The 10 Best 12 Year Old Boy Gifts

Updated January 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best 12 Year Old Boy Gifts
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. Take the pressure off finding the perfect toy for any young man by picking an awesome present from our imaginative selection of 12-year-old boy gifts. We've curated an eclectic range of items, including some that will get your son out from in front of the TV or his video games, along with a few budget-friendly choices, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best 12 year old boy gift on Amazon.

10. Estes 1469 Tandem-X

The Estes 1469 Tandem-X comes with two high flying rockets and will help teach your child some basic concepts of propulsion and aeronautics. The smaller rocket flies over 1,000 feet into the sky and it has a preassembled 12-inch parachute to return it safely to the ground.
  • can be used again and again
  • takes less than an hour to assemble
  • requires adult supervision
Brand Estes
Model 1469
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Oureal Walkie Talkies

Oureal Walkie Talkies are a great way for your son to act out his favorite spy fantasies with a friend. They have a super long 2-mile range, so he can continue the fun even after his friends have to go home, plus they have a voice activated mode for hands-free enjoyment.
  • 836 channel combinations
  • compact yet robust bodies
  • hard to see the lcd at night
Model pending
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Sphero BB-8 Robot

Controllable by mobile apps, and with a mind of its own, even kids who don't love Star Wars will love the Sphero BB-8 Robot which, combined with its adaptive personality, will provide years of fun and companionship. Durable and waterproof, it is an unbeatable toy.
  • works with ios and android devices
  • reacts to star wars movie scenes
  • periodically has connection issues
Brand Sphero
Model R001TRW
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. NFL Game Day Board Game

Fire up young football fans with the NFL Game Day Board Game. It's a great way to help them learn about this complex, but exciting, sport while having fun at the same time. The game uses cards and dice to move players down the field, and it includes all 32 NFL teams.
  • officially licensed by the nfl
  • great for bonding with parents
  • helps teach strategy and statistics
Brand Fremont Die
Model FD 90101
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Syma S109G RC Helicopter

The Syma S109G RC Helicopter is gyro stabilized, making it fun and easy for amateur flyers with minimal experience to enjoy it right out of the box. It gets about five to eight minutes of flying time per charge and has a control range of up to 25 feet.
  • long-lasting lithium polymer battery
  • fierce attack helicopter design
  • fun for kids and adults alike
Brand SYMA
Model S109G
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Laser X Laser Tag Set

The Laser X Laser Tag Set provides hours of fun and a high-intensity gameplay experience. A speaker in the gun emits constant beeping sounds to make it harder for players to hide from one another, and the receivers change color according to how much ammo you have left.
  • available in 2 - 5 player sets
  • impressive 200-foot range
  • optional voice coaching feature
Brand Laser X
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Snap Circuits SC-300

For your growing engineer you need something that will satisfy the brain beyond the abilities of traditional toys. A Snap Circuits SC-300 will teach your child the basics of electronic engineering without sacrificing on the fun. It ships with guides for over 300 projects.
  • creates real electronic circuits
  • contains 60 snap-together pieces
  • doesn't require any tools
Brand Elenco
Model SC-300B
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. YI Action Camera

If you have a little Tony Hawk on your hands, he'll love the YI Action Camera. It will allow him to record all his stunts and adventures, whether that be trying out a new ollie or simply riding his bike to a friend's house. It is capable of high definition 1080p video.
  • available with a waterproof case
  • impressive image stabilization
  • supports live streaming
Brand YI
Model YI-88001
Weight 7 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Nerf N-Strike Target Set

Boys are simple creatures at heart, and a competitive match-up of who aims the best is really all they want. Any boy can happily sit around and shoot for hours with the Nerf N-Strike Target Set. Throw in a friend, and they can do it all day.
  • standard darts fit other nerf toys
  • takes only minutes to set up
  • kids rarely tire of it
Brand Nerf
Model A9535
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. UDI Force 1 U45W

The UDI Force 1 U45W features altitude hold, customized routing, and one-touch takeoff and landing, which makes it a great drone to learn on. It is also compatible with most VR headsets for FPV piloting and the 720p camera takes high quality photos.
  • 320-foot flight range
  • comes with two batteries
  • stable in windy conditions
Brand Force1
Model pending
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

How To Pick A Gift For A 12 Year Old Boy

Children go through several important phases of development around age 12. You've probably observed the fact that your child is becoming more combative, and doesn't like it when people disagree with him or disapprove of something he does. That's because this is the age when adolescent egocentrism happens. This is a time when children feel as if everyone is watching them and judging them. They also feel at this time that their feelings and experiences are unique to them and that nobody understands them. For this reason, they can be very sensitive to conflict and disapproval.

Buying your boy gifts that help him build confidence is important at this age. Items that facilitate a little healthy competition, like remote control helicopters that they can race with friends or faux crossbows that they can shoot at targets, are a great option. Peer relationships are important throughout childhood, but they become especially critical during early adolescence when cultivating relationships outside of the home helps a child feel more independent and confident. Gifts that let 12-year-old boys work together towards a common goal, like walkie-talkies that enable them to carry out covert missions, or team games, help them bond with their peers.

Metacognition, or the ability to think about one's own thinking, starts to happen at this age, too. It's an important part of helping your child grow into a socially responsible young adult. Child psychology experts recommend activities and games that give a child the chance to make low-stakes decisions. So, something like a sports-related board game or a strategy game makes a great gift. These help young boys make minimal mistakes that encourage them to think about how they can approach a problem differently next time.

Ensuring Your Gifts Are Age Appropriate

Experienced parents dread age 12. This is when children take an interest in risky content, like that of a violent nature. Boys and young men can be drawn to violence so it's important that parents closely monitor what they read, watch and play as children. Your child won't want to play Nintendo forever, but you can see his interest in more complex games as an opportunity for important conversations. Many video and board games, for example, give the player the option to be a good or evil character. Talk to your child about what he believes to be the motives behind the characters, and what good and evil mean to him.

Sometimes the plot of a game isn't controversial, but the traits of the characters are. For example, your child can play a videogame character who always holds a cigarette, or carries a flask with him. This can provide an opportunity for you to talk to your child about his ideas and experiences regarding these substances. The game may ultimately be age appropriate but might contain small details that you should at least have a conversation with your child about.

This is too young of an age for children to witness overtly sexual scenarios, but many games and books walk the line. A Pirates of the Caribbean themed game, for example, might feature prostitutes in passing. It might not be obvious from the description or packaging of the game that these characters will appear, so it's important that parents play games before showing them to their kids. This allows them to scan them for inappropriate content before their child gets a chance to see it.

More Gift Buying Tips

While a lot of gifts for young boys focus on sports and competition, it's important to cultivate your son's other interests like math and science too. Studies have found that the more involved parents are with their children's education, the better they do in school. So making educational games a part of a child's downtime at home can be a fun way to get involved. Board and video games that reward children for solving math and science equations can help them associate positive feelings with learning.

No parent likes to have toys pile up in the home, so to limit the clutter, buy your son gifts that can grow with him for years. Things like electrical scooters are appropriate for children into their mid teens, and a young boy who doesn't have a car yet always wants his own independent form of transportation. Some toys, like rocket ships and model cars, stop being entertaining past a certain age, but they can make a great decorative piece for a boy's room for years to come.

Even though peer relationships are important at this time, it's still critical to a child's development that he spends time with his parents. Unfortunately boys have a tendency to pull away from their parents around age 12. For this reason, finding games that you can play with your child and activities that you can do together make great gifts. They also help ensure that you keep a strong relationship with your child.

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Last updated on January 22, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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