We Researched the Best Gifts for 12-year-old Boys—Here Are Our Top Picks

The UrbanEars Pampas Headphones play movies, music, and games for tweens all day

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

From the latest electronics, games, and toys to clothes, shoes, and books, there are plenty of fun gift options when shopping for 12-year-olds.

Review & Approved

The UrbanEars Pampas Headphones are our top pick because they align with a variety of hobbies, look stylish, and are easy to use and take anywhere. We also like the Air Hogs Gravitor with Trick Stick since it can be taken anywhere and engage their friends, too.

Choosing the best gift is highly personalized, so we can't recommend a single option. However, you can't go wrong if you stick to the tween’s hobbies and interests, such as books, movies, television, music, video games, a favorite sport or team, etc. If you're not sure, consider online reviews, ratings, and popularity among other kids in the same age group. Typically, 12-year-olds are picky and likely more aware than you think about what is trendy and cool amongst their group of friends. Our guides will help you find something that will engage them and be practical enough for them to use often.

Here are the best gifts for 12-year-old boys.

UrbanEars Pampas Headphones

UrbanEars Pampas Headphones

Courtesy of UrbanEars

Over-ear headphones are popular for kids of any age. These stand out because they are comfortable and noise-blocking and good for movies, music, and video games. The Pampas headphones are Bluetooth, so it will be easy for your tween to connect them to any of their devices. They collapse into a small size, so they are easily transportable from home to school or to a friend's house. Plus, they are perfect for all-day use with 30-hour battery life. Best of all these are sleek with a cool black matte finish and premium fabric on the band, so they'll last a long time in terms of durability and style.

Pop Funkoverse Strategy Game

Perfect for Harry Potter fans, this strategy board game brings home the characters and stories from Hogwarts. It can be played as a stand-alone game but can also be mixed with other Funkoverse games. It includes 2 playable maps and 4 exclusive Harry Potter characters.

Air Hogs Gravitor with Trick Stick

Air Hogs Gravitor with Trick Stick

Walmart

Fly this hover toy with just the power of your hands! The Air Hog Gravitor can do stunts and tricks and is easy to take with you and play anytime. They will love to try new moves, impress their friends, and defy gravity, all in an afternoon.

The Comfy Original Quarter-Zip

The Comfy Original Quarter-Zip

Courtesy of The Comfy

As seen on Shark Tank, The Comfy is the original wearable blanket that keeps you warm wherever you go. It truly is a great gift for anybody, but a 12-year-old boy will love playing video games, watching TV, out at a sporting event or camping, and just lounging at home in the warm sherpa fleece.

What Our Editors Say

"As soon as the temps drop below 50 degrees, my son is ready to break out his Comfy. During virtual learning, this was his go-to cozy blanket." -Latifah Miles, Verywell Family Commerce Editor

Hasbro Monopoly Voice Banking

Hasbro Monopoly Voice Banking

Courtesy of Hasbro

This version takes the classic game of Monopoly and elevates it with an interactive banking unit where the iconic Mr. Monopoly top hat shows off his personality and handles all of the transactions. Just as competitive as the original, this version is more engaging and everyone will love using credit cards to complete transactions.

Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor

Almost 15,000 5 star reviews can’t be wrong. Equip your 12-year-old with a Nerf N-Strike Elite Disruptor. It has a ​​6-dart rotating drum, fires fast and far, and is perfect for neighborhood Nerf battles and trick shots.

Lanyani Teen Bifold Wallet

Lanyani Teen Bifold Wallet

Courtesy of Lanyani

This simple canvas wallet is a great first wallet for younger boys who might only have a few cards or cash to hold for school lunches and allowance. The wallet has multiple card slots for things like a school ID, debit card, or library card that are RFID blocking to prevent theft.

Vans Kids Checkerboard Slip Ons

Vans Kids Checkerboard Slip Ons

Courtesy of Vans

If there’s a clothing brand that will make any 12-year-old boy happy to receive as a gift, it’s Vans. These shoes are a classic style with the Vans signature pattern, are easy to slip on, and are comfortable for everyday use.

NERF Sports Dude Perfect PerfectSmash Football

NERF Sports Dude Perfect PerfectSmash Football

Courtesy of Amazon

Recreate viral video and tricks from the Dude Perfect team in your own backyard with this football and target set. Kids will love the Dude Perfect branding, and appreciate the inspiration to make videos of their own. The set includes ​​a ball and two targets plus a target holder and hook.

LEGO Imperial Light Cruiser

LEGO Imperial Light Cruiser

Courtesy of LEGO

Chances are LEGO has been a big part of a 12-year-old boy's life and they may be ready for some of the harder building challenges. This premium Star Wars set comes with 1,336 pieces to build out the Imperial Light Cruiser and 5 Minifigures to set the stage for epic battle scenes. It comes with detailed instructions so any level of builder can build with confidence.

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone

Start by giving the first book of the global phenomenon of Harry Potter that has been loved by every new generation. This is a great age to dive into the story of an orphaned boy, the son of two powerful wizards that finds out he has unique powers of his own.

They will be ready to dive into the whole series after getting a taste of the first book!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

4.6
Nintendo Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Courtesy of Amazon

Finding a balance between screen time and other activities can be tough, but a new video game is a great gift for any kid. Watch as they build their community from scratch on a deserted island and customize their character, home, decorations, and the surrounding landscape.

This is a game the whole family can get involved with.

X Rocker Eclipse Floor Rocker Gaming Chair

X Rocker Eclipse Floor Rocker Gaming Chair

Courtesy of X Rocker

Outfit your child’s bedroom or play area with a high-tech gaming chair like this one from X Rocker. It rocks, reclines, and folds to store and has a comfortable headrest with mounted speakers that provide an immersive experience for any gaming fan.

It connects to most gaming systems and its leather looks nice with any kind of decor.

Spikeball Kit 1-Ball

Spikeball Kit 1-Ball

Courtesy of Spikeball

This 4 person game will get the competitive juices flowing. Each team of 2 has up to 3 hits to return or spike the ball on the small, circular net. This game will have everyone’s hearts pumping and can be taken to the beach, the park, or grandma’s backyard.

A kids-specific fitness tracker is a fun way to encourage a healthy lifestyle. It allows your child to see their steps, fitness, and sleep performance and compete with themselves to make improvements each day. The Fitbit is high-performing and will work just as well for young athletes as it does for beginners to track fitness.

DROCON Ninja Drone for Kids

DROCON Ninja Drone for Kids

Courtesy of DROCON

This drone is for beginners and is a great introduction to flying. The 2 cell battery will give about 8 minutes of flying per charge. The 120-degree wide-angle lens captures stunning pictures and videos. Its foldable design makes it small enough to take anywhere with you.

One reviewer makes note that this is the best drone on the market for the price!

Magneto Kids Skateboard

Magneto Kids Skateboard

Courtesy of Magneto

Skateboarding is a great outlet for boys with boundless energy who are looking for something to do with their friends. Spend hours perfecting new tricks or ride to school with the Magneto skateboard. It's the perfect gift because it is specifically designed for kids and teens looking for their first board.

The deck is hard maple with a double kick tail and requires no assembly.

Herschel Classic Backpack XL

Herschel Classic Backpack XL

Courtesy of Herschel

Middle school is a good time to upgrade from a kid’s style backpack to one that can be used for school, travel, and hanging out with friends. Herschel backpacks are popular for boys and girls of all ages because they are durable, comfortable, and stylish.

With 30 patterns and colors to choose from, Herschel’s original backpack has water bottle pockets, a laptop sleeve, and extra storage to fit everything your 12-year-old can think of.

Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game

Hasbro Gaming Monopoly Deal Card Game

Courtesy of Amazon

For under $10, the Monopoly Deal card game is great for on-the-go and family fun. It’s a simple twist on the classic Monopoly game for 2 to 6 players that’s easy to learn, quick to play, and competitive.

OtterBox Defender Series Screenless Edition Case for iPhone 12

OtterBox Defender Series Screenless for iPhone 12

OtterBox

If your 12-year-old has an iPhone, protecting it might not be their top priority. To keep it safe, gift them with an OtterBox Defender Series case. The case has three layers of protection, port covers, and a built-in holster.

Plus, the case has screen protection that doesn’t affect the display but will prevent cracks.

Final Verdict

Keep things simple when buying for 12-year-old boys. They are practicing their independence but are still young enough for toys that will keep them busy when spending time alone. Electronics are always a hit, as are video games for whichever console system they may have at home.

The Drocon Ninja Drone (view at Amazon) is my top choice for a big gift. It’s under $100 and will inspire endless creativity.

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

Hobbies and Interests

A great place to start your gift search is to consider the hobbies and interests of the kid at hand. Whether they're into sports, video games, anime, clothing, music, TikTok, travel, or movies, you can find inspiration from their passions. For example, if the tween is a huge basketball fan, consider buying them a ball or a jersey from their favorite team. If gaming is their thing, a pair of headphones or a new video game will likely be very well-received.

Trending Items

Tweens tend to be particularly interested in keeping up with current fads and peer approval. So, they may appreciate a gift that is trending. A quick Google search or check of social media will likely yield a variety of ideas. Another great option is to ask any other 12-year-old boys you know for suggestions. Or ask the tween in question what items they are coveting.

Practicality

Another important component of gift buying is to consider the price, durability, and functionality of the possible present. Some tween gifts are pricy. Having a budget in mind also helps to target your search. If you're interested in getting them a gift that is out of your price range, you could consider going in on it with another friend or relative to make it more affordable.

Why Trust Verywell Family

Deanna McCormack is a freelance writer who focuses on family, kids, and household items. She’s her family’s top gift-giver and has two kids to keep her in the loop on what is trending. She won’t buy anything without reading almost every review on the internet.

Was this page helpful?