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If you want the perfect gift for a 12-year-old girl, 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 gift ideas for 12-year-old girls 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.

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

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The best gift ideas for 12-year-old girls


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

    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.

    Amazon Happy Self Journal
    04/01/2023 09:24 am GMT
  3. Divoom Planet-9 Smart Mood Lamp
  4. Divoom Planet-9 Smart Mood Lamp

    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. An app can control this lamp to suit either the mood of your 12-year-old or can be synced with music or movies for an extra layer of interactive fun.

    Amazon Divoom
    04/01/2023 09:24 am GMT
  5. Multicoloured Led Strip Lights
  6. Multicoloured Led Strip Lights

    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.

  7. Bibi Himalayan Pink Crystal Rock Salt Lamp
  8. Bibi Himalayan Pink Crystal Rock 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!!) and has a dimmer switch, so is lovely as a nightlight.

  9. LEGO 31207 ART Floral Art
  10. LEGO 31207 ART Floral Art

    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!

    amazon John Lewis
  11. Posca PC-3M Paint Marker Art Pens
  12. Posca PC-3M Paint Marker Art Pens

    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!

    Amazon eBay
  13. Cricut Maker Tools - Sewing Kit Set
  14. Cricut Maker Tools - Sewing Kit Set

    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.

  15. Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle
  16. Sculpd Pottery Starter Bundle

    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.

  17. Kids Love Heart Stud Hypoallergenic Earrings
  18. Kids Love Heart Stud Hypoallergenic Earrings

    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.

    Solace Jewellery
  19. Personalised Enamel Disc Name Necklace
  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. Whatever you choose, it's a great way to gift them something special for their birthday or Christmas.

  21. Florence By Mills Zero Chill Face Mist
  22. Florence By Mills Zero Chill Face Mist

    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
  23. Lucky Voice Karaoke Machine &and Microphone
  24. Lucky Voice Karaoke Machine &and Microphone

    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
    04/01/2023 02:44 pm GMT
  25. iPhone case: You are exactly where you need to be
  26. 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.

  27. iWALK Mini Portable Charger
  28. iWALK Mini Portable Charger

    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.

    Amazon eBay
  29. Kindle Paperwhite | 16 GB
  30. 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.

  31. Paper Girls: The Complete Story
  32. Paper Girls: The Complete Story

    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!

    Amazon Waterstones
  33. Rookie Classic 78 Quad Roller Skates
  34. 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
  35. Tony Hawk SS 360 Series Complete Skateboard (Cosmic)
  36. 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.

    Amazon SkateHut



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.