpler for all of us.
The point is, the toys, gadgets, and gear that we receive at this age can very well last into young adulthood and beyond, especially if you know how to shop for the right kind of stuff.
For 12-year old boys, there is nothing better than a bit of friendly competition to develop physical skills and also get the blood pumping. For this reason, our Top Pick Toy out of the 50 that we reviewed here is the Foosball Table from Best Choice Products. This competition-sized table has all the bells and whistles of the arcade version, and is a lot less expensive than most people would think.
But because the Foosball Table might be a bit “too-much-toy” for some buyers, we are going to offer a second recommendation, this time for something a bit easier on the wallet. The Amazon Gift Card can be purchased in small denominations and can be spent on virtually anything, which is a sure-fire way to make sure that the 12-year old boy that you are shopping for is getting a gift that they will remember for years to come.
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