The last year before becoming officially a teenager, age 12 is an age of being in-between. As children inch closer to being teenagers physical, social, emotional and cognitive change begins to happen slowly. 12-year-old girls in particular have moments of acting like children, and moments of real maturity and turning into little adults.
This period of change can make buying gifts a little difficult as you may be unsure whether to go with something fun and child-like or something that will appeal to their new-found maturity. We’ve put together a collection of suggestions that ticks both boxes below.
1. Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic
At 12 years old most girls love experimenting with photography, taking pictures of nature, landscapes, themselves and their friends. They tend to love capturing moments and preserving memories and this in turn boosts creativity and allows for some artistic expression and experimentation with photography skills.
The Instax Mini 90 NEO Classic is a camera that produces prints instantly and is available in a range of colors so there’s sure to be one that fits the personality of the girl you are buying for. It has a built-in flash and comes with a selfie mirror and close up lens which is ideal for a 12-year-old girl.
2. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch offers a range of gaming capabilities; the handheld device offers portability and great battery life, whilst the output to TV mode offers the ability to play on a larger screen with a wider range of games.
For many 12-year-olds this will be perfect, offering the ability to play on the go as well as at home. We often think of playing video games as a simple leisure pursuit but they offer plenty of learning benefits too. Alongside increasing skills associated with technology, playing video games can increase physical dexterity in the thumb and fingers, improve hand-eye coordination and reaction times and develop critical thinking skills.
3. JBL Flip 5
12-year-old girls have often developed their own taste in music and enjoy listening to their own favorite bands or artists. A Bluetooth speaker is the ideal way to allow her to play her own music and develop a sense of independence.
The JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker is waterproof, portable and durable enough to be used by a 12-year-old. Using a wireless connection to connect to a compatible device and play music, audiobooks or podcasts, this speaker would make a great gift for a girl with her own taste in music, or enjoyment of listening to books, stories and discussions.
4. Lego Architecture Paris Model
Architecture is a fantastic interest to encourage and this Lego set is the ideal way to do this with a 12-year-old girl. Building with Lego is an interest that often persists throughout childhood and sometimes into adulthood too so Lego have designed plenty of challenging kits to accommodate this.
Whilst many people stop buying Lego for girls as they get older, building with Lego has a whole host of benefits and the Lego Architecture Paris Model Building Set is a very complex build with 694 pieces. It requires plenty of concentration and perseverance as well as great construction skills in order to complete!
5. Fjällräven Kånken Mini
Children need backpacks for a whole range of things; school, extra-curricular activities, playdates and days out. Even at age 12, some of the backpacks on the market are still far too big, swamping them or even causing tension and injury to the shoulders and back.
The Fjällräven Kånken Mini Backpack is a smaller sized backpack, so ideal for 12-year-old girls, which still has plenty of storage space and comes in a range of colors so you can choose one that suits the 12-year-old girl you’re buying for.
6. Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds
Wireless earbuds are changing the way that people listen to music on the go, removing the need for restrictive wires they offer a new level of freedom and as technology improves the cost of these is being driven down. The Anker Soundcore Life P2 True Wireless Earbuds represent a very affordable option.
However, affordable does not mean ineffective! In fact, these earbuds have many high-end features such as extreme durability and 40 hours of playtime. They are also waterproof so ideal for sports or walking in the rain. These are ideal for a 12-year-old girl who enjoys listening to her own music or takes part in lots of sport.
7. Casio LRW-200H Women’s Watch
As 12-year-old girls become more mature they often begin to take an interest in fashion and style. Buying a watch as a gift is not only practical, as it is a useful product, but can also cater to this growing interest in fashion and developing a personal style.
The Casio LRW-200H Women’s watch is 300 feet water resistant and made with a durable and flexible wrist strap, so it can certainly stand up to an active lifestyle without the worry of breakages. At the same time, it has a classic timeless design that means it will last for many years. This watch is ideal for 12-year-olds as it has a range of useful features without being too complicated.
8. Ray-Ban Junior Wayfarer
For a style-conscious 12-year-old a nice pair of sunglasses would make a luxurious and practical gift. Instead of toys which may or may not be used a pair of sunglasses is practical and will certainly be used on vacation or throughout the summer.
The Ray-Ban Junior Wayfarer sunglasses are available in a range of colors so that you can choose a pair that will suit the 12-year-old girl you’re buying a gift for. Ray-Ban is a stylish and well-known fashion brand but also has a good level of UV protection to keep eyes protected from the sun’s rays and come with a protective case so that they can be kept safe when on the go.
9. Dyson Hair Dryer
Dyson is a brand that is well known for being at the cutting edge of technology and providing powerful household electricals. This hairdryer is no exception to that reputation and makes the ideal gift for a 12-year-old girl who’s quickly growing up and gaining more and more independence.
The Dyson hairdryer has a super powerful motor with three speed settings to make hair drying quick and easy. The hairdryer features intelligent heat control which helps prevent damage to hair and keeps it in great condition. Promoting independent self-care will help a 12-year-old girl to feel more grown-up, and the magnetic attachments allow her to create and experiment with a range of styles.
10. Nail Style Studio
Most 12-year-old girls enjoy experimenting with fashion and style and beauty treatments like having their nails painted. In fact, many use their nails as a means of self-expression, enjoying different colors of polish, glitter and increasingly complex designs.
Nail Style Studio has full instructions and all the tools and products needed to create up to 25 designs as well as giving a 12-year-old girl the opportunity to create her own designs. The polish included can be simply peeled off making it ideal for 12-year-olds as it can be removed quickly, without harsh chemicals, ready for school.
11. Crayola Fashion Superstar
At 12-years-old many girls are interested in fashion and style but some take this interest further and are interested in designing clothes and putting together outfits. This is definitely something to encourage and the Crayola Fashion Superstar set is the ideal gift to do this with.
The set improves drawing and design skills and lets girls unleash their creativity but is also compatible with a free app so involves the use of technology too. This emulates the computer-aided design and manufacturing that is prevalent in the fashion and design industry and maintains girls’ interest.
12. Makeup Dressing Table with Lights
As 12-year-olds become more independent they may begin to spend more time in their bedrooms and become more interested in making their room into a personal sanctuary with their own sense of style. This is an important part of maturing and developing personality and self-expression and should be encouraged for the most part.
For a style-conscious 12-year-old girl this Makeup Dressing Table with Lights would be ideal it features fully adjustable lighting to make applying make-up or styling hair much easier with smart touch control to adjust it simply. The high-quality LED bulbs should last a long time and the 360-degree rotation allows for adjustable angles for the best view. This is a gift that is both useful and stylish and is likely to form a part of the bedroom décor.
13. Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer
Around about 12-years-old a girl may be given her first smartphone so that she can contact friends and family and enjoy all of the features and opportunities that smartphones have to offer. One of the popular features is the ability to use the camera to capture a whole host of memories. However, at age 12 most parents would feel that photo-sharing apps are out of the question, the Fujifilm Instax Mini Link Smartphone Printer gives a solution to the issue of what to do with all the photos!
This Smartphone printer is available in three different colors and offers an app with 25 design templates so that photographs can be customized and printed directly from any smartphone. The printer is high speed so that prints are almost instant. This is a great gift to encourage creativity and scrapbooking, as well as ideal to give as a cool accessory for their first smartphone.
14. Intex Beanless Bag Chair
As 12-year-old girls start to take control over their own space and care more about the interior design and décor of their bedroom, they may want to invite friends over to spend time in this space. If seating is short the Intex Beanless Bag Chair is an ideal addition to her space. Without the need for bean filling (and the mess that goes along with this!) this chair is easy to inflate for guests and deflates to be stored away.
This chair is ideal for the bedroom or a kids ‘den’ playroom or lounge room and can be purchased in three different colors to suit the space it’s being put in. With waterproof flocked material the seat is both comfortable and practical. This would make a great gift for a 12-year-old who enjoys spending time in their own space, alone or with friends.
15. Pandora Bracelet Shimmering Minnie Portrait
Pandora bracelets have become a modern classic; an updated charm bracelet with specially designed bead charms a pandora bracelet is a gift that can be added to over time. The Pandora Bracelet Shimmering Minnie Portrait uses a popular Disney character Minnie Mouse as the starter charm.
The bracelet is made of 925 sterling silver and is available in different sizes for maximum comfort. This kind of charm bracelet makes a really special gift for a 12-year-old girl and will stay with her for many years to come, becoming incredibly meaningful as different charms are added on special occasions.
16. Vlando Jewellery Box
By 12-years-old many girls have amassed a collection of jewelry that they have been gifted and often need somewhere to keep it. The Vlando Jewellery Box is ideal for 12-year-olds as it has a simple, easy to open compact design with several different compartments. The roll design is unique, neat and functional.
This storage solution could be gifted alongside some jewelry or by itself and is ideal for travelling or using for overnight stays and sleepovers too. If the 12-year-old you’re buying for has a collection of jewelry that she needs to keep safe and tidy then the Vlando Jewellery Box makes a good, practical gift.
17. Hasbro Speak Out Kids vs Parents Game
Playing games together is a great way to encourage older children to continue to spend time with their family and keep communication channels open and relationships close. As girls head towards the teenage years they often become much more independent and finding ways to spend time with the family can become more complicated but playing games is a lovely way to have fun together.
The Hasbro Speak Out Kids vs Parents Game is specially designed to be played as a family and has equipment for both kids and adults. In this game, players wear a mouthpiece that stretches their lips and makes it difficult to talk normally as they attempt to read a card aloud for their teammates to guess what they are saying. This makes a fun, silly addition to a family games night and a great gift for a 12-year-old girl who enjoys playing games with others.
18. Nike Women’s Gym Club Sports Bag
As 12-year-old girls become more independent they often begin to fill their time with extra-curricular activities, sports, and friends and begin lugging sports kits and spare clothes around with them. A nice, gym bag can be a great practical present to encourage this growing independence and an interest in sports.
The Nike Women’s Gym Club Sports Bag is made with durable, water-repellent fabric and is available in a range of colors to suit different tastes. From popular sports brand Nike it also features zipped compartments to keep kit organized and makes a great gift for a busy 12-year-old girl.
19. Stomp Rocket Duelling Kit
What’s not to love about stomp power rockets that you can use to compete with? The Stomp Rocket Duelling Kit includes 2 rockets that are launched by stomping on their bases as hard as you can; not only is this great fun but it means that they don’t require batteries either. 12-year-olds will love the physical element to this and build their understanding of cause, effect and physics as they go along.
The rockets can fly up to 200 feet so are definitely an outdoor only gift, but the Stomp Rocket Duelling set is ideal for playing with a friend or sibling and competing to see which rockets fly the fastest or the highest. A great gift to appeal to the fun-loving nature of a 12-year-old girl.
20. Anker Wireless Charger
Phones, cameras and tablets are becoming par for the course with 12-year-old girls and with those come plenty of plugs, chargers and cables which often break, get tangled or go missing. The Anker Wireless Charger offers a practical solution for compatible devices, as devices can be charged simply by being placed on top of the pad.
To suit different tastes and room décor the Anker Wireless Charger is available in a range of colors and has an LED display to let you know when devices are finished charging up. This charger is up to 10% faster than comparable models and has the useful feature of being able to charge through cases too so there is no need to remove devices from their protective casing
21. Lego Ideas Ship in Bottle Construction
A ship in a bottle is a classic modeling set design, representing challenge, skill and perseverance. This Lego version of the classic ship in a bottle set offers all of this alongside the opportunity to improve Lego construction skills, concentration and dexterity.
The Lego Ideas Ship in Bottle Construction set includes full instructions which will allow a 12-year-old girl to master the skill of following instructions and seeing projects through. The sense of pride one feels in finishing a project is encouraged with this set which includes a special display stand so that the finished project can take pride of place in her bedroom!
22. Soft Unicorn Hooded Bathrobe
Sleepovers and cozy nights-in are an important part of a 12-year-old girl’s life as she develops her own taste in TV and movies and begins to socialize with friends more independently. Setting aside time to relax also becomes increasingly important as her time is in more demand with school, homework and extra-curricular activities.
The Soft Unicorn Hooded Bathrobe makes an ideal gift for a 12-year-old girl who loves to relax around the house and have movie nights. Made with soft materials the bathrobe is super cozy and the popular unicorn design will delight most 12-year-old girls.
23. Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Space Observatory (759 Pieces)
If you’re looking for an unusual gift to encourage a whole host of skills then the Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Space Observatory might make the ideal gift for a 12-year-old girl. With 759 pieces this puzzle is suitably challenging for a 12-year-old and is also a high-quality product.
The puzzle is not only a jigsaw but also offers a host of escape room style challenges within the picture itself. This promotes problem-solving skills and critical thinking as well as encouraging perseverance. The Ravensburger Escape Puzzle Space Observatory is also ideal for completing with others as a social activity.
24. Adidas Fest Bag Tref Shoulder
Ideal for a 12-year-old girl growing in independence and taking part in a range of activities the Adidas Fest Bag Tref Shoulder makes an ideal useful gift. With a removable shoulder strap and zipped pockets, this bag is extremely practical and robust.
Coming from popular sports brand, Adidas, this bag will be well-received by sporty or brand-conscious 12-year-olds. Perfect for storing a phone and purse whilst at school, on outings with friends and out shopping the Adidas Fest Bag Tref Shoulder encourages 12-year-olds to take responsibility for their own belongings.
25. Ralph Lauren Perfume
As girls get older, they tend to develop more quickly than boys and you may find that a 12-year-old girl is starting to take an interest in hair, beauty and style. Ralph Lauren is a popular sports and luxury casualwear brand that tends to be popular with this age group. This Ralph Lauren perfume is an Eau de Toilette so it gives a lighter fragrance that may be more suited to younger girls.
With a light, clean scent and easy to use spray bottle this perfume is ideal for 12-year-old girls who are starting to take an interest in beauty and will help to encourage self-care and independence, as well as making a lovely “grown-up” gift option.
26. Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition
Spending time as a family has many benefits for 12-year-olds, as it gives them a productive and fun way to spend time with their parents, continuing to keep relationships strong and communication channels open ahead of the more turbulent teenage years. It is also the ideal opportunity to practice a range of social skills like turn-taking, following rules, winning and losing gracefully and working together as a team.
The Hasbro Gaming Trivial Pursuit: Family Edition is, as the name suggests, specially made for families with separate adult and children’s cards to keep gameplay fairer. The board has also been redesigned for quicker play so that everyone’s interest is maintained. This game would make a great gift for a 12-year-old girl and her family!
27. Lena String Art Craft Set
Many 12-year-olds are still interested in arts and crafts but have often done most of the traditional craft sets, the Lena String Art Craft Set offers something a little bit different whilst still providing all the instructions and equipment needed.
Using specialized pins and boards so that hammers and nails aren’t necessary the Lena String Art Craft Set allows a 12-year-old to produce wonderful string art pictures, improving dexterity, concentration and perseverance. This is an ideal project for a 12-year-old to work at independently and produces beautiful results.
28. Garmin Vivofit Jr 2
Maturing 12-year-old girls like to emulate adults in their lives and as more and more adults wear smartwatches or fitness trackers this may be something that the 12-year-old girl you are buying a gift for is interested in too.
The Garmin Vivofit Jr 2 is specially designed for children and young teens so it is made with robust materials and comes with a parent-controlled app. As well as tracking activity, and therefore encouraging physical activity and fitness it also includes a chore tracker to encourage responsibilities around the house. Perfect as she heads towards the teenage years!
29. Ultra Dry Adventure Premium Waterproof Bag
Another idea for a practical gift, the Ultra Dry Adventure Premium Waterproof Bag is ideal for girls interested in water or adventure sports, or who spend plenty of time around the pool or at the beach. This bag is ideal for keeping valuables or equipment dry whilst taking part in a range of activities.
Available in a range of colors, and 100% waterproof, the Ultra Dry Adventure Premium Waterproof Bag also comes with a special waterproof phone case which will give double protection to a smartphone. If you’re looking for a useful gift for a girl who enjoys adventurous sports then this perfect!
30. 3D House Jigsaw Puzzle Model Kit
Having a range of different hobbies is important as children grow and develop as different hobbies allow them to hone different skillsets and become well-rounded people. Crafting is a great hobby to encourage as it can be done at home, independently and in all weathers, the skills developed such as dexterity and perseverance are also useful in other areas of life.
This 3D House Jigsaw Puzzle Model Kit includes all the instructions and materials needed to put together a model house. This house can be used as a jigsaw puzzle to be constructed and deconstructed time and time again, or as a craft project giving a unique decorative item as the outcome.
As the 12-year-old girl you’re buying for heads towards the teenage years you’re likely to catch a glimpse of those teenage emotions, which are no joke! These emotions are often intense and contradictory with teenagers loving their parents and family one minute and wanting complete independence the next, wanting to play and be goofy one week and being incredibly serious and mature the next.
12-year-olds are often a mass of contradictions, but these gift ideas have been put together to appeal to both the fun-loving side of 12-year-olds and the rapidly maturing, serious side too. We hope that as you look through the various options here the perfect gift for the 12-year-old girl you’re buying for jumps out at you!