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6 Shopping Tips for Finding Awesome Gifts for 12-Year-Olds

There's one year left before you have a full-blown teenager on your hands. But that doesn't mean finding gifts for 12-year-olds is any easier than reading the mind of a testy teen. Here are a couple primers. These almost-teenagers are most definitely not kids anymore (refrain from buying the pink toy horse). Yet, 12-year-olds are not grownups, either. Here's how to get creative and choose the right gifts for kids on the cusp of the teenage years.


Think about their favorite after-school activity

Does your 12-year-old love to play lacrosse or is she a rising Girl Scout? Look for gifts for 12-year-olds related to how she spends her free time, whether it's sports equipment or outdoor gear.


Remember the three C's

Choose gifts for 12-year-olds that center around crafting, chemistry, or simply getting creative. Tweens love inventing things with their own hands. Think crochet supplies or circuit boards to engage their creative or science-centric spirit.


Find everyday accessories that are pure fun

She loves to hit up the beach with her squad to practice back-handsprings, so look for a stylish beach towel (even one that's personalized). Or give your tween a kooky pencil case that will stand out in class.


Welcome to the age of the beauty-conscious

Twelve is the age when tweens are aware of their looks. Girls may love a good lip gloss and boys may sport a certain uniform, so be sure to find gifts that follow their style guide and make them feel grownup.


Consider what your tween listens to on the radio

Remember the days of having full control of the car radio? No longer. Your tween has opinions on music. Look for gifts for 12-year-olds that celebrate their love of music - like a colorful new speaker. Or groove to their heart with tickets to the next must-see concert.


Clothes are not cool if they're chosen by you

Fashion in the tween world has nuances you can't imagine. And no one wants to feel like parents or grownups are picking clothes for them. Think wearable accessories (bags, bracelets, watch) or pajamas as gifts for 12-year-olds, and steer clear of full-on outfits.


Still can't find the perfect gift?

Check out our related gift guides for teens, kids and 13 year olds.

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Gifts for Tweens that will Score Big Smiles

When a girl is 12 years-old, she's not quite a kid, and not quite a teenager. So she can make her own breakfast in the morning, but she may not spend all her time (just yet) thinking about boys. Your goal is to find a gift that gets more than a shrug and a polite thank you. Extra points if she shrieks out a "totally awesome" upon inspection of the present. So here's a long list of tween girl gifts that are simply rad.

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