14 Awesome Birthday Gifts for a 12-Year-Old Girl and the Secret to Getting Her Gifts She Will Love + Expert Advice on How to Better Understand Adolescents

14 Awesome Birthday Gifts for a 12-Year-Old Girl and the Secret to Getting Her Gifts She Will Love + Expert Advice on How to Better Understand Adolescents

The absolute best products for 12 year girls, from cool fashion accessories, bags, spa sets for kids, to fun games, terrarium kits and books to give her a brainy boost. BP Guide has curated a list of all the top rated products of 2019, the games that 12 year girls have been raving about and gifts that tween girls will adore. What more can she want for her birthday?

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The Secret to Getting Awesome Birthday Gifts for a 12-Year-Old Girl

If you are looking for a birthday gift for a 12-year-old girl and are scrambling for gift solutions, know that you are not the only one! It is indeed difficult to shop for girls of this age, because they are so vulnerable to the world they are exposed to and have changing ambitions and aspirations. This is the age where they build strong opinions and are heavily influenced by their peers. To help you close the gift-buying struggle for real, read on the following guidelines for choosing and buying an awesome gift for a tween girl.

Thinking of Gifting Clothes? Err...No!

If you know the birthday girl closely, say she is family, and you regularly meet her, you may probably have a fair sense of her dressing style. If that is the case, you may feel confident about buying her apparels and that would be a great choice. Girls always welcome new additions to their wardrobe. But if you don't know her well, it is better to steer away from buying her clothes.

You may think nothing can go wrong with a blouse with a floral print, but girls can be choosy about wearing patterned or printed clothes. A safer bet would be an accessory, such as a neutral-coloured scarf or a bathrobe with her name embroidered on it. After all, you don't want her to accept a gift, claiming to like it when she really doesn't!

Buying a "Smart" Gift

Smart gadgets are very popular among young adults, be it cameras, phones, tablets, watches, e-readers, or other electronic gadgets. They all like the opportunity to brag about their newest gadget and its features among friends and are always looking to explore and experiment. However, many tween girls already own smart devices so do your share of research if you are planning to buy one. Also, it is wise to consult her parents and have their consent before making a purchase. Some parents are disciplinarians and prefer their kids stay away from gadgets as much as possible.

Girly or Tomboyish?

Not all 12-year-olds like pink and have a fascination for unicorns. Some have a more methodical approach to life and are looking for answers to bust myths and facts. So, before you decide to buy a gift for a tweenager, find out her likes and dislikes. Is she girly or is she tomboyish? What does she like to do for fun? What are her hobbies? Is she into books or is she hooked on to TikTok? Answering questions like these will help you find the perfect gift for her, so put on your thinking hat!

Understanding Her is Key: Here's What Our Expert Has to Say

Psychotherapist and Child Welfare Advocate
Prarthana Khullar
Prarthana has a masters degree in social work from Loyola University, Chicago and an MS in child development from Erikson Institute, Chicago. She has been dedicated to working with children, teens, young adults, their care givers, and families. Her work involves trauma informed, relationship-centered, play-based psychotherapy and she primarily supports children and families that are under-served, and living in high crime neighbourhoods. She supports collaboration with caregivers, family members, and partners in her work with her clients. Her areas of specialty are relationship issues, trauma, anxiety, grief and loss.

"Be thoughtful. Write an encouraging note, buy a special treat, take your child out for a movie, go to the park. In other words, time equals gift."

With access to the best technological and scientific advancements humans have ever accomplished, sophisticated methods of communication and travel, ease of access to knowledge and the availability of choice; your child today is exposed to, and has to navigate a more complex environment than you did when you were a child. In addition to experiencing and absorbing the world, your tween is also navigating a very personal internal storm, of sorts, their development.

Growing up is harder than you can remember!

The brain, for example, continues to develop into early adulthood. So while a teen might begin to look and talk more like a grown-up, they are not even fully wired yet! The part of the brain (pre-frontal cortex) that helps with rationale reasoning, complex cognitive behavior, and decision making is not fully developed till early to mid-20s. Teens might rely on the amygdala, which is associated with emotions, and impulses, to solve problems and make decisions.

“When you find yourself wondering why your child seems so impulsive sometimes, there is a very real scientific explanation for that.”

Young adolescents can send out so many confusing signals: they can be fierce one moment and grossly dependent, almost clingy the next. They want to do everything on their own, and yet might need you to be there (a lot). It’s almost like they are attached to your hip with an elastic band, sometimes they pull too far and there is tension; other times they might snap back too quickly leaving you confused, and maybe even hurt, but what remains is that they are still attached to you. And as the adult, it is on you to nurture and care for that connection between you and your child.

While it is typical that a tween feels close and connected to their family, they also have an important developmental need to form close relationships with their peers. Of course there is no one-way that children build these relationships, but you might notice that your tween wants to ‘belong’. This very healthy part of social development is often categorized under the “easily influenced by peers” behaviour. It really is all part of growing up. And as the caregiver, one of the many ways you can support your child through this exploration is by paying attention to your child, allow for open and honest communication with no (minimal) judgement.

“Your child is intuitive, they deserve your love, they deserve your trust and while they might not say it to you they appreciate you.”

All behavior has meaning, and sometimes as parents and caregivers we get stuck in trying to understand things at face value. We begin to think our tween is behaving in a certain way because they want to be rebellious, because they are easily influenced by their peers, because they are a bad child but I would encourage you to take a step back, and pause before you jump to those conclusions. Parenting is hard, you’re not wrong, but it is also so rewarding.

Validate the feelings your child might be experiencing. Try not to dismiss their experiences with “it will get better”, or “it doesn’t matter”. It matters to them that they are heard, by you—a trusted person. As caregivers we are often quick to get our own problem solving hats on. There are more benefits in exploring with your tween ways of coping, advocating, empathizing and problem solving that they can use with your support. You have already spent years teaching them right from wrong, it’s time to support their minds in critical thoughtful thinking.

“It is common and very natural for tweens and teens to sometimes feel emotions that might appear intense to the adult.”

Feelings like jealousy, hurt, rage, irritation, nervousness, excitement, disappointment and more are common among pre-adolescence and adolescents. If you feel like your child is unsafe, or is experiencing extreme emotions for prolonged periods of time please seek medical professional help. Parents sometimes forget that there is so much value in just being present. A colleague describes this as a lesson she learned from her children—to “just be there”. Be there for your child, you don’t have to be the knight in shining armor or the wizard with a magic wand. There is so much value in saying “I am here for you when you want”, because you are, aren’t you?

I can’t imagine there is anyone that can deny that receiving a gift, feels good. But there is also something sweeter about receiving a thoughtful gift when you least expect it.

14 Birthday Gift Ideas for a 12-Year-Old Girl

We did our share of research and scouted some of the bestselling birthday gifts for a 12-year-old girl. The list caters to a variety of interests and personalities, so we really hope you find something useful for your birthday girl.

100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster

Your little one feels like a big girl and you can boost her confidence in herself by helping her make and reach goals. From small ones like learning to make pancakes on her own, to biggies like seeing the Northern Lights. And the best part is there’s a scratch off poster that will do just this! The 100 Things To Do Scratch Off Poster will inspire her to try and complete 100 unique experiences that everyone must have! This one can be a project for years to come as she may need help, or just grow up a little more to finish some - drive a motorbike and go see a play alone. Measuring 23.2” x 16.5”, the poster is printed on 300 gsm, wood-free, glossy paper. Order it for Rs.1,064 from Uncommon Goods.

Secret Dictionary Book Safe

At the age of 12, many young girls look for privacy. They want to have their own "me time" without disruptions. Many also take to journaling at this age. Child development experts recommend that parents respect this transitory phase and give their children some space to discover themselves, of course with close supervision. This Secret Dictionary Book Safe is a perfect gift for girls going through an emotional transition.

This is an ingenious product that is shaped like a dictionary from the outside, but it is actually a "safe in disguise". It comes with a lock and key and is perfect for storing valuables like jewelry, cash, and accessories, or even other secret stuff. The deceptive dictionary can be kept along with all other books on the bookshelf where it can't be mistaken for anything but a book! This is available on Giveter for Rs.1,099.

Harry Potter Gryffindor Sigil

A sigil is an inscription or symbol believed to have magical powers. If the birthday girl is a Potterhead, she will be absolutely delighted to receive this official licensed Harry Potter tote bag with the Gryffindor sigil. She would love to carry this to her classes or while hanging out with friends over the weekends. Let her go on a virtual Hogwarts experience with this tote bag. Available on Giveter for just Rs.499, this is a fun and novel gift for a 12-year-old girl.

P.S. I Love You (English)

Source www.amazon.in

This romantic bestseller is the debut book of author Cecelia Ahern. It is one of the most uplifting and sweet love stories that revolves around Holly and Gerry, who were childhood sweethearts. The two protagonists knew their souls connected at a deeper level and that they were destined to be together. It is an endearing story that is written straight from the heart and perhaps that is why it has touched the hearts of millions of readers. The book was published in 2004. In 2007, a movie was made based on the book. The story is one of long-lasting love, and the belief that everybody has a guardian angel to protect them in one form or the other. The paperback form can be ordered online at Amazon India, for just Rs.175.

Fastrack Monochrome Analog Watch

Source www.amazon.in

A smart-looking watch is a great birthday gift idea for a 12-year-old girl, and this Fastrack NG6078SL05C Monochrome Analog Watch just fits the bill. It has a smart purple dial and violet strap made of genuine leather. It is a quartz watch and is water resistant (up to 30 m). Moreover, it comes with a 12-month manufacturer warranty. You can buy this smart and stylish watch from Amazon India for Rs.1,999.

Cinematic Lightbox

Source www.amazon.in

Young girls love reading motivational quotes and leaving notes. That's what makes this cinematic lightbox a great gift for a 12-year-old girl. It is unique with some very cool features. It is basically an LED light-up message board that comes with a set of 85 letter and character tiles. So, one can create inspirational messages, leave random notes, or be creative with this lightbox. The light box is battery operated, and the set comes with 6 AA batteries. It makes a great addition to the study desk or the bedside table. This cinematic lightbox can be purchased from Amazon for Rs.720.

Happy Birthday Journal

Source www.amazon.in

Girls enjoy writing down their thoughts and daily events in a journal. The practice of journaling is actually a mind booster as it allows one to channelize their creativity and think clearly. a journal makes a thoughtful birthday gift for the tween girl turning 12. Encourage her to share her thoughts and get into a practice of writing by gifting her this birthday journal.

This is essentially a 7 x 10 size notebook, with plenty of space for writing daily entries, stories, poems, or even capturing random ideas or doodles. This is a great keepsake memory book for her to treasure all her moments and special events as she enters the teenage. The journal has a pretty pink and black cover, which gives it a stylish and classy feel. But this from Amazon for Rs.754.

National Geographic Kids Why? Over 1,111 Answers to Everything

Source www.amazon.in

Parents can't answer all questions the 12-year-old's curious mind may have. Well, Google might, but nothing beats the pleasure of finding answers in a hardcover book. That's right! This National Geographic Kids WHY? edition has over 1,111 answers to all sorts of questions. From animals to human body to nature to space, this giant book has all the answers. It doesn't matter if her questions are silly or serious. The book provides expert information in a fun and entertaining format. The book also covers a lot of trivia and fascinating information, including weird-but-true facts, explorer profiles, and cool activities. Fuel her passion for discovery with an intelligent and fun gift. Buy the hardcover edition from for Rs.449 from Amazon.

Day at The Spa Deluxe Gift Set

Source www.amazon.in

Girls just wanna have some fun! Gift the tween birthday girl this fun set called Day at the Spa. it is a set of 30+ items that will help her enjoy a lovely and rejuvenating spa day with her girlfriends. The set includes aan inflatable pedicure pool, a battery-operated nail dryer, satin eye mask, and satin spa bag to hold the mani-pedi kit.

Mind you, the kit is elaborate and has all the essentials such as slippers, toe separators, nail file, buffer, 4 bottles of nail polish, 1 bottle of glitter polish, 6 sets of printed press-on nails, stick-on nail art, nail stand, and cotton balls. Moreover, it has fully illustrated instructions and spa party ideas so the part can be conducted without parents hovering around! If she is a girly and chic, she will absolutely adore this gift and love throwing an elegant day of spa indulgence with her girlies. This is available at Amazon for Rs.3,969.

Charms Bracelets

Source www.amazon.in

Not all girls have had their ears pierced or fancy wearing anklets and rings. Hence, bracelets are one of the safest bets among accessories or fashion jewelry for tween girls. We have handpicked a beautiful multi-layer bangle bracelet. The bracelet is made of aqua/mint green coloured beads, a regal and elegant colour (and again, a safe play)! It is a free-size bracelet and is quite stunning and trendy. This one is by a well-known fashion jewelry brand called Shining Diva. Make her a diva with this charming bracelet; get it from Amazon for Rs.399.

Drink More Water Bottle

She needs to stay hydrated but hates being reminded to drink water, because, well, she’s no baby any more! Instead of nagging her to drink up, give her a cute water bottle that lets her track her hydration on her own. The Drink More Water Bottle has encouraging messages printed on it that tell you how much water to drink through the day; follow them and and you manage to drink two whole bottles of water in a day. The bottle is made of glass with fixtures in plastic, silicone and stainless steel. The capacity is about 500 ml so it’s not cumbersome to lug around, all you need to do is refill! Buy it for Rs.1,418 from uncommongoods.com.

Kleio Polka Dots Canvas Sling Bag

Source www.amazon.in

Drawstrings and sling bags are very popular among young girls. They also make for great gifts of practical value. This Kleio sling bag is made of canvas and has a magnetic button for closure. The polka dots print on the bag give it a cool and casual appeal. The bag also comes with a 3-months' warranty for manufacturing defects. This one is available on Amazon for Rs.431, quite a steal deal for the price, we say!

Family Charades

This is a classic charades game that makes get-togethers a lot more fun, allowing friends and families to bond. The game tests your expression skills, wherein you have to make use of a lot of gestures and mime to guess the correct answer. This is an improved version with six different categories of entertainment, including picture, kids, family, Hollywood, animals, and time capsule. The entertaining decks are designed to cater to different age groups, so you're sure to find the perfect mix depending on the audience in question. The talkative and bubbly 12-year-old is sure going to have many exciting times with this game. But this from uncommongoods.com for Rs.1,886.

Sparkle N' Grow Butterfly Terrarium

Source www.amazon.in

Another great activity set from Creativity for Kids is this Sparkle N' Grow Butterfly Terrarium. This one is apt for nature-loving girls who love gardening and art. The activity box combines indoor gardening and creative skills, such as decorating an indoor garden with butterfly wings, sparkling stickers, feathers, flowers and more. The kit contains a 5 x 3 ¼ inch jar with a decorative lid, potting mix, china, and organic chi and wheat grass seeds (which sprout in 3 to 4 days), and some craft accessories.

This is a great birthday gift idea for those budding botanists, as it helps them learn the functioning of a terrarium. It is an all-inclusive kit, complete with supplies and equipment, including a plant mister to keep the terrarium watered. This fun educational activity box helps kids learn about botany as well as nurture and care for a live ecosystem. The kit inclusions are all tested for kid safety and are recommended for ages 6+. This amazing gift box is available on Amazon for Rs.3,250.

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From our editorial team

Set a budget if you don't want to overspend

Whether you're a parent, a relative or a casual acquaintance who has been invited to her birthday party, set a budget based on your relationship to the girl or her family. The closer you are, the more freely you can spend, but capping your spending is important. Factor in considerations like your own spending capacity, other presents she may have received recently, and also how expensive gifts you think a child her age should get. You don't want to club too many expensive presents at one go; give her nice things but be careful not to spoil her.