8 Best Gifts For A 12-Year-Old Boy & Girl Who Has Everything

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Best Gifts For A 12-Year-Old Boy & Girl Who Has Everything

As the tween years go, this one can be a doozy. Twelve-year-olds are toeing the line between being a child and being a teen—and being on the cusp of young adulthood is both exciting and, well, a lot. So, buckle up! The ride might get bumpy. But also, 12-year-olds might be notoriously fickle when it comes to presents. At this age, the primary focus should be finding what excites and inspires your tween by looking for cool gifts for boys or girls. Have they moved more firmly into YA territory? Have they started journaling, learning how to play an instrument, or committed to playing a sport? How can you foster their burgeoning sense of self and growing independence? Now, take those things and turn them into a birthday gift.

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For more gift inspo, check out our gift guides for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 7-year-olds, 8 year olds, 9 year olds, 10 year olds, and 11 year olds.

Since that’s obviously easier said than done, we asked Dr. Husain and a host of other experts to share their thoughts on the best gifts for this age. With all these recommendations in mind, we’ve curated a list of the best gifts and toys for the 12-year-old boys and girls who has everything.

Important note: At 12 years of age, most children have begun puberty. “This may also be a time when your pre-teen begins to face peer pressure and thinks of staying at home as boring, which can translate into mood swings and short tempers with parents,” cautioned Dr. Syeda Amna Husain, M.D., FAAP, of Pure Direct Pediatrics.

Hobby-Specific Gifts for Tweens

“As children begin to focus more on their body image and clothing, we see confidence can be greatly affected,” said Dr. Husain. “At this age, you may notice when your child isn’t happy about just any new toy but wants it to be something specific to their interests. Take the time to learn and ask your child what those interests are.” This makes hobby-specific gifts (think an art kit for the 12-year-old who is always doodling, or a lyric book for the budding songwriter) a no-brainer for this age.

Independent “Play” Gifts for Tweens

“Children at this age are also becoming more aware of seeking independence,” said Dr. Husain. So, think about presents that might foster their increased need for space and self-sufficiency—gifts that will make them feel more grown-up. For example, if your child likes to be in the kitchen and get involved with cooking, consider some baking or cooking kits.

Sports & Exercise Gear for Tweens

While gifts that encourage physical activity are great at practically any age, they’re a smart pick for your 12-year-old — for both physical health and another lesser-considered reason. Board-certified pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altmann says that, in general, children and adolescent teens need 10 to 12 hours of sleep every night so they can function properly during the day. But, according to the CDC, six out of 10 middle schoolers don’t get enough sleep each night. “And when they get fewer hours, especially over time, it builds up in their body as a sleep deprivation that can affect their growth, development, and ability to learn at school,” emphasized Altmann. One solution? “Make sure your child is active during the day so they are tired at bedtime,” she advised. “Not only is daily physical activity important for the brain and body, being active during the day will help kids fall asleep faster at night.”

Expressive Gifts for Tweens

According to board-certified child educator and teacher Nancy Poznansky, children this age become “quite independent in designing their own bedrooms.” As a rule of thumb, 12-year-olds are experimenting more and more with self-expression. Think about their bedroom, the clothes they wear, their locker at school — try to find gifts that help them express who they are in those seminal (to them) spaces.

Books & Journals for Tweens

Not surprisingly, your almost-teen might like holing up in their room or wandering off for a bit of soliBest Toys & Girls For 12 Year Old Boys & Girls According To Experttude. So, give them something they may gravitate toward when they crave alone time. “Books and journals are also popular among this age group and with the emerging independent tendencies,” Dr. Husain told Scary Mommy.

Need help finding a gift for your picky teenager or preteen? Take a gander at our gift and toy guides for kids of all ages!


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