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

Coding toys, beauty sets, tech ideas our list has what you need for any tween boy or girl.

gifts for 12 year olds
POP IT, amazon

By the time they're 12, they'll tell you they're no longer into "toys," although they totally are — it's just hat the toys themselves have grown up. Tweens of this age are into tech toys, party games, things that help them decorate their rooms and other fun fidgets they can use to keep their hands occupied. 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 whole lot.

Our picks for the best toys and gifts for 12-year-old boys and girls are a mix of items tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute Parenting Lab, editor's picks, best-sellers and favorites from tweens themselves, so you don't have to put in much guesswork when shopping for those inscrutable 12-year-olds.



You can also check out all of Good Housekeeping's gift guides — including gifts for teens, gifts for teen boys, stocking stuffers for teens and gifts for tween girls — to find ideas for anyone else on your gift shopping lists.
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Best STEM Gift for Tweens
ThinkFun
Gravity Maze
thinkfun
Budget-Friendly 12-Year-Old Gift
Pop It
Rainbow Pop Fidget Toy
Pop It
MINGER
LED Strip Lights
MINGER
Loungefly
'Stranger Things' Chibi Characters Mini Backpack
Loungefly
Fun Stocking Stuffer for Tweens
CreateSpace
Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids
m prefontaine
Best Art Gift for a 12 Year Old
ARTISTRO
Paint Pens
ARTISTRO
Now 25% off
LOGROTATE
Moon Lamp
LOGROTATE
Soundbot
Water Resistant Shower Speaker
Soundbot
Odd Dot
Create Your Own Secret Language
Brave + Kind Bookshop
Thames & Kosmos
Exit: The Abandoned Cabin
Kosmos
SAYM
Galaxy Pullover Hoodie
saym
Smoko
Dumpling Light
urban outfitters
My Cinema Lightbox
LED Marquee Lightbox
my cinema lightbox
Now 13% off
Best Gift for a 12-Year-Old Gamer
Ann Arbor T-shirt Co.
I Paused My Game to Be Here Shirt
ann arbor
Kemy's
Crossbody Purse
Kemy
Fun Stocking Stuffer for 12 Year Olds
Container Store
Cable Bite
Cable Bite
Singing Machine
Official Carpool Karaoke Mic
Singing Machine
FUBARBAR
Build-on Brick Mug
fubarbar funny place to stay
Tenergy
Bluetooth Beanie
Tenergy
Tulip
Two-Minute Tie Dye Kit
Tulip
RIMABLE
22" Skateboard
RIMABLE
Enno Vatti
100 Movies Scratch-Off Poster
Uncommon Goods
Stocking Stuffer for 12 Year Olds
Effie's Paper
'Do What You Love' Notebook
Effie's Paper
Fun Party Game for 12 Year Olds
Big G Creative
Bye, Felicia! Game
Big G Creative
C.C.
BeanieTail Ponytail Beanie
C.C
Good Housekeeping Toy Award Winner
Ravensburger
Marvel Villainous: Infinite Power
Ravensburger
Sphero
Sphero Mini
Sphero
LapGear
Lap Desk
LapGear
Svaha
Moon Phase Pendant Necklace
Svaha
Pick-A-Palooza
Guitar Pick Punch
Pick-a-Palooza
Now 14% off
Best Tech Gift for 12 Year Olds
Acer
Chromebook Spin 11
acer
Beauty Gift for 12-Year-Olds
Bee Love
Care & Repair Lip Balm
Bee Love
OLEBR
Wireless Charging Station
OLEBR
Cardly
Stick-On Phone Pocket
Cardly
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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