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50 Best Gifts for 12-Year-Olds, According to Tweens and Parenting Experts

STEM sets, outdoors toys, fidgets and tech ideas our list has what you need for any tween boy or girl.

doodlejamz and pop its are good gifts for 12 year olds this year

Twelve-year-old kids are fully into their tween phase, which means they spend half the time wishing they were little kids and half the time wishing they were teenagers. When it comes to buying gifts for kids of this age, you have to find something that threads that needle. And while they'll tell you they're no longer into "toys," they are — it's just that the toys themselves have grown up. Board games have turned into party games, video games are now tech gifts and art sets are now DIY projects that can help them decorate their rooms. And while that all sounds very expensive, it doesn't have to be: Sure, there are some splurges you might consider, especially if your 12-year-old needs a new laptop or tablet for school. But you can still nourish their interests, engage their brains, get their bodies moving and help them express their personal styles without spending a lot.

Our picks for the best toys and gifts for tweens of this age are a mix of items tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute Parenting and Pets Lab (including current and former Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award winners), editor's picks, best-sellers and favorites from tweens themselves (yep, we asked them!), so you don't have to put in much guesswork when shopping for those inscrutable 12-year-olds. Whether you're shopping for gifts for boys or gifts for girls or anyone in the tween phase, these are the best gifts for 12-year-olds in 2022.

This year, tweens are definitely into cool lighting for their rooms, be it in the form of colored lights, neon signs or anything else that'll set the mood for their photos and TikToks. They're into projects they can display in their spaces, too. And, if you need just a little something, you can never go wrong with an inexpensive fidget toy or a mind-building puzzle!

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1
Unique Art Gift for 12-Year-Olds
MYNT3D
Professional Printing 3D Pen
MYNT3D
Now 30% off
2
Personalized Gift for a 12-Year-Old
NeonTea
Custom Name Neon Sign
NeonTea
3
Fun Fidget Toy
Sky Castle
DoodleJamz
Sky Castle
4
Best STEM Gift for 12-Year-Olds
ThinkFun
Gravity Maze
thinkfun
5
Fun Stocking Stuffer for 12-Year-Olds
CreateSpace
Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids
m prefontaine
6
Active Indoor Gift for 12-Year-Olds
Let Loose Moose
Hover Soccer Ball
Let Loose Moose
Now 20% off
7
Best Art Gift for a 12 -Year-Old
ARTISTRO
Paint Pens
ARTISTRO
Now 46% off
8
For the Tween Who Has Everything
LOGROTATE
Moon Lamp
LOGROTATE
Now 30% off
9
Perfect for Older Kids Too
LapGear
Lap Desk
LapGear
10
Cool Gift for Tweens
Spin Master
Rubik's Phantom
Spin Master
11
Great for Coding
Sphero
Sphero Mini
Sphero
12
Brain Puzzle
Shashibo
Shape-Shifting Box
SHASHIBO
13
Inexpensive Tech Gift
Soundbot
Water Resistant Shower Speaker
Soundbot
14
For Movie Fans
Enno Vatti
100 Movies Scratch-Off Poster
Uncommon Goods
15
Trendy Toys
WATINC
DIY Squishies Set
WATINC
16
For Crafters
Choose Friendship
My Friendship Bracelet Maker
Choose Friendship
17
Best Room Decor
MINGER
LED Strip Lights
MINGER
18
Unique Outdoor Toy
GlowCity
Glow-in-the-Dark Basketball
GlowCity
Now 30% off
19
Essential Tech Gift
WAITIEE
3 in 1 Wireless Charger
WAITIEE
Now 20% off
20
Best Wearable Gift
SAYM
Galaxy Pullover Hoodie
saym
21
Cute Accessory for Tweens
Kemy's
Crossbody Purse
Kemy
22
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Elenco
Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Exploration Kit
Elenco
23
Fun Stocking Stuffer for 12-Year-Olds
Container Store
Cable Bite
Cable Bite
24
Multi-Function Tech Gift
MRCOOL
Color Changing Bedside Lamp and Bluetooth Speaker
MRCOOL
25
Cool Tech Gift for Tweens
Tenergy
Bluetooth Beanie
Tenergy
Now 24% off
26
Outdoor, Non-Toy Gift
Wekapo
Inflatable Lounger
Wekapo
27
Amazon Reviewers Say It's a Great Gift Too
My Cinema Lightbox
LED Marquee Lightbox
my cinema lightbox
28
Best Tech Gift for a 12-Year-Old
Acer
Chromebook Spin 11
acer
29
Unique Gifts for 12-Year-Olds
Chronicle Books
This Book Is a Planetarium
Chronicle Books
30
Cute Fashion Gift
C.C.
BeanieTail Ponytail Beanie
C.C
31
Fun Party Game for 12-Year-Olds
Big G Creative
Bye, Felicia! Game
Big G Creative
32
Creative Book Gift
Odd Dot
Create Your Own Secret Language
Brave + Kind Bookshop
33
For Escape Room Fans
Thames & Kosmos
Exit: The Abandoned Cabin
Kosmos
34
For Musicians
Pick-A-Palooza
Guitar Pick Punch
Pick-a-Palooza
Now 14% off
35
Fun Desk Accessory
FUBARBAR
Build-on Brick Mug
fubarbar funny place to stay
36
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
LEGO
Emma’s Art School
LEGO
37
Best Phone Accessory
Cardly
Stick-On Phone Pocket
Cardly
38
For 'Stranger Things' Fans
Genuine Fred
Stranger Things Accessory Pouch
Genuine Fred
39
Get Them Outside
RIMABLE
22" Skateboard
RIMABLE
Now 43% off
40
Best Gift for a 12-Year-Old Gamer
Ann Arbor T-shirt Co.
I Paused My Game to Be Here Shirt
ann arbor
41
Fun Team Board Game
Rhyme Antics
Rhyme Antics
Rhyme Antics
42
Super Trendy Gift
Tulip
Two-Minute Tie Dye Kit
Tulip
43
Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award Winner
Razor
A+ Lightshow Kick Scooter
Razor
44
Accessory for Budding Scientists
Svaha
Moon Phase Pendant Necklace
Svaha
45
Fun Strategy Board Game
Ravensburger
Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power
Ravensburger
46
Budget-Friendly 12-Year-Old Gift
Pop It
Rainbow Pop Fidget Toy
Pop It
47
Inspirational Stocking Stuffer for 12 Year Olds
Effie's Paper
'Do What You Love' Notebook
Effie's Paper
48
Coolest Backpack
Loungefly
Han Solo Backpack
Loungefly
Now 16% off
49
Beauty Gift for 12-Year-Olds
Bee Love
Care & Repair Lip Balm
Bee Love
50
Just a Little Something
ArtOfRobertTrujillo
Sticker Sheet for Self Care
ArtOfRobertTrujillo
How we choose the best toys and gifts
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For toys, the Good Housekeeping Institute does year-long toy testing to evaluate for safety, durability, and ease of use, then hands the toys over to real kids to make sure they have the all-important fun factor. While non-toy gifts are not evaluated in the Lab, editors still look for gifts put out by trusted brands, gifts with great reviews from purchasers, best-sellers and editors' favorites. The list is then vetted by Good Housekeeping editors, who, after years of curating gift guides and keeping track of trends, tries to match the items with what is popular now and what Good Housekeeping readers and families have loved in the past.

Why trust Good Housekeeping?
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For decades, the Good Housekeeping Institute has provided expert reviews and advice on everything parents and children love, including STEM toys, educational toys, sensory toys, board games and outdoor toys.

While not all of the selects on this list have been specifically vetted by our experts, Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor, has scoured the internet and spoke with tweens and teens for the other top-picks. Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting, from the postpartum years through the empty nests, since 2015, and she's pitched in with Good Housekeeping's toy coverage since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors.

Shanon is a former products and reviews editor for the Good Housekeeping Institute covering the best deals and products across home, appliances, health, beauty and parenting.

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