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35 BEST GIFTS FOR 12-YEAR-OLD GIRLS THAT THEY WILL ACTUALLY WANT AND LOVE (2024)

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WHAT TO GET A 12-YEAR-OLD FOR HER BIRTHDAY OR CHRISTMAS

If you are wondering what to get a 12-year-old girl for her birthday or Christmas, look no further than this list of ideas based on gifts currently popular with 12-year-olds (my daughter and her friends).

At 12, girls are teetering on the brink of being teenagers, but they aren’t quite there yet. This makes it incredibly hard to come up with great gift ideas for them. They are no longer little kids, but they aren’t teens either. I guess that’s why they are called ‘tweens’!

I thought I’d make it easy for anyone searching for what to get a 12-year-old for her birthday by listing all the gifts that my daughter loved receiving for her 12th birthday and Christmas.

Having worked on glossy magazines for several years, I think I’m fairly good at keeping my finger on the pulse of trends.

Related: Best STEM gifts for girls and Gifts that Harry Styles fans will ADORE

Here is a list of the fruits of my labours. I hope they come in useful as a gift guide.

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35 GIFT IDEAS: THINGS TO GET A 12-YEAR-OLD FOR HER BIRTHDAY OR CHRISTMAS

Browse through this big list of the best things to get a 12-year-old, and you are bound to find the perfect birthday gift for your soon-to-be 12-year-old.

  1. The HappySelf Teen Journal - A Daily Journal for Age 12+
    £24.90

    Journals are great for 12-year-old girls on so many levels. They provide a brilliant outlet for all the angst, thoughts and emotions of tweens soon-to-be teens. A journal is also a great way to encourage kids to write and allow their thoughts and dreams to flow onto the page. I also know from experience that journals are a wonderful memento to look back at in years to come.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Happy Self Journal
    02/20/2024 03:01 pm GMT
  2. Giles & Posner Pastel Mini Waffle Maker
    £24.99 £15.99

    I know plenty of 12-year-olds who love getting creative in the kitchen; brownies are a favourite in our house. This mini waffle maker is a lovely, affordable gift for tweens. You could even use it to encourage them to make their own breakfast.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/18/2024 06:08 pm GMT
  3. Divoom Planet-9 Smart Mood Lamp
    £49.99 £39.99

    12-year-old girls start taking an interest in styling their bedrooms into more grown-up spaces and, therefore, begin taking an interest in cool pieces of decor that can be introduced into their room. 

    The Divoom Planet-9 is a programmable smart LED mood light with an app that allows the lamp to be customised to display an array of different colour light combinations. It is also dimmable so that it can be used as a night light, which makes it a practical gift. It can even be synced with music so that the light patterns work in tune with your 12-year-old's favourite songs, movies or video games.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Divoom
    02/18/2024 05:13 pm GMT
  4. Multicoloured Led Strip Lights
    £13.99

    Striplights are a TikTok trend that has taken hold with tweens and teens. They are super easy to put up, and it's fun for kids to control the different lighting schemes with the remote-controlled app that comes with the lights.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/20/2024 12:41 pm GMT
  5. iWALK Mini Portable Charger
    £23.99

    A portable phone charger is pretty much essential for 12-year-olds who are still getting used to the responsibility of having their own phone. They will love having it, and it will help you put your mind at rest that their phone won't run out of battery.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from eBay
    02/18/2024 04:54 pm GMT
  6. Posca PC-3M Paint Marker Art Pens
    £25.99 £24.99

    Posca pens are amazing next-level art pens. Great for kids who love to draw and create. The pens are versatile and easy to use, and the ink quality is second to none. This starter set has a few well-coordinated colours, but there is a whole world of Posca colours, so look at the Posca Store for more ideas!

    Buy from Amazon Buy from eBay
    02/18/2024 04:38 pm GMT
  7. LEGO 31207 ART Floral Art
    £59.99 £54.93

    Lego keeps on getting cooler and cooler. Building something with Lego is a great way for tweens to find a way to focus on something creative and forget about their everyday lives for a while - and their screens!

    Buy from Amazon Buy from John Lewis
    02/20/2024 01:40 pm GMT
  8. Danielle Creations Quick Dry Turban Towel
    £10.95

    My daughter and I each have one of these quick-dry hair turbans. The turbans are made from soft, super-absorbent microfibre and have a little button to fix them in place. They dry your hair without you having to rub it, which means your hair stays sleeker as well as drying more quickly.

    There's a choice of oil infusions: Argan oil, rose, biotin, coconut and hemp.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Oliver Bonas
    02/18/2024 02:08 pm GMT
  9. Paper Girls: The Complete Story
    £44.99 £33.13

    Papergirls are the graphic novel books of the moment - and also now a very successful Amazon Prime TV series. The novels feature four twelve-year-old newspaper delivery girls from 1988 who uncover the most important story ever. It's a tale where suburban drama and otherworldly mysteries collide with nostalgia, first jobs, and the last days of childhood. In short, Papergirls is wonderful, and I challenge any 12-year-old tween not to love it!

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    02/20/2024 07:26 pm GMT
  10. Florence By Mills Zero Chill Face Mist
    £10.50 (at time of publication)

    12-year-old girls are often just starting to become interested in skincare, they may have noticed spots and bumps appearing. Gentle skincare brands with no nasties make great gifts. This face mist is a real favourite amongst the tweens and young teens I know.

    Buy from Boots Buy from Beauty Bay
  11. Lucky Voice Karaoke Machine &  Microphone
    £45.22 £43.33

    Karaoke can provide hours of fun, either solo fun for tweens just getting into spending more time alone in their room (around 12 is when it starts to happen) or when they get together with friends for sleepovers or parties.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Lucky Voice
    02/18/2024 09:38 pm GMT
  12. Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle
    £58 (at time of publication)

    Many 12-year-old girls love crafting and have probably enjoyed using silk clay and play-doh. This starter pottery kit is a great way to graduate to using more grown-up clay to sculpt and create with.

    Buy from Sculpd
  13. Rookie Classic 78 Quad Roller Skates

    Rollerboots are a big nod to the current nostalgia for the latter decades of the 20th century. Any tween keen on rollerskating - or the idea of it - will covet a pair of Rookie roller boots. They come in an array of colours and styles.

    Amazon SkateHut
  14. Natural Himalayan Salt Lamp

    Crystals are huge with tweens, so this lamp is everything! It's made from natural rock salt, which acts as a natural air purifier (always good for tween and teen bedrooms!!).

    Buy from Amazon
  15. Cricut Maker Tools - Sewing Kit Set
    $34.99 $17.49

    My daughter loves upcycling old clothes, particularly denim. She is an avid watcher of YouTube tutorials on upcycling, so this Cricut sewing kit was a very welcome gift and has been used lots over the months after she received it.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/19/2024 05:39 am GMT
  16. iPhone case: You are exactly where you need to be

    CASETiFY is the ultimate mobile phone case brand for tweens and teens. They have so many different styles, many of them customisable, for Apple phones and Samsung Galaxy phones. One of the best things about these cases is that they pretty much guarantee the phone becomes unbreakable - not a small thing for parents of 12-year-olds!! Take a look at their whole range for oodles of inspiration.

    Buy from CASETiFY
  17. Kindle Paperwhite | 16 GB

    Getting kids to read often feels like an uphill struggle in this age of screens and instant dopamine hits from social media. A Kindle paperwhite is a great way to encourage them to read actual books and load it up with some well-researched tween favourites.

    Buy from Amazon
  18. Tony Hawk SS 360 Series Complete Skateboard (Cosmic)

    Skateboarding is huge with tween and teen girls, not least because of the success and prowess of the female skateboarders at the 2020 Olympics (including a then 13-year-old girl called Sky Browne). This is the skateboard my daughter has and loves; she has endorsed it as a cool gift!

    Buy from Amazon Buy from SkateHut
  19. Kids Love Heart Stud Hypoallergenic Earrings
    £15 (at time of publication)

    Lots of girls have recently got their ears pierced or have them pierced for their 12th birthday. So hypoallergenic earrings in cool shapes and styles are a great gift idea. Little Book of Earrings are great for storing earrings if you want a great gift to go with a set of earrings.

    Buy from Solace Jewellery
  20. Personalised Enamel Disc Name Necklace

    I've noticed a trend for personalised necklaces for 12-year-old girls and other tweens. It can be their name or a word that means something special to them.

    This necklace gold-plated necklace can be ordered with a choice of up to seven letters, and there are gift-wrap options, too. It's a great way to gift a birthday girl something special.

    Buy from notonthehighstreet
  21. icon Natalia Velvet Lounge Chair Bean Bag
    £159.99 £133.99

    This bean bag chair is brilliant for creating a reading nook or lounging area for 12-year-olds wanting to create a cool vibe in their bedroom. It gives them somewhere other than their bed to relax in their own space.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Urban Outfitters
    02/20/2024 01:15 pm GMT
  22. Harry Styles: and the clothes he wears
    £22.00 £15.99

    My daughter absolutely loves her copy of this book. It is filled with images of Harry's outfits ('fits) over the years, along with an insight into the cultural references that inspired each of them. If your daughter loves style and Styles, this is an absolute winning gift.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    02/19/2024 09:24 am GMT
  23. Harry's House Cassette - Limited Edition Yellow
    £9.00 (at time of publication)

    Cassettes are making a comeback. Who knew that would ever happen?! So, I'm doubling down on the Harry Styles merch, as 2023 is the Year of Harry, and adding this limited edition Harry's House on cassette as a gift idea.

    Buy from Harry Styles Shop
  24. Steepletone Stereo Cassette Player
    £50,00 (at time of publication)

    As cassettes are making a comeback for Gen Alpha, you might find this retro-looking white cassette player and recorder will go down well as a gift. My daughter simply borrows one I bought a couple of years back when she raids my 'vintage' cassette collection.

    Buy from notonthehighstreet.com Buy from Amazon
  25. Adil Retro Vintage Style Pine Desk

    School homework starts to build once kids start secondary school, so it's a good time to buy a desk. I remember being bought a desk for my 12th birthday and loved being able to do my homework quietly in my room.

    Buy from La Redoute
  26. Puro Sound Labs PuroQuiets Volume Limited  Headphones
    £115.00 £100.00

    The PuroQuiets Volume Limited Headphones are great for 12-year-olds who want something a little more grown-up looking than kids' headphones and for parents who want to keep their daughter's ears safe.

    Built-in volume limiting keeps sound at a safe 85 decibels to prevent hearing damage. Noise cancelling allows immersive listening without distractions. The headphones have up to 16 hours of battery life.

    Buy from Amazon
    02/18/2024 04:08 pm GMT
  27. Nintendo Switch OLED White
    £309 (at time of publication)

    The OLED is the latest version of the Nintendo Switch, and its popularity keeps on growing.

    It has a wide range of games, including classics like Mario Kart and all the latest releases. It has a 7-inch OLED screen, 64GB storage, a built-in stand, a dock, a wired LAN port, and controllers. It supports 4K gaming resolution, up to 120 fps frame rate, and 3D spatial audio, enhancing the gaming experience.

    Buy from Currys Buy from Amazon
  28. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Nintendo Switch)
    £47.99 £44.99

    This is a single-player Nintendo Switch game for kids aged 12+. The game, which launched in May 2023, is a brilliant addition to the Zelda series and great for older kids seeking a more challenging gaming experience with a compelling storyline and well-developed characters.

    The game features a vast open world that is filled with secrets, puzzles, and enemies that will keep players engaged for hours. The graphics are stunning, and the soundtrack is thoroughly immersive

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Currys
    02/18/2024 04:59 pm GMT
  29. Fenty Gloss Bomb Ice Cooling Lip Luminizer Cold Heart'd
    £20 (at time of publication)

    Your 12-year-old might well be angling to wear a little make-up, and this clear lipgloss from the popular Fenty beauty line by Rihanna is a great starter product that isn't too grown-up but will have tween girls feeling super cool, especially as it's a bit of a luxury item beyond the realms of pocket money.

    My daughter has this lip gloss, and I can confirm that it is slick rather than sticky and has the most delicious minty flavour.

    Buy from Boots Buy from Sephora
  30. Sephora Gift Card
    From £10

    Worried that a gift card might be a cop-out? Worry not; you just need to give the right gift card! I can guarantee that a Sephora gift card will go down well with most 12-year-old girls.

    Sephora is the French beauty store chain that's super popular in the US and has a cult online following in the UK (where there is currently only one IRL store).

    Buy from Sephora
  31. Bad Influence
    £7.99 £7.35

    This novel is written by Tamsin Winter, who is fast becoming a go-to author for tween and teen fiction.

    The plot: Amelia Bright longs to improve her unpopular status, but a regrettable viral moment cements her as a 'bad influence'. It's a funny, relatable novel that explores reputation, identity, and learning to be true to yourself.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    02/20/2024 06:15 pm GMT
  32. Three Lionesses
    £12.99 £10.99

    Whether the 12-year-old you are buying for is football crazy or not, this book, published in August 2023, is a must-read for tween girls.

    England soccer stars Toone, Stanway, and Parris share empowering stories and practical advice to help young girls find confidence, embrace their inner strength, chase their dreams and support one another like lionesses.

    Buy from Amazon Buy from Waterstones
    02/20/2024 07:05 pm GMT
  33. Speak Now (Taylor's Version) Charm Bracelet
    £30 (at time of publication)

    Taylor Swift fans (Swifties) will go ga-ga for this cute gold-plated charm bracelet. Those lucky enough to have Eras Tour tickets can wear it along, and those who haven't can console themselves with it!

    The bracelet is electroplated 18k gold and has a heart, TS, koi fish, 'The Story Of Us' book, and a bird charm.

    Buy from Taylor Swift UK Store
  34. Satin Striped PJs with Eye Mask
    £25 (at time of publication)

    Maybe it's time for some more grown-up nightwear, like these candy stripe satin PJs that come with a matching eye mask, very sophisticated!

    Buy from Marks & Spencer

TIPS FOR BUYING GIFTS FOR 12-YEAR-OLD GIRLS

1. PRICE

Always work to a budget for gift-buying and try not to be swayed by hints for expensive gifts. Tweens can be fickle, so if you buy a big-ticket item, make sure it isn’t just a trend that will be forgotten about within weeks.

I always set a maximum gift budget for buying gifts for my daughter’s friends or the kids of family friends. 12 is around the age that girls like to start choosing gifts for their friends, so giving them a clear budget is a great way to help them stay on track and understand budgeting their money.

2. RESEARCH

Take time to research big-ticket items before you buy them. You want to ensure you go for the most reliable, best quality product. It is always worth doing a Google search or asking friends and family for recommendations.

Related: Great gift ideas for 13-year-old girls

3. BRANDS ARE IMPORTANT

Like it or not, brands start to matter when kids are around 12. There is no point in buying a brand your child won’t wear or be seen with, even to save money.

However, this doesn’t mean you must overspend to buy them their current heart’s desire. I suggest that if you can’t stretch to the brand they want, speak to them about it and buy a completely different item instead.

Or let them know that if they really want something, they will have to save until they can afford to buy it themselves.

4. SEASONAL USE

Remember the season you are buying the gift in, especially for clothing or footwear. For example, there is no point in buying a really great summer outfit just as autumn is coming.

There is also no point in buying outdoor sporting equipment just as the sports season is about to change unless you have a child who has already proven their passion for the sport.

5. ON A TIGHT BUDGET

Much as we’d love to shower our kids with mountains of gifts or at least a lovely pile of gifts, it is important to remember that love doesn’t come gift-wrapped.

It is much more important to be realistic about what you can afford to buy for your child and go for fewer gifts rather than lots of cheap gifts to make it look like you’ve purchased a lot.

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The best gift ideas for 12-year-old girls

Paulette Millar

Friday 8th of December 2023

Great ideas

Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh

Friday 8th of December 2023

Glad you like them!

Sophie

Sunday 2nd of July 2023

Very helpful and i know have some ideas of what to get my child :]

Luci McQuitty Hindmarsh

Tuesday 4th of July 2023

Brilliant, glad and happy that you found the list helpful, I hope your daughter loves whatever you get for her.