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


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.

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.

Other Age Ranges

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2 Years Old
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11 Years Old

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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