Shopping for a 12-year-old boy can be a challenge. They’re on the cusp of teenage-hood and most want to feel older than they are. Finding age appropriate yet engaging toys is hard for this age group, so here is a list of 25 of the best toys for preteen boys to help!
Things to Consider When Shopping for a 12-Year-Old Boy
There are a few things to keep in mind and find out before shopping for an adolescent boy. This age group can be challenging to shop for but also a lot of fun thanks to varied interests!
- Consider their current interests. If your gift recipient, whether it’s a son, nephew, or birthday party recipient is into art, consider a gift that enhances that interest. A professional sketch pad or complex coloring book with a nice set of pencils would be perfect. An athlete would likely enjoy something to keep him active, and a gaming might love a new video game.
- Think outside the box. In addition to the toy ideas below, think about pairing a tangible gift with an experience. To go the extra mile consider adding tickets to a local art museum or sporting event, depending on their interests.
- Open their interests to something new! If everyone is going to be getting LEGOs for your gift recipient, consider finding something outside of their normal toy collection to purchase. Using items they already like, look for other toys that may fit in that category but are new to them. For example, if they like LEGOs, then they may love a robot kit to expand their critical thinking.
- Try not to buy them something they already have. If the 12-year-old boy you’re shopping for has 15 video games they have never finished (much like my own sons), find them a toy that they don’t already have. Instead of another video game, how about a model rocket kit that they can take outside? It can be fun to get creative with gift giving!
Now that you have an idea of what to consider before purchasing, here is a look at 25 toys for 12-year-old boys. To make it easier to narrow down your choice, I have divided the gifts into a few separate categories.
Top Gifts Options for Preteen Boys
|KPC Pro Skateboard Complete|
|Razor E200 Electric Scooter|
|PROGRACE Action Camera|
|Bounty Hunter Metal Detector|
|Dude PerfectSlam Disc Game|
|Red Bolt Boomerang|
|Tandem Rocket Launch Set|
|ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit|
|Gravity Maze Marble Run|
|Smart Circuits |
|Crime Catchers Spy Kit|
|Wooden Model Solar Car|
|Manual to Middle School|
|Bluetooth Speaker Alarm Clock|
|Electronic Shooting Target|
|Amphibious Remote Control Car|
|Really Rad Robots|
|DROCON Ninja Drone|
|Remote Control Boat|
|Crash Racers Circuit Track|
|US Art Supply Kit|
|Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone|
|4M Doodling Robot|
|Toysmith Voice Changer|
|Beyblade Burst Turbo Slingshock|
|Monopoly Fortnite Edition|
|Kids Against Maturity|
|Puzzle Box Money Holder|
|Funsparks Magnetic Dart Board Game|
There is no denying that the outdoors are made for kids to have fun! These toys encourage 12-year-old boys to head outside and get active!
1. KPC Pro Skateboard Complete
Skateboards are a top toy once again. Their versatile design makes them perfect for adrenaline starved boys that want to learn new tricks. This Pro Skateboard complete comes in several designs to satisfy any personality, and the wheels and deck of the skateboard are high quality. Age 12 is a great time to start learning how to skateboard, as balance and coordination are a little better at this age than before. Remember to purchase protective wear with this as well! A good fitting helmet along with elbow and knee pads will be a must!
2. Razor E200 Electric Scooter
Electric scooters have risen in popularity thanks to ride sharing programs that have planted these in every major city as a convenient way for people to get around. This Razor electric scooter is a proven standout in the scooter market and is a toy that can be used for years to come. With a durable design and rechargeable battery, the scooter can travel up to 12 miles per hour for about 40 minutes before needing to be recharged. A spring-loaded kickstand makes it easy to store upright. Available in a variety of colors, this is a very popular gift for 12-year-old boys!
3. PROGRACE Children’s Action Camera
When playing outside, boys love to capture pictures and videos of all the fun they’re having! This kids’ action camera is perfect for the 12-year-old boy who is on the go and wants to record all the memories! The 1.77” LCD screen helps users navigate the interface. With features such as time lapse, action shot, and various color modes, budding videographers can have fun recording and editing their wildest outdoor adventures! Various attachments are included as well to secure the camera to helmets, bicycles, and any other number of outdoor play toys. Any preteen boy would be thrilled to get this camera!
4. Bounty Hunter Metal Detector
What adolescent boy wouldn’t love a real treasure hunt? The Bounty Hunter Metal Detector allows boys to find coins and other metal objects. It can detect coins up to 6 inches deep and larger objects up to 2 feet deep. It even has a waterproof coil so you can use it in water! Whether your boy wants to look at the beach or in the backyard, this is an excellent choice for a birthday or Christmas gift. It’s a gift your boy can use for years to come!
5. Dude PerfectSlam Disc Game
Dude Perfect is one of my sons’ absolute favorite You Tube channels. With gravity-defying stunts and plenty of humor, the guys who run this channel are well versed in what pre-teen kids are interested in. This Nerf Sports Slam Disc Game, designed by the Dude Perfect team, is a great gift for a 12-year-old boy. With a frisbee-type disc, 2 cans, 6 ground anchors and instructions, players take turns throwing the disc into the cans. Different trick shots and other obstacles can be set up as well to elevate the fun factor!
6. Red Bolt Boomerang
Boomerangs have been around forever, but they are still a great toy for boys. And a 12-year-old can start to understand the physics behind how boomerangs work! This Red Bolt Boomerang comes with an instruction booklet and has an available video as well to teach kids how to successfully throw the boomerang. The lightning bolt design will help it stand out, and its durability ensures it will outlast the fun! It should be noted that this boomerang is for right-handed people only.
7. SkyGenius Binoculars
Binoculars, while not really a kid’s toy, are a great gift for preteen boys because they are all about exploring the world around them. These highly rated binoculars have amazing quality and even work in dimly lit areas! Boys can use these for hunting, bird watching, or during their next Nerf battle when they need tactical gear. The 50mm large objective lenses will help boys identify their target and the 10x power magnification ensures they’ll get to see it up close. My boys love using binoculars for spotting wildlife and for hunting as well! There are kids binoculars on the market, but these are perfect for 12-year-olds who don’t want to feel like a little kid anymore.
8. Tandem Rocket Launch Set
This model rocket kit is designed for kids (adult supervision suggested) to design and build their own rocket! There is nothing like building a rocket from a kit, attaching it to a launch pad, and watching it soar into the clouds on take-off! My dad and I built model rockets when I was around 12 years old and we had so much fun trying to design bigger, better, higher models! Boys love imagining being a NASA astronaut as the rocket launches into space. The Estes Rocket Launch set is the perfect beginner rocket and any 12-year-old boy would be thrilled to have it!
The brain development of a 12-year-old boy is in overdrive at this age, so a toy that encourages learning is perfect! These STEM toys will spark their interest in science, technology, engineering and math!
9. ELEGOO Smart Robot Car Kit
I have to admit that this is one of my son’s favorite toys in years! This kit comes with everything needed to build a robot car. It gives boys a chance to learn programming to make the car move. I love that the pieces are separated in the packaging so it’s easy to find parts. Also, the instructions are detailed and easy to follow. My son was able to put the robot together with very little help, which gave him a great sense of accomplishment. This is a great STEM set for a preteen boy. He will enjoy putting it together and then using the remote control to move it around.
10. Gravity Maze Marble Run
A marble run has long been a popular kid’s toy, but the Think Fun Gravity Maze Marble Run set takes it to the next level! This gravity powered maze enhances critical thinking skills as well as logic and reasoning. Players build nine towers on the included grid and send a marble through a maze of cubes as it finds its way to the target piece. Included instructions guide players through 60 challenges, from beginner to expert. This game is perfect for road trips, restaurants, or any other setting in which a 12-year-old boy needs to focus!
11. Smart Circuits
Smart Circuits is designed by Smart Lab Toys and is perfect for any 12-year-old boy. The set comes with base boards that snap together, light and sound modules, jumper wires, and other pieces that help budding engineers design an endless number of projects! The kit includes a 48-page manual to walk players through 50 projects and explains the scientific happenings with each build. If your 12-year-old boy is interested in electronics, then the Smart Circuits kit is the perfect gift!
12. Crime Catchers Spy Kit
My boys love anything crime scene or investigation related (thanks to my career in law enforcement) and this Scientific Explorer Crime Catchers Spy kit combines that love with science experiments. Included in this kit are several experiments that are crime scene and spy related! From lifting fingerprints to decoding secret messages, your 12-year-old will feel like a super sleuth! An included activity guide walks the user through each step of the experiments with details on what scientific principles are at work in the various activities. Coming from a mom who works in the law enforcement arena, this science kit is perfect!
13. Wooden Model Solar Car
This wooden model car kit may at first look like any other car kit, but it won’t take long to realize that it’s perfect for the budding 12-year-old engineer! This kit comes equipped with the materials to turn a wood car into a solar powered racing car. Builders assemble plywood pieces to create the car, then use the included materials and instructions to power it up! This is the perfect toy for 12-year-old boys to learn about renewable energy while also offering hours of fun. The car can be painted to further the fun and excitement as well!
14. The Manual to Middle School
This book is a must-have for 12-year-old boys who are just starting middle school. The transition from elementary to middle school is a tough time for kids and this book is specifically written for middle school boys who need guidance. The simple “do this, not that” concept and fun illustrations help boys figure out how to handle subjects such as cell phone use, bullying, lockers, test taking, homework, gossip, and more. Other subjects such as leadership and respect are also covered making this a book they can refer to over and over again.
Tweens love all things electronic. Whether it’s a device, remote control vehicle, or phone, it’s sure to make him happy.
15. Bluetooth Speaker Alarm Clock
Although a nightlight may not be something a 12-year old boy would put on his wish-list, he will be surprised at how much he enjoys this deluxe 5 in 1 alarm clock. Not only will it light up the room on those late nights studying, it will also connect to his phone via Bluetooth to play his favorite songs or books. And if your 12-year old boy is anything like mine, music is a big deal to him! He will be mesmerized as the light changes color with changes in the volume and rhythm of the song. It also serves as an alarm clock to help wake him up for school in the mornings and save you the trouble. And if that’s not enough, this versatile gift allows him to answer calls since there is a built-in speakerphone. How cool is that?
16. Electronic Shooting Target
You will score major points with any preteen boy if you give him this Nerf gun accessory! It comes with 4 targets which automatically rebound and emit the sound of gunfire and broken glass when knocked down. He can play solo mode if he needs some time alone to decompress, but if he has friends over there is a multi-player mode as well. A digital screen tracking the score and displaying a countdown makes for exciting, competitive play. It’s better than an arcade game!
17. Amphibious Remote Control Car
The Pussan Amphibious Remote Control Car takes ordinary RC cars to the next level! With seamless transition from land to water, these cars can race fast on dirt and then surf on the water. Perfect for beach or lake days, this car will become a fast favorite! A rechargeable battery is included with cord so it can be charged up for hours of fun. Thanks to durable PVC materials and shockproof tires, the car can conquer rough terrain like rocks, mud and snow! My boys love setting up obstacle courses for this car to climb up and over. It can also do stunts like rolling over and 360 degree turns! This car will keep any 12-year-old boy entertained for hours.
18. Really RAD Robots
Really RAD Robots have become popular with the 12-year-old age group and this newest model elevates the fun even more! The Turbo Bot is a compact, durable robot that specializes in going fast. The included remote control features a Turbo Boost Switch that will thrill kids as the Rad Robot is launched faster down the road. Voice commands such as “spin”, “dance” and “explore” elevate the fun and you can also ask Turbo Bot to tell you a joke! Other features such as message recording and sound effects will bring out the trickster in any 12-year-old boy as they use the robot to prank friends and family. My boys love playing with their Really RAD Robot!
19. DROCON Ninja Drone
For a 12-year-old boy fascinated with cameras, nothing compares to taking pictures from their very own drone! This beginner friendly model is perfect for 12-year-old boys who are ready to explore drones. The foldable design makes it compact and ready to travel wherever they need to go. A headless mode function, take-off and landing modes and altitude hold function make it easy to operate and learn the basics. An included phone holder means users can use a remote-control app or the handheld buttons to control the flight. After the flight is over, users can admire the 720p pictures taken from high above!
20. Remote Control Boat
To be honest, I didn’t know RC boats were a thing until my son received one for his birthday last year. Since that time, it has become one of his favorite toys! Any time we go the lake or a pond, he always asks to take his RC racing boat along. This RC boat is packed with speed racing fun! With a self-righting hull, it can race up to 30 km per hour on water and right itself if it flips over. No swimming over to it to flip it back over! The boat is waterproof and has a poor signal alarm so that players don’t race it too far from the remote. There is also an alarm that will sound as the batteries begin to deplete. Batteries are waterproof and rechargeable! It is recommended that you keep the boat in fresh water only.
21. Crash Racers Circuit Track
This Crash Racers circuit track set will be a hit with any 12-year-old boy. When you combine speed with cars designed to crash on a figure eight track, it makes for hours of fun! This huge track has over 16 feet of double wide tracks that snap together to form a figure eight. Flash-charge the included vehicles for ten seconds to provide maximum racing power, up to 30 laps! As the cars crash, the pieces easily snap back together for continued fun. Cones, barrels and billboards are included to provide obstacles and additional crash objects. My son just received this set for a birthday gift, and he and his older brother are constantly racing together. It’s a for-sure hit!
Even 12-year-olds can enjoy getting their creative juices flowing. Here are some great options.
22. US Art Supply Kit
For the budding artist, this deluxe 82-piece art set is the perfect gift. Elevate their crayon and marker collection to this kit that includes oil pastels, watercolor cakes, sharpened color pencils and professional grade paper mediums. An included brush set and mixing wheel will help them explore different methods and colors to expand their talent. Everything is enclosed in a beautiful wood case, making it perfect for travel and taking their art on the go!
23. Bluetooth Karaoke Microphone
Do you know a budding 12-year-old singer? Then this Dmazing Bluetooth Wireless Karaoke Microphone is the perfect gift for him! Available in a variety of colors, this high-quality microphone offers 8 layered anti-noise filter head to offer crisp and clear recordings. Pair the microphone with a Bluetooth enabled phone, connect a karaoke app, and watch users record their very own music! An included USB cord can be connected directly to a computer for recording or charging. Batteries last about 3 hours before needing to be recharged. The microphone is light weight and easy to hold, perfect for budding musicians!
24. 4M Doodling Robot
The 4M Doodling Robot is a fun toy for 12-year-old boys to make dizzying works of art! This toy combines STEM learning with art. Three colored pens are inserted into the doodling robot. The arms of the robot can be adjusted by height and angle to create different looks. As the robot is turned on, it spins the pens creating endless circles and doodles! Detailed instructions are included and will help 12-year-old boys expand their robotic skills and imagination.
25. Toysmith Voice Changer
The Toysmith Tech Gear Multi Voice Changer is a handheld, megaphone shaped device that turns any voice into hours of fun! Featuring 10 different voice modifiers, levers can be adjusted for frequency and amplitude to create hundreds of different sound combinations. Colorful LED lights create even more fun! 12-year-old boys will have a blast changing their voice and playing pranks on each other. This requires a 9-volt battery that is included.
Maturing boys can learn great social skills while having fun. These games and social toys are sure to provide entertainment for preteen boys and give them a needed break from screens!
26. Beyblade Burst Turbo Slingshock
Beyblades have been a favorite toy of the 12-year-old boy group for a few years now and this dual rail system creates a space for head-to-head Beyblade competition! From a battle ring mode to a slingshock mode, this set comes with everything needed to battle. The kit includes two right and left-spin launchers with right-spin battling tops. The components are interchangeable and customizable as well to build user’s Beyblade collection. Players can also compete in digital battles after scanning a code to elevate competition even more!
27. Monopoly Fortnite Edition
Monopoly is a classic board game that most 12-year-old boys love. This Fortnite edition will have them picking this for game night over and over again! Inspired by the popular video game, this edition is all about how long players can survive, not how many properties they can own! Health point chips replace traditional Monopoly money and the fun Fortnite themed cards and characters will delight any gift recipient who is a fan of Fortnite. This game has more complex rules than classic Monopoly, but a tween boy will have no problem learning the rules.
28. Flipside Game
The Flipside game is an addictive and fast paced puzzle game that is perfect for 12-year-old boys! Its concept is similar to a Rubix cube, but the fun is elevated with lights and different game options. Game modes include speed mode, multiplayer mode, level mode, and memory mode. To beat the blocks, the player must find the color and side to match the lights. This interactive toy is perfect for enhancing memory skills and logical thinking!
29. Kids Against Maturity
If it feels like your 12-year-old is growing up way too fast maybe you’re desperate for more time with him before he’s busy with a job, dating, or college. If that’s the case, consider getting him this hilarious game since it will guarantee some quality time together as a family. It is a simple fill-in-the-black game that will have everyone laughing at the age-appropriate humor for the young people and subtle innuendos for the adults! All you do is take turns reading a question from a card, wait for the other players to write their answers, then pick the funniest answer. This award winning family game will be an instant hit with your 12-year-old boy!
30. Puzzle Box Money Holder
As kids grow up and become independent sometimes they really appreciate cash so they can pick out something for themselves. Simply slide cash or a gift card into this unique, one-of-a-kind gift. It doubles as a challenging puzzle he’ll need to figure out in order to open it and retrieve what you’ve put inside. Made of pinewood and finished with a beautiful stain, it is sure to impress!
31. Funsparks Magnetic Dart Board Game
This dart board set is that it is sure to encourage a 12 year old boy to engage with other people in screen-free way. You’ll be happy you got this for him when you see him bond with family or friends over a game of darts. However, it is an addictive game and he may have a hard time knowing when to stop! It comes with 6 red darts, 6 green darts, and a slot in the back to make it easy to hang. And the best part is that the walls won’t get damaged when a dart misses the target because they stick with strong magnets instead of sharp points.
What do 12-year-old boys need in a STEM toy?
Boys this age are beginning to gravitate towards more mature toys which challenge their intellect and appeal to their individual interests. There are plenty of products which provide everything a 12-year-old boy needs in a STEM toy such as building blocks, chemical reactions, and brain puzzles.
What active activities do 12-year-old boys enjoy?
Nearly all 12-year-old boys enjoy outdoor physical activity whether it’s a sport like skateboarding or a fun experiment in physics like boomerangs. Many boys also like to get around in style on hover boards or electric scooters. Budding scientists appreciate activities like observing nature through the lenses of binoculars or cameras. We have provided gift ideas to encourage these and other active activities which 12-year-old boys enjoy.
What is a good gift that doesn’t involve a screen?
If you feel that your boy has plenty of electronics in his life, consider purchasing some of the screen-free options on this list. Games, remote controlled vehicles, art supplies, books, and science kits would all be well-received by a 12-year-old boy. Any of these products would successfully entice him away from an electronic device.
Finding the best toy for a preteen boy doesn’t have to be a challenge with this list. Think about combining gifts to cover their interests or as I mentioned earlier, adding an experience to one of the products listed here. My favorite toys out of each category are below!
- Outdoor Toys top pick: The Razor Electric Scooter! This is my top pick because of the amount of years it will get used. Electric scooters are everywhere right now. They can go from the sidewalk in the neighborhood to city streets to college campuses with ease. With enough care, this thing will be used for years!
- STEM/Learning toys top pick: Scientific Explorer Crime Catchers Spy Kit! I like that the experiments are developed my forensic experts, so the science and explanations are accurate. I could see this gift inspiring a 12-year-old boy to become a forensic biologist, crime scene investigator, or pursue a career in another science-related field!
- Electronic Toys top pick: The Really RAD Robot Turbo Bot! This is a toy that is sure to be on every 12-year-old’s Christmas wish list this year. Having just been released, it offers the prank-modes of previous models, but adds an element of speed racing that boys love!
- Creative Toys top pick: US Art Supply Deluxe Kit! I love that it encourages boys to use any art medium to express themselves.
- Games/Social Toys top pick: Beyblade Burst Turbo Slingshock. It’s a fun way to interact with others during some friendly competition!
With so many toys, gadgets and books on the market today for tween boys, it’s important to buy what you know they will use and love. I hope this article helps narrow down some choices and will help you decide what to buy!