Discover cool gifts for 12-year-old boys: books, games, and technology! I don’t know about you but I think this is the hardest age to shop for. They’re not playing with toys anymore (too much) but they’re not adults yet either. I hope this list gives you lots of fun gift ideas!
I find that this age is tough — it’s that in between a kid and a teenager time when 12-year-olds are a mixture of both worlds. I hope these gift ideas help you shop!
Gifts for 12 Year Old Boys
Snap Circuits Mechanical Coding Robot
Learn to code a robot that can lift, throw, kick, draw, and more by snapping the coding buttons onto the coding wheel!
Anyone who has a 12 year old knows that their music is EVERYTHING. These are a very popular tween gift that kids and their parents like. (For different reasons.)
Go Pro Hero
Record all your action with a GoPro HERO8 camera. Includes a head strap, 32GB SD card, and 2 rechargeable batteries.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston
Fantastic fantasy world-building, excellent writing, a strong female heroine of color, and a surprise plot twist ending are just a few of the reasons you’ll love this book. Amari is an exciting action-packed, suspenseful story about Amari whose beloved older brother has vanished. But, she gets a virtual message from him revealing that she’s a magician like him and at his bequest, gets to attend a secret school. There, she discovers she’s actually a dark magic magician (which is outlawed) but she’s determined to prove she isn’t evil, stay in the school, and find her brother.
Magic: The Gathering Adventures in The Forgotten Realm
A team up between Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering, creating the ultimate fantasy card game.
Audio Gaming Chair
We first saw these at the neighbor’s house– they are pretty cool, right? Listen to music, watch TV, read, play video games, or just relax. It’s got 4 speakers plus wireless receivers and transmitters and is compatible with most gaming devices.
Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen
This is a compelling, disturbing, and hopeful childhood story of hardship and survival with moments of kindness and time in nature that sustain the neglected, determined young boy. If you love Gary Paulsen’s stories or just enjoy survival and growing up stories, DON’T MISS this powerful book! Also, Paulsen writes his memoir in the third person which is an interesting choice and one that works extremely well…
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Because this is written in verse, this is a fast read but packs a big punch. Basketball player and twin Josh narrates his life in quarters, just like the game he plays. He writes about missing his twin when his twin, Jordan, gets a girlfriend; about getting in trouble when he hits Jordan in the face with a basketball; and about watching his father as his heart fails. This is a coming-of-age, gripping story about a boy who is just trying to figure out life like most boys at age 12.
Allies by Alan Gratz
Written from many different voices about one day in history, readers easily can see the massive amount of cooperation, planning. and troops from different countries involved in D-Day (when the Allies invaded France at Normandy.) We hear from an American teenager soldier who was born in Germany, a French Algerian girl whose mom is a recently captured spy, a Canadian paratrooper who lands in the wrong spot, and an American black medic. It’s violent and disheartening yet despite terrible losses, racism, and injuries, the fighters persist despite everything to accomplish their goal — to take back the area for the Allies. What an incredible retelling of this day, appropriate for middle grade readers.
PopSockets: Expanding Stand and Grip for Smartphones and Tablets
Tweens use to pop, tilt, wrap, prop, collapse, and grip electronic devices.
LEGO Star Wars The Child
This is a detailed rendering of The Child from The Mandalorian with 1,073 pieces! Wouldn’t this be a great gift for your 12 year old boys?
Rare Birds by Jeff Miller
REALISTIC / SAD
Graham’s mom moves them to Florida to wait for a heart transplant. When his mom gets approved, Graham stays with his mom’s friend and his angry son. Fortunately, at the hospital, he befriends a girl named Lou. When he finds his mom’s rare bird journal, Lou helps him search for the last bird on the list–the Snail Kite. But because there’s prize money for finding the bird, bully kids not only thwart them but endanger them–stranding Lou and Graham in a swamp with a giant alligator and no cell service. The friends’ search is filled with challenges, which they face with bravery and determination, including the truth about Lou.
If you’re looking for games gifts for 12 year old boys, try this game! Build your Arkopolis city with houses, temples, markets, and more. Use the titles to build up and increase the value of your districts and win the game.
The Alexa Dot was our successful compromise with our daughter who still wanted to listen to her music in her room but wasn’t allowed to have screen time in her bedroom. Now it’s become a favorite way to play music for both our girls. It’s voice-controlled and you can use it as an alarm, speaker, timer, and more.
Lockwood & Co The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
In historical London, dangerous ghosts and spirits aren’t just stories — they’re real and murderous. But, only kids can see and fight these sectors. We follow the perilous adventures Anthony Lockwood who owns his own agency (with no adults in sight) to combat the supernatural with his teen team of Lucy and George. Creepy and exciting!
Tinkering Labs Electric Motors Catalyst
This is quite the cool educational Maker kit! It’s filled with parts and challenge cards so that kids can explore, experiment, and learn.
DALIX Cuff Beanie Cap 12″ — 14 colors
Reading and writing take practice. Good writers are avid readers. Keep your growing writer reading with a Kindle loaded with books.
Swiss Army Knife
15 functions for your everyday adventures: blade, Phillips screwdriver, scissors, and more.
Put together the puzzle, read the instructions, and guess before you open the sealed envelope with the solution.
One by Wacom Digital Drawing Tablet
The original Wacom tablets cost $500+ so this is a more affordable option at $60 for kids who want to get started with digital art. Plug into your computer and start drawing!
Match pairs of cards that complement each other — so the color circle matches the color ball. It’s not easy for me but my kids rock at this game. The player with the most matches wins. One day, I’ll win. I hope.
These aren’t just highly-rated, they’re really a good price, too! We also love that they have good sound, LED lights, and volume control.
A reasonably priced competition-sized foosball table brings fun to any setting, perfect for home game rooms.
Christmas Light Charger
If you’re going to charge a device, why not make it cool?
Massively Epic Engineering Disasters: 33 Thrilling Experiments Based on History’s Greatest Blunders by Sean Connolly
Learn about engineering disasters like the Roman Colosseum’s collapse or the unsinkable Titanic then do experiments that fix those engineering issues using everyday household items. Illustrations accompany step-by-step directions for each activity. You’ll learn a lot from this engineering-focused STEM book.
If you’re looking for a party game, this is a great option with challenges that will crack you up.