Our 12 Year Old Boy Birthday Gifts

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It is truly blowing my mind that my sweet oldest kiddo is 12 today!! Somehow, 12 just seems so old. But he’s so fun, smart, and mature – I know it’s going to be an awesome year.

I loved choosing a few gifts for him on this milestone day. Here are our birthday gift ideas for a 12 year old boy!

One-on-One Domestic Trip With A Parent

We decided a few years ago that we wanted to make sure to focus on giving our kids the gift of time, experience, and travel. And there’s something really special about one-on-one time with a parent! We settled on gifting 4 special trips – international at 10 & 16, domestic at 12 & 14.

The domestic trips will likely be a bit shorter – something like a long weekend. We’ll let him choose the place and the parent. I can’t wait to see what he picks!!

We love gifting our kids some sort of new experience for them to try out. This year, we decided to gift him a bioluminescence kayak tour at Elkhorn Slough. It seems like a really special and unique experience that he will hopefully love doing with one or both parents!

N loves strategic board games, and became a big Monopoly fan this summer. Of course we all love the US National Parks, so we thought this version of the game would be perfect for him.

N is a giant baseball enthusiast – it’s his favorite sport to play by a mile and the only one he asks to watch. Attending a Nationals game when he was 2.5 while we were living in DC jump started his love of the game and he’s still a major Nats fan.

He outgrew his old hat several months ago so he’ll be thrilled by a new one! This is also the gift he was going to purchase for himself recently until I let on that perhaps it was already taken care of for his birthday, so he gave me input on exactly which style he loved. 😉

Books for a 12 Year Old Boy

It wouldn’t be a birthday without a book gift, especially for this mega bookworm. N willingly reads everything from historical fiction to memoirs; we joke that if we left a phone book out on the counter at night, he’d have read it by the time we came out in the morning. Still, he has specific preferences for what he loves. Fantasy is number one, he loves fast-paced action, and he also enjoys nonfiction (he almost always prefers well-written history to historical fiction).

I thought I’d get him 3 books – one excellent fantasy-based spy thriller (with an awesomely diverse cast of characters); one fantasy with Black American folk heroes and rooted in West African mythology; and one fast-paced and funny nonfiction with commentary on racial oppression.

Purchase City Spies: Amazon, Bookshop, Target, Walmart

Purchase Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky: Amazon, Bookshop, Target, Walmart

Purchase It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Adapted for Young Readers): Amazon, Bookshop, Target, Walmart

There you have it! All our 12 year old boy birthday gifts, plus lots of cards from siblings, a fun time with friends and family with a movie night, visit to a pumpkin patch, and using our annual passes to head to the local theme park this week. So excited to continue celebrating this kiddo!

Do you have a tween? We have lots more coming so I’d love to hear any awesome tween birthday gift ideas you have!


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