29 Super Fun Activities And Games For 12-Year-Olds

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Adolescence begins at the age of twelve for some, and this period signals a significant change in a child’s behavior and overall personality. You’ll observe a distinct personality, specialized hobbies, and improved cognitive ability. Encouraging them to try different activities for 12-year-olds (tweens) can assist them in meeting their developmental needs. It is also important that you give attention to your child at this age. While it is good to take them camping and fishing, there are several other ways to engage them. This post covers some fascinating and fun activities for tweens to help them with their physical, mental, and socio-emotional development.

In This Article

Activities for 12-year-old Children

Here are some enjoyable and entertaining activities that your 12-year-old child can indulge in with friends and family.

1. Make a comic book

Comic writing activities for 12 year olds

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Creative writing requires imagination. Involving your pre-teen in creative-writing activities can hone their cognitive abilities and promote out-of-the-box thinking. Choosing a theme, writing dialogues, and preparing visuals can encourage them to plan, organize, and present ideas. This productive, self-expressing activity can also boost their self-esteem and confidence.
Alternatively, your child can try to draw a comic book containing only characters and no words — a fun and challenging way to fire their imagination.

2. Do a DIY project

DIY project activities for 12 year olds

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DIY projects are based on the concept of “learning by doing,” a perfect way to indulge your tween in self-learning activities. The theme for a DIY project can vary, and it is best to decide on a task that is both engaging and challenging. Building a city using recyclables or preparing an effective plan to minimize plastic waste are some fun and learning DIY projects that can help boost your child’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills.

3. Learn to code

Coding activities for 12 year olds

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Gamified coding and computer programming is a fun-filled and creative activity that can provide 12-year-olds an exciting learning experience. Coding can be useful in strengthening their problem-solving, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. Besides, it can teach them perseverance. Coding could also progress to robotics.

4. Learn a new language

Language learning activities for 12 year olds

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Learning a new language can help improve your tween’s cognitive and decision-making skills. Besides, it can hone your child’s communication skills that are relevant for personal development. Depending on their interest and preferences, they can learn one or more than one language. You could enroll them in a language class or download a language-learning app.

5. Play a board game

Board game activities for 12 year olds

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Playing board games, such as Brainstorm or Scrabble, is a joyful, engaging, and learning experience. But, how about preparing one from scratch? Making a board game requires creative skills. Gaming is a great way for your child to come up with a random idea to develop a new board game or work on an existing game by introducing/removing some elements of the game. In either case, your child would be able to experiment, which can help develop their cognitive skills. Moreover, it can boost brain function and build their self-esteem and self-confidence.

protip_icon Do remember
Playing board games boosts a child’s physical and mental development and strengthens bonds in a family that regularly plays games together. It also helps a child learn teamwork and have healthy interactions with everyone (1).

6. Solve puzzles

Puzzle solving activities for 12 year olds

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Solving puzzles, like a 1,000-piece puzzle or Rubik’s cube, is challenging, engaging, and entertaining. It can help enhance brain function, boost concentration, improve visuospatial reasoning, and develop problem-solving abilities. Besides, it reduces stress, enhances mood, and improves relationships by allowing effective collaboration. Board games and puzzles are great mental activities.

7. Play card games

Card game activities for 12 year olds

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Playing strategy card games, like sequence, can teach sportsmanship and patience and improve your 12-year-old’s logical reasoning skills. This way, it is similar to sports. Also, making strategies and playing with a positive spirit can improve their social and communication skills and help build positive relationships.

8. Take part in a STEM scavenger hunt

STEM scavenger hunting activities for 12 year olds

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A STEM scavenger hunt is an age-appropriate indoor activity available in a worksheet format. In these activities, short-answer questions and answer keys are given. These questions are aimed at teaching the basic concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to your child. There are some other forms of STEM scavenger hunts as well. Choose one for your tween based on the desired complexity.

9. Plan a Google Maps adventure

Google Maps adventure activities for 12 year olds

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In this exciting activity that promotes outdoor exploration, you have to select and share the screenshots of exciting spots on Google Street View with your child. Next, ask them to guess where that street is and identify some places near that street. There are several apps, like GeoGuessr and Pursued, that you could download for this activity.

10. Outline a novel

Novel outlining activities for 12 year olds

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If your 12-year-old reads novels, this delightful activity can boost their creative thinking abilities. Assign a theme to your child and instruct them to outline a novel. The outline should include the main characters, the novel’s setting, and the antagonist. They could work on a mystery, thriller, science fiction, or fantasy. Give a week to your child and let them experiment. Discuss the outline with them and guide them to do better. Remember, the child has to come up with an outline and not write a novel.

protip_icon Quick fact
To develop a love for reading in your child, read to them daily. It helps improve their language skills, boost concentration, and enhance their imagination and creativity (2).

11. Create a photo collage

Photo collage activity for 12 year olds

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It is a joyful craft activity for 12-year-olds with a liking for photography. It involves clicking pictures of a favorite place, item, person, or anything that the child likes and presenting them in a collage. It can stir their imagination, and help them think analytically and express themselves.

12. Brainstorm an idea

Idea hunting activities for 12 year olds

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Brainstorming an idea with family and peers can help improve your child’s critical thinking and logical reasoning skills and encourage them to be open to different perspectives. To initiate the activity, involve your child in some serious brainstorming sessions and encourage them to come up with ideas on minimizing the family’s monthly expense, plan a low-budget weekend get-together, and revamp the house without professional help. Discuss the ideas that your 12-year-old presents, and give them constructive feedback.

13. Solve an anagram

Anagram solving activities for 12 year olds

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An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of different words or phrases. For example, FRIED, when rearranged, makes words, like “FIRED.” It may seem simple, but an age-appropriate anagram provides relatively complex words and phrases to solve. Several board games and online activities can train your tween in solving an anagram. Anagramming can help children develop concentration, build vocabulary, and hone problem-solving skills.

14. Prepare a chain reaction

Domino, chain reaction activities for 12 year olds

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Preparing a chain reaction with dominoes is an entertaining activity involving a science experiment. You could get some self-explanatory domino-effect kits that are suitable for your tween to try the activity independently. Discuss every step in detail. Once acquainted with the concept of the domino effect, challenge the tween to prepare a similar chain reaction with other household materials like popsicle sticks, matchsticks, and paper cups.

15. Learn to play an instrument

Instrument learning activities for 12 year olds

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Playing an instrument is a joyful activity that trains your brain and improves long-term memory. Also, it increases concentration, improves multitasking ability, and boosts creativity. More importantly, it relieves stress and makes a child feel happy by letting the emotions flow. Bongo, piano, and harmonica are some easy-to-learn instruments that you can suggest to your 12-year-old.

16. Practice woodworking

Woodwork activities for 12 year olds

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It is a creative activity in which your 12-year-old can learn to create something useful from waste wood lying in your backyard or lawn. Creating an item from wood involves using nails, hammer, screwdrivers, etc. It can help develop fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination. You could ask your kid to build a bird feeder, a hutch for your pet, or a toolbox for your garage.

17. Organize a charity event

Charity event organization activities for 12 year olds

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Guide your child in organizing a charity event, such as a fundraiser from scratch. Discuss with them the steps involved, like finalizing a charity theme, preparing promotion material, like pamphlets, and inviting people. Taking part in a charity event can help them develop a sense of responsibility, empathy, and compassion. Participating in such activities can also help improve their communication skills and cognitive abilities.

18. Make a tie-dye apparel

Tie-dye printing activities for 12 year olds

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Resist-dyeing is a technique that can be used to create uncountable patterns through sheer creativity. The basic principle of the process is to tie the areas that you want to dye with a thread and color them. By tying the cloth, different patterns are produced.

Use a beginner’s tie and dye kit that comes with clear instructions on how to tie and dye with all the necessary materials. Involving your tween in this fun and exciting activity can help improve their creative thinking skills.

19. Prepare a healthy meal

Healthy meal cooking activity for 12 year olds

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You could introduce various fireless cooking recipes to your 12-year-old. Let them try as many recipes as they wish by guiding them on proper safety measures. Teach them to select healthy ingredients to enhance the nutritional value of the food. You could also teach them to cook dinner for the family or prepare pastry, ice cream, sandwiches, salads, smoothies, and shakes.

protip_icon Point to consider
Cooking with kids is beneficial as it helps them develop healthy eating habits from a young age. It is also a great way to bond with your child (3).

20. Run an obstacle course

Obstacle course running activities for 12 year olds

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This fun-filled outdoor activity can be a useful addition to your young teen’s exercise routine. Taking part in multi-step activities, like obstacle courses, can help improve their sequencing and problem-solving skills and boost strength and balance. You can buy obstacle course kits online or make one with your child, which can be another fun activity! You can include skating in the mix too. If you dont want to take them outdoors, you can make a obstacle course right in your living room with Lego blocks.

21. Play laser maze

Laser maze activities for 12 year olds

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Laser maze is a logic-based game suitable for a 12-year-old. The game involves the use of mirrors and beam-splitters to direct the laser through mind-boggling mazes to light up the target. Buy a laser maze game and get involved with your child to develop their reasoning and planning skills and provide a good learning experience.

22. Sing karaoke

Karaoke session activities for 12 year olds

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Use a microphone and create a perfect atmosphere to motivate your child to participate in this fun activity with family and friends. Singing karaoke enhances cognitive abilities, like memory, concentration, and listening. Encourage them to dance while singing to promote physical activity, boost mood, relieve stress, and encourage self-expression.

23. Learn calligraphy or hand lettering

Calligraphy and hand lettering activities for 12 year olds

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While calligraphy is the art of beautiful handwriting, hand lettering is the art of illustrating the letters by working around prefabricated and designed letters. Motivate your tween to learn one or both techniques to utilize their time and skills effectively. These inexpensive art forms can keep a tween engaged and entertained, boost mood, and relieve pressure and stress.

24. Watch a movie

Movie analysis activity for 12 year olds

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Watch movies together or introduce your tween to different movie genres. You could also teach them about media and its impact on children and adolescents. It provides an opportunity to discuss their likes, dislikes, and preferences. Guide your tween to differentiate between reality and fantasy, and spend quality time building a positive relation. You can create a theater room to make each movie a memorable experience.

25. Research on pets

Pet research activities for 12 year olds

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Rearing a pet is a learning experience for everyone. If you are planning to have one, then let your tween do the research. Guide them to know the best pets to rear, their suitable habitats, food habits, etc., and prepare a five-minute PowerPoint presentation to share their research with the family. This activity can help a child connect with the surroundings and develop communication skills.

27. Learn to draw and paint

Drawing and painting activities for 12 year olds

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Drawing and painting can be used as a form of art therapy activity to reduce stress and improve sleep. Introducing your pre-teen to this art can help utilize their imagination, develop existing talents and can help them develop mindfulness and tranquility, which in turn augments concentration and creativity.

28. Spikeball

Spikeball is a fun game that also serves as a great physical activity for your children as it involves walking, catching, throwing, and hitting the ball inside the net. Spikeball offers numerous benefits for kids, such as enhancing their teamwork and communication skills. The portability of the net allows for enjoyment anywhere, making it a convenient and enjoyable activity.

29. Duct tape crafts

Duct tape crafts offer a creative outlet for children. These colorful crafts appeal to children of all ages, making it an excellent activity for your children. Duct tape crafts come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, from wallets and bags to flowers and jewelry. You can unleash your child’s creativity by layering different tape colors or cutting unique shapes and patterns to craft custom designs.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is 12 years old still a kid?

A 12-year-old is in their tween years when they leave childhood and enter adolescence. They can be called pre-teens or tweens and are too old to be viewed as kids and not old enough to be considered teenagers.

2. What hobbies can a 12-year-old do?

If your 12-year-old is outdoorsy, they can pursue outdoor recreation activities like cycling or biking, kayaking, hiking, running, rock climbing, swimming, or skiing. If they love to spend time indoors, you can introduce them to gardening, drawing, crafting, reading, journaling, watching and reviewing movies, or painting.

3. How much screen time is appropriate for a 12-year-old during activities?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a total daily screen time of two hours or less for children between 8 to 18 years old (4).

4. How can I encourage my 12-year-old to participate in new activities?

Expose them to diverse options such as sports, arts and crafts, music, dance, coding, cooking, or outdoor adventures. Take the time to listen to your child’s interests and preferences. Respect their choices and avoid pressuring them into activities they don’t find appealing. Lastly, reassure them that growth and learning come from stepping outside their comfort zone.

5. How can I balance structured activities with unstructured free time for my 12-year-old?

Create a daily or weekly routine with structured activities and unstructured free time. Recognize the value of unstructured free time for your child’s creativity, imagination, and independent thinking. Lastly, regularly reassess and adjust the balance between structured activities and unstructured free time based on your child’s evolving interests, needs, and overall well-being.

Choosing a bunch of fun and exciting activities for 12-year-olds can work well in developing their skills. They can enhance their cognitive abilities and improve their physical and mental development at a much faster pace. Encouraging them to participate in such activities will also allow them to figure out their personal preferences and utilize their skills to bring out the best in them. It eventually boosts their self-esteem and promotes social interaction, which is essential for kids on the verge of entering their teenage years.

Infographic: Activities That Are Fun And Facilitate Learning

Whether your child is bored with their monotonous schedule or needs a break from their academic assignments, let them unwind and have fun by engaging in an exciting activity to help them learn. So, choose from the activities for your 12-year-old mentioned in the infographic below to facilitate fun-based learning.

facilitate fun based learning for 12 year old (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Key Pointers

  • Boost self-esteem and confidence in your 12-year-olds by involving them in making comic books.
  • Encourage self-learning and critical thinking by engaging them in DIY projects.
  • Enhance their communication skills by enrolling them in a language class.
  • Teach them patience and sportsmanship by involving them in card games.
Activities For 12 Year Olds_illustration

Image: Dall·E/MomJunction Design Team

Watch these 10 fun gross motor activities that will keep your 11-12-year-old active and strengthen their body!


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Benefits of Playing Board Games; Bucks County Free Library
  2. The Importance of Reading to Your Children; Children’s Bureau
  3. Kids in the Kitchen: The Benefits of Cooking with Children; The Growing Room
  4. Justin Parent et al; Youth Screen Time and Behavioral Health Problems: The Role of Sleep Duration and Disturbances; National Library of Science (2017)
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