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Trying to buy the right gift for a 12-year-old can be tough. They are too old for kid toys and too young for some adult items, but they still want gifts tailored to their newly sophisticated interests.
To help make things a little bit less complicated, we’ve compiled a list of gifts from a mom who has her own 12-year-old child herself and actually knows just what they want.
To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 33.
- Best games and toys for 12-year-olds
- Best outdoor gear for 12-year-olds
- Best clothing for 12-year-olds
- Best food gifts for 12-year-olds
- Best unique gifts for 12-year-olds
Best games and toys for 12-year-olds
A mix between four square and volleyball, tweens will have a blast playing this competitive game. Bonus: it will get them moving and give them an excuse to get outdoors.
This game of wits is fun for the whole family. Spymasters give one-word clues that point to multiple words on the board. Their teammates must use these clues to select their team's words, all while avoiding the words belonging to the other team and the game-ending assassin.
Here’s a non-political game that teaches your children elements of math and the electoral college. (Let’s face it, half of the adults don’t understand, either!) This game was developed by a former Coast Guard officer and is the winner of the 2019 Parent’s Choice Gold Award.
Go head-to-head with your favorite characters from Tim Burton’s 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'. This edition includes Jack Skellington, Sally, Oogie Boogie, and Dr. Finkelstein.
Your kid can become a part of the Marvel Universe as an iconic comic book villain in this new extension of the Villainous franchise. Each villain follows a unique path to victory and uses different abilities to face other villains and mighty heroes from across the universe.
Got a kid who just loves Pop-Tarts? Here’s a game just for them! Grab the most Pop-Tarts from a parade of pastries lined up between the freezer and the toaster. After all the Pop-Tarts are gone, the player who “ate” the most points wins!
Compete like an NFL superstar in this wildly popular game from EA Sports. Realistic graphics, sophisticated playbooks and voice commentary will make you think you're actually playing on the field.
One of the greatest arcade-driving games ever comes to life AGAIN. Burn rubber and shred metal across the open roads of Paradise City while discovering jumps, stunts and shortcuts.
Best outdoor gear for 12-year-olds
This sturdy backpack is not only cute but has a lot of function. Grab all your gear and store your items in one of the three main pockets. The main compartment comes with a padded sleeve that securely stores your laptop, while a stretch pocket holds your water bottles so your child can keep hydrated.
Learn to train like a Ninja Warrior with your own backyard gym kit including obstacles, storage bag, nylon ropes, monkey bars, gym rings and more. It's also a perfect gift to help your child’s overall strength and self-confidence.
This is basically the stretch limo of hoverboards. It comes equipped with an optional training mode for beginners and Razor’s EverBalance technology. It can also handle riders up to 176 pounds.
This electric scooter features a hand-operated front brake in addition to the rear fender brake, creating a dual-braking system for better control. It’s for kids who love speed as it can go up to 10 miles per hour.
This is the perfect start for a beginner motocross rider. The Razor MX350 Dirt Rocket combines top-notch, electric-powered performance with true to life motocross design.
Best clothing for 12-year-olds
The tie-dye trend is still going strong, and your tween can rock it with these comfy joggers. They're perfect for lounging or for wearing during a Zoom class.
These are the hottest sneakers amongst tweens out there. The Nike Air Force 1 has a foam platform midsole and a luxe leather upper. Now let’s see if your child can keep them clean and nice and white.
Keep your child warm this winter in this lightweight Columbia Hooded Jacket. The insulation and plush fleece lining will keep them super cozy.
This super soft fleece is cozy and has water-repellent technology to keep you dry all day.
Your athlete can perform in top condition with these turf cleats from Nike. The slip-on inner sleeve and Flyknit technology locks down your feet, while the rubber studded outsole allows for quick movements on the field.
Keep your kid’s toes perfectly toasty by the fire with this Juno Wool clog. As an added bonus, the wool leather upper and their comfortable footbeds means they can be worn anywhere.
These adorable slip-on ballet flats are comfortable and come in so many fun colors! They're perfect for school, play dates and hanging out with friends!
These slip-ons are perfect for your tween. There’s a faux fur upper with a sheepskin footbed, making them super warm and toasty.
9. Waffle Robe
After-bath duty will be extra special as your child wraps yourself in this luxe waffle weave bathrobe.
This parka provides waterproof and windproof technology. In some parts of the country, this can carry your kid throughout the colder months.
Best food gifts for 12-year-olds
Any 12-year-old with a sweet tooth will appreciate this gift. They can spin their own cotton candy using sugar.
This 263-piece cake decorating set and organizer is the perfect gift for little bakers of all ages. It includes tools to master decorating with buttercream and fondant.
Kids love exploring other cultures — and eating is a great way to do it. Every month, your child can receive a curated box of high-quality Japanese snacks and candies.
Let your junior baker roll out their very own cookies with this personalized mini rolling pin. It’s perfect for embossing their name on cookie dough.
For the child that doesn’t live nearby, they'll appreciate this sweet surprise. These delicious cupcakes come in a fan favorite assortment of flavors and can be delivered right to that special kid’s door!
Best unique gifts for 12-year-olds
Is she just beginning to experiment with makeup? This kit includes a highlighting beauty balm, blush, lip balm and a primer, all in understated tones so you won't have to worry about her going overboard.
These powerful but affordable Beats are versatile and easy to use for the kid that's always on the move. The magnetic earbuds also make listening that much easier by automatically playing music when they’re in your ears and pausing when they’re attached around your neck.
Your tween will love freshening up their room with this sweet blend of rose absolute, red currant, and patchouli.
Twelve is the year when kids want to experiment with their hair to find that signature style. Goody’s brush is perfect to get that smooth blowout.
A good selfie is everything and this smartphone case makes sure your lighting is on point with natural LED lights. It also comes with a USB charging cable.
Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- Learning doesn’t have to be a chore with these 19 fun tech gifts for kids
- 23 magical gifts for the ultimate Harry Potter fan
- 36 cool gifts for the tween who’s impossible to shop for
- 26 gifts under $50 that are perfect for everyone on your list
- 24 thoughtful gifts that will make your girlfriend swoon