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32 Gifts for Twelve-Year-Old Boys

This is a 12-year-old boy wearing a black hoodie with a white headphone and smartphone.

Twelve-year-old boys are at an interesting age where they’re no longer a little kid yet not a teen. The final year of being a tween is a time for personal growth and exploring new interests. But it does make it tricky to shop for them. After all, what are good gifts for twelve-year-old boys?

Twelve-year-old boys enjoy gifts that appeal to their interests and are fun to do with their friends. As much as they enjoy gaming, they also need gifts that encourage them to move and interact. Consider their hobbies for good present ideas, such as drawing, coding, art, and cooking.

We know twelve is a challenging age to shop for, but there are tons of fantastic options. We’ve waded through the latest trends and offerings and put a list together of 32 gift ideas and various price points. There is plenty to choose from for the tween boy in your life.

9 Gifts Under $25

Build-on Brick Mug

POXIWIN Build-on Brick Mug,with 3 Packs of Blocks at random,Creative DIY Building Blocks Cup for Water Juice,Novelty Coffee Mugs Compatible with Lego,Kids Party Cups for Christmas,Blue

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Build-on Brick Mug is the perfect present for a tween that loves to fidget and fiddle. The mug is made from food-grade plastic, so it is perfectly safe for drinking. The mugs are available in four colors: black, blue, green, and pink. The mug also comes with three packs of building blocks to keep the twelve-year-old sufficiently amused.

Graphic Tie-Dye T-Shirts

EOWJEED Boys Girls Kids T Shirts Tie Dye Tees Shirts 3D Print Colorful Tops Tee 14-16 Years

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Tie-dye is a trend that seems here to stay. But that doesn’t mean your tween can’t sport it in new and unique ways. Asyvain has a quirky twist with rainbow teddy bears spiraling inwards. EOWJEED plays with a more traditional tie-dye swirly and gives it a wavy reboot creating an eye-jarring illusion.

If 3D illusions are your tween’s thing, then Funnycokid’s graphic t-shirts are worth a look. We liked this colorful and geometric “hole” that is both futuristic and warped. Or check out Ainuno’s dragon t-shirt, which has a more galactical color scheme rather than tie-dye.

Illuminated Sketch Pillow Case

Illuminated Apparel Glow Sketch Interactive Glow in The Dark Pillowcase (Dream Cloud)

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Illuminated Apparel has brought a new dimension to bedding with their Dream Cloud pillowcase. The interactive pillowcase is 50cm x 70 cm and allows its owners to “draw” on it, and the design will glow for between 5-10 minutes.  A unique and fun twist to bedroom decor.

Light-up Stomp Rockets

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Air Rocket Toy – Ultimate LED Rocket Launcher for Kids, Stomp and Launch the Light Up, Air Powered, Foam Tipped Rockets up to 100 Feet

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National Geographic’s Ultimate LED Rocket Launcher kit is an upgrade on stomp rockets. These fun and foam-tipped rockets have LED lights, making them a blast to play with after dark. The rockets can reach as high as 100 feet in the air.

The kit comes with three rockets, a tube, a launcher, and a detailed guide. The booklet provides insight and experiments, making this a fun STEM toy focusing on the physics of motion and aerodynamics.

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Forbidden Island

Forbidden Island – The Cooperative Strategy Survival Island Board Game

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Temp the tween boy off the screen with the 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Game winner:  Forbidden Island, the cooperative strategy survival game. The two to four-player game sends players out on a “do-or-die mission” to look amongst the ruins for sacred treasures. A typical game lasts 30 minutes.

After breaching the borders of the ancient empire Archeans’, the players must work hard to complete their mission before the island sinks. Treasures include the Earth Stone, the Crystal of Fire, the Statue of the wind, and the Ocean’s Chalice. An entertaining way for the twelve-year-old, no matter if playing with family or friends.


Origami Bugs Kit: Origami Fun for Everyone!: Kit with 2 Origami Books, 20 Fun Projects and 98 Origami Papers: Great for Both Kids and Adults

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This origami bugs kit is a great way to combine crafts with science. The kit comes with two origami books, twenty projects, and ninety-eight origami papers. Tweens will learn how to build a variety of creepy crawlies, including ants, dragonflies, and tarantulas. Once completed, they make a fun addition to bedroom décor.

Tape Top Robot Kid

4M 5576 Table Top Robot - DIY Robotics Stem Toys, Engineering Edge Detector Gift for Kids & Teens, Boys & Girls (Packaging May Vary)

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KidzRobotix has released the “crabby” 4M Table Top Robot. This hands-on toy is easy to assemble, thanks to the step-by-step instructions. Once built, the crabby-robot will scuttle under its own steam, changing directions when it encounters an obstacle.

The robot is fun to build and entertaining to play with. The kit comes with all the pieces required for assembly. However, you will need to provide the 1 AAA battery and Philips head screwdriver.

The Boy’s Book of Survival

The Boys' Book Of Survival (How To Survive Anything, Anywhere)

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The retro-named The Boy’s Book of Survival is the guide to surviving anything. It gives instructions on how to handle being lost in the desert, survive a school dance, to getting out of quicksand, how to send an SOS message, treat a snakebite, managing shopping, and how to build your own ladder.

This book is the latest in the series, which began with The Dangerous Book for Boys, followed by The Double Dangerous Book for Boys. Hilarious yet highly useful books that are instant classics.

Wreck This Journal

Wreck This Journal: Now in Color (PENGUIN US)

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Wreck This Journal has given itself a reboot and is now available in color. This painting and coloring edition of the famous interactive journals has prompts for shredding, mixing colors, and weaving. Tween tension can be released in the “really angry cause a riot (of color),” poke holes in this page, and scratch off the color.

A fun way for tweens to express their personality and sense of self while providing an outlet for creativity and emotion. A great, inexpensive gift.

8 Gifts Under $50

Candy Chemistry

Thames & Kosmos Candy Chemistry | Science Kit | Rock Candy, Chocolates, Gummy Bears, Wintergreen Candies | 48 Page Full-Color Manual | Ages 10+ | Learn Chemistry, Have Fun | Cooking Science

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Bring the love of science to the kitchen with Thames & Kosmos Candy Chemistry Science Kit. The set comes with a forty-eight-page full-color manual that takes the young scientist through a number of tutorials that involve learning about heat, crystallization, and learning how to convert measurements such as volume and weight.  

Unlike most science kits, the results of these experiments will be delicious. Yummy results include wintergreen candies, gummy candies, chocolate shapes, and hard sugar candies. In addition, the kit includes metal and plastic molds, candy thermometer, spatula, dipping for, and more.

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Capture the Flag

Capture The Flag Redux: The Original Glow-in-The-Dark Outdoor Game for Birthday Parties, Youth Groups and Team Building - a Unique Gift for Teen Boys & Girls

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This glow-in-the-dark capture the flag set from REDUX is fantastic. Be it playing with family, friends, or members of a club, this game helps get kids moving and having fun. All that is required to play one of the twelve variations of the game is four to eight players and plenty of space to move (so maybe not a kitchen game).

The kit can allow for twelve hours of play at a time (that’s a long night), comes with eight light-up wrist bands, eight jail markers, five territory lights, two glowing orbs, and the necessary batteries.

Gaming Keyboard

Mechanical Gaming Keyboard,MechanicalEagle Z-77 Multicolor 9-Mode Backlit 87-Key Hot-Swappable TKL Keyboard with Blue Switches - Spare Switches and Tool Included - Black

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Does the tween enjoy computer games? If so, he might need a keyboard more suited to gaming. Bluetooth keyboards often don’t meet gaming needs, frustrating players young and old alike. The EagleTec KOO5-BA PC Gaming Keyboard and Mouse Combo Wired RGB Backlit Keyboard is an excellent build for its price.

The texture of the EagleTec provides the right kind of grip and performance; its durability is highly rated. Oh, and it is spill-resistant thank goodness. The mouse runs smoothly, thanks to its cleverly TEFLON-infused feet.

Gamer Kit

Tech Will Save Us, Gamer Kit (Ready-Soldered) | Educational STEM Toy, Ages 12 and Up

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Tech Will Save US has produced a gamer kit that combines the joy of gaming with STEM skills. The tween will learn to solder as he builds his own gaming console. The kit also teaches skills in electronics and creating with code.

Classic games are provided, such as snake and flappy bird. The step-by-step guide, with the help of the free online coding platform, guides the user too. A terrific way to put play back into learning.

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Kan Jam

Kan Jam Original Disc Toss Game, American Made, for Backyard, Beach, Park, Tailgates, Outdoors and Indoors

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An easy-going and fun game to give a tween is Kan Jam. This straightforward outdoor game is a breeze to bring along wherever he goes, be it a friend’s house, the beach, part, or camping. A wonderful way to motivate a tween to move around and interact with family and friends.

Kam Jam’s tabletop version is perfect if you have a game room. The mini-set is under fifteen dollars, making it an excellent stocking-stuffer gift.  

A pricier but fun twist is the Glow-in-the-dark Kan Jam. The LED discs and multi-color light-up goals allow you to play long after the sun has gone down. Perfect for slumber parties.

LED Marquee Lightbox

Cinema Light Box with Letters – New VOL 2.0! Marquee Color Changing Lightbox Sign with 352 Black Letters & Emoji - Premium Light Up Letter Board – 16 Dimmable Remote-Controlled Colored Options

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Tweens are loving LED lightboxes. They are a safe, fun way for self-expression. This cinema lightbox also comes with emojis along with black letters. The box has sixteen dimmable options that can be set using the remote control.

The set is split with 167 letters and numbers along with 185 emojis, and a USB cable to allow you to power it without using the batteries if you choose. It can be displayed on a surface or mounted on a wall.

LEGO Creator 3in1 Surfer Beach House

LEGO Creator 3in1 Surfer Beach House 31118 Building Kit Featuring Beach Hut and Animal Toys, New 2021 (564 Pieces)

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Give the tween in your life a fun and stimulating challenge with this versatile LEGO 3in1 Surfer Beach House. The kit has instructions for the two-floored surf house with dolphin and sea turtle, a lighthouse with boat and adorable manta ray, and a pool house. But, of course, nothing is stopping the young designer from coming up with their own ideas, too.

The set comes with 564 pieces, surfboards, and three brick-built sea animals: dolphin, sea turtle, and baby sea turtle. A fantastic hands-on activity to give twelve-year-olds a break from the screens.

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Lightning Reaction Reloaded

Lightning Reaction Reloaded - Shocking Game

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Got a tween that loves the “sense of danger”? Lightning Reaction Reloaded is a shocking game that tests reaction time. Each player grabs a handle and waits for the red line to turn green. Last to press the trigger gets zapped. A fun game for a twelve-year-old to play with his friends and family.

8 Gifts Under $100

Aquaponic Fish Tank

VIVOSUN  Aquaponic Fish Tank Hydroponic Cleaning Tank Fish Feeds Plants and Plants Clean Tank

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Aquaponic Fish Tank is a delightful way to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the environment. The self-cleaning tank provides an atmosphere that reduces stress and anxiety. Meanwhile, the tween can feel a sense of accomplishment every time his very own hydroponic fish tank provides the night’s salad.

There is a desk lamp hydroponic garden system for under fifty dollars if you think the tween would like the concept but be less enthused about the fish. It comes with an author timer which will help an absent-minded twelve-year-old manage the plant’s light needs. The light can also be adjusted for when you want to use it as a reading lamp.

For those that simply want a STEM toy without the bulk and commitment, this hydroponics kit is under twenty-five dollars and takes kids through various experiments and tells them about the Aztec’s floating gardens.

Bean Bag Chair

Big Joe Milano Bean Bag Chair Multiple Colors, Provides Ultimate Comfort, Great for Any Room (Stadium Blue)

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Give the tween somewhere else to lounge aside from their bed or the sofa with the Big Joe Milano Bean Bag Chair. The 32 x 28 x 25-inch chair is soft but with firm support and structure thanks to its UltimaX beans. The chair is double stitched, complete with double zippers to provide extra durability and safety. It comes in a variety of colors, too.

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Ravensburger Gravitrax Starter Set Marble Run & STEM Toy For Kids Age 8 & Up - Endless Indoor Activity for Families

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Ravensburger Gravintrax starter set is a brilliant interactive marble run. The building set challenges tweens to draw upon their logical and creative thinking skills while problem-solving their marble run designs. The hundred and twenty-two piece set comes with instructions for nine different track designs to help get the twelve-year-old started.

The set also has twenty-four problem-solving building exercises to keep the tween challenged. In addition, each design provides an opportunity to race marbles, creating a fun and competitive side to the off-screen activity. 

Pogo Stick

Flybar Maverick 2.0 Foam Pogo Stick for Kids Age 5 and Up, 40 to 80 Pounds, Pogo Stick for Boys and Girls (Black Lightning)

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Get your tween moving with a Black Lighting Flybar Maverick 2.0 Foam Pogo Stick. The stick can handle between 40-80 pounds and has a completely covered metal frame. The rubber handles ensure a great grip. In addition, the 2.0 has a wider tip and a reinforced shaft, piston, and spring to add strength and durability to the toy.

Rock Tumbler Kit

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Starter Rock Tumbler Kit - Rock Polisher for Kids and Adults, Complete Rock Tumbler Kit, Durable Leak-Proof Tumbler, Rocks, Grit, and 5 Jewelry Fastenings, A Great STEM Hobby

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National Geographic has put together a smashing kit for the budding geologist in your life. The kit has everything to get the tween started with a sifter, four polishing grits, rough gemstones, a gemstone learning guide, and two one-pound refill packs of gemstones and jasper.

The durable tumbler contains a noise-reduced barrel made of leakproof rubber. The one-touch settings make the polishing process easy to follow, and there is a timer and automatic shut-off feature, which is useful for kids that can become distracted.

Slackline Kit

Slackline Slackline Kit Slack Line Longer 57 ft Line with Training Line Tree Protectors Arm Trainer Ratchet Cover and Carry Bag Tight Rope Slack Lines for Backyard for Kids Children Adults

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Encourage safe and healthy fun outdoors with this 57-foot Slackline Kit from Flybold. This kit has one main line, two training lines, four arm trainers, two ratchets, and five ratchet protectors. The line can safely carry up to three hundred pounds.

Slacklining is an easy-to-transport activity so that the tween can take it with him to the beach, camping, or even a trip to the park. The exercise improves balance, posture, core strength, and focus.

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Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits LIGHT Electronics Exploration Kit | Over 175 Exciting STEM Projects | Full Color Project Manual | 55+ Snap Circuits Parts | STEM Educational Toys for Kids 8+,Multi

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Looking for a STEM gift? Then this 55 piece Snap Circuit LIGHT Electronics Exploration Kit is a brilliant choice. It challenges the tween to over 175 projects that require constructing working circuits, devices, and fiber optics. In addition, the twelve-year-old will be guided by the 100-page full-color instruction manual.

This is a fun, hands-on activity that encourages learning through fun. The set also can be hooked up to the boy’s phone or MP3 player to allow the lights to change with a song’s beat. This award-winning toy will provide hours of entertainment.

XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 Drawing Tablet

XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 Drawing Tablet 10x6.25 Inch Graphics Tablet Digital Drawing Tablet for Chromebook with Battery-Free Stylus and 8 Shortcut Keys (8192 Levels Pressure)

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If you have a tween obsessed with digital art, then the XP-Pen Deco 01 V2 is a drawing tablet that offers good value for its price. It is perfect for digital drawing, photo editing, 3D modeling, animation, or design work. In addition, the one-click toggle easily allows users to switch between the “pen” and “eraser” modes.

The lightweight design is only 8mm thick, making it easy to transport. It works on PCs, Macs, and Androids. It is compatible with various drawing programs, including SAI, Painter, Photoshop, Illustrator, Clip Studio, Paint Tool Sai, Corel Painter, Manga Studio, and Krita. Just keep in mind this isn’t an independent tablet and must be used with another device.

7 Gifts Over $100

Book Subscription

This is the Crate Expectations Books Subscription from Cratejoy.

Source: Cratejoy

If the twelve-year-old is loving Middle-Grade adventure, then he’ll love a twelve-month subscription to the Crate Expectations. It is a book club that sends out an author interview, STEM activity, a snack, discussion questions, and a recipe that relates to the included month’s read.

If he is more a graphic novel and comic book reader, then ComicCrate is an excellent alternative. Comics are not rated by reading level but content. Their “All Ages” box is G-rated. The Teen box is PG, where the Teen+ comics have more violence, some profanity, but the artwork is also at a higher level. So it really depends on the tween.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Millennium Falcon

LEGO Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Millennium Falcon 75257 Starship Model Building Kit and Minifigures (1,351 Pieces)

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If you know a twelve-year-old Star Wars fan, then you know somebody who would be thrilled to own The Rise of Skywalker Millennium Flacon LEGO Kit. This fun set has 1,351 pieces and includes seven action figures: Chewbacca, Finn, C-3PO, Lando Calrissian, BB-8, D-O, and Boolio.

This detailed model has a removable canopy to access the cockpit, a top panel to reveal the inner interior, a sliding turret, a hidden compartment, and two spring-loaded shooters. A fantastic building adventure that a tween will be proud to display years after he finishes the kit.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

Beats_by_dre Beats Solo Pro Wireless Headphones - Dark Blue with USB Adapter Cubes

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The trend in headphones is Beats, and their Solo Pro model has the noise-canceling feature, so many people love. The wireless Bluetooth headset can last up to twenty-two hours before requiring a recharge. Tweens unhappy with the ANC or wishing to extend batter life do have the option to switch to Transparency mode.

The set comes with two universal USB adapter cubes and a microfiber cleaning cloth. The ergonomic set automatically turns off when folded in addition to button controls.

Online Cooking Classes

This is a screenshot of The Dynamit Shop Website Homepage.

Know a budding chef? Consider giving the gift of online cooking classes. There are a plethora of options, but we’ve picked three to highlight.

The Dynamite Shop runs Zoom classes for cooks 7-15 years of age. The programs run for a semester (10-weeks) at two different time slots. The classes also provide text-based kitchen support should the chef run into challenges in the kitchen outside of class time. Examples of meals taught are Thai Curry Noodle Soup and Spinach & Ricotta Stuffed Shells.

The Kids’ Table is another Zoom cooking class program. It runs courses for three age groups: 2-4, 5-10, and 11-14. The series runs for five weeks, and recipes and ingredients are sent in advance, so there is no stress about having the right ingredients to hand.

Raddish is a culinary club for cooks between 4-14 years of age. In addition to the monthly cooking kits, there are free online cooking videos on its RadTV Cook-Aon series. Recipes include cornbread, pizza dough, blueberry pancakes, and pasta.

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Tinker Crate

This is a screenshot of the KiwiCo Tinker crate website.

Know a twelve-year-old boy that is curious and enjoys hands-on activities? Consider a 12-month subscription to Tinker Crate, whose mission is to “make science and engineering seriously fun.”

The program has various lines so you can choose which will best suit the tween. They provide STEM kits that allow creativity and problem-solving. Past activities have included building a functioning trebuchet, making a robot, and building a hydraulic claw. A wonderful gift that continues to entertain and teach throughout the year.

Sony PlayStation VR

Sony PlayStation VR

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Twelve means finally reaching the manufacturing age guidelines for the Sony PlayStation VR. The 3D gaming technology provides an entirely new experience. The movement required to interact with the games gets the tween standing up and burning some energy.

The technology is as easy as plug-and-play. The speakers are fantastic and provide a life-like experience by pinpointing sound to cause the user to look up or to the side as they would in reality. You do a PlayStation 4, however, for the headset to function.

Wonder Workshop Cue Coding Robot

Wonder Workshop Cue – Coding Robot for Kids 10+ – Voice Activated – Navigates Objects – 4 Free Programming STEM Apps – Advance Learn to Code (QU01-d1)

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Into robotics? Cue Robot is an entertaining way to get to both codes and interact with an AI. Cue can be programmed with a block-based language, JavaScript, and Wonder, a machine-based language designed specifically for Wonder robots.

Cue is run off a rechargeable ION battery and can operate for over 30 hours before needing a charge. In addition, the robot has four “personality avatars,” which allow the AI to make jokes, chat about books, and provide numerous responses utilizing its 170,000-word vocabulary.

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