The 35 Best Gifts for 12-Year-Old Girls of 2023

Our fave picks from Uncommon Goods, Vans, American Girl, Pottery Barn, and more

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Best Gifts for Twelve-Year-Old Girls

The Spruce / Amelia Manley

If you are looking for the perfect gift for a 12-year-old girl, it’s important to find something that speaks to her interests and unique personality.

We researched the best options on the market that are age-appropriate, educational, and contain no mature content or potentially dangerous components. Our favorite picks include a retro polaroid camera from Fujifilm, a Disney villain board game from Ravensburger, and quick dry nail polish from Olive & June.

Here, the best gifts for 12-year-old girls.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9


These days most of our photos are digital, but a Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera is a great way to create tangible pictures. A click of a button will create miniature-sized Polaroid-type photos your child can hang or frame to create beautiful wall art. The camera comes in multiple colors and is light enough to throw in a backpack for adventures. The camera also has a small selfie mirror and a constant-firing flash. The automatic exposure measurement helps create perfect photos every time.

Overall, owners love the old-fashioned feel of this camera, saying that although it doesn’t take DSLR-level photos, it’s a fun way to commemorate an event and create memories that will last a lifetime. Consider purchasing some string lights and clothespins to hang on the wall or even a scrapbook to paste in all of her new photos.

Price at time of publish: $70

Charli D'Amelio Born Dreamer Eau de Toilette

Born Dreamer Eau de Toilette


The odds that your 12-year-old knows TikTok sensation Charl D'Amelio are high, so her new perfume Born Dreamer is a great gift idea for any tween. The sweet, youthful scent features notes of pear, jasmine, cedarwood, and more. It comes in a gorgeous glass bottle with a star on top, perfect for the superstar in your life.

Price at time of publish: $48

Pentalic Sketch Book

Pentalic Sketch Book, Hardbound, 8-1/2-Inch by 11-Inch


Whether your preteen is a budding artist or just likes to doodle, the Pentalic Sketch Book is a great way to encourage and cultivate her artistic side. This 11 x 8.5-inch notebook contains 110 blank bright white pages made from 70-pound paper. The hardbound book is great for sketching on the go, and the black textured embossed cover looks important and high-end. The lay-flat binding makes it easy to draw and doodle, and your child’s artwork won’t bleed through from one page to the next.

The high-quality thick pages are perfect for any type of pen or marker, and though you cannot rip the pages out it, it’s easy to quickly flip through the sketchbook. Overall, the Pentalic is a great gift for the artsy preteen in your life.

Price at time of publish: $14

Marvel Black Panther Wakanda Forever Shuri Fashion Doll

World of EPI Fresh Fierce Marvel Black Panther : Wakanda Forever 11.5" Fashion Dolls Shuri


Named Doll of the Year, the Marvel Black Panther Wakanda Forever fashion dolls features three amazing women from the upcoming sequel to the beloved superhero film. This doll features brave Shuri in a stunning tracksuit based on the film with an authentic undercut hairstyle. Okoye and Nakia are also available for tweens who love the strong women from the MCU and want to add to their collection.

Price at time of publish: $50

Kidstir Kids Cooking Subscription Box

Kidstir Kids Cooking Subscription Box


Get your tween learning and loving the joys of cooking with this kid-focused subscription box from Kidstir. Each month follows a different theme and includes three recipes with a corresponding grocery list, cooking tools, games, informational materials, and more. Plus, the first box comes with an apron and hat to prepare for tons of fun in the kitchen.

Price at time of publish: $24+

Diamond Art Club Harry Potter Night Flight Canvas Diamond Painting Kit

DIAMOND ART CLUB Harry Potter Night Flight Canvas Diamond Painting Kit, 15" x 13" (38 x 33 cm)


A relaxing way to pass the time, Diamond Art Club features a soft adhesive canvas and dozens of shiny rhinestones to apply and create a beautiful picture. This magical pick results in a photo of Harry Potter, Hermione, and Ron flying through the night. There are many designs to choose from, so you're guaranteed to find one your tween loves creating and hanging up in their bedroom afterward.

Price at time of publish: $25

Rowan Earring Club

Rowan Earring Club


If your 12-year-old just got their ears pierced or has fallen in love with accessorizing, they'll love this subscription service from Rowan. Choose from silver or gold and then each month, they'll receive an adorable pair of limited-edition earrings from the brand to add to their collection.

Price at time of publish: $29+

Elmer's Squishies DIY Squishy Toy Kit

Elmer’s Squishies DIY Squishy Toy Kit, 4 Count Mystery Characters


Two of the biggest toy trends of the last few years—slime and squishies—come together in this DIY kit from Elmer's. Kids mix up the special slime solution and pour it into the mold to reveal one of 80 adorable squishies to love and collect. After they come to life, they make the perfect companion or fidget toy to take to school, the supermarket, or in the car for long drives.

Price at time of publish: $23

Carley Sheehy DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit

DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit

Uncommon Goods

This DIY Mochi Ice Cream Kit is the perfect surprise for your burgeoning foodie. A little unexpected and a lot of fun, this DIY kit comes with everything needed to create Japanese mochi balls at home. Each set comes with sweet rice flour, potato starch, matcha green tea and cocoa powder, a dough cutter, and a silicone mochi mold, so you can transform your favorite ice cream into a chewy rice cake. The kit will make up to 32 pieces of mochi, but your preteen can reuse the tray with additional ingredients to make even more. Not only is this mochi kit delicious, but it’s a great hands-on activity for the whole family.

Price at time of publish: $34

Purse Pets Sanrio

Purse Pets, Sanrio Hello Kitty and Friends, Chococat Interactive Pet Toy and Handbag with Over 30 Sounds and Reactions, Kids Toys for Girls


A purse and a friend in one, Purse Pets make the perfect gift for stylish teens. The crossbody bag features beloved characters from Sanrio, including Hello Kitty, Chococat, and Cinnamoroll. But the best part is, they really blink! The wearable toys make 30 unique sounds and reactions for a portable, interactive friend she can always keep close.

Price at time of publish: $35

Case-Mate Apple iPhone Twinkle Case

CASE-MATE Twinkle iPhone 11

Case Mate

If your 12-year-old is anything like most middle schoolers, her cell phone is her most prized possession. The Case-Mate Twinkle Case is a great way to protect your investment and add a little extra sparkle to your preteen’s phone. This eye-catching case is made for Apple XRs (but Target also sells the same case for other phones as well) and is made with glitter foil suspended in clear resin. The case has metallic buttons and is compatible with wireless charging, so your kid won’t have to remove the case to use a charger. The case comes with a limited lifetime warranty against defects and is not only attractive but built to withstand falls and scratches.

Price at time of publish: $25

Galison Mudpuppy This Is a Sign Magic Velvet Zodiac Coloring Set

This Is a Sign Magic Velvet Zodiac Coloring Set (Paperback)


Dive into your tween's zodiac sign with these velvet coloring sheets from Mudpuppy. Unwind after a long day with some simple coloring, while learning more about the 12 signs and discovering more about what your astrological chart means for you. After they're complete, she can hang them on her walls, pass them out to friends, or paste into a scrapbook.

Price at time of publish: $25

Uncommon Goods Period Essentials Wallet

Period Essentials Wallet

Uncommon Goods

For preteens, a gift that makes the woes of puberty easier is always a good idea. This wallet from Uncommon Goods is an organized and discreet way to carry all of your essential period products for everyday use. Twelve-year-olds can throw this wallet into their backpack or purse to always be prepared and have products on hand. These wallets come in two adorable prints and are handmade in Georgia, so you will be supporting a small female artisan with every purchase.

Price at time of publish: $25

American Girl Mini Mystery Pack: Christmas Collection

American Girl® Mini Mystery Pack: Sweet Mysteries Collection

American Girl

While your 12-year-old may already have an American Girl doll she loves, she'll flip over these adorable mystery packs, perfect for the holidays. Each blind bag reveals one of 17 doll-shaped surprises, from pretend reindeer cookies to a nutcracker, and more. These affordable surprise accessories make it easy for your tween to celebrate the holidays with her doll BFF.

Price at time of publish: $8

Pottery Barn Teen Faux-Fur Speaker Lapdesk

Faux-Fur Speaker Lapdesk - Llama

Pottery Barn

Whether your 12-year-old is learning online, browsing the internet, doodling in a notebook, or painting her nails, a lap desk is a handy necessity. This one from Pottery Barn Teen is super stylish with a comfy faux-fur base available in white or marble. The top opens to reveal plenty of storage space for school supplies, but the best part is the included Bluetooth speaker for jamming out while studying or journaling.

Price at time of publish: $74

Essence One Assorted Shower Steamers

Essence One

Room & Board

It's never too early to start promoting self-care and these shower steamers from Essence One are the perfect addition to your nighttime routine. Simply drop one on the shower floor and you'll be covered by relaxing steam with the scent of your choice. This assorted pack features four scents: lavender, breathe (eucalyptus and spearmint), morning calm (patchouli, spearmint, and bergamot mint), and energy (pink salt, grapefruit, bergamot).

Price at time of publish: $14

Bokksu Classic Bokksu Seasons of Japan Box

Bokksu Snack Box: Seasons of Japan

Bokksu Boutique

When an international trip is not in the cards, experience foreign delicacies with the Bokksu Seasons of Japan Box. Four times a year, your preteen will receive a huge gift box full of 22 authentic Japanese snacks and teas. There is even a culture guide included with allergen information and cultural stories and facts about each product. The whole family will enjoy trying something new season and it may even inspire a future vacation.

Price at time of publish: $60

HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

HP Sprocket 2x3" Instant Photo Printer


Share memories with the press of a button with the HP Sprocket portable photo printer. The handheld printer connects seamlessly to your smartphone via Bluetooth and prints images instantly to hang on walls and share with friends and family. You can even add fun borders and make cute edits using the HP app. Choose from different printer paper for colorful backgrounds and other fun personalizations.

Price at time of publish: $80

No matter what style your 12-year-old is exploring these days, the Vans Old Skool sneakers are a super on-trend choice that she's sure to love. These vintage-inspired sneakers have a canvas upper and rubber sole with additional padding for all-day comfort. They come in a multitude of colors, including solid tones and patterns such as floral and camouflage. Though the style is reminiscent of ’90s skate shoes, they’re tailored and streamlined for all occasions.  

Vans Old Skool sneakers are comfortable and fit true-to-size. Plus, Zappos offers free shipping and returns within 365 days, so you will be protected if your 12-year-old needs to exchange sizes or styles. The canvas upper can be cleaned with a shoe cleaner or you can throw them in the wash (just don't put them in the dryer).

Price at time of publish: $60

goldstories Naked Hoops

goldstories Naked Hoops


At 12 years old, your tween may just be beginning their fine jewelry collection. Add in a staple piece with these gorgeous simple hoops from goldstories. The minimalist gold hoops come in three sizes at an affordable price that she (and her style) can grow with.

Price at time of publish: $40

Taking notes in math class is a lot more fun when those notes are bright and sparkly. The Fiskars Gel Pen Set comes with 48 assorted gel pens to make long schooldays a little more colorful. The pens contain acid-free ink and have various tip sizes ranging from 0.8 mm to 1.0 mm. Each set comes with glitter, pastel, metallic, neon, swirl, and standard pen colors for scrapbooking, journaling, and more. The easy-flowing ink makes writing and doodling a breeze—perfect for diaries or coloring books.

Price at time of publish: $23

Olive & June Quick Dry Polish

Olive & June Quick Dry Polish

Olive And June

If your tween loves an at-home mani, they need the new Olive & June quick dry polish. The new formula dries in about a minute, offers a shiny finish, and resists chipping for over five days. You can buy the stunning new shades individually with the quick dry top coat or build a system with important nail tools for the perfect manicure every time.

Price at time of publish: $8

LEGO Women of Nasa LEGO Set



A LEGO set is a beloved gift for all ages for building STEM-based skills as well as problem-solving. However, some offer more learning elements, adding to the educational value, including this one. With 231 pieces, 12-year-olds will complete three builds based on four iconic women of NASA: a Hubble telescope, a stack of books, and a Space Shuttle Challenger. Learn all about the incredible women of science—Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison—through the supplemental material and inspire your preteen to reach for the stars.

Price at time of publish: $50

Be Rooted 3-Piece Affirmation Pens

3 pc affirmation pens - be bold. be brave. be fearless.

be rooted co

Send your 12-year-old to school with positive affirmations in the form of these gorgeous pens from Be Rooted. The three metal pens read, "be bold" "be brave," and "be fearless." Whether she has an important test, is starting a new school year, or just needs a bit of extra inspiration, these pens are a simple way to say "you got this."

Price at time of publish: $20

Squishmallow 12-Inch Burrito

Squishmallows 12-Inch Burrito - Add Edita to Your Squad, Ultrasoft Stuffed Animal Medium-Sized Plush Toy, Official Kellytoy Plush


While your preteen may be growing out of her love for stuffed animals, Squishmallows have been a viral sensation appealing to everyone from toddlers to adults. This adorable burrito named Edita is the perfect size for cuddling or even using it as a pillow in the car or on plane rides. And she will look adorable on your bed when not in use, doubling as bedroom decor. Pretty soon, she will want to collect them all!

Price at time of publish: $50

Cinnabon Classic Rolls

Cinnabon® Classic Rolls

Harry & David

There's never a wrong occasion for delicious cinnamon buns. Thanks to Harry & David, Cinnabon delivers all over the country in the form of scrumptious gift boxes. Say happy birthday, happy holidays, congratulations, and more with six classic rolls and an extra container of that mouth-watering frosting.

Price at time of publish: $60

Ravensburger Disney Villainous Strategy Board Game



Disney and board game lovers alike will love Villainous from Ravensburger, which challenges players to take on the persona of iconic Disney villains to carry out their sinister objectives. Aimed at kids 10 and older, Villainous is perfect for the next family game night. Each player can attempt different strategies and play as a different villain each time, earning a high replay value. It may take a few rounds to get the hang of this game, but the storytelling and imagery will draw you back again and again.

Price at time of publish: $35

Parents may remember their first pair of UGGS in middle school and they are just as popular as ever in kids, teens, and adults. These adorable fuzzy slippers make the perfect gift for walking around the house, going to slumber parties, or even running errands. They come in four colors, including eye-catching baby pink, and feature a hard sole so they're suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

Price at time of publish: $100

SEI Tumble Dye Classic Tie Dye Kit, Pack of 8

S.E.I. Classic Tie-Dye Kit, Fabric Spray Dye, 8 Colors


Tie-dye is a universally beloved activity for all ages and 12-year-old girls are no different. This is a perfect way to get your daughter or niece outside during warmer months and express their creativity. This kit comes with eight vibrant colors to create intricate patterns on shirts, sweatpants, socks, sheets, or any other white fabric available. Once complete, your preteen will have a new outfit to show off to family and friends.

Price at time of publish: $19

Actually Curious Culture Edition!

Actually Curious: Culture Edition! Adult Icebreaker Conversation Card Game - Questions for Game Night, Team Building, Dinner Parties, Family Table Talks,...


The card game Actually Curious is designed to spark meaningful conversations and build trust between family and friends. Each card features a thought-provoking question like "What is your first memory of seeing a movie or play in a theater?" that lets you get to know the people around you better. The culture version is designed with families in mind and designed for players ages 12 and up.

Price at time of publish: $25

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Nintendo Switch


If your preteen loves her Nintendo Switch, she will love testing out a new game. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a relaxing, world-building game that allows players to build an island from scratch, interact with other players, collect materials, and carry out missions. She can even play with friends and visit their islands for an interactive experience. This would be a great first game if a new gaming console is also on her wish list this year.

Price at time of publish: $50

Moxi Beach Bunny Roller Skates

Riedell Skates Beach Bunny Roller Skate

Courtesy by Walmart

A pair of adorable roller skates is guaranteed to get her outside and burn off energy, all while learning a new skill. These Beach Bunny skates come in five bright colors sure to make a statement. They also include additional ankle padding for maximum comfort and control, which is perfect for beginner skaters. Buy a pair for yourself too for a perfect bonding activity in the spring and summer.

Price at time of publish: $169

Aktudy Cow Print Backpack

Aktudy Cow Print Backpack Women Canvas Schoolbag Teenage Girl Mini Bagpack (White)


Make a statement in middle school with a trendy backpack, like this cow print one. With a front pocket and a large opening, your preteen can carry all of her school or travel essentials in this smaller book bag that won't look too big or bulky on her back. This is a great affordable bag option that can double as her school bag or as an everyday purse for carrying her wallet, chapstick, hand sanitizer, and more on the go.

Price at time of publish: $13

MEL Science Science Kit Subscription

MEL Science Science Kit Subscription

MEL Science

If your preteen can't get enough of science class and wants to try mind-blowing hands-on experiments every month, a science kit subscription is a perfect solution. MEL Science offers three different courses—physics, chemistry, and STEM—all targeted at different ages and interests. Every month, your 12-year-old will receive two to three experiments to explore the world around them. And the learning continues with an accompanying app for engaging lessons right at home.

Price at time of publish: $30+

New York Puzzle Company Harry Potter Sirius Takes Flight Puzzle

New York Puzzle Company - Harry Potter Sirius Takes Flight - 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle


Test your preteen's skills with a fun, yet challenging, jigsaw puzzle. If puzzles aren't usually her thing, spark her interest by aligning the subject matter of the puzzle with one of her favorite things. For lovers of the wizarding world, turn to this Harry Potter puzzle featuring Sirius from New York Puzzle Company. Get the whole family involved for the perfect bonding activity or time your tween to see how long it takes for her to complete the image.

Price at time of publish: $24

What to Look For in Gifts For 12-Year-Old Girls

Recommended Age

You have to walk a fine line to get the perfect gift that isn’t too babyish or too mature. A good way to start is to check out the age recommendations on gifts, especially toys. Consider her interests and skill level, then decide on a gift that will help her advance in that area.


This is a great opportunity to talk to the 12-year-old girl in your life about taking care of her gifts appropriately. While none of the gifts on our list have obvious safety concerns, they can be broken or made unusable if not handled with care. Take the time to set expectations about how she should handle her new gift, especially those that are fragile.

Educational Value

Learning doesn’t have to only happen inside the classroom and finding a gift that will spark her interests is a great way to incorporate education and skill building into her fun. Think about the things that she loves to do (or wants to learn), then choose a gift that will allow her to practice. You can also look for a local class or club that will help her perfect that skill.


Twelve-year-old girls love to create, whether it’s in a science lab or at an art easel. Consider art supplies, new tech, or a kit that will help her make and enjoy her very own creations. These can be tailored to a hobby that she already has or a way to explore something new. This is also a great way for girls to build self-confidence. “Letting them publish their work—with monitoring—is great,” says teacher and literacy coach Alicia Drozd. “Allow them the chance to create and put themselves out there.”

  • What do you do for a 12-year-old girl’s birthday?

    A 12th birthday celebration is an important milestone in a girl’s life, the last year before she leaves her tween years behind and enters adolescence. An extroverted 12-year-old who enjoys the spotlight might want a big party, whereas a more introverted 12-year-old might prefer to celebrate her birthday at a favorite restaurant with just the close family, and no singing birthday waiters involved. Ask her what she would prefer. 

  • What do you get a 12-year-old girl for Christmas?

    A 12-year-old is technically a tween, but her tastes and preferences will depend on her individual personality and stage of development. As always, look for a gift that celebrates her hobbies and interests. If you want to buy her something to wear, keep in mind that she will probably have a rapidly evolving sense of style that can make picking the right styles challenging. Play it safe by sticking with accessories such as a personalized nameplate necklace or a charm bracelet that she can add to over the years.

  • Is 12 a teenager?

    A child who is the age of 12 is considered a tween in modern parlance. This refers to a kid who is no longer a young child but who is not yet an adolescent. Age 13 is considered the official start of teenage years. 

Why Trust the Spruce?

This article was written by Julia Fields a lifestyle writer for The Spruce covering all things surrounding toys, gifts, and the holidays since October 2021. Before that, she covered similar topics including toy reviews, product round-ups, expert-focused articles, and more. To come up with this list of gift for 12-year-old girls, we consulted teacher and literacy coach Alicia Drozd.

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