Gift Rabbit is supported by our readers. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

55 Best Gifts For 12-Year-Old Boys: 2024 List Here

Updated
If you’re looking for gift ideas for 12-year-old boys, we have dozens of ideas he’ll love!

Middle school boys can be tricky to shop for – they’re growing out of children’s toys, but they’re not yet teens. Some boys may still enjoy toys they played with when they were younger, while others are eager to move on to more mature things to do.

Fortunately, we have plenty of ideas for gifts for 12-year-old boys! From robots they can build themselves to sports equipment like basketball hoops and bikes to creative presents like art supplies, there’s something for every boy on this list!


55 Fun Gift Ideas for 12-Year-Old Boys

Fun gifts for 12-year-old boys to help them celebrate a birthday!

Price
Sort by
Tags
🕵️ No results found. Clear the Filters?

Fire HD 8 Tablet

  • A World Of Possibilities

  • $$$$$
  • Games, Entertainment

A tablet is a great gift for 12-year-old boys, especially if they travel on road trips or planes and need something to do! This Fire HD tablet has 12 hours of battery life so he can read, play games, watch videos, listen to music, and much more!

User Experience

For someone who loves to stay connected with digital content, this Fire Tablet HD 8 is a reliable companion. It provides seamless access to Kindle books, music, and Prime Video, making it a multimedia powerhouse in a compact form. I was pleasantly surprised by the long battery life, lasting up to 3 days with WiFi on and frequent use. However, the tablet does have its quirks; the touch screen can occasionally freeze and the overall weight is a bit more than expected. Despite minor drawbacks, the Fire Tablet HD 8 stands out for its simplicity of operation and overall functionality, especially if you are primarily an Amazon user.

Meccanoid Robot-Building Kit

  • My Robot Friend

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

This Meccanoid kit will help him build a robot with a lot of human characteristics! Meccanoid is almost 4 feet tall, has arms and motorized feet, voice recognition, LED eyes, and can communicate with a smart device. He’s able to be programmed and also has more than 3,000 pre-programmed phrases so he can “talk” with his builder. He’ll dance, move, and record phrases that are said so he can repeat them back.

Personal Perspective

I've spent the last few days with my 10-year-old son, piecing together this robot, and it's been a compelling educational experience. He was able to follow the instructions independently, but occasionally needed my help to hold parts in place and open the stubborn battery cover. The process wasn't without its hitches; we had difficulty pinpointing the correct hole for each bolt due to the wordless, pictorial instructions. Despite some initial issues with a faulty servo in the neck, the robot has been quite a fascinating STEM project that has sparked my son's interest in coding. However, be warned, it requires a certain level of mechanical skill and patience to assemble and maintain this robot, which consists of over a thousand small parts.

Nintendo Switch

  • Gaming Fun

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment, Games

He’ll love a Nintendo Switch to play games for fun, on trips, or with friends! The Switch has a touch screen, tabletop and handheld modes, and at least 4 ½ hours of battery life. It can also connect with other consoles over WiFi so he can play with friends.

Community Feedback

I must admit, my experience with this console has been a mixed bag. On one hand, the Switch has a unique design with neon blue and red Joy-Con controllers that are a refreshing burst of color. It's lightweight and portable, making it a fun companion for gaming on the go. On the other hand, it feels a little cheap, especially when it comes to the display. The 720p resolution is fine, but the TN panel leaves the colors looking washed out compared to other handheld devices. The Joy-Con controllers, while innovative, have a tendency to drift over time, which can be quite frustrating. Despite these issues, this console offers a plethora of exclusive games that you can't find anywhere else. It's not perfect, but it does provide some unique experiences that make it worth considering.

Harry Potter Paperback Box Set

  • Go To Hogwarts

  • $$$$$
  • Books

If he hasn’t read Harry Potter yet, this is a great time to introduce him to the books – they’re perfect gift ideas for 12-year-old boys! Although the books start out a little young, they get more mature as the series progresses so it won’t take long for him to get to the books that suit his age. Help him get lost in the world of Hogwarts with this full set of books!

First-Hand Impression

I recently bought this complete Harry Potter series as a gift, and it's an excellent collection. The books are high-quality hardcovers, just like the ones I grew up reading, so they feel nostalgic and sturdy enough to survive many reading adventures. I was slightly disappointed that the "chest" is just a cardboard container, but the books themselves made up for it with their great quality and improved text revisions.

Zip-Off Cargo Pants

  • Pants To Shorts

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

If he’s a Boy Scout or enjoys hiking and camping with his family, these pants make great gift ideas for 12-year-old boys! Junior high boys are always overheating, it seems. He’ll appreciate these pants, which have legs that zip off. When the inevitable happens and he gets hot, he can simply zip off the legs and have shorts to continue on his hike.

User Experience

Excellent for wet weather, these pants keep you dry even if they're not entirely waterproof. The adjustable waistband is a useful feature, especially for taller and skinnier kids, although the fabric can be a bit stiff and rough even after multiple washes. The zip-off feature is a big plus, allowing easy conversion into shorts, but the pants tend to run a little big and can be quite baggy, which isn't always ideal.

Robot Astrobot

  • Coding Robots

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

He can build these cool robots himself and then code them! The robot will navigate obstacles, pick up objects, and make sound effects. The parts snap together, so he won’t need special tools to assemble the robot. Once it’s built, he can use the free app to code the robot’s movements, making them awesome toys for 12-year-old boys!

Personal Perspective

My experience with this robot kit has been quite a journey, sparking joy in my son's eyes as he independently assembled and programmed it. While we had minor hitches such as the lack of paper instructions and block incompatibility with Lego, we managed to overcome these challenges, even discovering that the long white piece is a tool for disassembling tight parts. This robot has not only provided entertainment, but also an educational platform for my son to practice coding, making the whole experience worthwhile.

Oculus Quest 2

  • VR Fun

  • $$$$$
  • Games

He’ll have a blast with this VR headset! He’ll feel like he’s in the middle of his video game, or he can explore places around the globe. He can even visit the International Space Station and see how people live in space!

Community Feedback

Definitely, the MetaQuest 2 VR system is a captivating adventure into the world of virtual reality. Upon wearing the headset, I was transported into a virtual landscape where I could play Beat Saber, swatting colored blocks with light sabers to the rhythm of the music, a fun and surprisingly rhythmic experience that had me moving to the beat of the music. This system, despite its price increase, has proven to be an exciting and immersive experience, offering a range of free apps and games that have kept me engaged and even offered some unexpected exercise.

162-Piece Mega Art Set

  • Paint A Picture

  • $$$$$
  • Create

If he enjoys drawing, painting, and other art forms, he’ll appreciate this gorgeous art set with a wooden carrying case. This set comes with watercolor paints, mixing trays, brushes, oil pastels, colored pencils, and other art supplies. It also comes with painting paper, sketch paper, and other places he can create his art.

First-Hand Impression

This art set has been a delight for my granddaughter, who has been thrilled with the variety of supplies it offers. The wooden box it comes in gives it a touch of elegance, although it's a bit flimsy, with a drawer knob popping off on first use. The crayons were a bit scattered upon arrival, requiring some careful handling when opening the drawer. Despite these minor issues, the art set is a wonderful gift for young, budding artists, offering a good amount of supplies at a reasonable price.

Air Hockey Table

  • Game On

  • $$$$$
  • Games

He can play air hockey with friends or family on this fun table! It comes with light-up pucks and light-up corners that flash when someone scores a goal. LED lights keep track of the score, and the hockey pushers light up as well.

User Experience

After purchasing and assembling this air hockey table, I've had a mix of experiences. The table's construction is not top-tier, but it functions well for its price range, with features like LED lighting and electronic scoring adding a touch of sophistication. However, the assembly process was a bit challenging due to misaligned drill holes and the abacus scorer on each goal tends to be a bit of a nuisance, causing minor scratches. Unfortunately, the table also arrived with a broken plastic corner, which I managed to fix with glue and tape. Despite these issues, the table has been a hit with family members of all ages, providing a fun playing experience.

Fender Acoustic Guitar

  • Learn Guitar

  • $$$$$
  • Create

Lots of kids become interested in learning to play guitar in junior high and high school. Fortunately, there are lots of online videos dedicated to teaching beginners how to play guitar – all he needs is the actual guitar! This set comes with a tuner, guitar strap, extra strings, a string winter, an instructional DVD, and a bag to carry everything in. The Fender is a great beginner guitar so he can get started learning quickly!

Personal Perspective

Definitely an impressive guitar, not only for its striking aesthetics but also for the rich, resonant sound it produces. Despite being a novice, the included tutorial has been instrumental in my learning journey, and the electronic tuner is undeniably a brilliant addition; however, I did notice minor blemishes on the neck that were easily wiped off.
Gifts You Might Also Like
Gifts For Tween BoysGift Suggestions for Tween Boys: Embracing the Journey from Boyhood to Teenage
gifts for 18-year-old boysCool, Fun, and Practical: Our Roundup of Gifts for 18-Year-Old Boys
gifts for 8-year-old boysGifts That Teach and Entertain: A Guide for 8-Year-Old Boys

4M Doodling Robot

  • A Drawing Robot

  • $$$$$
  • STEM, Create

This robot uses the vibration and spin from the motor to create artwork. He can simply add pens, adjust the angle and the height of the pens, and set it in motion. The robot will just go, and when he turns it off, he’ll have a new piece of art. He’ll also have the fun of working with this robot and seeing how it works!

Community Feedback

I found this mechanical robot to be a straightforward assembly project, however, the lack of challenge might not sustain the interest of a particularly bright child. While the robot has no sensors and its antenna is merely for effect, it does provide a pleasing visual experience, though the educational impact could be considered minor.

AKAI MIDI Keyboard Controller

  • Make Great Music

  • $$$$$
  • Create

If he’s interested in making music, a MIDI is a great way for him to compose! This 25-key keyboard hooks up to a computer. He can program keys to make different sounds and can use the knobs and pads to layer even more sounds. At the end, he can save his creation and share it with friends and family.

First-Hand Impression

I've had a hands-on experience with this keyboard and overall, I'm pleased with its performance. The keys are soft and quiet, which is quite nice, but I did encounter a few hiccups. Firstly, the lack of an on/off switch is a little inconvenient and not having the ability to turn off the pad lighting in the studio is a drawback. The SEQ button not being assignable via midi is a bit of a downer, and the process to get the software editor is quite tedious. On the plus side, the software that comes with the keyboard is top-notch, especially the MPC beats. However, the size of the keys might not be for everyone, especially those expecting larger ones. The device is highly customizable, though it does require some time investment to troubleshoot and configure, especially with the velocity curves of the pads. Nonetheless, it's a good starter MIDI keyboard for producers, but not so much for those learning to play the piano.

Amazon.com eGift Card

  • Pick Your Present

  • Books, STEM, Games

Gift cards make great gifts for 12-year-old boys because they enjoy having control over choosing what they want! You can grab him an Amazon gift card for $25 and up, and he can choose from the thousands of books, games, devices, and so much more. It’s a great gift for a boy who has everything!


Huffy Mountain Bike for Boys

  • A Dream Bike

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

This mountain bike has 18-speeds and shifts easily between gears. The hardtail frame is sturdy, and the oversized tires work great on pavement, gravel, dirt, and other terrain. He’ll have a great time riding in the neighborhood or on trails and terrain parks.

Personal Perspective

I purchased this bike for my kid who outgrew their previous 20" one, but despite the attractive design, this Huffy Extent 24" bike proved to be a bit too large for them. The assembly process was a bit tricky, with generic instructions and a missing hex tool, leading me to borrow from friends and watch assembly videos online. I also had to adjust the squeaky brakes, which were rubbing against the tires. On the plus side, the tires were more robust than I expected, and while there were some initial issues, the bike seems to be holding up well so far.

Quadcopter with Blue & Green Light

  • Spinning Drones

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

These quadcopters are fun to watch and fly and make great toys for 12-year-old boys! This round, spinning drone lights up green and blue, so it’s fun to fly in the dark. The propeller guards keep the drone from hurting anyone and protect it if it falls. A remote lets him control the drone while it’s in the air.

Community Feedback

My experience with this drone has been full of ups and downs, quite literally. The controls are intuitive and the tricks it can do have made it a hit with my 8-year old. However, the battery life leaves much to be desired, with both provided batteries lacking in longevity. Despite this, the drone's durability is impressive, surviving numerous crash landings without a scratch, making it an exciting and resilient toy.

Gaming Chair

  • Sit Comfortably

  • $$$$$
  • Games

If he’s a big gamer, this chair will make an awesome Christmas or birthday present! It has plenty of padding for comfortable seating. It has lumbar support and a headrest. It also sits on rolling casters and can move 360° in any direction. It’s great for sitting in to do homework or for playing video games in his downtime.

First-Hand Impression

As someone who's not typically handy, I found the assembly process for this chair initially a bit puzzling, but it became simpler as I progressed. This chair, with its metal frame and footrest, is sturdier and more comfortable than my old office chair, although the seat is on the smaller side, and it tends to lean slightly to one side. Despite these minor inconveniences, the reclining feature and the footrest make it a decent option for long gaming sessions or just lounging, even though it's not as cushioned as I'd hoped.

LEGO Ideas Ship in a Bottle

  • Harder Builds

  • $$$$$
  • Create

At 12, he may still enjoy building with LEGOs, but he needs more of a challenge than he did when he was younger! This ship in a bottle is a great kit. It features a ship with captain’s quarters, a crow’s nest, cannons, and more. It also has a brick cork and wax seal, and sits on a display stand with a nameplate.

User Experience

I'm thrilled with this LEGO Ship set, even though the piece count felt a bit misleading with a chunk of them being tiny blue 'water' pieces. The assembly was a fun challenge, especially when building the bottle around the ship, which required careful handling to avoid knocking off parts. This LEGO set, designed as a display piece, not only added visual interest to my desk but also provided the occasional fun rebuild for my son, though be warned, the "water" pieces can easily scatter everywhere.

Dual Shot Basketball Game

  • Fair Games At Home

  • $$$$$
  • Games

Bring all the fun of the fair home with this arcade basketball game! He can challenge family and friends to shoot hoops, and the electronic scoring function will keep track of everyone’s baskets. The game also folds down to store, so it won’t take up as much room. The height of the game can be adjusted as well, so it can be changed depending on the ceiling height and other factors.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this game was both challenging and rewarding. Assembling it was a bit of a puzzle, mainly due to confusing instructions that seemed to be for a different version of the game, but once I got the hang of it, I managed to put it together single-handedly. The game itself is fantastic - it's been a hit with both adults and kids in my family and has brought us tons of fun. The scoring mechanism is accurate and the sound and music options add to the excitement. Despite its large size, it folds up nicely, proving to be a nifty space-saver.

Lava Lamp

  • A Fun, Funky Light

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

Yep, lava lamps are still popular! He’ll love watching the wax as it moves up and down in the lamp, and this is a fun light to use as a night light. This lamp is sturdy and should last for years. He can keep it on his desk or nightstand to add a little bit of light or funky fun to his room!

Community Feedback

Love the mesmerizing ambiance this lava lamp adds to a room with its size and bright, contrasting colors. Upon first use, it takes a bit of patience for the lava to heat up and flow, which is common for these types of lamps. The setup is straightforward - plug it in, turn it on, and it starts to work its magic while being energy efficient at just 25 watts. One thing to note is that it can get quite hot, so it's best placed out of reach of curious hands.

GPS Drone With Camera

  • Take Drone Pix

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

This is a great first drone with a camera for older kids or adults! The auto-return means the drone will memorize a home point and automatically return there if it loses the signal or loses power. He can set a customer flight path to fly the drone or just have it follow him automatically. The drone also comes with a carrying bag. The 1080P HD camera records images and voice and he can share it all on social media through the app.

First-Hand Impression

This HS100 drone is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced flyers alike, packed with features and built to last. As a novice flyer, I found the auto takeoff and landing feature particularly handy, making it much easier to handle than RC planes I've flown in the past. The camera and video features are decent for casual use, though they don't perform well in windy conditions. While the drone's flight time isn't as long as I'd like, purchasing a spare battery or two solves the issue, and the overall joy of flying this drone makes it worth it.
Discover More Unique Gift Suggestions
gifts for 5-year-old boysShopping Guide: Choosing the Perfect Gift for 5-Year-Old Boys
​​gifts for 7-year-old boysPersonalized Gifts for 7-Year-Old Boys: Show Them You Care
gifts for 13-year-old boysEssential Guide to Gifts for 13-Year-Old Boys: Cool, Unique, and Fun

UNO, Phase 10 and Pic Flip Bundle

  • Family Game Night

  • $$$$$
  • Games

He can bring these games on road trips, to sleepovers, or to any event where he’s hanging out with friends! They also make fun family game night options. They may be classic games, but they can get rowdy and raucous just the same! UNO is a great all-ages game, while Phase 10 has enough different, well, phases, that it’s good for older kids with longer attention spans.

User Experience

I'm thrilled with the value of these card games, packing three different ones into a sturdy, convenient tin for easy storage. They've become a staple for our family game nights, providing device-free entertainment and are holding up well, despite frequent use every weekend. However, a slight drawback was the cards not being full-sized, which took a bit of time to adjust to, but it didn't significantly impact our enjoyment of the games.

K'NEX 3-in-1 Amusement Park Set

  • Build A Ferris Wheel

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

This kit lets him build a motorized Ferris wheel that actually moves. The 744 K’NEX pieces can be used to build 3 different amusement park rides – the Ferris wheel, a swing ride, and a boom ride. It also has a battery-powered motor to power each of the rides.

Personal Perspective

I was genuinely captivated by the experience of assembling this K'nex set, which turned out to be a magnificent Ferris wheel. Despite some initial hesitation due to the size and complexity of the project, I found the large pieces relatively easy to handle and the building process became a fun, engaging activity that provided hours of entertainment. However, I was somewhat disappointed to find that instructions for the two additional build options were not included in the box, which necessitated some online research and a bit of improvisation.

Knit Beanie

  • Cool Dude

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

A knit beanie will make his mom happy that he’s actually putting on cold-weather clothing. It will make him happy because beanies are popular right now, so he’ll look cool wearing it! The hat is stretchy and just slouchy enough to look trendy while still keeping him warm. It comes in several styles and colors so you can pick one he’ll like!

Community Feedback

I've found this hat to be a reliable companion during the colder months. The inside liner contributes significantly to its warmth and makes it supremely comfortable to wear. This hat's thick knit pattern and light gray color are both aesthetically pleasing and practical. Additionally, its superior quality and warmth surpassed other beanies I've previously tried, making it a notable standout.

DIY Guitar Pick Punch

  • Cool Picks

  • $$$$$
  • Create

If he loves music and is learning to play the guitar (or already knows how!), he may love this pick punch. It works like a hole punch but punches guitar picks out of thin plastic that he can use to play. The kit comes with several strips of patterned plastic, or he can use old credit cards, loyalty cards, hotel key cards, or other pieces of thin plastic to create his picks.

First-Hand Impression

This pick punch is a handy tool, especially for a beginner guitar player like myself. Initially, I noticed some picks were cracking after being punched, but after a bit of learning to get the cuts lined up, the problem resolved itself. It's thrilling to create unique designs and repurpose old cards into guitar picks, though the edges may need a little smoothing out after punching. While the picks may not be suitable for everyone's guitar playing, they serve me well and also make for fun, creative gifts for my fellow musicians.

LEGO Star Wars Droid Building Set

  • The Droids You’re Looking For

  • $$$$$
  • STEM, Create

He’ll create 3 LEGO Star Wars droids, which have sensors, a motor, and a Bluetooth Move hub so they can be coded to perform tasks. The LEGO BOOST Star Wars app lets him code the droids so they can solve missions and head on space adventures. He’ll use STEM skills both to build the droids and then as he’s coding, and he’ll use problem-solving skills and other advanced reasoning all along the way.

User Experience

I thoroughly enjoyed the Lego Boost Creative Set, especially the immersive features like the cut scenes, characters, and missions. This kit has a good balance of challenge and fun for both adults and children, as my family found building and programming the three droids engaging. The digital instructions in the app were a blessing, allowing for easy checking and rectifying any misalignments during the build process. However, the need to swap motors between the droids and the lack of an extra accessory kit for simultaneous builds were minor inconveniences.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 Camera

  • Print Pictures Promptly

  • $$$$$
  • Create

Listen up, kids – long ago, kids took pictures like selfies on cameras that automatically printed those pictures out for them! He can recapture the fun of Polaroids from the 1980s with this Instax camera. The Instax also prints out selfies as they’re taken, but it comes with colorful stickers as well. He’ll have a blast making faces with his friends, printing out the pictures immediately, and laughing over them together.

Personal Perspective

My initial apprehension about purchasing this product quickly dissipated after I took my first photo. Despite the first picture turning out blank and dark, every subsequent photo was nothing short of beautiful, capturing moments in a crisp, clear manner. The user-friendly interface was a breeze to navigate and the additional items included in the package, like the carrying case, photo-enhancing stickers, and handy album, added to my overall satisfaction. However, the inability to toggle the flash or change the camera mode was a minor downside, but it didn't dampen my fun-filled, nostalgic experience with this Fujifilm Instax Mini 11.

Difficult Riddles For Smart Kids

  • Brain-Benders

  • $$$$$
  • Books

Does he love puzzles and brain benders? This book includes 300 brain teaser puzzles and riddles to help him think outside the box. The riddles test logic, memory, and other brain skills. The book gets more difficult as he progresses. He can solve them on his own or pose them at dinnertime to the whole family to see if people can find the solution.

Community Feedback

My family, including my 7-year-old, finds great joy in this book of riddles; it's a wonderful pastime that gets our minds working and fills our home with laughter. Even on a rough day, diving into these riddles can provide a delightful distraction, instantly lightening the mood and sparking a sense of camaraderie among friends.

3D Optical Illusion Batman Light

  • Bat Signal

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

This cool night light creates a hologram-like image of Batman that lights up at night. The light has 7 color settings and 2 different modes so he can change it up when he wants. It has touch controls and is USB powered. He’ll have an awesome night light he can use just before bed or keep things a little bit lit in his room so he can see if he needs to get up at night.

First-Hand Impression

These LED stands are a decent addition to any fan's collection, although the design isn't as exact as some others and it feels a bit overpriced. Despite minor design modifications and the light not extending to the end of the piece, it's a unique piece that would make a cool night light, especially for my seven-year-old nephew who loves sharks.

Big Joe Classic Beanbag

  • Anywhere Chair

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

Beanbag chairs make great gifts for 12-year-old boys because they’re fun to sit in and easy to move around. He can keep his chair in his room for lounging, reading, or playing video games. Since it’s lightweight, he can also bring it downstairs for movie nights or outside to read in the yard. The chair is stain- and water-resistant, so it will stand up to almost anything!

User Experience

After purchasing this bean bag for my young daughter and using it for several months, I've found that it's sturdy and holds up well with regular use. The fabric is nice and easy to clean, which is a huge plus with kids. Although the foam beads inside tend to go flat quicker than I'd like, the overall support and comfort the bean bag provides is fantastic, making it perfect for nap times and calming moments. The bright color adds a fun touch, and both my daughter and her older cousin absolutely love it.

Pokémon Assorted Cards

  • Catch ‘Em All

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

If he collects Pokemon cards, he’ll appreciate this deck! He’ll get an assortment of regular and energy cards. Each lot contains random cards from every series, so they will all be a surprise and he won’t know what he has until he opens the pack.

Personal Perspective

I found this Pokémon card pack to be an excellent starter for my child's fledgling collection. Despite the possibility of these not being authentic, my kid was thrilled with the cool-looking cards and loved trading them. I appreciated the variety in the deck, including a mix of Pokémon, item, and trainer cards, though a few duplicates were present. One minor discrepancy was that the pack contained 49 cards and a sticker, not the advertised 50 cards, but this didn't diminish the overall enjoyment.
More Great Gifts to Consider
gifts for 14-year-old boysGifts for 14-Year-Old Boys — Making Their Freshman Year Memorable
gifts for 9-year-old boysStriking a Balance: Choosing Gifts for 9-Year-Old Boys
gifts for 16-year-old boysGifts for 16-Year-Old Boys — From Gaming Gear to Outdoor Survival Kits

MalloMe Camping Mess Kit

  • Sturdy Dishes

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

He’ll appreciate this mess kit on his next Boy Scout outing or camping trip with his family! It’s made of much sturdier aluminum than the standard mess kits kids get, and it conducts heat quickly. The kit contains a pot and cover, a nonstick pan, 2 bowls, a spork and soup spoon, a wooden spoon, a cleaning sponge, and a nylon travel bag for storing everything.

Community Feedback

My experience with this camping cookware set was a favorable one. The compactness of this set was a boon during my son's scout trips, as everything he needed for cooking nestled nicely into a portable case. It stood up to the test of time during a two-week work trip, withstanding open fire cooking and remaining largely unscathed, save for a few scratches from the spork. Whether for a fun family picnic or a stealth camping adventure, this set is the perfect companion, offering a complete and personal-sized kit at a great value.

2-in-1 Remote Control DIY Racing Car

  • Go Speed Racer

  • $$$$$
  • Create, STEM

He’ll have the fun of building his own racecar, and then he’ll have the fun of actually racing it! The kit makes 2 different toy cars – a racecar and an off-road truck. The vehicles can run indoors and out, and they easily drive, turn, and rotate on a smooth, flat surface. The car drives forward, backward, left, or right, and he can direct it all with the accompanying remote.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this toy car kit has been a rewarding one, particularly watching my 6-year-old grandson immerse himself in the assembly process. The multitude of similar parts required keen attention to detail and a level of organization that was quite a task, and perhaps better suited for slightly older kids. However, the delight in his eyes when the remote control kicked in was simply unforgettable. It was just like a Lego set, complete with vibrant lime green pieces, that added an extra layer of excitement to the whole building experience.

Wireless On-Ear Headphones

  • Hear Music & Games

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

These headphones are great for listening to music and audiobooks, using while gaming with friends, or whatever else he might need them for! He won’t get tangled up in wires or have to worry about a headphone jack, and the headphones deliver a wonderful bass sound. The headphones work for 40 hours before they need to be recharged.

User Experience

These headphones are a breath of fresh air, providing excellent sound quality that rivals even my old earbuds, without the annoyance of constantly readjusting them during exercise. The compact design fits perfectly on my small head, yet produces a rich, full sound that effectively blocks out background noise. Though I haven't tested them in extreme heat, they've proven to be a reliable companion during my daily activities, easily syncing with my phone and maintaining a strong Bluetooth connection even from several feet away. Despite the occasional discomfort after long periods of use, their long-lasting battery, rapid charging, and undeniable value for the price make them a worthwhile investment.

LED Bike Wheel Lights

  • Light Up The Night

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

These LED lights attach to bike wheels, so his bike can be lit up at night. It looks really cool and makes it easier for cars to see him if he rides at night. The lights have 16 color-changing modes, and they will flash or stay lit steadily. They’re great for family bike rides or for campgrounds where he may bring his bike to ride around.

Personal Perspective

These bike lights sure make a statement with their vibrant brightness and color, adding a fun and safety element to my night rides. Installing the first set took some time, but once I got the hang of it, subsequent installations were a breeze. However, the design could use some improvement as the battery pack is bulky and tricky to position between the spokes, plus the battery life seems to wane rather quickly.

Battleship Classic Board Game

  • Naval Warfare

  • $$$$$
  • Games

“You sank my battleship!” If he’s never played this classic game, he’ll love trying to target his opponent’s ships and sink them. The game includes 2 portable battle cases, with ships and red and white pegs to indicate hits and misses. The game also has advanced play with a Salvo feature that lets players launch multiple attacks at once.

Community Feedback

After sinking countless hours into this Battleship game, I'm happy to report that it maintains the classic charm that made it a hit 30 years ago. The setup is straightforward, but the clear lettering on the gray board can be a challenge to see, even with ample lighting. While the pegs could be more secure and the storage compartments larger, these minor issues don't detract from the nostalgic joy of planning my next strategic move, whether over FaceTime or on a lazy Sunday afternoon with family.

myCharge Portable Charger

  • Stay Charged Up

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

If he has tech devices, chances are he’s found himself with a dead battery! This portable charger can go in his backpack, airplane carry-on or overnight bag, so he can charge his phone or tablet without needing an outlet. The charger even has built-in cables, so he doesn’t even need to bring his charging cord.

First-Hand Impression

Got this charger and it's been a handy travel companion due to its lightweight design and robust capacity, allowing me to power up my iPad, phone, and watch simultaneously. Despite some initial mix-ups with the labels and models, I was satisfied with its performance as it lived up to its claims of being durable and holding a substantial charge for days. However, a slight drawback is its charging speed, which I noticed was slower compared to previous models I've owned. This device comes with built-in charging cords which are a convenient feature, catering to both Apple and Android devices.

Madden NFL 22 - PlayStation 5

  • Football Fun

  • $$$$$
  • Games

This game has been popular for several generations now, and it doesn’t show any signs of stopping! New features in Madden NFL 22 include the ability to manage staff, an enhanced seasons engine, and weekly strategy. He can also adjust Superstar X-Factors at halftime and continue the game.

User Experience

Got this game as a gift last year and it's been an intriguing experience. The graphics are impressively detailed, providing a truly immersive gaming experience, although I've found some features a bit difficult to navigate. While it's not exactly what I anticipated, especially in the player creation aspect, it's a decent game that my family and I have come to enjoy.

Cozmo Coding Robot for Kids

No products found.

Check Price
  • Code Time

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

Cozmo has facial expressions and reactive body language that make it hard to remember he’s a robot and not a human sometimes! He was made to be durable and stand up to the rigors of being played with by kids. He’s a great beginner robot for kids just learning to code, and your 12-year-old will have a great time figuring out how to program him to do different things!


Blank Comic Book

  • The Next Stan Lee

  • $$$$$
  • Create

If he loves comics, let him create his own with this blank comic book! It comes with more than 100 pages of blank comic panels that he can fill with his stories. He could write one continuing story or try out many different comics in the pages of this journal. He’ll also have this as a fun memento to look back on when he’s older.

Community Feedback

If your child loves drawing and storytelling, this comic book might be a road trip essential. The comic squares layout helps ignite their creativity, and the paper quality can withstand pencils, pens, and even markers with minimal bleed. However, the constant repetition of the same two pages can be a bit limiting and might not appeal to older kids. Despite this, the book does a great job of sparking imagination and teaching the concept of sequencing events in drawing.

Beginner Skateboard

  • Sk8r Boy

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

This is about the age that many boys get into skateboarding. If he’s never tried or doesn’t have a skateboard of his own, this is a great beginner skateboard for him! It comes fully assembled and has a sturdy plastic deck and thick aluminum trucks. It will hold up to the wear and tear that 12-year-old boys put on just about everything!

First-Hand Impression

I'm an average adult Joe who previously owned a traditional "trick" skateboard, but I found this penny style skateboard to be a much smoother and less obnoxious ride. I initially purchased three different penny style skateboards for comparison, and despite this skateboard not having the longest glide, it was the perfect balance of quality and price, withstanding my weight and multiple trip-ups without losing its reliability. However, while the wheels handle cracks well and the deck has some flex, the bearings are not the best and the graphic wears away quickly, but these aren't deal breakers for me.
Check Out These Gift Ideas Next
gifts for 3-year-old boysFind the Perfect Gift for 3-Year-Old Boys
gifts for 6-year-old boysThoughtful and Cool Gifts for 6-Year-Old Boys — A Comprehensive List
gifts for 17-year-old boysThe Best Gifts for 17-Year-Old Boys: From Practical to Personalized

Sherpa Fleece Lined Hoodie

  • Stay Warm…And Cool

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

This hoodie feels so soft inside, thanks to the sherpa lining, that he may actually stop fighting with his parents over having to wear a jacket when it’s cold out! The hoodie has 2 pockets, lined sleeves, and ribbing at the wrists to keep the heat in. The hoodie comes in a variety of patterns and colors, so you can pick one he’s sure to love.

User Experience

This coat has proven to be the perfect solution for my texture-sensitive 13-year-old son. From its fuzzy interior that keeps him warm to its nubby grey/black striped design, it's both comfortable and stylish. However, it does run small, so I recommend getting a size larger than you typically would.

LED Hover Soccer Balls

  • Indoor Soccer

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

These hover soccer balls are a lot of fun and are much less likely to destroy the house than an actual soccer ball! They use air to hover a few inches above the ground, and the foam bumpers keep the balls from marking up the furniture. The balls also light up, so they’re fun to play with in the dark as well!

Personal Perspective

I initially saw these at a friend's place where my toddler couldn't get enough of them, prompting me to place an order. These provide an excellent indoor distraction for kids, especially during the scorching summer months, and they've become the go-to for my children when it rains and they're stuck in our apartment. Even better, this toy encourages creativity as the kids come up with different ways to play, including trick shots. Despite its active nature, the soft bumper prevents any damage to walls or furniture. However, it's worth noting that while my three-year-old grandson is a big fan, these weren't a hit with all the kids as my two and five-year-olds lost interest after a few days.

Nerf Rampage Elite Toy Blaster

  • Nerf Wars

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

Nerf guns always top the list of fun toys for older kids! This blaster holds up to 25 darts so he won’t have to stop and reload mid-battle with his friends. It has slam-fire action so he can shoot darts rapidly. It also shoots darts up to 90 feet. The blaster comes with 25 darts, so he can get started battling his friends right away.

Community Feedback

Definitely, this toy gun brought a lot of joy to my nephew and my son, who played with it constantly. The large round clip that attaches on the side, capable of holding 25 foam rubber bullets, adds an exciting element to the experience. However, it did jam occasionally, about once in every 10 shots, but that didn't dampen their enjoyment. The blaster's accuracy impressed me, scoring repeated hits even at distances of 30ft. The power comes from a direct plunger system, similar to a conventional syringe, which I find quite innovative. Despite the lack of a stock and a slight durability issue with the magazine mount, this toy gun definitely made a mark.

5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!)

  • Learn All The Things

  • $$$$$
  • Books

If he’s always asking questions or sharing random facts, he’ll love this book that’s chock full of facts about pretty much everything. He can learn about sloths, bioluminescence, aliens, and a whole lot of other random things. The book is interspersed with color photos, graphics, fun text, and other things that make it interesting to read.

First-Hand Impression

My initial encounter with these books was at my grandson's 8th birthday and the shared learning experiences have been enriching. The books are filled with fascinating facts, though some pages can be a bit overwhelming due to the amount of information. This series isn't just for kids as my adult brother with special needs also enjoys the easy-to-digest content. From tech and internet culture to worldly facts, these books cater to a wide array of interests, making them a hit with my 12-year-old son as well.

LEGO Creator Space Shuttle Adventure

  • Space Man

  • $$$$$
  • Create

This set is great for anyone interested in space! He’ll assemble 3 models in 1 and make a Space Shuttle, a rocket toy, and a lunar lander. The set includes an astronaut mini-figure, complete with his helmet and tool for fixing space things. Although he may be a little old for pretend play with this set, he can proudly display it when he’s done, especially if he has other space collections in his room.

User Experience

Definitely, this Lego set is a bit of a challenge to assemble, as it proved too complex for my younger grandson but kept my older granddaughter engaged for over two hours. Despite the complexity, the quality and design of the set is solid, providing an authentic look that my grandsons find appealing, making it worth the investment.

Kid-Safe Indoor Magnetic Dart Board

  • Take Aim

  • $$$$$
  • Games

A magnetic dartboard is a fun game he can play in his room or in the basement. The board can hang on the back of his door or elsewhere in his room. Then, he can challenge his friends to a game of darts, or he can fire off a quick round when he needs a break from homework. Since the darts are magnetic, they won’t damage the wall, door, or other people.

Personal Perspective

I'm impressed by the enduring appeal of this dart set, remaining a favorite of my son for over three years and still firmly affixed to his wall. The magnetic darts are remarkably strong, hitting the target with a satisfying thud and never bouncing back, even in the chaotic environment of outdoor events where we've used it to entertain. However, the strength of the magnets does mean that removing the darts requires a bit of effort, and the lack of a built-in mechanism to hang the round target can cause some initial setup frustration, especially in scenarios without a convenient wall.

Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speaker

  • Bring Along The Tunes

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

He can hang out in his room and listen to his favorite music or bring this speaker along to the pool, the beach, or on camping trips. The speaker has deep bass and great quality. It also plays for up to 20+ hours before it needs to be recharged. LED lights on the speaker pulse in time with the beat of the music.

Community Feedback

I'm impressed by this speaker's resilience and performance, even in challenging conditions like the beach, pool, and backyard grilling sessions. It has a robust build quality and produces commendable sound for its price range, despite not being as high-quality as some of its pricier counterparts. I encountered a minor issue where the speaker switched from Bluetooth to Aux input when I accidentally pressed the phone button, but I was able to rectify it by referring to the device features. The only other downside is the incompatibility with a USB C to USB C fast charger, but it works fine with USB C to USB, and I predominantly use wireless charging.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Premium Geodes

  • Geology Fun

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

He’ll have fun breaking open these seemingly normal-looking rocks to reveal the beautiful crystals inside them! These National Geographic geodes come with a variety of colors and styles of crystals inside – he won’t know what they are until he smashes them open to reveal the sparkling rocks within. The kit comes with a display stand, goggles, and a small magnifying glass to get an even closer look.

First-Hand Impression

In my family's experience, this geode kit offered a unique mix of fun and education. We thoroughly enjoyed the process of hammering open the geodes, even though some were a bit challenging to break, and the safety glasses were a thoughtful addition. However, our enthusiasm was slightly dampened by the lack of color variety in the crystals and the fact that some geodes were solid rather than cavernous.

12-in-1 STEM Solar Robot

  • Sun-Powered Robot

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

He can build more than 12 different robots with this kit, all of them powered by the sun. He can make robots that crawl, roll, and float. He can also create a robot of his own, rather than one of the ones shown in the instruction booklet. These robots are great to play with just for fun or to use as part of a science project.

User Experience

Love how this toy sparked my grandson's interest and kept him occupied for hours building his own robot. It's a bit challenging to assemble, as some pieces require a bit of strength to put together, and precision to remove from the plastic molds without breaking. An adult's assistance might be beneficial to ensure the assembly goes smoothly. Despite these challenges, the feeling of accomplishment once the robot works offers a fun and rewarding experience.

Spalding Portable Basketball Hoop

  • Baller Boy

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

A basketball hoop and backboard is a gift that he’ll use for years to come! It’s also a great gift that can draw other neighborhood kids over to play sports at his house. This set has an acrylic board with arena-style padding. It can be raised to a height of 7.5-10 feet so it can grow with him.

Personal Perspective

My experience with this portable hoop system was a mixed bag, to say the least. The assembly was quite a challenge, taking over three hours of careful work, largely due to the unlabeled parts and unclear instructions. The main problem was the construction of the main pole, which is a press fit, resulting in the backboard sitting at an angle due to poor design. The stability of this unit, however, is commendable and adjusting the hoop height from 7.5 to 10 feet was fairly easy. I also found the backboard to be durable and believe it will last for several years, despite its slightly crooked angle. All in all, for the price paid, I believe some improvements could have been made, particularly in the design of the main pole.
Explore Additional Gifting Inspirations
gifts for 2-year-old boysBest Gifts for 2-Year-Old Boys: What to Look For
gifts for 10-year-old boysUnleash Your Inner Child: Unique Gifts for 10-Year-Old Boys
gifts for 4-year-old boysThoughtful and Creative Gifts for 4-Year-Old Boys — From Popular to Unique

LED Strip Lights

  • Light Up A Room

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

These lights are a fun addition to any room! He can change the lighting with the accompanying remote – making them bright to wake up in the morning and dimming them when it’s time for bed. He can also change between different colors and light modes. The lights can also sync to a smartphone so he can make them pulse in time to his music. He can set a timer to turn the lights off when he’s at school or when it’s bedtime.

Community Feedback

Love how these LED strip lights transformed my son's room, letting him express his color preferences without committing to extreme paint choices. The adhesive backing is strong and the remote control offers a wide range of colors, making it simple to match his mood or style. One downside is the short power cord which needed an extension to reach the outlet, somewhat spoiling the clean installation. Also, if you're planning to run two 50ft strips, know that each needs to connect to the controller separately - it's not one long 100ft strip. Despite these minor issues, the lights add a vibrant and fun element to the room, something any kid would appreciate.

Sphero Mini

  • Teeny Tiny Robot

  • $$$$$
  • STEM

This wee little robot is the size of a ping pong ball and has a gyroscope, an accelerometer, and bright LED lights. With the free Sphero app, he can make games and code the Sphero Mini. He can choose between drag-and-drop coding blocks or writing JavaScript, so this robot is great for a variety of levels of coders.

First-Hand Impression

My experience with this robot ball has been a mixed bag of fun and frustration. It's exhilarating to drive it around, even though mastering the controls can test your patience, especially in modes like "golf" where the swipe mechanism is a bit tricky to get used to.

3D Sports Wall Stickers

  • Wall Ball

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

These wall stickers will make people do a double-take! The 3D stickers look as though the balls were kicked or hit hard enough to get embedded right in the wall. The stickers are made of vinyl and peel and stick easily to smooth surfaces. He’ll get 8 balls with this set, so he can spread them around his room, add one to his door, or even put one in his locker at school.

User Experience

My experience with these wall decals has been largely positive, with the highlight being the joy they brought to my grandson's face. Their realistic 3D appearance is achieved through clever use of breakout lines, although this means some assembly is required, particularly with the basketball decal. The decals are easy to apply and replicate the images shown online, adding a perfect touch to a sports-themed room. However, they are more translucent than expected, lacking a white background which I initially thought they would have. While this wasn't exactly what I anticipated, I still find the overall aesthetic pleasing.

BluePhonic Bluetooth Earbuds

  • Walking Music

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

He can listen to music or audiobooks on walks through the neighborhood or while walking home from school with these earbuds! They produce deep bass and clear treble, so they’re great for listening to his favorite tunes. These earbuds will play for up to 8 hours before they need to be charged again.

Personal Perspective

After purchasing these headphones and using them extensively, I have some mixed feelings. The first pair I got was fantastic, working smoothly and providing great sound quality. However, the second pair I purchased as backup was a disappointment, frequently losing the Bluetooth connection. Yet, compared to other earbuds I've used, these still stand out with their snug fit and impressive battery life. While the overall experience was marred by the faulty second pair, the quality of the first set cannot be denied.

Spikeball Standard 3 Ball Kit

  • Bouncy Ball Game

  • $$$$$
  • Outdoor Activities

Spikeball is a fun game to play with siblings or friends! It involves bouncing a ball off a net for others to catch or hit back. It’s easy to bring along to the beach, or to a local park, or to play in the backyard. It also folds up afterward so it’s easy to store when he’s not playing it.

Community Feedback

I've used this gift with both kids and adults, and it always brings a lot of joy and excitement. The setup can be a bit tricky, especially getting the net tight enough for a good bounce, but once you've got the hang of it, it's a breeze. This product has shown a decent level of durability, even surviving a friend landing on it, but I can't fully vouch for its long-term resilience.

How We Choose Gifts For 12-year-old Boys

At Gift Rabbit, we understand the challenges of finding the perfect gift for 12-year-old boys. Our team conducts thorough research, comparing a variety of products to meet our strict criteria. We consult with experts, survey parents, and review customer feedback, ensuring we provide you with an array of unique and age-appropriate gift ideas. Our experience allows us to evaluate gifts from a user’s perspective, grouping them by price, style, and popularity. Whether you’re looking for educational games, sports equipment, or the latest gadgets, we take the guesswork out of gift-giving, presenting you with the ten best options to suit your needs.

Headshot of Laura Falin

About the Author

Laura Falin

Laura Falin is a freelance writer from Colorado. She worked in TV news for more than ten years, and since then has written for publications and websites including BabyCenter, Colorado Parent Magazine, and Denver Parent. She loves being outdoors and reading.