12-year olds aren’t the easiest to shop for. In fact, preteens are typically considered to be the toughest age group to shop for come the holiday season. Who knows what “kids these days” are into, right?! Wrong.
There are so many options now more than ever before, thanks to new technologies, social media, and the heavy emphasis on pop culture that our society has. But without getting to philosophical about our society, I’m here to present you with some cool gifts for 12 year old girls — and there are certainly still some great options that will ship in-time for whatever occassion you’re buying for — birthday, religious holiday, or just because.
Here are the top 30 best gifts for 12 year old girls:
1. Emoji Emoticon Plush Pillow
At this age, a girl just entering her teenage years is bound to be texting away on her phone, emojis included. Emojis/emoticons have been around for a long time on the internet but have recently become a craze in the cell phone/SMS world. The funny and often relatable faces make them so attractive to avid texters and funny personalities alike. This adorable pillow represents a popular “emoji” face that just screams “I love this!”. She will love this cute addition to her room, and it’s the perfect gift for the emoji lover and speedy texter.
2. nabi Karaoke Machine
Music can be a girl’s best friend, especially when singing along to her favorite artists and bands. The nabi karaoke machine features a Bluetooth speaker that connects to any device to change her playlists at ease. If she feels like singing along, a microphone is included to become a star.
Also, if her and her friends want to sing along, there is an input for an additional mic, making this machine a great choice for the future “The Voice” contestant in your family.
3. AfterShokz Trekz Open Ear Bone Conduction Headphones
The whole idea of bone conduction headphones is undeniably strange, but once you look past the concept, they’re incredibly useful. The AfterShokz Trekz Open Ear Bone Conduction Headphones will allow her to listen to music without shutting the family out entirely, as you can both hear music and those around you.
What’s more, they’re great for running so that you can hear the music and cars and other noises around you for safety.
4. Alex Hair Chalk Salon
Although many teenagers may want to streak or dye their hair, it doesn’t always have to be permanent. Let her try out fun colors with the Alex Hair Chalk Salon. This kit allows users to create temporary streaks of color in their hair, featuring vibrant neon shades.
The kit has the capabilities to be applied to any color she may have, and washes out easily with shampoo. Additionally, the kit features metallic beads, a hair beading tool, and hair elastics for maximum styling.
5. The Fashion Sketchpad
“Designed” for the artist in your family, The Fashion Sketchpad is a useful gift for aspiring fashion designers and those who love to draw and create. Filled with over 240 templates, this book provides an easy resource to inspire artists to make and design fashionable clothing.
Also included is a garment glossary, which helps artists learn the difference between fabrics and styles.
6. Mermaid Tail Blanket
Cuddle up and become a lovely goddess of the sea with this crocheted mermaid tail blanket. Soft, comfy, and perfect for winter, this blanket is a great gift for mermaid lovers and fans alike. This set doesn’t only come with the blanket, which has several colors available. There is also an adorable tote and a necklace included with the purchase. Life doesn’t have to be set in a tropical setting to become a mermaid for the day. Giving the gift of becoming a mermaid makes this one of the best gifts for 12 year olds.
7. Polaroid Instant Camera
Sure, taking photos with your phone is fast, convenient, and immediately shareable to your entire friend list. Although 12 year old girls will not remember the old school trend of instant photographs, the thrill and coolness of having instant photos will never go out of style.
This Polaroid camera is stylish and is available in 4 colors. It has auto-flash and auto adjusts to the environment. The camera takes Polaroid 300 instant film and gives you memorable photos printed in seconds, whether it be an epic selfie or time spent with friends.
8. New Nintendo 3DS XL Galaxy Version
The new Nintendo 3DS is a powerful on-the-go system, having better capabilities than ever before. Featuring updated graphics, a more user friendly screen, and just an overall better look and feel, the new 3DS is designed to handle more powerful games.
For your 12 year old gamer girl, this galaxy 3DS is a great choice for a giant library of games, including the new Pokemon Sun and Moon. What’s special about this console is the gorgeous purple galaxy design. It stands out from the other Nintendo 3DS colors, making it both a stylish and great gift.
9. Big Joe XL Bean Bag
Sitting in a computer chair isn’t very comfortable for extended periods of time, and laying on their bed is a little too comfortable. Get them something for the in between with a giant, mega-sized bean bag. This Big Joe XL Bean Bag comes in a variety of colors, and it’s the perfect addition to their bedroom for when they want to read, play on their tablet, or just hangout and listen to music. This is a guaranteed winner.
10. DIY Virtual Reality Viewer
Virtual reality headsets are the new craze in both the video game and tech world. However, many headsets are very expensive or nearly impossible to find. A fun VR experience doesn’t have to be expensive, and can be pretty creative too. This DIY virtual reality viewer allows children to create and design to their heart’s content.
This set has a blank cardboard viewer, as well as stencils, paints, paper, and more to accessorize. How does the VR part work? Simply attach an iPod or smartphone to the where they eyes are and run virtual reality apps that can be downloaded from the store. This makes for a personalized VR experience that doesn’t break the bank.
11. DC Superhero Girls: Finals Crisis Book
Since the release of the new toy line, DC Superhero Girls have taken over the toy world with fun and creative toy options. This line has also been considerably good at producing movies and publishing books as well. DC Superhero Girls: Finals Crisis is a novel in the series that is relatable, dealing with the pressures of final exams which she may face already in middle school.
Although she may not be in high school just yet, this book still is a great choice with the DC Superhero Girls dealing with both school and the villains in their way.
12. Selfie Mic
What do you get if you combined music video capabilities with the fun of karaoke and a bit of silliness in between? A selfie mic of course! A bit of a ridiculous concept, the selfie mic is a version of the infamous selfie stick, only with a microphone attached to the end.
After hooking up your cell phone and downloading the app, you can choose from a library of songs with new music added every day. When using the app, you can sing, record, and share your videos. If you don’t want to sing solo, make it a fun activity with friends. The selfie mic is one of the most popular gifts for 12 year old girls this year.
Price: $14.99 (40 percent off MSRP)
13. Just Dance 2017
Get up and dance! For years, the Just Dance franchise has been a fun series of games that tracks your moves to favorite dance, pop, and retro hits. The latest version, Just Dance 2017, is a great gift option for her and the entire family.
Some of the chart-toppers from this year include “Can’t Feel My Face” by the Weeknd, “Into You” by Ariana Grande, “Let Me Love You” by DJ Snake feat. Justin Bieber and more. Not only is it a fun activity to do with friends, it is great game to have at parties, gatherings, and more. Just Dance 2017 is available for a variety of platforms and consoles.
14. American Athletic Ice Skates
Although the winter months might be cold and not fit for most outdoor activities, there are still many winter sports to get into, including ice skating. These skates are a great place to get her started, whether it be an outdoor or indoor rink.
True to shoe size, the American Athletic skates are great for casual skaters or those who are looking at getting into a new sport. If she isn’t into figure skating, there are also several types of hockey skates available for the future hockey player in the family.
Price: Starting at $28.89
15. Make Clay Charms
One of the top toys on the holiday list, the Klutz Make Clay Charm set provides a fun DIY experience for creative minds. Coming with more than 35 charms to wear, the charm kit has plenty of options to make adorable keychains to accessorize most anything.
This set includes 9 various colors, a clay shaper, a glaze/brush applicator, charm loops, jump rings, and a drying and display stand. Don’t know where to start? There is also an instructional booklet that guides her along the way.
16. Sew Mini Treats
Another fun DIY project, this adorable kit gives you the materials you need to sew mini-treats. Including 18 food plushies, this kit is a great starter project for those who want to learn to sew. Similar to the charm kit, the sewing kit features an instructional booklet on how to make the fruits, cookies, and more.
According to the product page, this kit includes “9 colors of felt, 32 yards of floss, 2 embroidery needles, 1 oz. of polyester fill, 19 paper patterns, 60 pre-cut felt eyes and cheeks”. The projects are small in scale and provide great practice for larger projects in the future.
17. Cat Purse
When she’s on the go, she needs a purrfect purse to carry. The cat purse by YallFairy comes in three colors and is very cute design for any cat lover out there. Inside the purse is a zipper compartment to keep valuables, accessories and more. There is also a zipper on the back for added storage. The colors available include a very vibrant blue, soft pink, and dark black. If your 12-year-old is not a cat lover, there are also other purses out there that feature different animals.
18. Funko Pops
If you’re having trouble finding anything to buy for ANY age, Funko Pops are a great go-to option, as there is something available for everywhere. If they’re even slightly into pop culture like movies, games, or TV, you should have no trouble finding a Funko Pop vinyl figure that’s perfect for her. From Magic the Gathering characters to various superheroes to K-2SO from Rogue One, Funko has something for everyone.
Price: $5 and up
19. Pokemon Sun and Moon
The latest game in the Pokemon franchise, Sun and Moon is a great option for any lover of video games or the Pokemon series. Take over the Alola region with a set of new starters and adventures. Players can also take on island challenges and Team Skull with your Pokemon team and discover the vibrant tropical world.
Well praised since it’s release, the newest addition to the Pokemon world has been a very successful game and is recommended for all ages. There are also many Pokemon toys you can get to go along with it.
20. Amazon Fire Tablet
New and improved, the Amazon Fire Tablet is a great gift for her internet browsing, video streaming, and Kindle reading needs. Now with twice the amount of storage and up to 12 hours of battery life, the Fire is faster than ever. It also includes the ability to download a variety of apps from the store and access to millions of movies, shows, and more. It’s easy to use and good for a first tablet.
21. Betrayal at House on the Hill
There are so many great board games available right now, but one of my personal favorites was given to me as a Christmas gift last year. It’s called Betrayal at House on the Hill, and it’s a delightfully spooky survival game that literally everyone loves. The game starts out with you and your friends discovering new rooms in a mansion, and that alone is enough fun to keep you playing. But then, after a certain phase begins, the game gets even more interesting.
At the start of the second phase, there are eight different scenarios that can take place, each of which presents a new set of rules that pits a team of players against one other player, and it creates a new set of rules for victory. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s recommended for ages 12+.
22. Bath and Body Works Gift Set
A great go-to gift for preteens and teens alike is a Bath and Body Works gift set, simply because everyone loves to smell good. Perfume is just one of those things that enhances their day slightly. One of the best scents available at Bath and Body Works is the classic Japanese Cherry Blossom scent, and this set comes with body spray, shower gel, and body lotion.
23. 5 Second Rule by PlayMonster
PlayMonster’s 5 Second Rule game is incredibly fun, and it’s a game you can play over and over again without it getting old. The game is simple to play, too. Players will pick a card, and then with just 5 seconds on a timer, they’ll have to name 3 things that fit that topic. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, but it’s so much fun, which is why we consider it one of the best gifts for 12 year old girls.
Price: $14.99 (25 percent off MSRP)
24. LIFX Colored LED Bulbs
LIFX bulbs are a great way for her to add a bit of fun flair to her bedroom. It’s a colorful light bulb that is connected to their smartphone (or tablet), allowing them to change the color of the light in their room to whatever they’d like.
Want a pink hangout spot for when their friends are around? Check. Want a low glow with a candle-like flicker? Check. There are 16 million colors to choose from, and changing the color is as easy as tapping a button on their smartphone.
It’s tough to take the perfect selfie, and I can’t promise that these PopSockets will help her do that. But they’ll definitely make it easier to do so. These PopSockets stick to the back of their smartphone (or tablet) to make it easier to grip while texting, taking selfies, watching movies, or playing games.
They’ll also allow her to tilt her phone up on a table for hands-free use. Best of all, they come in a variety of fun colors and designs to fit her own style.
26. Day at the Spa Kit
Make her room a relaxing spa with this special day at the spa kit, complete with many ways to “chillax” and have a good day off of school during winter break. Including 30+ pieces, this kit contains everything she would want to have in a home spa, from an inflatable pedicure pool to an eye mask.
It also includes a nail dryer for fast drying as well as press on nails and nail polish. There’s also a file and buffer to make the most out of her manicure.
27. Complete Mother-Daughter Book Club Collection
The Complete Mother-Daughter Book Club Collection is a great way for you to bond with your daughter. It includes Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Daddy-Long-Legs, Pride and Prejudice, Betsy-Tacy, and Jane Eyre. Books are a great way to relate to your soon-to-be teenager.
28. Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch basically replaces the Nintendo 3DS (despite Nintendo saying otherwise). It’s a handheld/console hybrid that will allow her to not only play great games on her TV but also on the go as well. Zelda, Mario, and Splatoon 2, as well as many other Nintendo Switch games, are in the works, and they already have more games than they’ll know what to do with.
29. Live Infinitely Infuser Water Bottles
Want them to actually want to make healthier drink choices? You might want to check out infuser water bottles like the Live Infinitely Infuser Water Bottle. This will allow her to infuse her water with fruit (or cucumbers, etc) to make her water taste better. These are the highest-rated infuser bottles on Amazon, and they come in a variety of colors. It comes with over 20 recipe ideas as well, so be prepared to make a grocery run.
Price: $14.90 (32 percent off MSRP)
30. Amazon Echo Dot
The Amazon Echo Dot was one of the hottest holiday gifts of 2016, and I can’t think of a better gift for a 12 year old. Not only does it serve as a sort of virtual assistant for them, but it also doubles as a music player, homework helper, and more. Alexa will quickly become their new best friend, as it works with so many of their favorite apps, including Spotify, Pandora, Audible, Tunein, and more.
With it, they’ll be able to play their favorite music without lifting a finger — all they have to say is “Alexa, play Taylor Swift” and they’ll be dancing in seconds.