The Best Toys For 12 Year Old Girls

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Oh, the plight of the “tween-ager”.  Not quite ready to leave childhood, yet looking ahead to the teenage years. They aren’t quite as peer-driven as their older siblings – but only by a little.  The approval of their peers is a big part of what they think is cool. This makes it difficult to shop for them – whether they are a girl or boy tween.

As you shop for your 12 year old girl, be ware of this pressure.  Your gift will be judged through the lens of what other girls think about it.

It’s a big reason why cash and gift cards are often a default choice as a present for tweens.

But you aren’t the type to give up and sign a check, are you?  You have the courage to not only pick a gift that is “peer approved” but also one that reflects how much you care for your tweener girl.  We’ve selected some gifts that check both boxes to help you in your quest.

Finally, in acknowledgement that no one gift is “the best” for all kids, we’ve selected a wide variety of toys that should appeal to different types of kids.  Our headings should give you a good idea what type of kid would love each toy.  Hopefully you find something to match the child you are shopping for.

In A Hurry? The Top 5 Gifts and Toys For Twelve Year Old Girls

This smart speaker can answer questions, read the news, give a weather forecast and stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others.

Pros:

  • Perfect gift for kids that love to paint, draw, or show other artistic traits.
  • Projects can be completed in a weekend so they don’t have to dominate your house.
  • This crate introduces unique crafting materials and interesting techniques.
  • Non-traditional gift can be perfect for kids that crave their uniqueness.

Cons:

  • Not all kids will be interested in these projects – you’ll know if it’s right for your girl.
  • Crates are given out randomly so there’s no guarantee which project you’ll get next month.  Can be good or bad.

The Doodle Crate makes our best toy and gift list for 12 year olds because it’s different than the average gift.  It’s not for every young adult, but those with an artistic bent will really appreciate your thoughtfulness once they receive it.

Every month, a “crate” is mailed to your child.  Inside are numerous projects based around the theme of the month.  It’s not just painting or drawing – projects require working in different materials including wood, clay, and resins.  Different styles of artistic expression are explored each month.  There are also written and video resources provided to allow inclined kids to explore the subject more thoroughly.

Not every 12 year old girl will love this gift – but it’s the perfect gift for the kid that’s shown an interest in art in the past.  I know in my family, my youngest son had a blast working on his project.  I’m confident your creative kid will enjoy the Doodle Crate as well.

Pros:

  • The Dobson style means it is much smaller and portable than refractor telescopes.
  • This is a serious scope – it will last for many years with proper care.
  • Can add additional lenses to see even more universal detail.

Cons:

  • While a younger child could use this, this isn’t meant to be abused. Keep close supervision on younger brothers and sisters.
  • No real instructions provided in the box, but plenty available online.

Ever used a telescope and thought “Big Deal”?  That’s usually because the images you see aren’t coming in very bright.

When your child has outgrown a more toy-like telescope and is ready to step up to an adult-level, quality tool, the Orion 10014 Skyquest XT is a perfect fit. Due to the much larger aperture, this telescope producers images over 260% brighter than your run-of-the-mill starter telescopes. That means they will be able to see hundreds of more objects from the night sky.

The Dobsonian style means it’s more compact, so it’s easier to transport.  Just be careful when moving it.  It’s not a toy – it’s not meant to take too much abuse.   Try this telescope out, and view the moon – or Venus – and see if you still think “Big Whoop”!

Helps To Develop: “Exploration, STEM,Thinking Skills”

Pros:

  • Parental controls help protect children online.
  • Matches almost every room decor.
  • Works great for music and audiobooks, along with being an alarm in the morning.
  • Can be used as an intercom system to talk to the kids in their room.
  • Has a off button for the microphone for times you want to ensure no one is listening.

Cons:

  • Not everyone is comfortable inviting listening devices for outside corporations into their home.
  • Need FreeTime subscription to enable all the kid-friendly options.

If you are looking for a way for your 12 year old to have access to music, stories and alarm functions without having to take out a second mortgage, this device is great for you! The Amazon Echo is quite amazing – the sky is the limit to what it can do when you install additional “skills”.  You can set it up to voice control your music – streaming music is available  from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Sirius XM, and others.  The Echo will answer questions, control your lights (if you have a a smart home), and work with other Echo’s around the home as a intercom system from room to room.  There’s more, but I only have so much room in this review.  :)

When paired with Amazon Free Time, the Echo becomes the top smart speaker for kids.  Why?  You can use the Amazon Parent Dashboard to enforce time limits, content filters and more so your children are only exposed to age-appropriate content at times you want.  12 year old girls need to learn how to use technology instead of being ruled by it – you can help them by setting reasonable usage limits.

You are inviting a listening device into your home (which should make you at least a LITTLE uncomfortable) – but the mechanical On-Off button means regardless of Amazon’s promises, you can make sure certain conversations stay private in your home.  The speaker quality is good for the size – but you’ll need two for stereo sound.  For the price of almost any toy your 12 year old would want, it’s a great gift.

Pros:

  • Jumping helps your 12 year old girl develop muscles and balance while burning off energy.
  • Tramp comes with a long list of safety features to make jumping as safe as it can be.
  • Your kid’s friends will always be over at your place when you are the ‘trampoline house’.

Cons:

  • Parents need to supervise play – there are dangers involved if instructions aren’t followed.
  • This isn’t a small toy.  You need to have dedicated space in your backyard to set up and jump.

As we mentioned in our outdoor trampolines review, we think this toy is a winner. Safety is a prime concern in the design of this model. It’s so important, Skywalker has made sure this model exceeds all American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) requirements.

We like the ‘W’ supports – they give more stability to the trampoline. The padded poles and enclosure net are well-made and help to keep your 12 year old is safe. The basketball hoop is a nice touch – it has a breakaway rim and even comes with 2 basketballs. It’ll keep your children and friends entertained for hours at a time. A great gift.

Helps To Develop: “Outside Play, Burning Off Energy, Social Development, Motor Skill Development”

Pros:

  • Active noise cancellation makes them great for car or air travel.
  • Long battery life means they can be used all-day.
  • Fold-able for easy storage
  • Also comes with a 3.5mm cord for wired use.

Cons:

  • While better for noise reduction, ear-cup design can make some ears uncomfortable.
  • Plastic headband designs are nearly always weaker than metal ones. These won’t be indestructible.

Everyone likes to listen to their music, videos and games with a good set of headphones. These active noise-cancelling headphones are a good deal for the price.  You get dual microphone cancellation technology, along with the option of either using a Bluetooth or wired connection to your device.  That’s nice because kids (and adults) will forget to charge these headphones on occasion, but you’ll still be able to use them.

These aren’t going to compete with $400 headphones – but at well under $100 you’ll have trouble finding anything better.  The plastic headband is well made, but might eventually break if you have a large head.   A nice hard case will help ensure your girl doesn’t accidentally break the headphones by stepping on them.

I like the noise-canceling feature because it’s really handy when trying to study or traveling by plane – and with how well constructed these headphones are your child will likely end up having a chance to do both while owning them. They also function as a headset for talking on the phone as well.

Pros:

  • Quick enough to be fun, but not as fast as some bigger models.
  • Soon will become a child favorite for expressing growing independence
  • Will last for years with proper maintenance.
  • Easy to transport – handlebars detach easily with a tool.

Cons:

  • The handbrake by itself can be inadequate – so teach your child to steer out of harms way along with braking.
  • Your child needs to be mature enough to understand the road laws in your area to use this toy.

Electric scooters for kids are a fast and simple way to get around.  The Razor E100 Electric Scooter is a nice tradeoff of speed and handling for a 12 year old rider.  You’ll get a scooter, battery and battery charger all included in the box.  Assembly is minimal – just charge up the scooter overnight and go.

Since this scooter can go as fast as 10 mph, it’s a good idea to find a protected area for your girl to practice.  It’s not quite like riding a bike – it will take a little while to master.  Check your local laws to see if it’s legal to ride on the street near the curb or on the sidewalk.  Different towns have different rules – and unless you want to give your kid an introduction to the legal  system at this age, it’s better to find out ahead of time!

The build is solid.  Younger and smaller riders will be able to easily fit both feet side-by-side on the base.  Length or riding time will depend on how many hills you ride, how much your child weighs, and how hard they ride – but 30 – 50 mins seems to be about average before needing a charge.

Pros:

  • Worry-free guarantee means you don’t need to worry about giving your 12 year old a mini-computer that she likely will end up finding a way to break.
  • Great for trips, plane rides, or other times a child needs to entertain themselves without being able to move around.
  • Included subscription includes a wide variety of children’s books to read – it’s not all fun and games!

Cons:

  • If you haven’t already bought into the Amazon “Co-Prosperity Sphere” of content, you’ll need to – it’s not worth much without the content Amazon provides.
  • Amazon parental controls take a little time to learn how to use effectively.

Want to get your 12 year old a tablet, but afraid of quickly they might break it? The Fire 7 Kids Edition is a great tablet for you.
You get a powerful 7-inch tablet in a kid-proof stand – made for little girls hands to be able to grasp easily.  The included year of Amazon Free Time provides access to age-appropriate apps, games, books and content from names you know, like PBS Kids, Disney and Nickelodeon.  Parental controls leave you in charge of what your 12 year old watches.

And since kids will be kids…if she ends up breaking this Kindle during the first two years by dropping, stomping, spilling, throwing or the multitude of other ways kids break toys, you can simply return it to Amazon to get a replacement.  That’s the worry-free guarantee.

These devices come with 16GB of internal storage, but you’ll likely want to invest in an SD card to give you some more space to save content for your child.  Prices on flash memory have dropped so much you’ll be amazed how much storage you’ll be able to get for cheap.

Pros:

  • The included cloak is an EXACT replica of the movie prop on display in the official Warner Bros studio tour in London.
  • It’s going to be THE GIFT for Harry Potter fans in 2020.
  • The cloak, standalone, is of nice construction.  The added invisibility effect is a nice addition!

Cons:

  • Phone must be still in the tripod to get the “invisible” effect to work.
  • Deluxe version is nice and completely true to the movie, but can be a bit pricey.  The standard version doesn’t include the tripod either.

What kid hasn’t at some point wanted to be invisible?  I know I thought the Invisibility Cloak from the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone would have awesome to own.  And now you can!

This 2020 Toy of the Year finalist is an exciting augmented reality toy.  This official Warner Bros. Invisibility cloak costume perfectly replicates the cloak from the Harry Potter series’ magical properties.

How does it work? It works with an associated phone app – so you can save – and share – your invisible scenes.  It’s easy to save stills or videos to your devices’ camera roll for later viewing fun.  If you or your children haven’t played with a “green screen” before, you are in for a treat.

In addition to the A-R aspect of this gift, it’s also a great Harry Potter toy and collector item on it’s own. If your 12 year old girl is into Harry Potter dress up or Cosplay, she’ll appreciate this gift!

Pros:

  • Great functionality in a small package.
  • 12 year old girls will love playing the role of director with the built-in cameras.
  • A lot cheaper than a Fitbit or Apple Watch!

Cons:

  • Heavy video usage can drain the battery in less than a day – not great if you rely on it primarily for a watch.
  • Colorful design might seem childish to tween-aged children.

This smartwatch is really a mini-smartphone – without internet access or GPS. Why do I say that? It has 2 cameras, a microphone, games built-in, and can function as a pedometer. That’s a lot of features in a little package!

Parents and kids can download the pictures and videos to a PC where they can be kept or viewed by all. It’s very intuitive to use – and while not waterproof it is “splash proof” so the occasional spill or drop should brick the watch. It’s a great toy if you think your child feels left out not having a “smart” device.

Helps To Develop: “Exploration, Role Playing, Creative Expression”

Pros:

  • The cards are really creative – from Super Fertile Unicorn to Fat Unicron, you never know what you’ll get.
  • There’s enough strategy in this game – but not too much – that’s a great introduction to more detailed strategy card games.
  • Only takes 3-4 rounds before you completely understand how the game works.
  • High replay value – and can pick up and finish a game in under an hour.

Cons:

  • This game is the opposite of a cooperative game – if you don’t like having loved ones sabotaging your plans, this isn’t the game for you.
  • Best played with 4 or more players.

Unstable Unicorns is still one fo the Top 50 most backed projects on Kickstarter, and for good reason.  This card game is quick to learn and play, but it’s not easy to master.  You are trying to build your Unicorn army to full-strength – but so is everyone else at the table.  Note: these unicorns aren’t warm and fuzzy – think Pegasus not My Little Pony.

Skill is important, but there is a lot of unpredictability due to the draw of the card deck which means anyone has a chance to win a particular game.  Detailed instructions are available online – they are better than the ones in the box and will get you up and playing in no time.

Pros:

Cons:

Codey Rocky is a GREAT toy for learning how to code. 12 year old programmers can use the associated app to get up and running quickly. There’s plenty to do with this robot without moving on from just app-based play. Your inquisitive girl can move and play with the robot really quickly in this mode.

Once the Codey Rocky is attached to your PC you can use an easy-to-learn block-based language to program the robot.  If this is too limiting, you can also use the popular programming language python to expand your choice enormously. This should give your 12 year old years of play as your child moves up the programming skill curve.

Helps To Develop: “STEM, Thinking Skills, Exploration”

Pros:

  • Easy to control and get into the air – but still helps to build patience.
  • Flight control builds hand-eye coordination to keep the kite soaring in the air.
  • You need to get outside to use this toy – and 12 year old girl will!

Cons:

  • You’ll need to help younger children with assembly.
  • You need some space and decent weather to play with this toy.

Good kites are under-rated toys. There’s something hard-wired in most girls that makes she want to fly a kite on a warm, sunny day. This kite makes that easy enough for 12 year olds.

The design makes it surprisingly easy to get – and stay -airborne. It won’t entertain your children for multiple hours at a time, but they will continue to come back to this toy as they grow through the years. The colorful pattern will bring a smile to both you and your child’s face.

Pros:

  • Carrying case does a great job organizing all the parts.
  • Up to 4 kids can make bracelets at the same time.
  • These will become cherished memories for your daughter.

Cons:

  • Videos are easier to understand than the printed manual – search online.
  • Takes some kids awhile to get the hang of making the bracelets.

Every girl likes to make friendship bracelets for their BFF. This well-designed kit will make that easier than ever.

Inside the ALEX DIY Friends Forever kit, you’ll find a friendship wheel (used to pattern out designs), color-coded looms, 20+ colors of string and a large array of beads to choose from. Instructions are provided for the beginning beader. It’s built to last, so your school-aged girl will get many hours of enjoyment from this throughout the years.

Helps To Develop: “Creative Expression, Motor-Skill Development, Social Relationships”

Pros:

  • Has enough features to be useful for beginners and advanced users alike.
  • MIDI controller will grow with your child throughout the years.
  • Reasonable price for all the features available.
  • Portable so your kid can take it anywhere.

Cons:

  • There is a learning curve to use any MIDI device. Make sure your child has a passion for music before buying.
  • As with all MIDI controllers, you need a computer to operate.
  • Older models had keyboard quality issues – seems to have been addressed in the MK2.

This popular MIDI controller is great starting point for the beginner – but can be used by experts as well. It’s not plug-n-play – THERE IS A LEARNING CURVE – but there are tutorials available online to help speed that process. Once that curve is overcome, this musical device will provide hours of creative fun.  Your child will be sampling and creating music for years to come will the Akai Professional MPK Mini MKII.

I’d be a little leery buying this for any child under 10 – and even at that age, expect to learn how to use it yourself in order to get this toy up and running.  Your aspiring DJ will be happy you bought this gift this holiday season!

Our Process For Selecting The Best Toys And Gifts For 12 year old girls

We spend weeks writing all of our toy review and gift guides. We know you rely on our input, and we take that trust seriously.   Our writers and editors have spent approximately 31 hours researching and testing the most popular toys for 12 year old girls that you can find on the market in July 2020. 

All of this time and resources are spent to bring this gift guide to you – we’ve put in the time to make sure our recommendations are ones you can trust.

We also update these lists each and every day.  That’s because we don’t want to provide you with toys that are no longer in-stock – a gift you can’t buy isn’t worth much to you, no matter how cool it might be.  We have reviewed many more toys than we list in this guide – and many of them are good but not quite as great as the ones that made the cut. 

As toys move in and out of stock, the list will change.  We want this list to help you get the best toys and gifts you can for your 12 year old this Holiday season.

Frequently Asked Questions About Gifts for Twelve-Year-Old Girls

What is the best gift for 12-year-old girls?

The best gift for a twelve-year-old girl is what she likes and matches her personality. It is, however, not always that easy to buy a gift for her because she isn’t a teenager yet, but neither is she a little kid. She wants to be a grown-up teenager, but she also wants to play with dolls and be a little girl.

What do you buy for a tween-going-on-teenager? Our gift guide is a list of various types of toys that may interest a twelve-year-old. When buying a gift for your tween daughter, consider her as an individual, her kind of personality, what she likes and dislikes, her hobbies, sports, and her ability levels.

Our gift guide contains gifts for the recommended age. Children develop different skills and abilities at specific milestones that are usually age-related. Buy gifts that are age-appropriate to help your tween improve and strengthen her abilities and skills. Each child, however, develops at her own pace. When you buy a birthday or Christmas gift for your twelve-year-old tween, consider here ability level. She may be a budding engineer and STEM-related gifts for 12 year old girls may be too simple for her; she needs more challenging STEM gifts that are recommended for older children. If she is slower in developing a particular skill, instead give her a toy recommended for a younger age until she’s developed the ability and is ready for a toy in her age group.

How vital are name brands when buying gifts for twelve-year-old tweens?

How vital the name brand is, depends on from whose perspective you’re considering the brand. Your tween may have a different outlook to name brands than you and your budget do.

Sometimes the brand name is more important to your tween daughter than the actual gift. If your twelve-year-old girl is brand conscious and prefers a specific brand, then the best gift for her is the one with the correct name brand. Another brand could be cheaper and even better quality, but, in her eyes, it is an inferior product and not something her friends may approve.  

She may not be as brand conscious as her friends are, even so, the right brand could be significant. At twelve-years-old, the opinion of friends may be more important than what her parents think. She wants to fit in with her social network. If the right brand may help her feel secure in the group, why not buy her the name brand she and her friends prefer?

Some famous brands are too expensive for a parent’s budget. Explain it to your tween and let her choose if she wants the gift in another brand or does she prefer to go without it. Sometimes the latter may be a more acceptable option for your twelve-year-old girl.

Lesser known brands or small company brands can often compete with the more prominent brands in quality, features, and durability. Sadly, some unknown brands are made from inferior material, and the gift doesn’t perform as advertised. These companies make a person hesitant to purchase lesser-known brands. If you research and read parent reviews, you should be able to discern if it is a good brand or not. You may be pleasantly surprised in finding gifts from smaller companies that could be better quality with more features at a lower price.

Are tech gifts the best type of gifts for 12-year-old girls?

Your teen is growing up in a technology age. She probably knows more about what your smartphone and tablet can do than you do. Technology is so part of her life; she takes it for granted.  If your twelve-year-old tween only receives technology gifts, she is limited in developing skills and abilities that unplugged toys may present to her.

If she loves technology, then STEM tech and engineering gifts may delight her endlessly. These kinds of gifts are educational and fun simultaneously. It gives her an advantage over other kids who aren’t exposed to these types of toys.

To encourage a tech girl to unplug now and again, give her gifts that combine tech and movement or tech and crafts. Headphones, smartwatches, and electric scooter or bike lights and accessories are examples of gifts that allow your child to be active and creative and enjoy the tech aspect.

Board games, card games, and physical games that she can play with friends may inspire her to set aside tech for a few hours. Classic board games and card games never go out of style. They may come back in more modern packaging, but they continue to provide endless hours of fun and entertainment. New games are added continuously to traditional games.