I asked my Grandson what it was like to be a twelve year old. Like many other boys of this age group, he wasn’t all that keen on answering Grandma’s questions about that but, to his credit, he spent time giving me some valuable information that I could work with and that helped me to grasp what Middle School boys really like.
Middle school can be pretty tough on kids because they have so many different changes to experience and go through. It’s a strange age because they definitely don’t want to be treated like little children any more but yet they are not quite grown up either. That tricky stage of puberty is starting and hormones are raging too. I know he still likes Grandma hugs (at least not in front of his friends!) and we enjoy playing fun games together as well but I want to know what his interests are so I can buy him some great gifts too – so I just went ahead and asked him.
If you’re in a this position and looking for things to buy for a similar aged child, maybe he’s your son, grandson or nephew, you’ll get lots of great ideas and inspiration here on items as well as insights to their behavior and interests. This will help you to connect more.
So, what do you get a 12 year old boy for a gift? Selections of popular gifts and presents for this age bracket may well include things like Snap Circuits, video games, cool Lego sets, Minecraft, Madden Football and some fun joke items that are typically hot for the pre-teens. Munchkin board games are great for the whole family to join in with and much better for boys than the regular types of board games they are used to seeing – and probably bored with too.
Fun things for Entertaining this Age Group
Have you ever wondered about ways to keep these kids entertained? Are you also looking out for fun things you can do with them? It may not even be your own son but a grandson, nephew or even a friend’s son that is coming over to visit with and you want to get some ideas on how to keep him amused. If you can manage to keep him away long enough from playing Video games and being glued to the cell phone, you will learn that many are typically energetic and also curious too.
The best solution, if it’s not your own child, is to simply ASK him what it is that he likes to do. Be prepared to get a standard shrug and an “I don’t know” answer by using some open ended questions which he can’t use that response too. You could ask what 3 things he likes to do either inside the home or outside – depending what the weather is like of course. You can clarify his responses further and delve a bit deeper but try not to annoy him by seeming like you are asking too many questions.
It can also be good to challenge kids with activities that they’ve never actually done before. Challenges like building a Lego set or putting snap circuits together can be really good to set. You can teach them to do lots of artistic things too – in fact, the more hands on and the more challenging, the better. You know, most boys may not want to learn something like knitting a blanket so here are some better ideas for keeping them entertained. I like the free LEGO Digital Designer where they can make up their own projects on a Windows PC or Mac.
This 270+ page hardcover and paperback book is packed full of ideas, activities and skills to entertain boys with and it currently has over 1110 reviews (over 900+ top rated 5*) by parents and guardians.
This book, and it’s not really all that dangerous, is one that can be used to generate lots of great ideas and inspiration on how to entertain boys with some old fashioned but fun challenges, activities and stories too. The author of this, who had a runaway success with it over in the UK, feels that we should not be overly protective of and coddle boys too much since that takes away their own sense of accomplishment and also does not help them to become both “confident and competent” in their life. He believes that sometimes boys need to fall down, in order to learn for themselves how to get back up again – and I really agree with the author on this point.
The Most Popular Lego Sets
I sat in the Legos store and watched what everyone was buying, or looking at, for over an hour. It was fascinating watching what the kids liked, and what the adults liked, which weren’t always the same things. There are so many Lego sets that are popular. Star Wars and Ninjago remain Popular Lego choices to buy.
The XBox Console is one of the Coveted Gifts
The Xbox is the video gaming console that he really wanted after he visited his new friend’s house. Technology for gaming changes so unbelievably fast and kids can be so remarkably similar to the adults in really wanting both the newest and the best things and gadgets. The Xbox 360 is definitely one of the gaming systems they really seem to like. These pre-teen kids just love playing on video games and they tend to want the same consoles that their friends have so they can have fun playing the same games together and compete with each other too, online.
This popular Minecraft game can be bought for a variety of gaming systems. It’s a fun game with two modes to it. Creative mode: you can build anything that you can imagine and interact with it which is great for fostering young imaginations. Survival mode: you start off with nothing but a map and you need to learn how to survive in the game by getting food and building a shelter.
These wouldn’t be grandmas choice but pre-teen boys love them
Many of the video games that Middle School boys, who are 12 years and up, tend to like are rated as mature. As much as I don’t like many of the popular games, the kids really love them. Again, this age can be tough and challenging and so when you are talking video games they naturally want to play the games that their friends are playing. There are many popular games, other than ones I’ve picked here, so just look out for the best sellers or listen to what your child is saying that they or their friends like.
This is the new Madden Football game. If your son loves football, this is probably a game he’ll really enjoy.
3 Things that 12 Year Old Boys Have in Common
If I were to name just three things that these kids have in common with each other it would be these:
- Energy and a love of Jokes and Teasing
- A Real Desire for Social Acceptance by their Peers
- The Last Year they are Somewhat of a Little Boy
Most of them are awkward when it comes to how to behave around girls as this is about the time that they start really seeing girls as more than just a friend or someone to tease. Finding gifts for this age can be challenging if you want more than sports or Video Games. Here are a couple unique gifts to suit these boys.
Snap circuits allow kids 8 and over to come up with hundreds of fun and engaging electrical circuit board projects. This is a hands-on kit which is also practical because it provides some real-life education on how circuit boards work. There are 305 projects to do with this set and items snap easily onto the provided grid board.
Many boys will think this is funny since even grown men find it amusing too. Kids with a good sense of humor will have fun with this remote control fart machine and you can just imagine that smile on their face as it is activated.
Working with Middle School Boys: What I Learned
I worked with kids for over 25 years as a Counselor, mostly with young boys aged between 10-14. I really like the 10 year old’s, and can’t wait till the 13 year old’s grow into themselves which normally happens at around the 15 1/2 mark. I have been asked lots of time why I had a preference to work with boys rather than girls and the answer seems pretty simple to me. Essentially you are able to put a small group of boys in the same room together and they will either just get along with each other or, at the very least, will work out how to settle any differences.
Girls can be a lot harder to work with. If there are 3 girls in a room together it will very often happen that there is always one who gets left out while the other two become firm friends. So that’s a big reason for why I prefer working with boys instead. You can help to guide them through the very turbulent and rather awkward phases of adolescence by showing respect and helping to entertain them as well.
All kids like to feel accepted, especially by their peers, and we can only help up to a certain point because they need to learn to help themselves which is better in the long run. Give them what they need in order for them to learn to take some responsibility, afford them a bit of privacy and space and don’t give any false messages to artificially boost their egos.
This is the time where their bodies are changing and this can be a source of embarrassment for them and it’s also an awkward subject for them to broach. Many of them may prefer to look on the Internet to find the information they want to know but please be aware of how easy it is to find misinformation on the Internet as well. It’s really the job of parents, grandparents and guardians to provide the information that these boys need so they can get through this changing transition successfully.
Providing unconditional love and learning to separate a negative behavior from the person is quite important when needing to discipline so that these boys can grow with a good self-esteem as well as learning to be well educated and compassionate too. It’s definitely a delicate balance in teaching them the right behaviors and they can learn much by seeing how the adults around them behave – you’re their example to follow. This is the age where they want more freedoms and start to pull away from family so it is rather essential that you are there when they need you but are not being completely overbearing.
Acceptance from peers is very important and will start to mean a lot to him. Being different in any way such as being shorter than average or overweight can lead to being teased and even bullied. Middle School can be a tough experience and kids can be mean as they are all jostling and fighting to fit in. He may choose some friends that you don’t like or approve of and will probably start showering more too. The age when boys discover girls and see them as something other than friends makes me smile because this is when they also learn to find the soap for themselves too – without being told.
You should really enjoy the 10-12 year kids, love the tricky age of 13 even more and have some patience in watching that calendar for when, at around 14, they transform into a person that has the hormones in a much better balance 🙂
Trivia Board Game for Age 12+. The Smart Ass fun trivia game is where being the first to get the answer is what each player strives for in order to become the ultimate Smart Ass. Nominated for the 2007 “Game of the Year”.
Read What a Real 12 Year Old Boy has to Say
These answers to my questions were written down by my 12 year old Grandson and it is exactly as he thinks. This should help you further in working out what this stage of kids like.
Q – What is it like being the only boy in your family?
A – Being the only boy is definitely pretty bad. When our family goes out shopping I have to follow the girls in to all the girly stores.
Q – What toys are your favorites?
A – My favorite toys are the legos and also board games.
Q – What’s it like for you over at Granma’s house?
A – At Granma’s home we have to do all of her chores, for example yesterday we had to clean out her whole front yard! On the bright side though, Granma does make good food.
Q – What’s your favorite sport?
A – My favorite sport is baseball. In every other sport you get more injured that’s why. This is the only sport I play on a team.
Q – What type of book would you like?
A – I want a book on pitching.