I love picking out gifts for the children in my life, but, as kids enter into adolescence picking out gifts gets a little trickier. How tweens play begins to change, the kinds of toys they play with change. Some are in a hurry to be teens and long for more grown up gifts, while others still enjoy the same kinds of toys they have been playing with, only scaled up a bit to keep it interesting.
Especially this year, we want to find toys that engage kids’ imaginations and have play longevity. In the hopes of making your gift giving a little easier we have complied a list of creative gifts for twelve year olds. Use this list to help you find just the right gift for the tween or teen in your life. Links below may be affiliate links, meaning if you purchase through them Bounceback Parenting receives a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to yourself.
Creative Toys for 12 Year Olds
2020 Gift Guide
The winner of multiple awards, this kit is a fun combination of science and art. Klutz Circuit Clay science kit gives kids everything they need (except batteries) to create clay sculptures that light up. Perfect for kids who are interested in STEM/STEAM but geared toward beginners, it includes a 52 page guide with 15 projects ranging in complexity from easy to more advanced.
No need to worry about safety or holes in your wall with Amazon’s best selling magnetic dartboard, a great gift for kids who are wanting more grown up gifts. This dart board is like a standard dart board in every way except that the darts have powerful magnets which are fully encased in plastic to help keep younger siblings safe!
YoYo’s are fun and almost every one can pick it up and basically YoYo, but knowing how to do tricks is a whole other story. This yoyo Kit comes with a light up yoyo, interchangeable colored string, a yoyo trick book and a DVD on how to be come a yoyo ninja.
A fun twist on a classic game. It’s small enough to play on a table or in the middle of the living room with each handcrafted wood bowling pin standing 4 inches tall. Zombie bowling can be played alone or with friends and comes in a sturdy cardboard tube making it easy to take along to sleepovers or other social events.
This lego kit isn’t just for lego lovers, this chain reaction set from Klutz supplies materials and inspiration for building chain reactions machines (or Rube Goldberg machines). It includes an 80 page guide book and 30 essential lego pieces but you will need to have on hand additional basic lego bricks to complete some of the projects.
This VR head set has a 4 star rating and over 1000 reviews on amazon. It is light weight and designed for comfort. Compatible with both android and apple smartphones, you can use it to watch 3D movies, play games, and explore educational apps. It has build in headphones and is adjustable to fit different size heads.
This is a great starter kit for laser tag and comes with equipment for 2 people to get started with and play laser tag. It eventually can be combined with other sets so that larger groups play together. You can pair with the Laser Tower for individual play and practice.
This Karaoke System will have everybody in your house gathered around singing their favorite songs. it can connect to your phone or tablet via bluetooth. It’s light weight and small enough to be easily portable. I recommend purchasing an extra microphone for duets.
Learning a new Hobby
Master Chef Junior – One of the best things about kids getting older? They can help cook! Yay! This book offers inspiring photos and tasty recipe for young foodies. Pair it with an apron and their own cooking tools for an awesome gift.
Terrarium – Your 12 year old can make their own little world with a terrarium kit. We’ve also had good luck with our local garden center offering free and low cost terrarium classes – so be on the look out for those if your tween get interested in this hobby.
Balloon Animal University PRO Kit – I love getting tweens and teens started making balloon animals. Not only is it a fun hobby but I have known several kids who have used the skill to start a business making balloon animals at kids parties and other events. This kit is meant for a range of skill levels, beginner through advanced and comes with high quality balloons, a hand pump, guidebook and access to online video tutorials.
3D Puzzle – There are many fantastic kits out there for making 3D puzzles. We liked this one from ROKR that makes an intricate marble run. You can also find clocks, ships, buildings, a treasure box… The kits contains detailed instructions to help kids put together the puzzle. It’s a lot of fun to work on a puzzle that becomes a work of art once it’s finished.
Wood Burning or Pyrography Kit – This wood burning kit is a bit more advanced (although suitable for all skill levels beginner through expert). It contains a huge assortment of wood burning tips, giving your child the ability to create any design they want on any type of wood. This kit also contains stencils, accessories all housed in a handy carrying case. To make this an open and go gift consider adding some wood to practice on and this engaging how to book The Art &Craft of Pyrography.
Learn to Knit Club – These learn to knit kits are so fantastic, they come in three levels for a variety of skill levels. Each level contains all of the supplies you need as well as a guide book for one project. Level 1 is a dishcloth, Level 2 makes a scarf. The materials included in these kits are good and quality here are several color schemes of yarn to choose from for each project. The packaging is neutral, making it a great choice for boys or girls who are interested in knitting.
3D Printing Pen – My kids got a 3D pen earlier this year and I have been pleasantly surprised by how inspiring and engaging this medium is. While it does take a bit of experimentation to get down how to use the pen once you do you can really draw and make 3 dimensional objects. The kit comes with 3 colors of filament (the material the pen draws with) but I recommend getting additional filament.
Happy gift giving!
Want more gift ideas for tweens? See our other guides:
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.