The Best Toys for 12 Year Old Girls – 2019 Gift Ideas & FAQ
A 12-year-old girl can be difficult to shop for. Kids today grow up pretty fast, and their interests can change not only from year to year but from month to month.
Twelve-year-old girls are often still interested in toys similar to ones they played with in their youth, but they’re also exploring an interest in more sophisticated toys for teens.
Here’s a look at the best toys for 12-year-old girls:
Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera
In a world filled with smartphones, an instant camera might not seem very useful – but the Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 can print out pictures instantly.
- Prints physical photos instantly
- Lightweight and compact
- Doesn’t require a smartphone
- Can take selfies
- Not super inexpensive
Twelve can be a bit young for a fully-functioning smartphone. But being able to take pictures with friends is still very important for most 12-year-old girls. The Instax Mini 9 is like a high-tech, faster version of the classic Polaroid (remember those?) which prints out pictures instantly.
Film can be a bit pricey so you might want to consider the 60 picture Value Pack. Camera is available in pink, smoky white, ice blue, cobalt blue and lime green.
SmartLab Toys Girls Only! Secret Message Club
This crafty science kit helps girls learn chemistry and programming while creating secret messages with their friends. The Girls Only! Secret Message Club includes 25 science “lessons” designed as spycraft.
- Designed for two friends or siblings to use together
- Contains 25 different science-based lessons
- Includes instruction booklet with activities
- Works best if both girls play together in person
A 12-year-old girl’s best friend is an important relationship. This Secret Message club uses invisible ink, hidden messages and other “spy” techniques to teach science and crafts. Includes a complete workbook with instructions and even info on the history of spies. A good choice for future STEM students and future artists.
NOPTEG DIY Cinema Light Box
Similar to the marquee outside a movie theater, the NOPTEG DIY Cinema Light Box lets girls write their own messages. Great for decorating a bedroom!
- Includes 90 letters and symbols
- Acts as a nightlight (but doesn’t look like one)
- Space limited to short messages
What girl doesn’t want to see her name in lights? This dynamic, durable Cinema Light Box can personalize any room with a name or message. Great for any girl interested in drama, writing, decorating and more.
LilGadgets Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
No tangle worries here with these hot pink Pro Premium wireless headphones for game consoles, tablets and more.
- Versatile headphones for practically any device
- Available in black, white and bold, bright colors
- Helps benefit anti-bullying efforts
- Child must self-regulate volume
Durable and fashionable, these headphones connect easily to any Bluetooth device. Plus, they have a port to connect to non-Bluetooth devices, too. Can even be connected to two devices at the same time. A 12-hour battery life makes them great for road trips and plane rides.
Even better, a portion of the proceeds from every sale goes towards nationwide anti-bullying campaigns.
Bed Head Curlipops Tapered Curling Wand
The Curlipops Curling Wand is a safe introductory curling wand for girls curious about the world of adult products for hair styling. Includes a special glove to protect against accidental injury.
- Safe, effective first curling iron
- Bright pink chrome design
- Can be slow to heat
Tourmaline ceramic technology helps hair shine while reducing frizz. A maximum heat of 400 degrees actually helps increase safety as the high heat is more efficient and effective. Plus, the electric cord is long and designed not to tangle to allow for greater freedom of movement.
Royal Brush RSET-ACR3000
This all-in-one Royal and Langnickel acrylic set is great for budding artists – and includes a handy case for easy travel and storage.
- Full paint set
- Palette helps teach color mixing
- Includes storage case and instruction booklet
- Included sketch pad is pretty small
Girls which have grown up drawing are often ready to move onto painting around the age of 12. This Royal Brush acrylic painting set for beginners is complete without being overwhelming.
Includes 10 acrylic paints, mixing pad, brushes, a drawing pencil and plastic palette knife. Also includes a few canvasses to get started.
ALEX Spa Fun Sparkle Tattoo Parlor
These temporary tattoos feature a variety of images related to peace, love and fun. The Spa Fun Sparkle Tattoo Parlor is a great activity for birthday parties, sleepovers and other get-togethers.
- Colorful, fun and safe temporary tattoos
- Includes 12 stencils and four colors of glitters
- Non-toxic tattoo glue is easy to wash off
- Could be seen as glamorizing real tattoos
While 12 is still way too young for a real tattoo, these temporary impressions are great for party-time fun. All images are positive featuring animals and nature shapes. They’re placed with included “tattoo glue” and easily wash off with soap and water.
Personalized Overnight Bag
At the age of 12, many girls are interested in having sleepovers with their friends. This durable, fashionable and spacious duffel bag is a great option for one day, two day or even longer stays.
- Can be embroidered
- Available in multiple styles and patterns
- Spacious and strong
- Can be heavy at max capacity
Help make sleepovers less hectic with this easy and stylish overnight bag. Can hold up to four days of clothing. Multiple inside and outside pockets let you compartmentalize belongings for easy access. Plus, the bag has a variety of style options to choose from.
Endless Games the Sleepover Party Game
If your 12-year-old is just starting to invite friends over for sleepovers, this box of Sleepover Party Games is sure to keep the party entertaining all night long.
- Tons of fun, silly games
- Includes all necessary materials including spinner
- Some games more fun than others
Suitable for three or more players, this box of fun includes over 200 different party games. The kids will be singing, making funny noises, acting silly and just having a blast. Great for sleepovers, parties, church groups and more.
The games encourage kids to perform and communication. Helps shy girls make new friends in a comfortable group setting.
Color Your Own Water Bottle Kit
12-year-old girls love to be creative. Creating something that they can use every day, like their water bottle, is thus a great way to inspire them while giving them something functional.
- Great for creative play
- Unique opportunity to be creative
- Only includes one water bottle to decorate
With this Create Your Own Water Bottle kit, your girl will get a high-quality water bottle along with all of the tools that they’ll need to create a beautiful design of their choice. They’ll get to exercise their creative muscles while also being forced to adapt to the challenges of the media that they have on hand.
The result will be that your teen will make a water bottle that they’ll love to use. The only issue is that it’s a one-shot kit because it only includes one water bottle to decorate. You might find them asking for another kit once they’re finished with the first one.
Top Toys for 12-Year-Old Girls FAQ
Tween girls are just starting to discover who they are as a person. Their tastes in music, movies and toys is often a reflection of their self-image. And this taste can change without much warning as the girl “tries on” new personas or is influenced by peers or cultural factors.
So, when buying a toy for a 12-year-old girl, try not to focus too much on long-term use. Her interests might be completely different in just a year. Instead, focus more on the types of toys she might enjoy for the next few months. Here are the answers to common questions about the best toys for 12-year-old girls.
What Do 12-Year-Old Girls Think About Toys?
Twelve-year-old girls have one foot in childhood and the other in early adulthood. In many ways, toys still play an important role in allowing the girl to explore and play. But 12-year-olds are also eager to be seen as adults, so they’ll be interested in toys which seem more sophisticated and “mature.”
Research suggests a girl’s self-image is primarily affected by two main factors: the imaginary audience and the personal fable.
The imaginary audience is the idea that others notice and care about an individual’s appearance. In a Tween girl, this idea is usually a bit out of proportion. They tend to overestimate how carefully others are watching them. These leads young girls to overly scrutinize their own appearance and even what accessories they’re seen with.
Most 12-year-old girls are very concerned with what their peers think. This means they want to be seen as cool – so they’re likely to embrace the hottest trends in fashion, culture and toys. When shopping for a 12-year-old girl, your best bet is to stay away from the more obscure in favor of the current trends.
The “personal fable” concept means young girls are likely to feel that their personal experiences are unique. Nobody else understands their feelings, struggles and other emotional highs and lows. Certain toys and media help girls connect their inner emotions to the larger world, which can feel comforting and reassuring.
What Electronic Toys are Best for 12-Year-Old Girls?
Parents often have to play a careful balancing act regarding online access at this age. By the age of 12, most girls will feel more confident when going online. But 12 is still too young to allow anything but very controlled Internet access.
A lot of social interaction can take place online. Girls can feel left out if they’re not allowed to interact with their friends online. Fortunately, there are often ways for your child to virtually hang with friends safely.
More and more young girls are into video games. Fortunately, many games let you restrict your online appearance and speech only to friends. Twelve-year-olds shouldn’t have unrestricted access to send or receive written or voice communications with strangers online.
Social media pages should be carefully controlled, too. Even though all of their friends might have them, 12-year-olds are actually prohibited by the terms of service of all major social media platforms. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all require users to be at least 13 years old.
What Creative Toys are Best for 12-Year-Old Girls?
Adolescence is a time when girls begin to discover creative talents and passions. This could be drawing, painting, writing, playing music, building or more. While most 12-year-olds are young enough to still be able to tap into their childhood creativity, they’re also now old enough to also be interested in the process of creating.
Many girls like toys which combine both creativity and construction. LEGOs, robot kits and other building sets are popular choices. Virtual building is also a favorite. Games like Minecraft allow girls to build fantastic virtual structures without limits regarding physical space.
12-year-olds are usually responsible enough to use “real” artistic materials such as acrylic and oil paints. This is a good age for kids to start washing brushing, using plastic sheeting and otherwise care for their art supplies.
What Outdoor Toys are Best for 12-Year-Old Girls?
Toys which encourage outdoor activity are a great way for young girls to develop healthy habits for life. Bikes are a great way for girls to explore their neighborhood while also getting fresh air and exercise. Both cruisers and mountain bikes can be customized to reflect any girl’s personal style.
Of course, you don’t want to forget all the essential safety gear including helmets and pads. Fortunately, getting girls to actually wear the safety equipment is often far easier than it is with boys.
Nerf guns are another fun outdoor toy. Many girls love Nerf bows. We can thank Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games for this popular trend in girl toys, which gives girls a chance to play the role of hero.
Twelve can be a difficult age for girls as they transition away from childhood and towards being a teenager. But the right toys can help make this transition easier. The best toys for 12-year-old girls both provide familiar comfort while also help girls prepare for the upcoming teenage years.