20 Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 12 Year Old Boys in 2017

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A twelve year old boy is, technically, no longer a kid but not yet a full-blown teenager. They have already learned and mastered the various developmental tasks expected of children 0 to 11 years of age.

For some, they may already be considered as young teens. Given that puberty is that stage of life where the individual must make the successful transition from being a child to becoming a teenager, toys and playthings play a major role in the accomplishment of the different developmental tasks expected of twelve year old boys.

Choosing the best plaything to give to a kid this age is especially challenging. Nevertheless, we have listed herein our top 20 toys for 12 year old boys to help you narrow down your choices to include only those that will be beneficial in continuing the physical, cognitive, mental, social, and emotional development of 12 year olds.

20 Best Toys & Gift Ideas for 12 Year Old Boys

PictureProduct NameBrandType
Xbox One S 500GB Console - Halo Collection BundleMicrosoftGame Console
Apple iPod touch 16GB Blue (6th Generation)AppleElectronics
Maisto R/C Rock Crawler Extreme Radio Control Vehicle, Colors may varyMaistroRemote Controlled Car
24" Mongoose Ledge 2.1 Boys' Mountain Bike, Silver/RedMongooseRide On
OWI 14-in-1 Solar RobotOWIRobot
AKASO K88 Quadcopter 2.4GHz 4 CH 6 Axis Gyro RC Drone HD Camera Bundle with Battery and ChargerAKASODrone
Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm BlasterNerfToy Gun

1Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit by Elenco 

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In a world that is driven by technology it is no wonder that kids are always fascinated by things and devices that run on electricity. With the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 they can now experiment and create their very own electrical devices like a photo sensor, a siren with fully adjustable volume, and a whole lot more. All components can be easily snapped into place on a sturdy circuit board complete with an illustrated manual.

What We Like about It – Helps improve kids’ appreciation and understanding of electronic and science and technology concepts while fostering their imagination and creativity. It’s also a recipient of several toy awards.

(Hey! You May Also Like: 15 Popular Science Toys For Kids)

214-in-1 Solar Robot by OWI

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Forget the Transformers for the meantime and give your 12 year old boy the 14-in-1 Solar Robot toy instead. This solar-powered robot can be reconfigured into 14 different types of robots from vehicle types to humanoids and even animals and critters. For example, it can be configured to become a robot dog, crab, turtle, or even a beetle. In whatever robot mode it is in you can expect it to be fully functional as it doesn’t require any batteries.

What We Like about It – Building and construction toys like OWI’s robot are instrumental in helping children harness their divergent problem solving skills. Their creativity and imagination is also enhanced.

3Djubi Classic by Moonracer

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Combine a slingshot and a butterfly catcher and you have the Djubi Classic. This outdoor game toy is perfect for having a really fun time in the park or even in your backyard. Just slot the orange ball onto its slingshot mechanism, pull it back, and then release. Other players attempt to catch the ball using the device’s net. Each set comes with 2 racquets with fully ergonomic handle. It also comes with 2 balls.

What We Like about It – Great for enhancing the physical development of 12 year old boys while strengthening their leg and arm muscles as well as coordination and balance.\

(Hey! View More Like This In: Best Outdoor Toys)

4Doodling Robot by 4M

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Drawing allows young children to exercise their hand eye coordination. For older children like 12 year old boys, it’s their ability to adjust the angle of inclination of the different coloring pencil that can help them create masterful art pieces using 4M’s Doodling Robot. With 3 arm pencil holders, children can create different patterns simply by altering the length and orientation of one or all of the 3 coloring pencils as the robot is taken for a spin.

What We Like about It – Great for enhancing creativity and imagination. Also fosters understanding of causal relationships.

5Ledge 2.1 Boys Mountain Bike by Mongoose

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With a very stylish and futuristic bike frame, the Ledge 2. Boys Mountain Bike is something that your boy will surely love taking for a spin. The frame is made of high grade lightweight steel complete with large24-inch wheels. This 21-speed mountain bike is ideal for twelve year old boys as they begin to develop their muscles.

What We Like about It – It’s a great way to encourage children to learn to love physical activities and help prevent childhood obesity. Great for mastering balance and coordination, too.

6K88 Quadcopter by AKASO

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Designed with a very sturdy frame that houses 4 colorful rotors, the K88 Quadcopter is a UAV for kids. Colorful LED lights ring the frame of the K88 while its 6-axis gyro mechanism allows for ease of control despite strong winds. And since the blades are well protected by the frame of the K88 itself, there simply is more opportunity for some really cool stunts. It also features an HD camera so kids can literally have a feel of what a 360-degree loop is like when viewed on their screens.

What We Like about It – It’s easy to fly yet offers some challenges that is ideal for any 12 year old. It’s great for enhancing visual motor coordination as well as spatial intelligence.

7Hamper Hoops by Wham-O

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If you’re having problems getting your 12 year old to organize his laundry, then you’d better get the Hamper Hoops. Just hang it over the back of his bedroom door and let him shoot all his dirty clothes through the net and into the clothes hamper. By the time it’s filled, just unzip the bottom and unload it onto your laundry basket.

What We Like about It – It’s a fun way to encourage kids to keep all soiled clothes in one place so they don’t mix with clean ones.

8N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster by Nerf

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Capable of shooting 6 colorful foam tipped Elite darts, the N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster is the perfect gift for kids who love shooting games. The Strongarm Blaster can fire all the 6 darts included in the package in very rapid succession with a mere flick of the Slam Fire mechanism. The barrel easily flips open for instant reloading.

What We Like about It – It’s great for make-believe play which can help in the enhancement of the child’s cognitive abilities.

(Hey! Read the Full Line Up Of The Best Nerf Guns This Year Here)

9Adams Cube by ThnkFun 

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Think of 6 different geometric puzzles fused together to form a cube. That is exactly what Adams Cube is. It’s a translucent cube with 5 puzzle pieces that kids need to arrange within the colorful polygon frame. Each puzzle unlocks the one next to it with a much higher level of difficulty.

What We Like about It – Great for stimulating convergent problem solving skills in children.

10NFL Team Licensed Youth Uniform Set by Franklin Sports

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If your kid loves football then you need to give him the NFL Team Licensed Youth Uniform Set. It comes complete with his favorite NFL team’s official jersey and pants, both of which are made of 100 percent polyester. It also includes a dress-up helmet. Iron-on numbers can be placed onto the jersey for your kid’s favorite.

What We Like about It – It’s excellent for dramatic play. Helps enhance imagination and creative thinking.

11Rock Crawler Radio Control Vehicle by Maisto

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Take the Rock Crawler RC Vehicle out on any terrain and your kid will understand why they call it the rock crawler. With 2 powerful motors, one for steering and another for acceleration, the Rock Crawler has fully articulated front and rear wheel suspension. The tires are monstrous with deep treads for excellent grip on any surface.

What We Like about It – It’s great for helping kids master their spatial reasoning, visual motor coordination, and reflexes. It also helps enhance their problem solving skills.

(Hey! You May Also Want To Read: Cool Remote Control Cars For Kids)

12The Eiffel Tower by LEGO Architecture

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It may only have 321 pieces but LEGO Architecture’s The Eiffel Tower is magnificent even at only 12 inches high with a base of 4 by 4 inches. The building and construction play set comes complete with details on the design and architecture of one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, including its storied past.

What We Like about It – It is ideal for children who are interested in architecture, design, and history. It also helps improve the problem solving skills of kids.

(Hey! View The Full Collection Of Lego Toys Here)

13Suspend Game by Melissa & Doug

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If your kid loves playing the Jenga, we are confident he will also love the Suspend Game. It’s all about balance and finding the correct placement of the different game rods so they won’t necessarily be crashing down on the rest of the structure. It comes with a wooden base, wooden connectors, and several frame and game rods as well as a colored dice.

What We Like about It – It’s excellent for strengthening strategic thinking, visual motor coordination, and balance. It also helps in enhancing kids’ interpersonal skills as the game is best played with friends.

14MLB Pitching Machine by Franklin Sports

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Baseball is all about precision. With the MLB Pitching Machine, your twelve year old boy can now start practicing taking a swing at the 6 AERO-STRIKE white plastic baseballs being shot from the pitching machine every 10 seconds. The height of the pitches can be adjusted accordingly. If your kid is still a beginner, he will find the red light indicator very useful. This flashes to indicate the exact pitching moment.

What We Like about It – It’s fully adjustable so kids can practice different types of pitches that they would like to hit. It teaches visual motor coordination while strengthening arm muscles.

15Hockey and Knee Hockey 2 in 1 Indoor Set by Franklin Sports

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You don’t need to be in the ice to play the Hockey and Knee Hockey 2 in 1. All you need is a spacious area inside your home and kids will be attempting to score with their hockey sticks. The set comes with 2 Insta-Set hockey goals about 22×17.5 inches. It includes 2 fully adjustable hockey sticks, two 15-inch mini hockey sticks, two 50-millimeter foam mini hockey balls, and a 65-mm hockey ball.

What We Like about It – It’s great for encouraging twelve year olds to get off the couch and start doing more physical activities.

16Xbox One S 500GB Console Halo Collection by Microsoft

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In the continuing battle of the game consoles, Xbox One had clearly wanted to dethrone PlayStation or even Nintendo from the minds of serious gamers. With the original Halo game initially designed for PC but ultimately became one of Xbox’s initial game offerings, the game is now on its 15th year. With the Xbox One S 500GB Halo Collection, kids and serious gamers now have access to Halo 5: Guardian and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The set comes with the wireless controller, an HDMI 4K-capable cable, AC power cable, and a 14-day Gold Trial with Xbox Live.

What We Like about It – Its ability to play Ultra HD videos simply means that watching your son at play will be a very immersive experience. It is also able to stream 4K videos on popular net sites like Netflix.

(Hey! You May Also Like: Best Xbox One Games For Kids)

176thGeneration iPod Touch 16GB by Apple

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Call it an iPhone without the cellular services. The iPod Touch 6th generation 16 GB is Apple’s stripped down version of its more iconic iPhone 6. The iPod Touch runs on an A8 64-bit dual core processor at 1.1 gHz. It runs on iOS 8.0, has 1 GB RAM, and an 8MP camera. The iPod Touch features an M8 motion coprocessor to allow for integration of different sensors like accelerometer and gyroscope.

What We Like about It – It’s from Apple. What more can we ask for?

18Kan Jam Game Set by Kan Jam

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For absolute fun outdoors, give your kid the Kan Jam Game Set and he will be jamming the yellow Frisbee-like disks right through the slots of the Kan while opponents will be trying to deflect them. It’s all about team work and coordination as every point matters.

What We Like about It – It’s great for encouraging teamwork and cooperation as well as for strategizing on the best course of attack. It helps strengthen reflexes, balance, and visual motor coordination.

19120-Piece Deluxe Art Set by Darice

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Complete with markers, watercolors, pastels, and pencils, the 120 piece Deluxe Art Set is the last set of coloring tools your kid will ever need. The set comes with a beautifully crafted portfolio-like case that snaps shut to keep all coloring tools conveniently stored.

What We Like about It – The vast number of coloring tools can make for excellent creativity among kids. This can help them be as imaginative in their creations.

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20Spikeball Combo Set by Spikeball 

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Think of beach volleyball sans the net. Instead, you have a large circular trampoline-like ring covered with a net placed in the center of a makeshift court. The goal of Spikeball is to spike the ball onto net, allow it to bounce, and then recovered or spiked back by the opposing team. The set comes with 3 colorful balls, a drawstring bag, the spikeball ring and net, and a rule book.

What We Like about It – There are a quarter of a million registered Spikeball players in the US alone and 1,000 nationally-ranked Spikeball teams. It’s no longer just mere beach and backyard fun.

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How We Chose the Top Toys in Our List

Choosing the top 20 toys for kids, especially young boys who will soon enter adolescence, is never easy simply because they are almost at the transition point between childhood and adulthood. But this is also what makes it quite exciting as the choice of the best toy should reflect a clear understanding of their developmental needs. As such, our team of researchers had to scrutinize every toy by making sure that it is not only age-appropriate but also, and more importantly, developmentally-appropriate. Additionally, we had to read through hundreds of reviews and feedbacks from customers who may have an issue or two about the plaything. For the most part we had to examine whether these issues are dealbreakers or are simply a matter of opinion. We then had to look at the overall quality and safety of the product. If it has received recognition from a particular award-giving body, then, we took that into consideration. Of course, we had to include the toymaker’s reputation as this can mean a lot.

12 Year Old Boys and Their Development

Child development experts already label this age between 12 and 14 as young teenage years. Technically, they are no longer kids but are already budding teenagers and as such this period is often characterized by a lot of physical, mental, social, and emotional changes springing forth from the hormonal changes that signal puberty. Sadly, these hormonal changes can be quite intimidating to kids of this age and thus, may have an impact in the development of a healthier self-concept.

Boys undergo changes in the depth or hoarseness of their voice, grow facial hair, and begin noticeable changes in both their penises and testes. By the time he reaches 13 he would have added 4 inches, on average, in his height and put on weight because of the rapid development of muscles. By the time they reach 13 boys will have already overtaken their peers of the opposite sex. By this time, boys are generally stronger than girls.

These physical changes can produce a variety of issues that stem from the different rates of individual development. For example, some kids mature a lot earlier than most making them taller, more agile, and more muscular than others. They are often regarded as very popular and are almost always given leadership roles. Unfortunately, physical growth does not necessarily equate to commensurate cognitive, emotional, and social development. There is a mismatch between others’ expectations and the boy’s actual capabilities. If the child feels he is lagging behind his peers, this can be a major source of anxiety.

Fueled by their rapid physical growth and development, 12 year old boys have tons of energy. They actively engage in sports and physical activities as well as in pastimes and hobbies that allow them to spend this energy in a more constructive manner. They also love displaying their skills and talents and as such are often very active in school plays and other scholastic and extra-curricular activities.

On the cognitive side of things, 12 year old boys enjoy being given the opportunity to make their own decisions as well as to take additional responsibilities that will help them strengthen their sense of identity, especially in terms of being an almost near-grown up. Their problem solving skills are already advanced and are now in the process of advancing their reasoning skills that border on logic and critical thinking. They are particularly adept at using counterfactual reasoning as an essential element of divergent problem solving. Kids of this age already have the capacity to contemplate about the different possibilities and or options based on hypothetical concepts and abstract thinking. Twelve year old boys are more than capable of imagining a variety of possible outcomes in any given situation. This helps them in making more accurate planning.

By this age, kids can already show an increased ability to tolerate frustrations. They are more patient and are able to understand that sometimes they simply cannot get all they want. Unfortunately, because they are still in the process of building and establishing their own independent identity, it is not uncommon that twelve year old kids will make poor judgments on certain occasions, become more liable to making sudden impulsive decisions, and engage in arguments or challenge the opinions of others. These should not be taken as something that is negative since the boy is still in the process of discovering his true identity. This involves becoming less emotionally-dependent on his parents. A 12 year old boy will already start taking and following through on the different decisions that he makes. More often than not, his principles will be associated with those held by his friends although the family’s influence will be influenced by his parents’ guidance and values.

The Bottom Line

Twelve year olds are at a crossroads of human development. Just a few more years and they will already be entering the mature world of adulthood. It is for this reason that kids of this age must have the correct toys to help them master the different developmental tasks. Our list of the top 20 toys for 12 year old boys should serve you well in identifying the best one for your own child.

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Our Toy List Was Last Updated On 23rd September 2016 

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Selina Marie
Selina Marie is our head of content for MyKidNeedsThat.com, mum of two and a self proclaimed toy geek. When she isn't juggling the madness at home, on a school run or baking her world famous blueberry muffins, you will find her product researching and keeping the site freshly updated with the latest toys and fun for our readers!
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