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Best Toys and Gift Ideas for 12-Year-Old Girls of 2023

50 cool gift ideas for a special 12-year-old girl.

Are you having a hard time choosing the perfect gift for your 12-year-old girl? That’s understandable. They have blossomed into a young lady, and buying gifts for this age can be as intimidating as it is exciting.

But we’re here to simplify your shopping experience. We’ve been through this experience with our own daughters and have spent many hours studying the general likes and dislikes of preteen girls. We’ve also researched the development of 12-year-old girls to help us find age-appropriate gifts that will encourage physical, cognitive, and social/emotional growth while appealing to their sense of fun.

This article will detail what factors to consider and what features to look for in the best gifts for 12-year-old girls. We’ll also feature our top 50 preteen-girl-approved gift ideas. Let us help you find the perfect gift for the special girl in your life.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Samsung Galaxy A03s Phone
Coolest First Phone
Samsung Galaxy A03s Phone
  • High-quality triple camera lenses
  • Super-slim design
  • Fast-charging, long-lasting intelligent power
Product Image of the Anki Overdrive Supertruck
Not Just for Boys
Anki Overdrive Supertruck
  • High-tech robotic supercars
  • Simple setup & play
  • Several weapons
Product Image of the Satin Scrunchies
For Fashionistas
Satin Scrunchies
  • Super elasticity
  • Soft fabric won't damage hair
  • Set includes 60 colored scrunchies
Product Image of the Thigh-High Animal Socks
Cutest Socks
Thigh-High Animal Socks
  • High-quality soft polyester
  • Cute and sweet design
  • Fluffy and warm
Product Image of the Lego Ideas Ship in a Bottle
Intriguing Building Kit
Lego Ideas Ship in a Bottle
  • 962 pieces
  • Nautical collectible building toy
  • Authentic details
Product Image of the Fashion Angels Sketch Portfolio
For Fashion Designers
Fashion Angels Sketch Portfolio
  • 62-page fashion design book
  • Comes with a free fashion app
  • Build your own virtual closet
Product Image of the Blokus Strategy Game
Top Strategy Game
Blokus Strategy Game
  • For the whole family
  • Easy to learn
  • 84 game pieces in four colors
Product Image of the Legit Camping Double Hammock
Multipurpose Gift
Legit Camping Double Hammock
  • Lightweight, spacious design
  • 400-pound capacity
  • Lifetime warranty
Product Image of the The Book of What If...?: Questions and Activities for Curious Minds
Answers to Never-Ending Questions
The Book of What If
  • Available in various formats
  • Fosters curiosity
  • Affordable
Product Image of the Nintendo Switch Console
Best Gaming System
Nintendo Switch Console
  • Enjoy HD gaming
  • Portable system
  • For single or multiplayer use

Best Toys & Gifts for 12-Year-Old Girls of 2023

Here are 50 great gift ideas for 12-year-old girls.

Electronics & Tech

As we try to decrease screen time, we still enjoy our tech gadgets, right? Technology is the wave of the future, and our girls need to be well-versed in it. We have gathered some of those gifts that will be educational, mentally stimulating, and fun to use at the same time.

Samsung Galaxy A03s Phone

The Coolest First Phone

If you want to bring a smile to your girl’s face, this will do it. Whether she’s ready for her first phone or upgrading from a hand-me-down phone, this inexpensive but high-quality Android offers everything she’ll need and more. She’ll appreciate the HD display when playing games, watching videos, or video chatting with friends and family.

Aside from the front camera, which she can use to take high-quality, background-blurred selfies, this phone has three rear camera lenses: depth, main, and macro. Use the depth lens to adjust the focus, placing subjects in the spotlight. The macro lens is perfect for those super close-up images — whether for fun or artistic creations or zooming in to see every tiny detail of a  flower or insect, or to view the unique patterns of clothing fibers.

The device has 32GB of internal storage, but you can expand this by adding a microSD card of up to 1TB. Add a network SIM card for on-the-go use, or stick to WiFi usage only.

The phone is a nice size — thin and lightweight — perfect for a girl this age. Download the Google Family Link app to set up screen time limits, monitor app usage, and ensure her content restrictions are age appropriate. This device will keep her connected to you and her friends, help her with homework, and allow for some fun downtime too.

Anki Overdrive Supertruck Freewheel Vehicle

Not Just for Boys

If your girl appreciates the thrill of speeding cars, this could be a prime gift. This high-tech robotic supercar is powered by artificial intelligence and offers the ultimate racing action. And she gets to race with her peers! This is far more fun than a standard RC vehicle.

The track expansion possibilities are endless. For an interactive car race, you need to pair the cars with a mobile device. These are not ordinary cars — they are robots programmed with edge-cutting features, ready to battle it out.

Nintendo Switch Console

Best Gaming System

A unique feature of Nintendo Switch is that you can play with it wherever you want. It’s easy to connect to the TV to enjoy playing with friends on a large screen, but it also transitions to a handheld gaming device.

The system’s mobility makes it an incredible gift. It comes with all accessories, like the dock, controllers, and cables.

Zink Polaroid Mint Instant Print Camera

Instant Photos

Even though we are living in a digital world, there’s still something special about having printed photos. This awesome instant camera allows your daughter to take instant photos regardless of where she is.

It features innovative zero-ink technology and unique vertical orientation. This allows for snapping upright photos, just like on a smartphone. She can style her photos according to hr mood with six picture settings that go from vintage to vibrant colors.

The package comes with a Lithium-ion battery, a Zink paper starter pack, a wrist strap, and a charging cable.

Razor Hovertrax Prizma Hoverboard

The Ultimate Ride

Hoverboards are tons of fun to ride, and this one is intelligently engineered with a self-balancing feature. EverBalance technology makes it easy to mount and safe to ride.

With a cruising speed of more than eight miles per hour, silent motors, and a running time of up to one hour, it makes for a sweet ride. Whether indoors or out, this hoverboard will keep your 12-year-old in motion.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Tablet

Must-Have Gadget

If you’re tired of your tween borrowing your devices to connect with friends, do homework, or watch her favorite show, it might be time for her own tablet.

This Amazon tablet features a vibrant 8-inch HD screen display, 2GB of Ram, Dolby Audio, 2MP front- and rear-facing cameras, and a lot more. The battery lasts up to 13 hours, and the tablet comes with 16GB of internal storage and the ability to extend that with a MicroSD card of up to 1TB. She’ll have access to all the movies, books, games, apps, and songs she wants — at your discretion.

Alexa makes things super fast and easy, enabling her to use the tablet hands-free.

Rotating Aurora Night Light

Peaceful Sleep

Aurora lights are always a beauty to behold, and sleeping under them each night would be a treat. Your 12-year-old can have a soothing and relaxing sleep experience with the Aurora magic world.

The lamp comes with eight light projection modes that she can choose from to suit her mood. With a 45-degree tilt, it allows light projection in different directions. The built-in speaker is an incredible addition. She can plug in a mobile phone, MP3 player, or iPod to combine relaxing music with the soft light for the ultimate peaceful experience.

Photo Clip String Lights

To Personalize Her Space

Girls love to make their bedrooms unique and a private retreat where they can share some gossip with their friends or plan their school, or world, domination. These gorgeous string lights will give an otherworldly feeling to any room. But our favorite feature is the photo clips, so your girl can feature her favorite photos alongside the soft lights.

The lights come in various sizes with options that include from 20 to 50 LED lights and clips.

Microsoft PS4 Minecraft Game

For the Gamer Girl

Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no arguing that Minecraft is enormously popular with boys and girls of all ages. This PlayStation 4 game is good for newbies or for people who want to experience a bigger world than they had with the PS3 game.

Your gamer girl can tackle the world of Minecraft as a solo player or share the experience with up to seven other people.

Bonai Portable 12000mAh Power Bank

For Girls on the Go

This gift will be something you’ll love too. Your girl will have no reason not to check in frequently, as she won’t be able to use that dead-battery excuse with this around. Depending upon which type of phone she has, the portable charger can provide 2.5 to 4.5 charges before it needs to be charged itself.

It comes in several stylish and fun colors and is slim and compact enough to fit in a pocket if necessary.

Sphero SPRK+ Educational Robot

Fun Coding Lessons

This little ball-shaped device is a lot more than just a robot. It inspires curiosity, invention, and creativity through coding. Your child will easily learn how to program and nurture her imagination.

It’s a progressive learning gift that could expand her mind and allow her to forge her own path. The robot incorporates technology and STEM activities with unbounded potential. It comes with a durable UV-coated plastic shell and uses an app that’s compatible with Android, Kindle, Chrome, and iOS.

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Speaker

Best Gift For Your Water Baby

If your girl loves water sports or simply spending days at the beach or local pool with her friends, this is a must.

These waterproof speakers come in several fun colors and are so tough they can handle some accidental dropping and being tossed carelessly in bags. They can connect to tablets or smartphones. With up to 12 hours of playtime, this speaker will be strong enough to survive an all-day girl-fest.

Not loud enough for your daughter’s backyard bash? Get a few of them — she can link them together to really get things pumping.

Samsung Chromebook 4

Best First Laptop

Are you tired of your girl hogging the desktop computer? Do you think she’s ready for a little more freedom? Then this Samsung Chromebook is a great pick.

It’s lightweight without being too small and is made of durable materials. The 11.6-inch display is perfect for reading, typing, watching videos, and even gaming.

She can have up to 12.5 hours of battery power at her disposal, and it includes built-in security to offer protection from malware and viruses. It has 4GB of memory, which is enough even if she’s a bit of a gamer.

Clothing, Accessories, and Jewelry

When it comes to clothes, you might wonder what to get her. Should you look for what’s trending or get her something you like? Do girls even like pink anymore?

Maybe you can bring her along to the mall and ask her to choose. If that’s not possible, here are some suggestions.

Satin Hair Scrunchies

Best Hair Accessories for Fashionistas

Scrunchies might seem outdated to you if you were a kid when they were first popular. But thanks to the VSCO girl craze, they are back in fashion again. This 60-pack will keep your girl super happy as she hands out scrunchies to all the boys she has a crush on in her class.

You don’t have to understand it. Parents rarely get their children’s trends. Just know that your daughter will love the color assortment and appreciate this gift if she’s a regular scrunchie user.

Thigh-High Animal Socks

Cutest Socks

With this set, you’ll have your choice of six pairs of gorgeous tube socks with cartoon-animal themes. They feature cute animals, such as a cat, panda, bear, and more. They’ll keep her warm and looking fashionable.

These socks are great for parties, Halloween, or even daily wear. They’re suitable for all seasons, and yes, they are trending.

Made of high-quality, fluffy polyester, they’re comfortable, elastic, and lightweight. They have just enough stretch to hold them perfectly in place.

Holylove Pineapple Earrings

Best Jewelry

These are not just cute — they’re affordable too. These stunning pineapple earrings are a good gift for your fashion-conscious girl, and she might fall in love with them. They are eye-catching and could make her the center of attention at the next party.

The hypoallergenic posts are lead-free, nickel-free, cadmium-free, and eco-friendly. They also come in a sturdy and elegant gift box.

Jewelkeeper Mermaid Jewelry Box

Treasure Chest

All girls need a storage box for their shiny possessions. This one’s just right for all the jewelry your girl might have. It’s made of fiberboard with a cute girly design that makes it attractive and durable at the same time.

It features three multi-sized compartments for all types of jewelry, from watches to earrings.

Weirdo Best Friends Necklaces

For Girls Who Don’t Like Traditional Jewelry

Finally, a piece of jewelry for us oddballs out there. This best friends necklace set is sure to get a smile out of a girl who thinks of herself as a loveable outcast or has no desire to be normal.

If your girl prides herself on being strange, she and her bestie will wear these necklaces with pride.

Pinwheel Pendant Making Kit

DIY Jewelry

You don’t have to buy ready-made necklaces — get your girl a kit that enables her to create her own. She’ll make unique pendant necklaces that could become the talk of all her friends. The kit contains over 200 design images for her to choose from.

Inspire her creativity, whether you’re raising a jewelry designer or not. The kit also includes eight pendants of different shapes, eight glass covers, eight chains, glue, and instructions.

Educational and STEM Gifts

Educational and STEM toys and games develop and encourage critical thinking, problem-solving, planning, and organizational skills. These gifts open the possibilities of science, technology, engineering, and math to your girl at a young age.

To land the perfect STEM gift, consider the progressive levels of challenges, clear instructions, and whether adult supervision is needed.

Lego Ideas Ship In a Bottle

Intriguing Building Kit

This Lego set is the ultimate ship-in-a-bottle building kit. It comes with 962 pieces and features a mast, cannons, a crow’s nest, a captain’s quarters, a flag, and sails. The bottle cork is also buildable, and your girl can lock her ship in there.

It comes with an instruction booklet to make things easier for her. Once complete, she can showcase her creation on the display stand, which features a nameplate.

ThinkFun Circuit Maze Logic Game

An Electronic Skill-Building Game

Electrical engineers at heart will marvel at this game. This circuit maze uses real circuits to create a stealth experience for your loved one. It features 60 progressive challenges that range from beginner to expert.

It will develop her critical thinking skills, planning skills, and logical reasoning as she learns how electric currents work. It also features clear instructions to make it easy to learn.

National Geographic Hobby Rock Tumbler Kit

Geographic Learning Fun

For some girls, anything shiny is appealing. Using this rock tumbling kit from National Geographic, your 12-year-old can turn rocks from rugged to regal. This is an exciting hobby that’ll be tons of fun to do.

She’ll have an opportunity to have her own dazzling gems collection. Better yet, she can use the included jewelry fastening to create her own jewelry. The kit features a tumbling machine, an information guide, rocks, and grit.

Create Your Own Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Fun Anyone?

With this creepy science kit, you can create your own zombie apocalypse planter. Each item looks like a zombie-related detail, such as brains, eyeballs, or zombie plants.

The kit includes everything you need to make your own zombie-themed terrarium. All you need to do is add water! She can enjoy planting the ghoulish seeds, tending the garden, watering the soil, and watching the zombie plants grow.

It even has a large viewing pane, so she can watch the plants grow without being at risk of the house of horrors!

Passport To Culture Game

Aspiring Globetrotters Unite

This is a unique travel game that takes players all over the world, teaching them about different cultures. The questions involve people, greetings, food, drinks, customs, culture, and traditions.

Challenge your 12-year-old’s cultural intelligence with 636 questions and 48 culture scenarios. Each question will teach her something new or reinforce something she already knows.

Arts & Crafts

There are tons of benefits that come with arts and crafts projects, starting with nurturing creativity. Kids get a chance to enhance their social and physical development, fine motor skills, and dexterity.

Art encourages self-expression, improves memory, and promotes innovation and flexibility. And equally important, it enhances their decision-making skills.

Fashion Angels Sketch Portfolio

For Fashion Designers

This fashion kit combines classic coloring with sticker creativity. If you know all too well that your girl loves everything to do with design, this is a wonderful inspiration kit. She’ll get to experiment with design stencils, over 100 stickers, and more as she designs apparel for the silhouettes in the 40-page sketchbook.

Once she’s done creating skirts, dresses, or gowns, she can easily tear the pages out to share her designs with friends and family or display them on her wall.

Temporary Hair Color

Best Temporary Hair Color

A girl’s mane is always her pride. And most girls, regardless of age, love beautiful hair. This kit will make her hair more than beautiful; it will make it stand out. It contains 10 vibrant colors of washable chalk.

Instructions are provided. The color combinations are endless, and girls get to express creativity and individuality. Colors are easy to remove by washing hair with regular shampoo and water.

4M Easy-to-Do Crochet Kit

Hands-on Creative kit

If your girl has been yearning to learn the fundamentals of crochet, she might enjoy this kit. The kit comes with two hooks, a plastic needle, and seven colorful spools of yarn.

The materials provided will be enough to start her off with three items. Choose from a coaster, belt, handbag, or placemat. It also comes with an instruction book to make things easier.

Alex Super Mani-Pedi Party Kit

Cute Nails

For a full-blown spa experience, this mani-pedi party kit is the ideal gift. It contains 88 nail essentials that she can use to create fabulous nail designs. It includes five polish colors, four colors of glitter, and other nail accessories.

This is a great party activity for 12-year-old girls. They can make their own unique creations and have tons of fun while doing it. Bring it to sleepovers, and they’ll all go crazy for it.

MozArt Origami Set

Traditional Japanese Art

Origami has always been a charming and delightful Japanese art. This origami set includes one-sided design sheets with one patterned and one plain side. The mixture creates beautiful design pieces.

It comes with 120 pieces of aesthetically appealing patterns that range from fruity to floral to geometric. Your girl can learn to create animals, dragons, cranes, roses, and more. The only thing that will limit her is her imagination.

Games & Toys

There’s so much more to games and toys than the happiness they bring to children. Kids learn when they play, and these can be the instruments that allow them to discover who they are and the world around them.

Games allow kids to interact with peers, learn how to function in a team, and practice sharing. Important lessons, such as cooperation, respect, and patience, are learned through playing games.

Blokus Strategy Game By Mattel

Top Strategy Game

This is a challenging yet stimulating strategy game that your preteen can enjoy with friends or family. It’s also competitive as it involves more than one player and each must protect their territory.

The players have to block the competitors strategically. All 21 pieces need to be placed on the board. The player with the lowest number of pieces remaining wins the game.

Inspiration Play Double Ditto Board Game

Interactive Party Game

We love this board game in our home. It involves picking a card, reading it aloud, and then writing down two answers your friends might think of. Girls this age can easily have fun with their friends while trying to match their answers.

The box comes with 400 category cards, score sheets, an instruction card, and a 15-second timer. It’s a multi-generational game you can all enjoy together.

Not Parent Approved Card Game

Hilarious Card Game

This is a hilarious family card game that is nothing short of attention-grabbing. It’s easy to learn and features 455 premium cards. Players get to be as mischievous as they want without getting in trouble.

This might be a good game for your girl to play with friends. They will expand their creativity and imagination through some wacky humor. It’s compact enough to take to parties, camps, or on road trips.

MindWare Unbored Time Capsule

Something for Future Self

It’s human nature to reminisce and smile about memories. Why not give your young lady the chance to store some that’ll bring a smile to her face?

This kit contains a field guide that she’ll use to record her interests, favorite games, and crazy stuff she did with her best friend. She might even record the day you caught her eating all your chocolates or using your favorite lipstick.

It also comes with multiple accessories to help capture those precious memories. She can write about the games she plays with her friends or the gift her dad gave her on her birthday. Some of these everyday things we take for granted make the best memories.

Outdoors & Activities

Outdoor activities are interactive, fun, and best of all, they help kids stay active and physically fit. There are all sorts of dangers that come with too much screen time, and no one wants to be a couch potato. We have just the right gifts to make her want to be outdoors.

Trendy Hydro Flask

Functional, But Cute

Outdoor fun is not complete without a cute but functional water bottle. The Hydro Flask brand is known for its exceptionally high-quality water bottles. They’re designed for the outdoors and will keep hot and cold beverages at the same temperature for at least 12 hours.

We love that the stainless steel bottles come in a variety of bright colors. The bottles also sport an outer coating that makes them easy to grip. And how perfectly sized is that 32 oz option? It’ll slip right into any backpack.

Legit Camping Double Hammock

Best Multipurpose Gift

At 12 years old, most girls love group activities, such as camping, hiking, festivals, or beach trips. This stunning violet and turquoise parachute hammock is lightweight and portable enough to take along. And she can choose from a variety of other color options if turquoise isn’t her thing.

It’s constructed from a durable nylon fabric that’s comfortable for chilling out. She can also use it in the backyard when she wants to relax and listen to music or read a book. Everything is included for setup.

Flybold Slackline Kit

Tightrope Walking

The fun that comes with slacklining is undeniable. Kids can become so competitive with this, and chances are your 12-year-old will love it. It’s an exciting backyard game that will increase her strength and agility.

It will also help improve her posture, coordination, and balance. It’s easy to set up and comes with a visual instruction booklet. It’s a competitive game of who can walk the furthest or balance the longest.

This kit includes the main line, a training line, ratchets, tree protectors, and a carry bag. The walking line is 57 feet long and safely carries up to 300 pounds.

GoFloats Unicorn Pool Float Party Tube

Lazy Day Gift

Some days you just want to relax in the pool and cool off. Kids want to do that too, which makes this a good gift. She’ll have something pretty to spend those lazy summer days on.

This giant unicorn float will make her the envy of her friends. It’s easy to inflate and deflate and is made of premium material.

Play Platoon Premium Outdoor Ring Toss

Synergetic Fun

Traditional games never get old, and ring toss is one of those games. This kit comes with eight rope rings, eight plastic rings, a sturdy wood base, and a carry bag. The base features screw-in pegs for point markings.

This is a fun game that channels kids’ mental and physical energy. It helps to improve concentration and teaches the importance of finishing what they start. Your girl is also likely to become more socially adept as she learns about team spirit.

Nerf Dude Signature Bow

Shoot Some Arrows

After watching Princess Merida in “Brave” or Katniss in “The Hunger Games,” the only thing your daughter might want for her birthday is a bow. If your 12-year-old dreams of the day she’ll make perfect archery shots, this is a unique gift that will help get her started with target shooting more safely.

The bow is quite large, so don’t worry about growing out of it too fast, and it comes with two Nerf arrows. The arrows make a whistling sound that makes the experience even more mind-blowing.

Intex Challenger K1 Kayak

Summer Water Craze

Kayaking is a wonderful outdoor activity that your girl might truly enjoy with mom or dad. This inflatable kayak features an ergonomic cockpit designed for comfort and I-beam floors for added stability.

The cargo net at the front is great for storing extra gear, and the grab lines add security. It comes with an aluminum oar, a repair patch, and a manual hand pump.

Adjustable Skipping Ropes

Fun Way to Exercise

Skipping is an excellent way to keep fit and spend some time outdoors. This comes as a twin pack with bright pink and green colors. These ropes are adjustable up to 9 feet, making them suitable for multiple heights.

The lightweight foam handles make them comfortable and grippy. You might recall some fond memories on the playground with this option, so join her for some exercise while you’re at it, Mom.

The Best of Everything Else

In this category, we’ve featured all the gifts that didn’t have a home in the categories above but we couldn’t leave out. There’s a little something for everyone here, especially if that person happens to be a 12-year-old girl.

The Book of What If

Answers to Never-Ending Questions

What if people lived in a floating city? What if your broccoli tasted like chocolate? These are some of the questions you get answers to when you read this book.

It covers all the weird hypothetical questions your 12-year-old might ask you. Of course, you never know what to answer, so why not give her a book that does? It will foster curiosity and critical-thinking skills, and the sidebars will deepen her investigations further with special added knowledge.

Small Backpack Purse

Most Practical Gift

During road trips or outings with her friends, your 12-year-old girl will need to carry personal items. This might be the perfect backpack for her. It’s a lightweight mini-vacation bag appropriate for traveling or everyday use.

It’s well-designed with water-resistant polyester to ensure safety and features drawstring closures. It also has an inner pocket and a vertical rear zipper pocket. You get a variety of fashionable patterns and colors to choose from as well.

Small Spaces

For a Spooky Read

Are you looking for a book so good your 12-year-old asks you to read it when she’s done with it? That’s what happened in my household with this book.

Mildly scary paranormal books are a big trend right now with junior high girls, and this one by Katherine Arden is fantastic. My daughter, who enjoys reading but isn’t a bookworm, couldn’t put this one down.

The Night Gardener

For a More Adult Spooky Read

For a scarier paranormal read, try this book by Jonathan Auxier. It tells a spooky tale of a brother and sister who begin working for a family and soon realize their employment situation is putting their lives in peril.

The book is beautifully written, and the relationships between the characters will make your daughter become invested in the outcome of this book. It’ll become a classic she’ll want to reread and perhaps give to her own children someday. That’s why we’re recommending the hardcover version.

Cubic Fun National Geographic 3D Puzzle

A Puzzling Gift

Puzzles are always so much fun and exceedingly satisfying to solve. This National Geographic Taj Mahal kit features 87 pieces that she’ll attach to create a 3D model of the Taj Mahal.

The kit encourages logical thinking, hands-on ability, and patience to complete one of the most famous landmarks. It comes with a National Geographic booklet that features historical knowledge about the Taj Mahal. No tools, scissors, or glue are needed.

Butterfly Craze Floor Lounger

Plush Floor Lounging

Soft and plush, this lounger cover is inviting for nap times, watching TV, slumber parties, or reading. The pillow covers come in various bright colors and are easy to care for.

This purchase is only for the cover, so you can choose your own five pillows of your girl’s preferred softness to fill it up. Each pillow pocket features a zipper, so all you need to do is stuff it, zip it, and lounge. You can wash the cover by machine on a delicate cycle with cool water.

Leather Writing Journal Notebook

A Way of Expression

Girls often experience a roller coaster of emotions — especially at this age — and sometimes, it’s just not easy for them to talk about it. Why not give her an outlet that allows her to write or draw all her expressions?

This journal is made of high-quality PU leather, and she can use it for anything she wants, from a diary to a photo album, journal, notebook, or organizer. She’ll also have permanent memories she can keep for many years.

Tupwoon Bluetooth Selfie Stick

For Selfie-Obsessed Girls

Selfies might drive you crazy, but your daughter probably loves them at this age. If she’s constantly trying to take a great selfie of herself or her group of friends, this selfie stick could be useful.

She can set it up as a tripod or hold it out using the comfortable handle. It uses a remote in the selfie stick to capture picture after picture. You may even get some use out of it on family vacations instead of asking strangers to snap your picture.

Tetra LED Acrylic Aquarium

Caretaker Responsibility

If your girl feels she is ready to care for a pet on her own, fish are a great place to start.

This is a perfect starter kit she can place in her bedroom, where she can watch over her fish. The transparent tank offers a panoramic view of the beautiful water habitat.

The 1-gallon tank includes a filter to keep it clean at all times. It also features an LED light and a convenient feeding hole. It’s a charming little environment for tropical fish, although fish are not included in the package.

How to Choose a Gift for a 12-Year-Old Girl

Before you head to the store or start browsing websites for that perfect gift for your 12-year-old girl, there are a few factors you should consider.

Our gift suggestions for this age range must fit our criteria of being durable — built to last with high-quality materials; encouraging physical, social, emotional, or cognitive development; and appealing to 12-year-olds — who may be at varying stages of maturity (1).

We’ll break this down a little more.


In a world of mass-produced products, it can be hard to find gifts that not only last but hold your child’s attention for more than a few days or weeks. We consider how products are made, what materials are used, and how they’ve held up for us or other reviewers over time. We also look at the interest factor — will this item still appeal to our preteen after they’ve used it a few times, or are they likely to lose interest quickly?

No one wants to spend money on a gift only to watch it sit on a shelf gathering dust.


Physical: At 12 years old, a girl’s mind and body are going through many changes. Exercise encourages healthy physical development while helping kids adjust to the changes in their bodies and the world around them (2). Gifts that encourage movement are always a good choice. Some great options are a bike, scooter, or skateboard; a trampoline; sports equipment; a fitness tracker; or outdoor games.
Social: Social relationships are important at this age, whether your child is an introvert or an extrovert (3). We look for indoor and outdoor games, kits, and items that encourage socialization, teamwork, and communication.
Emotional: Gifts that encourage healthy emotional development can be a little more challenging to come up with. We’ve found journals to be a beneficial tool for 12-year-old girls, as writing about their experiences can help them take a step back, regulate their feelings, and look at things in a new light. Sensory regulation is also still a need at this age, so items like fidget toys can be helpful.
Cognitive: Learning happens best when it happens in a natural context. Board games and card games not only encourage social interaction, but they also promote problem-solving, thinking, and reasoning skills. STEM sets, such as robotics toys and science kits, keep kids’ minds active while they enjoy the benefits of exploration and discovery.


Before you purchase anything, consider her personality and individual preferences. If you’re on the fence about what she would like, why not ask her? Chances are, she’ll say clothes, shoes, or gift cards. However, she might also say she doesn’t know, which is where we come in.

It’s a good idea to look for a combination of gifts a girl can easily enjoy on her own or with friends when she wants to. If she’s musical, she might appreciate a new instrument or accessories for her preferred instrument. If she enjoys listening to music, headphones are likely to be a hit.

If she’s a reader, there are always new books and series to explore and countless classics to appeal to her sense of adventure.

What about a gift card to the movies or a new video game, console, or mobile device? Screen time, when used appropriately, can have its benefits too (4).

Try to personalize your gift to her preferences for the best outcome, but keep it unique to prevent boredom.

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Edited by

Shannon Serpette

Shannon Serpette is an award-winning writer and editor, who regularly contributes to various newspapers, magazines, and websites. Shannon has been featured on Insider, Fatherly, SheKnows, and other high profile publications. As a mother of two, she loves to write about parenting issues and is dedicated to educating other parents at every stage of their child's development.