Gift Ideas for 12-Year-Old Boys [2023]

The 12-year-old boy in your life is likely in for some big changes over the next few years as he becomes a teenager. These gift ideas for 12-year-old boys are perfect for that transitional phase. Let’s take a look!

Sports and Outdoor Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

Razor Jetts Heel Wheels

The Jetts Heel Wheels are made by Razor, a company well-known for its scooters and other outdoor products. These are really easy to use and work with whatever sneakers he is wearing at the time, so he could even strap up and zoom home after school. Since they strap to his shoe and are adjustable, they fit shoe sizes youth size 12 to adult size 12. They can be used by riders up to 176 pounds.

He’ll love zooming around on these heel wheels, which feature a heavy-duty, quick-click frame that easily snaps into place and 50mm urethane wheels that move smoothly across concrete and pavement. It also has replaceable spark pads, to make any tricks he wants to do a little more exciting. As an added benefit, anything that gets him moving and away from the TV screen is a plus in our books.

22″ Skateboard

This 22″ Skateboard by Rimable comes completely assembled and ready to go right out of the box. He’ll love riding around on this skateboard, whether he’s cruising down the sidewalk or trying to do a few stunts. The top of the board is 22″ x 6″ and comes with a waffle pattern that grips the bottom of his feet and provides the traction he needs while riding.

Beneath the board, 3″ wide aluminum trucks keep the wheels securely on the board. It also features 59mm 78A smooth wheels with a urethane core and stainless steel bearings, for a super smooth ride. If he wants, he can upgrade these parts since they are removable, too!

Bicycle Tire Lights

Once he reaches the age of 12, he’s a little more mature and might be able to stay out with friends a little bit later. These Bicycle Tire Lights by Activ Life will help keep him visible on his way home. Whether he’s riding alone, with friends, or with the family, he’ll be safe. Plus, he’ll look really cool, too!

In addition to the red color pictured here, this is available in several other shades and even multi-color options that shine solid or can be set to a blinking function. It comes with enough lights to make his front and rear wheels bright, so there’s no way anyone can miss him. As an added bonus, the lights are waterproof and come with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty.

Slammo Game Set

The Slammo Game Set by GoSports is a gift that he’ll love unwrapping. It comes with a net, three balls, a carrying case, and a booklet on the rules of the game. While it’s designed for four players, there are modifications that can be made for more or fewer people. This, plus the fact that it is super portable, makes it a great gift for him to play with friends or family. He can enjoy it whether he’s in the school parking lot, in the backyard, or at the beach.

Any game that encourages him to get out of his room is a benefit in our book. Even though only one ball is needed for gameplay, this comes with one training ball that’s a little bigger and two regulation-sized balls. One of them is an extra so gameplay doesn’t have to stop if one of the balls gets away. Plus, the set is built to last so he’ll be playing it well through his teenage years.

Gaming Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

Gaming Headset

This Gaming Headset is something he’ll love using when he’s playing games alone or with friends. When he plays, he’ll be able to appreciate the crisp sound quality and noise-canceling design that lets him hear rustling in the leaves or enemy footsteps. Everyone will also be able to hear him, with an inline omnidirectional microphone that isolates the sound of his voice without picking up the background noise.

This can be connected to his controller or PC via the attached 3.5mm wire, so it’s compatible with Nintendo Switch, PlayStation devices, Xbox consoles, his PC, and more. In addition to offering great sound quality, the headphones have soft foam pads and are adjustable for the perfect fit.

Rocker Gaming Chair

This Rocker Gaming Chair is the perfect gift for that almost-teen who likes to spend time gaming in his room. Unlike some styles of rocker, this sits on top of a pedestal so there’s more room for his growing legs. It also has cool features like built-in speakers and well-padded armrests. Plus, the overall shape of the chair provides ergonomic support for his developing back.

He’ll love leaning forward into the action or lying back and relaxing in this gaming chair. With a 360-degree swivel and the ability to rock back and forth, he can find that perfect position for maximum concentration in his game. He’ll also love the immersive experience offered by the incredible sound system! As an added benefit, the faux leather outer is easy to wipe clean, a must for messy boys.

Neon Gamer Sign

This Neon Gamer Sign will look great in a 12-year old boy’s bedroom. He’ll enjoy showing off his love of gaming with this neon sign that lights up in the shape of a controller, complete with a directional pad and a big button. The neon tubing is energy efficient and it’s super easy to install. Just hang it on the wall and plug it into any USB-compatible power source.

This is a great way to make his room feel like his own. It is 41″ long by 16″ wide, so it’s also big enough to make a statement. He’ll be proud to have this hanging on his wall when his friends come over.

Gaming Hoodie

This Gaming Hoodie features a simple, but cool design of a heartbeat and a retro gaming controller. Most teenage boys live in their hooded sweatshirts, so this is definitely something he’ll love having. It’s sure to become a staple in his wardrobe whether he’s lounging around the house or headed to school.

This is available in solid black, solid navy, or dark heather. It’s made from a blend of cotton and polyester, with the solid colors having more cotton. You’ll want to be sure to dry these on low heat to reduce shrinkage.

Toy Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

NERF Digital Target

The Alien Menace Digital Target by NERF is the perfect way to put his aiming skills to the test. Since it works with most NERF blasters and bullets, he can test his aim with the ones he already has. The 9.25″ target is big enough to hit but small enough to give him a challenge and the interactive lights and sounds will let him know when he’s hit his mark. It also has a digital scoreboard.

He can play with this fun target alone or with his friends. There are 3 built-in modes that he can use to build his skill and this is super easy to set up. It can be kept upright using the adjustable kickstand, or it can be mounted to a wall with the included hardware. Any 12-year old would love to receive this as a gift, and as an added bonus he’ll be improving hand-eye coordination while he plays.

Lazer Tag 2-pack

Take playing tag with friends to the next level with this Lazer Tag 2-pack from NERF. This 2-pack is interchangeable and compatible with all other guns from this line, so it’s super easy to buy additional lasers for more fun. Use the settings right on the laser to set it to single-player or multi-player mode, as well as your team. You can also view things like the amount of visible ammo and how much life you have left right on the display and there are no vests needed!

He’ll love playing with this laser tag set with family and friends. These laser taggers offer a great experience, including features like firing sounds and vibrations when you get hit. As an added bonus, the gun can be set to 10 hits or 25 hits, so that younger players have it a little bit easier as they play and don’t feel left out. This can also be used to control the length of the game. Any 12-year old boy would be thrilled to receive this laser tag set as a gift.

LEGO Make Your Own Movie Kit

The LEGO Movie Kit by KLUTZ is designed to work with an app on his smartphone or tablet that lets him create real stop-action films. This is a great way to introduce him to animation and encourage creativity. In this set, he’ll get six foldout backgrounds, Minifigure actors, props, and exchangeable faces. It also comes with an 80-page book with ideas and tips for getting started.

If he hasn’t had an introduction to animation, this makes a great gift. There are also many other advanced kid moviemakers that he can level up to once he has the basics down. He’ll be surprised to find that he can make a mini-movie in as little as an hour using the figures and the app!

3-in-1 RC Racer

This 3-in-1 RC Building Set comes with 392 pieces that he can use to build three different models, including a car, a robot, and a tank. As he puts the pieces together in different ways, he’ll be reinforcing STEM learning and creating some really cool builds. Once he puts it together, he can use the included remote to make the robot or car move, including 360-degree rotation and the ability to move in any direction.

While the RC remote requires 3 AAA batteries, the build is rechargeable using the included USB cable. This means hours of fun for him without burning through batteries. He’ll also have fun using the included manual to put together the many pieces into his designs. The manual is easy enough to follow along, but with all those pieces there is enough of a challenge that it won’t be boring.

LEGO Ship in a Bottle

He’ll love putting together a Ship in a Bottle with with this Lego building set. This comes with 962 pieces and is recommended for ages 12 and older, so it’s hard enough to be a challenge and keep him entertained without being too difficult. He’ll easily be able to put this together with someone else or by himself by using the included full-color guide.

Once he puts the ship together, he can piece the bottle together around it and put it on display. There is great attention to detail, from the masts and sails of the ship to the cork and wax seal for the bottle. The finished masterpiece is stunning! Since these bricks are also compatible with all other LEGO building sets, he could even add more pieces for additional fun.

Books, Puzzles, and Game Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

Harry Potter Chess Set

The Harry Potter Chess Set makes a great gift for that 12-year old boy who’s a Harry Potter fan. It comes with a full set of highly detailed chess pieces, each of them standing 2″ to 4″ tall and being modeled after the characters seen in the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film. He’ll also find an 18.5″ x 18.5″ board and two drawstring bags, one for each of the colors of chess pieces, in the box.

Something great about playing chess is that he’s learning about logical thinking and strategy while he’s having fun. This officially licensed Warner Brothers game is sure to bring a smile to his face when he opens it.

How to Survive Anything

Written by Rachel Buchholz, How to Survive Anything from National Geographic Kids is a funny, entertaining way to encourage a 12-year old boy to read. He’ll learn all about how to survive shark attacks, pop quizzes, embarrassing parents, a lava eruption, and so much more in the pages of this book. While it’s written in a humorous manner, there’s lots of great information and scientific facts, too.

Aside from the obvious benefit of encouraging him to read, this book is a great conversation piece. He can entertain his friends with interesting facts or bring up what he’s learned at the dinner table. This makes it a great gift for bonding, too, which is perfect for an age where he’s starting to become more independent.

3D Rome Colosseum Puzzle

This 3D Rome Colosseum Puzzle by CubicFun will keep him entertained for hours. The puzzle comes with 131 pieces that he’ll use to build up and make a 3D replica of the Rome Colosseum, rather than a flat, 2-dimensional piece. It also comes with a booklet with clear instructions that he can use to build his masterpiece. As an added benefit, the included booklet has several facts so he can learn a little bit while he’s building.

Anything that gets kids away from the screen makes a great gift in our book. The pieces are made from EPS foam and fit together sturdy, so he can easily leave this together and put it on display after he builds it. He’ll be proud of the masterpiece he has put together.

Maze Runner Boxed Set

The Maze Runner Boxed Set comes with 5 books in the Maze Runner series. Recommended for ages 12 and up, this is perfect for his reading age. Plus, the Maze Runner books are well-written and filled with action and adventure, which is perfect for that tween who might need just a little encouragement to read.

Throughout the series, James Dashner writes about the story of Thomas and his friends, people that he met in the middle of the Glade where he woke up with no memories. Even after achieving escape, they must work to uncover more about the company that put them there. He may recognize these books if he’s seen the three movies that were based on these books, however, these go into a lot more depth (and action). He’ll love reading through this boxed set.

Apples to Apples: Marvel Edition

The Marvel Edition of the Apples to Apples game is a classic that he can play with the whole family or a group of friends. As gameplay commences, each player takes turns reading one of the green cards. Then, the other players all play a red card that goes along with it, making hilarious combinations. It’s the type of game that is sure to get everyone laughing and he’ll love that this is themed with some of his favorite Marvel characters.

In addition to cards for the different Marvel characters like Black Widow, Captain America, and the Hulk, this comes with cards like zombies, blood, and Hulk’s pants, too. There are so many cards that you don’t have the same one a lot and there are even Thanos Snaps cards that make players switch out half their deck, the perfect way to shake things up!

Tech Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

Snap Circuits “Arcade”

The Snap Circuits “Arcade” is a great way to encourage the 12-year old boy in your life to learn more about electronics and programming. This set by Snap Circuits comes with more than 35 parts that can be put together in different ways to create more than 200 projects. There are even 20 different games he can build and then play with the board! This set makes learning more about STEM skills fun and they’ll be really useful in today’s fast-paced, high-tech world.

Unlike traditional circuit boards, this has a snap-on design that makes it really easy for him to put all the pieces into place. Some of the things included with this set are a dual LED display, a programmable word fan, and a pre-programmed micro-controller. It also comes with a fully illustrated manual with clear instructions, so it’s easy for him to follow along. He’ll love playing (and learning) with this set.

Audio Sunglasses

Bose Frames are cool sunglasses with built-in speakers for a unique, immersive sound experience. With an open-ear design, he can enjoy his favorite music and still pay attention to his surroundings. All he has to do is connect the glasses to his music device wirelessly via Bluetooth and press play. He can even take phone calls with the built-in microphone.

Not only are these headphones a great listening choice, but they look great and are practical, too. The lenses block up to 99% of UVA and UVB rays and the rounded frames make his face pop. He’ll also love the long playing time of 3.5 hours streaming and 12 hours on standby.

Arc Star Floating Speaker

The Arc Star Floating Speaker comes with a magnetic base and an orb-shaped speaker. While the speaker floats above the base and spins for a cool, mystical effect, it also can be used without the base at all. The speaker connects to compatible devices via Bluetooth and it offers 360-degree sound because of the unique, rotating design.

As it floats, the base also emits a glowing, green light for a visual element. He’ll also appreciate that it has a USB port, for easy charging the speaker or even his phone. The speaker can be placed up to 10 meters away from the phone and still get a signal.

Sphero Mini

The Sphero Mini is a programmable robot ball that works with an app on his phone or tablet. It’s a great gift for kids who haven’t been introduced to programming yet since it does so much and it’s easy to program it by writing JavaScript, dragging and dropping blocks of code, or drawing on the screen. He can even play arcade-style games with the free Sphero Play app and it comes with 6 bowling pins and 3 traffic cones for added fun when he has the space to play.

In addition to the bright green color pictured here, Sphero Mini comes in blue, black, red, and more. One of them even looks like a soccer ball! The size of a ping pong ball, this fun programmable sphere will provide hours and hours of entertainment. He’ll love passing time with this fun little guy.

Mini RC Drone

This Mini RC Drone by HolyStone is the perfect introduction to drone flying. Any 12-year old boy would love to watch this drone fly through the air, piloting it across the sky and over the treetops. Plus, with three rechargeable batteries included that offer 21 minutes of flight time each, this offers more playtime than some of the other options on the market.

Even if he’s never flown a drone before, this mini model is perfect for getting him interested. There are only a few buttons, so it’s easy to operate, plus the drone has features like auto-rotate and a low-battery alarm so it keeps the drone safe. He can even perform cool tricks with the drone, including 360-degree flips and toss-to-launch which lets the drone take off after being tossed through the air. It’s a unique gift that offers lots of fun and entertainment.

Art and Music Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

DIY Guitar Pick Punch

If he plays guitar, the 12-year old boy in your life will love the Pick-a-Palooza. This DIY Guitar Pick Punch is made using a sharp, stainless steel blade and heavy-duty construction to easily cut through different materials. It also comes with a leather key chain that holds as much as 10 picks and 4 starter strips, which can make 5 picks each for a total of 20 picks.

In addition to using the included starter strips, he can make picks from old credit cards, hotel key cards, or other thin plastic he finds around the house. He’ll love making unique picks to use on his guitar or other stringed instruments.

How to Draw Cool Stuff

If he’s expressed an interest in the arts, this Drawing Guide by Catherine V. Holmes is a great choice. How to Draw Cool Stuff offers a unique perspective on drawing and bringing art to life. It’s also filled with fun exercises that he can do. These will literally have him looking at the world around him in a whole new light.

The inspirational book offers unique ideas that appeal to artists both young and old. He’ll learn about drawing tattoos, photorealistic faces, and so much more. It’s great for helping him build a foundation in the art that he can use to bring all his greatest creations to life.

Portable Keyboard

This Portable Keyboard by Casio features 32 mini keys and five drum pads. It also comes with 50 pre-downloaded tracks that he can play along to. The mini keyboard is super portable, so he can bring it along anywhere. There’s also a headphones output, so he can keep playing even when everyone around him doesn’t want to listen.

The chunky design of the keyboard is retro, as are the classic black-and-white colors that have a pop of bright green. He’ll be able to adjust volume, tempo, the type of instrument being played, and so much more. Pair this gift with a beginner’s book for playing the keyboard if you’d like to make his present even more special!

Ukulele Starter Pack

This Ukulele Starter Pack comes with everything he needs to learn to play the ukulele. It includes a strap for the uke, as well as a carrying case, a tuner, an extra Aquilla string, a cleaning cloth, and even 12 lessons to get started with playing the ukulele. With fewer strings than a guitar and a really unique sound, the ukulele is easy to learn to play. Plus, he’ll learn a cool new skill that he can use to build his confidence or even break the ice.

Playing the ukulele is a life-long skill. Plus, even if he isn’t familiar with any musical instruments, this is easier to learn than the guitar. The ukulele will also last for years to come, as it’s made with high-quality woods and great attention to detail, so it produces a deep, beautiful woody tone.

Mixed Media Art Set

This Mixed Media Art Set comes with 151 pieces, including two separate pads for drawing and watercolors. Some of the things he’ll find include soft tone pastels, drawing pencils, colored pencils, watercolors, watercolor pencils, and more. It’s really a great choice especially for tweens who have shown an interest in art but who haven’t found their favorite medium yet since there’s such a variety of supplies included in this kit.

Unlike some art sets, this is made with higher quality for better results. He’ll love bringing his creations to life with the materials included in this set. As an added benefit, it comes in a lightweight but durable aluminum case. This makes it easy for him to keep everything together, as well as to bring along his art set so he’s ready wherever he’s feeling inspired.

Practical Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

808 Dude Hygiene Set

The average 12-year old boy is approaching puberty, so it may be time to talk to him about proper hygiene with his body going through changes. This Hygiene Set from 808 Dude is made from natural ingredients while avoiding harsh products like sulfates and parabens. It comes with aluminum-free deodorant, face wash to help him target acne, and a body wash/shampoo combo.

In addition to the three products, he’ll get a toiletry bag with the 808 Dude logo on it. This means it’s easy to take his hygiene set to sleepovers and he can even use it to keep pencils and other supplies in it once he’s done with the different products. He’ll appreciate the confidence boost that clear skin and smelling great will give him.

Digital Coin Bank

A penny saved is a penny earned with this Digital Coin Bank. As he puts more money in, he’ll be able to literally watch his savings go up. It holds between 750-1000 coins depending on the size used and the digital display shows him how much he has saved up. It’s a great way to teach him a little about money management and how every penny counts when it comes to saving. Plus, once he’s saved enough up, you can help him open his own bank account so he can start earning interest on his savings.

This digital coin bank is a great way to help your child learn some valuable life skills, especially since money management isn’t necessarily something addressed in schools. It can also help him learn about goal setting and motivate him to save money toward the things that he wants the most. Finally, he’ll love the glowing blue color on the outside of the bank. It’s also available in several other colors.

Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock

Do you know an almost-teen who could sleep through an earthquake? Make mornings easier with the Sonic Bomb, an alarm clock that is sure to get him up and going. The alarm clock comes with a bed shaker, which vibrates the entire bed when it goes off. While it runs using an electric outlet, it also has a battery backup, so there’s no excuse for him to be running late in the mornings again.

In addition to the shaking feature, this emits an extra loud tone. The volume and decibel of the alarm can be adjusted to best fit his needs. It also has flashing lights, for that extra heavy sleeper.

Under Armour Backpack

This Under Armour Backpack has a stylish appearance that any 12-year old boy would love to wear. It has plenty of room for all his gear and a super durable design. There’s even a padded laptop sleeve that can hold up to a 15″ laptop. He’ll also find tons of storage pockets, inside and out, to help keep him organized. As an added bonus, it’s available in several colors and designs so you can choose the perfect bag for his style.

This Under Armour bag is also meant to withstand a beating. It’s made from water-resistant materials and the front pockets repel water. Additionally, the thick materials and abrasion-resistant bottom panel make it super durable. With adjustable straps, it’s sure to last for years to come. The straps also make it really comfortable to wear.

Clothing and Accessory Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

I Paused My Game to Be Here

As he approaches his teenage years, the 12-year old boy in your life is likely to be more interested in his friends and what he wants to do than spending time with the family or going to school. This Funny Gaming T-Shirt says, “I Paused My Game to Be Here”. He’ll love wearing it to family gatherings, school, and anywhere else he’s less than thrilled to be.

The shirt is designed to be mid-weight, so it’s super breathable but still substantial. It features a design that tapers slightly at the bottom, so it’s more modern and offers a better, less boxy fit than a traditional T-shirt. The shirt is also made from cotton but it is pre-shrunk, so it will shrink slightly but probably won’t shrink as much as you’d expect. It is also made using screen-printed inks, so they won’t fade or crack in the wash over time.

Digital Watch

Twelve-year-old boys are ready to take on some more responsibility and this Digital Watch by Atimo will help keep them on track. It has lots of functions, including a dual time display, stopwatch, alarm clock, and calendar date window. He’ll also be able to use it at night because it has an LED luminous function.

As with most gifts for children, you want something durable and this watch does not disappoint. It’s shock-resistant to prevent damage if it’s dropped and it’s waterproof up to 50 meters. As an added benefit, the sporty, stylish watch sits on top of an adjustable band so it’s super easy for him to make this fit perfectly.

12th Birthday Shirt

The 12th Birthday Shirt is a great way to remind him how awesome he is! He’ll love wearing this shirt whether he’s at school or around the house. It features a lightweight, classic fit so it remains breathable throughout the day and won’t make him sweat too much.

If he wears this a lot, it’s no problem, since the inks won’t fade with washing and the double-needle hem and arms keep the shirt durable. The solid colors are made from 100% cotton, so you may want to order a size up since it’s likely to shrink in the wash.

Memory Foam Slippers

You can’t go wrong when giving these Memory Foam Slippers as a gift. These have a lightweight design that makes them perfect for wearing around the house. Unlike his socks though, they have a non-slip rubber outsole so he won’t slip when walking across the floor.

In addition to being functional, they’re really comfortable to wear. They have memory foam and fleece lining on the inside, which cradles and conforms to his foot. Plus, the design makes them super easy to slide on when he decides to leave his room. They are available in this slate gray color as well as several others, so you can easily choose something he’ll like.

Room Decor Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

LED Strip Lights

The LED Strip Lights is by Daybetter is a great way to add a pop of personality to his room. These light strips have a strong self-adhesive, so it’s really easy for him to put them anywhere he’d like in his room. Additionally, there are cutting marks along with the LEDs that let him cut or even extend the light strip.

In this set, he’ll get 50-feet of LED lights and a remote. He can use the buttons to adjust the brightness or dimness of the lights, fade between lights, use the strobe setting, or select a single color to set the mood in his room. Whether he’s relaxing with friends or alone, he’ll love setting the tone with this LED light strip.

Bean Bag Chair

The Chill Sack is an 8-foot bean bag chair that any 12-year old boy would love to plop down on. It’s big enough that he can stretch out by himself or relax with a friend. As an added benefit, the microfiber cover is resistant to stains and removes so it can easily be washed in the washing machine.

Inside the bean bag, shredded memory foam creates a soft, but supportive base. He’ll love collapsing in this seat and feeling it form to his body, creating the perfect amount of cushioning. In addition to the navy blue color pictured here, this is available in royal blue, charcoal, red, lime, black, and many other colors. Choose whichever shows off his personality!

Over-the-Door Hoop

The Slam Jam Hoop from Spalding is an over-the-door hoop designed for indoor use, making it a great decoration for his room. Whether he’s hanging out with friends or just wants something to do while he’s thinking, this hoop is a great solution. It’s also a great way to make his room feel more like his own.

This comes with a mini 5″ ball that won’t do damage if it bounces off the backboard instead of falling through the net. The padded polycarbonate board is 18″ x 10.5″ and it has a 9″ steel breakaway rim. This comes with a tool to assemble the board and get it mounted, however, he will need a pump for the mini basketball.

Magnetic Dart Board

The Magnetic Dart Board by RaboSky is a fun gift that he can hang on his wall. The magnetic dartboard is a lot safer than traditional darts, but they have strong magnets so they stick well to the boards. They also have traditional dart fletching, so they’re well-balanced and it’s easy for him to hit the target straight on.

He’ll love that this is dual-sided, so he can flip over for a different scoring board. The dartboard also comes with 12 magnetic darts in two different colors, so he can easily throw darts with a friend, too. As an added benefit, the entire board rolls up so he can take it on the go.

What to Look for in Gifts for 12-Year-Old Boys

Educational Gifts

Twelve-year-old boys are considered tweens. At this age, they are capable of logical thinking and they have a greater capacity to understand right and wrong. Their ability to understand more complex thought processes means they might be able to tackle fun projects with ease. Building sets, STEM activities, and other educational toys are a great way to make learning fun and encourage your child to use their logical thinking and creativity. These types of skills lay the foundation for the type of thought that will help them be successful in the workplace as an adult.

Gifts That Encourage Physical Activity

It’s never too late or too early to make physical activity a habit. Having your child involved in organized sports is a great way to encourage social and physical activity. Of course, it’s okay if he prefers to be physically active on his own, too. Even though tech gifts and those for gamers are great, it’s also important to limit his screen time and ensure he’s doing other things, too. Simple things like skateboarding or riding his bike to a friend if they live nearby, walking the dog, and helping mow the grass, or doing other chores can also keep him physically active.

Being physically active will also help him stay healthy and maintain a healthy physique. At this age, he may focus more on his body image and outward appearances. Socially, he’ll be more interested in his peers and how they feel about him. In addition to gifts that encourage him to be physically active, clothes that he’ll feel confident on might also be a good gift.

Gifts for His Hobbies and Interests

At this age, the average 12-year old boy might find spending time with his family and especially his parents a little less “cool”. Even though he might not want to spend time with the family, that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t get to enjoy the things that he does like. Plus, gifting him things for his hobbies and interests helps keep him busy (and out of trouble). It also gives him a chance to build confidence and be good at something he enjoys. This helps build self-esteem, which is really important for making positive decisions at this age.

Something else nice about gifts that reflect his hobbies is that they encourage him to do the things he enjoys. Many hobby gifts are also great for relaxing or emotional expression, which is important as he learns to control his emotions. Since his pre-frontal cortex isn’t completely developed at this age, he uses the amygdala more, which might result in instinctive or impulsive behaviors, aggression, and strong emotions. As he learns to control his thinking and actions, engaging with his hobbies and interests can be a useful coping skill.

Useful Gifts

Something else you could do is buy him a gift that he’ll actually be able to use. Gifts like a bank for managing his money or an alarm clock that can actually wake him up are great choices. You could even buy him slippers or something he can wear. If you are going to go with clothing or something similar, however, keep in mind that 12-year olds are still growing so you may want to shop for a slightly bigger size so he can get the most use out of it. Items that are 100% cotton are also more likely to shrink than some other materials.