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Birthday Gift Ideas For Children Under 12

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We've all been there. Your child has a birthday party to go to. But, in the mountain of things you have to do, you forgot to buy a suitable gift. Let's be honest, in between getting everyone up for work and school on time and getting everyone out the door with a healthy breakfast, there is not much time for anything else.

In between all the chaos of daily life, you realize that there's a birthday party to attend the following day, it’s a mad dash to the nearest store to get anything they have left in stock, whether that is a great gift or not. Well how about doing it differently from now on? Instead of pre-party chaos, let's try some calm instead. You can make things a little easier on yourself by checking out the gift recommendations for the under 12s, below.


To make it even easier, the gifts are listed by category that matches in with that clever little rhyme. The want, need, wear read rhyme is something that is popular at Christmas. But it can be used to make sure that the kids are not inundated with stuff they don't really want at birthdays, or for any other occasion too.

Something They Want
By far the most important section of any gift list for children under 12 is the something they want, list. Ask any under 12, they will tell you it's true!

That means we need to discover what the on-trend gifts are this year. As nothing will make their day like receiving something that they and all their friends want, but they think is sold out.

Number one on the list of something the under 12s want is the Fisher-Price Think & Learn Code-a-Pillar. This is designed for ages 3-6. It is a nifty digital toy that works by assembling the different parts. Each part has a direction on it and put together they make a sequence that the caterpillar will move in. You can make any sequence you like with the pieces. It’s great for encouraging kids to really think about things in a logical way, to get the results that the want.

The next thing on the list is a Hatchimal. These are made by Spin Master and are a new take on the interactive Furby. Basically, you get an egg that has one of two Hatichmals inside. You can choose from Draggles, Pengualas or Owlicorns.

Then you have to nurture the egg until their eyes glow from this inside. That means they are ready to hatch! Of course! Then you get to help your particular Hatchimal develop from a baby to a toddler to a child. While this might seem an insane gift to give a 5+-year-old, Ebay is a testament to how popular these things are.  They are currently going for vastly inflated prices as they have sold out across the country!

Star Wars themed goodies continue to be a great gift for kids old and young alike. Try the Rogue One 12 inch Action Figure - Interac Tech Imperial Stormtrooper. This servant of the empire has over 65 interactive sounds. So will make punching noises if put in a 'hand to hand' combat situation. Or make blaster sounds if you equip him with his sidearm! It can even be used in conjunction with the Star Wars FX app for added mileage.

Of course, if you think that, that is the only Star Wars themed item that makes a great gift the force is definitely not strong with you! There are also the Stars Wars Lego kits where you can build, in your very own home. Construct anything from the Death Star to the Millennium Falcon to the Ewok Village. The more complicated sets are suitable for older kids and the young at heart.

For that difficult 5-7-year-old category what about a traditional board game with a twist? Hasbro’s Pie Face is a crazy game that focuses on turn taking. Just twist the handle for the number of rotations specified, without getting a pie in the face to win! It's easier than it sounds, but the hilarity of seeing your friends and loved one get pied is well worth the cover price!

If the child that you are buying for is more into 'doing activities,' then you could try something like Seedling Design Your Own Headphones Kit. The recipients get to use their artistic skills to color and draw all over some plain white headphones. Which of course are an essential item for most little ones these days!
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Another nice gift option is the materials for friendship band making. This makes a good gift as the child you buy it for not only learns the patience and skill needed to complete a creative project. But it also encourages generosity and giving too. There are various kits available with looms and the like, or you can put your own together with instructions and embroidery thread. That is how it was done back in the old days anyway!

Something They Need

The something the need category sound dull, but it doesn't have to be. Especially as there are so many cool technological gizmos that kids can get away with using in their everyday lives nowadays.

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Why not try an Omano: OM117L Compound Microscope for the budding scientist in your life? Being able to experiment with scientific equipment in the comfort of their own home can be a real eye opener for kids. Often in school, it is one per group, so some uninterrupted time can do wonders for sparking the mind so the future STEM generations. For ages 6 and up.

For the younger intellectuals in the family what about a LeapFrog Interactive Learning System? This is an interactive book that helps promote reading skills and number work through exciting stories. Perfect for ages 2-4.

Also remember that most kids are happy to receive electronic items like tablets or even laptops. As they can use to research their homework and access media on them. Obviously, this is not a small gift, so it's unlikely you’ll be buying this sort of thing for every child in your life. But just in case you were wondering there is a list of the best value for money items here.

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Something To Wear

Now the something to wear category can be divisive when buying for children under 12. You have some kids that exclusively unwrap a gift on their birthday, only to find out that it is a sweatshirt or a sweater. This causes their face to fall, and they are onto to next gift in a heartbeat! Then you have the fashionista kids who need all the latest trainers and jeans or their birthday is absolutely ruined!

If you are buying for the 'not too bothered about clothes' kids, then a pair of pajamas is always a good bet. They come in handy even if the recipient isn't too keen on them! Throw in a robe for good measure, and you have a nice little wearable gift.

But if you are buying for the trendy kids then you will need to think a bit more careful about what to get them.

For girly girls, pink is always a great choice. If you are stuck for wearable birthday ideas then a sparkly t-shirt with their age on is a great idea. Or a jacket to keep the wind and rain out can be a good choice. Or what about a gorgeous party dress to wear to their birthday celebration?

A smaller wearable gift could include something like a purse or headband which are also very popular at the moment.
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For the boys, it's got to be sneakers. But make sure they are the right brand like Nike or Adidas! Plaid shirt for the older kids are very much on trend now, especially teamed up with jeans!

Something to Read
Reading is an essential skill to encourage in any child. It can also be a pleasurable experience for parents and children to do together. So with this in mind here are some great book suggestions for birthday gifts that everyone will love.

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The first book on the list is Goodnight Everyone by Chris Haughton. This is suitable for 3-6-year-olds and is full of repetitive phrases designed to trigger associations of sleep. So while the kids may very well enjoy it, I'm sure it will be one of their parents most favorite gifts too.

Or how about an older classic like The Hungry Caterpillar? This one has been around for a good 30 years or so, but it just seems to get better and more popular with age. For the two people in the entire world out there that haven't read this book, no spoilers! But the caterpillar is pretty hungry! Then something wonderful happens. Introduce this classic to a new generation by buying it as a birthday gift.

For the older kids how about the Hunger Games series. It is full of heroic YA characters that have to sacrifice to save the ones they love. There is also a wicked baddy and a complicated love story. As well as plenty of seat of your pants action adventure. It's rated for reading ages 12 and up and some parental discretion is required as it gets pretty dark toward the end.

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