Best Toys for 12 Year Old Boys

How important are friends? It seems like it’s easy for most kids to round up a group of kids their age and play but for the kids who struggle, how important is it?

I began asking myself these questions when searching for the best toys for 12 year old boys. I have a son who has more friends than he needs. He always has someone to hang out with. But my other son is more reserved and quiet. I sometimes worry about the effect this is having on him.

Enjoy my list of the best toys for 12 year old boys but stick around to learn how to help the young boys in your life make real friendships that have a positive impact on their lives.

Why Having Friends is Important?

Having friends isn’t just about weekends and parties. There are plenty of deep, meaningful, and psychological reasons that friendship is a crucial part of our lives.

Develops important life skills

Friendships help young men learn how to deal with positive and negative events. Having friends also encourages confidence and self-esteem, both which can lead to a domino effect of positivity.

Less isolation and fear

Children without companionship find themselves isolated and often fearful of public situations. Friendship can keep children busy in a positive manner.

Priceless childhood memories

Childhood memories, whether good or bad, shape the adults we grow up to be. Having meaningful friendships increases the amount of these childhood memories and they’re more often positive and enjoyable to reflect upon.

How to Help Your Child Make Friends

Some young boys make friends easier than others. If your child seems to be struggling, there are a few things you can do that won’t have negative repercussions or cause your child embarrassment.

Develop their social skills

Some children don’t pick up on social cues as well as others. Take time to explain body language to your child. This will help them to have more positive interactions with people who truly want to get to know them.

Explore new possibilities

School isn’t the only place your child can make friends. Check out local sports and clubs. My son met his best friend in boy scouts and my other son hangs out with his travel hockey teammates all the time. Just be sure that your child is actually interested in an activity before enrolling them. Never force your child to participate in an activity that they don’t want to.

Here’s a unique way to make friends. One Globe Kids lets your child safely and securely talk to kids around the globe, introducing them to new cultures and experiences.​

Talk about what friendships need

Maybe your child doesn’t have a problem meeting new people but instead, they struggle with keeping a friendship going. Take the time to go over what friendships need to survive. Friendship is about supporting the other person and receiving the same support back. Don’t let your child be taken advantage of and don’t let them take advantage of another child’s friendship either.

If you’re still having trouble navigating the conversation, this guide will help tremendously.

Is your child new to your area? This video will help them make the transition.​

Best Toys for 12 Year Old Boys—Top 5 Reviewed

Quality

Price

Our Rating

This K’NEX set is great to assemble with a friend or two. You can build 13 amusement rides with the 2,200 included parts and pieces. Make roller coasters, a Ferris wheel, and more.

The set is designed to help children work in teams. It includes an instruction manual and a Teacher’s Guide for classroom use. The kit helps promote critical thinking, manual learning, and mechanical understanding.

All in all, it’s one of the best toys for 12 year old boys and helps kids find common ground and build friendships.

PROS

  • Group activity
  • Educational
  • Variety of projects

CONS

  • Small pieces
  • Some models take a lot of time to construct

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Nerf will always find a home on the list of best toys for 12 year old boys. This set can be used solo or in a group so it’s perfect for friendly competition.

It includes a target that can be stood up on a flat surface or hung over a door. It only comes with one gun so it teaches sharing but it includes 10 suction darts in two different colors so that it’s easy to keep track of points.

The Nerf N-Strike Target Set will help deepen friendships through friendly competition.

PROS

  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Two different colored darts
  • No batteries

CONS

  • Darts can become lost
  • Only one gun

Quality

Price

Our Rating

This is the ultimate laser tag set and it definitely tops my list of the best toys for 12 year old boys. Hanging out after school will never be the same.

This kit includes four laser blasters and a carrying case. The laser guns can be hooked up for team play or a free-for-all battle. There are no uncomfortable or complicated vets. Instead, the blasters are the targets.

Every child on the block will want to get in on this game. If you find that your child has difficulty coming up with activities when he has friends over, this is the solution.

PROS

  • 4 players
  • Carrying case
  • No vests

CONS

  • Needs batteries
  • Target difficult to hit

Quality

Price

Our Rating

Why not sneak a little STEM into your child’s playtime? The Big Catch board game is perfect for sleepovers or rainy afternoons. The game focuses on saving fishermen lost at sea through a series of math problems.

I know what you’re thinking. How can a math game be one of the best toys for 12 year old boys? But the creators of this game really found a way to make it engaging, fun, and competitive.

My son has this game and it’s always a hit during weekend sleepovers. It’s also great for family time and helps develop life skills like forward thinking, strategic planning, and patience.

PROS

  • Educational
  • Introduces new concepts to younger children
  • Ideal for friends and/or family time

CONS

  • Small pieces
  • Can be difficult for some children at first

Quality

Price

Our Rating

I’ve included another board game in my list of the best toys for 12 year old boys only because they’re so great for developing friendships. They teach teamwork, graciousness, and create an environment that’s fun and inviting.

Schmovie is one of my favorites. You’ll never hear twelve year olds laugh as hard as they do when playing this game. The game is all about creativity, imagination, and fun. Individuals can play or you can come up with teams.

At my house, this game never makes it back to the game closet. Whether we’re playing as a family or my son is playing with his friends, it spends more time outside of the box than in.

PROS

  • Fun competition
  • Individual or team play
  • Promotes creativity

CONS

  • Small pieces
  • Not a fast game

As you can see, many of the best toys for 12 year old boys help to develop and strengthen friendships through play. My favorite from the list would have to be Legacy Toys Laser Tag Set.

The setup is minimal and it provides hours of fun. Kids can spend plenty of time in the backyard running, jumping, and becoming best friends.