The Top Educational Toys for a 12 Year Old Reviewed

12 year old educational toys reviewedAs your child grows physically, their brain is growing too and can jam-pack in a lot of learning. Not to mention, they think more independently and want to have the entire world at their fingertips. The best educational toys for 12-year-olds provide innovation in their grasp while helping them to think independently. Take a look.

Best Educational Toys for 12 Year Olds

1. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ review

What can your child learn from a raspberry pie? Nothing, but a Raspberry Pi is a fabulous learning tool for computer lovers or users. It’s a credit-card sized computer to teach people how to program.

The mini-computer runs a Linux operating system with an USB drive. Add in a mouse, keyboard, and a monitor and it’s a great first computer for kids. Don’t stop there, this computer has more options than you can imagine which is why it’s great for children full of imagination.

Use it as a web server, a laptop, a streaming tv, Wi-fi extender, a gaming machine, and so much more! Us non-computer techie people may not see beyond a mini-computer, but kids can take this and turn it into a robot or to power other inventive ideas. This was the purpose of this little piece of hardware, to fuel ideas and create more programmers for the future.

Finally, the kit comes the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (with 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU 1 GB LPDDR2 SDRAM), the CanaKit 2.5A Micro USB Power Supply and five-foot cable, 2 aluminum heat sinks, a clear case, and a starter guide. If you have no clue what to do with it and your kids ask for help, don’t stress, send them to this Youtube channel for tutorials.

Problems

A tiny amount of customers found the device died after a few months. The plastic case doesn’t always close properly. Check the connections, if the parts aren’t in properly it won’t close.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) with Premium Clear Case and 2.5A Power Supply
607 Reviews
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B Plus) with Premium Clear Case and 2.5A Power Supply
  • Includes Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (B plus) with 1.4 GHz 64-bit Quad-Core Processor and 1 GB RAM
  • CanaKit 2.5A USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and Noise Filter - Specially designed for the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ (UL Listed)
  • Dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Enhanced Ethernet Capability
  • Premium Clear Case, Set of 2 Aluminum Heat Sinks
  • CanaKit Quick-Start Guide

2. LEGO Architecture United States Capitol Building Kit

LEGO Architecture United States Capitol Building Kit review

Lego’s are by far one of the most popular learning toys. Even when I lived in Germany, the toy stores had shelves and shelves of Lego options because this is one of the most famous toys worldwide. What other countries don’t have is the Lego version of the US Capitol Building.

Now you can mix this STEAM toy with social studies by introducing them to a monumental building in our country without plane tickets. If you want to be mean, after they finish building have them do a paper and presentation. It could be a great representation for a school project too.

The set will keep kids ages 12 and up busy with the 1,032 pieces. This set coordinates with the LEGO Architecture Lincoln Memorial 21022 in scale and provides a whole new project for when your kids finish this architecture kit. Also, pick from other architecture kids like NYC, the Statue of Liberty, and more.

Finally, this is a great way to help Lego lovers keep on playing even as they grow into teenagers. Tons of fun details and unique pieces add to the aesthetics of the building. After your child finished building, they can use the structure as decoration for their room, and this is empowering decor because they made the piece!

Problems

The price is high for the Lego name but a great value for a learning tool that teaches engineering, math, focus, social studies, and more. A few boxes were missing pieces, count before you get started. Use the time as a math lesson for kids by having them separate the blocks into piles of one hundred for checking purposes.

LEGO Architecture 21030 United States Capitol Building Kit (1032 Pieces)
249 Reviews
LEGO Architecture 21030 United States Capitol Building Kit (1032 Pieces)
  • Build a detailed model of the incredible United States Capitol Building!
  • Includes collectible booklet containing information about the design, architecture and history of the building
  • LEGO Architecture building toys are compatible with all LEGO construction sets for creative building
  • United States Capitol Building measures 6 inches high, 17 inches wide, and 6 inches deep
  • 1,032 pieces – For boys and girls over the age of 12 years old

3. Human Torso Model by Trademark Scientific

Human Torso Model by Trademark Scientific review

Gone are the days when a puzzle will sate a child’s desire to understand the human bodies especially if your child is leaning toward a career as a doctor. Even if your child wants to grow into a sports trainer, understanding the human body can provide invaluable information.

The sexless human torso measures 20 inches tall without arms and legs. If anyone asks, just tell them you couldn’t afford those extra parts. You will also find 12 tangible body part scaled to size.

Behind the removable body parts find a realistic inner body section with other organs, and systems to teach even more about the human body. Trust me, this is better than a cadaver despite the slight creepiness of a half a human stored in your kid’s room!

Don’t worry though, while your kids can remove half the head to take a peek at the brain, the eyes are shut, and the doll doesn’t get creepier with eyes staring at you while you dismember the body!

Problems

No issues at all unless your child has no interest in the inner workings of the human body. Even if they have no interest, the toy still provides valuable learning opportunities or could work with the Raspberry Pi to create a robot!

20' 12 Part Human Torso Model Sexless by Trademark Scientific
20 Reviews
20" 12 Part Human Torso Model Sexless by Trademark Scientific
  • The torso measures 20" tall and comes with 12 removable parts
  • Includes a chart with all of the organ names
  • Removable pieces include: head, brain, lungs, stomach, heart, liver, intestines and cecum cover
  • Used for classroom teaching in elementary, high school and college
  • By Trademark Scientific

4. Make Block Neuron Inventor Kit Programming

Make Block Neuron Inventor Kit Programming review

For a small price tag provide the pieces young imaginations need to create anything their minds can think up. The Neuron Inventor Programming Kit is coding and STEAM on crack! Take their programming skills to new heights with this innovative set.

The graphical programming comes app-enabled so kids can code with the app or by a tag system. To make the kit even cooler, it’s compatible with Makeblock platform, Lego, and Codey Rocky. It works with the internet for added features not found in other kids.

Basically, you are giving your kids programmable electronic building blocks in a platform ready for the future. The set includes six basic blocks – power, Bluetooth, funny touch, gyro sensor, buzzer, dual servo driver, and an LED Panel to build their own inventions.

Finally, they can experiment with color sensors and changing colors, lights, temperature and so much more. Let them try out making a telegraph, a glowing rabbit, check the temperature of plants, and so much more. An incredible STEAM toy with unlimited learning opportunities for future programmers.

Here is a video giving an overview of how it works:

Problems

Some aspects need to be done on a computer instead of the app. Also, while other kits are compatible, it’s difficult to get the programs to communicate with each other the first time.

Sale
Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit, STEAM Education, Graphical Programming, Magnetic Pogo Pins for 6 Year & up Kids+ with 6 Basic Blocks, Over 10 Kinds of Funny Robots, Like Rabbit,Dashing Raptor
5 Reviews
Makeblock Neuron Inventor Kit, STEAM Education, Graphical Programming, Magnetic Pogo Pins for 6 Year & up Kids+ with 6 Basic Blocks, Over 10 Kinds of Funny Robots, Like Rabbit,Dashing Raptor
  • Makeblock, global leading brand in STEAM education solution covered 140+ countries and regions.
  • Graphical programming with the Makeblock Neuron APP enables kids to code just by a tag without coding experience and then they may create anything they want, for example automatic flower-watering machine, sonic lamp, etc.
  • The blocks are connected in a snap with magnetic Pogo Pins. Kids can simply assemble the blocks to make creative gadgets; Neuron Awards: IDEA Gold 2017, Good Design Award 2017, Reddot Product Design Award 2017 and K-DESIGN GRAND PRIZE 2017.
  • Neuron is not only compatible with Makeblock platform, LEGO and Codey Rocky, but also innovated immensely with rich funny papers; Neuron, with a Wi-Fi module, supports Internet connection. So you can create a smart home and achieve more with the IFTTT.
  • Makeblock Neuron is programmable electronic building block platform for a new generations in STEAM education. And Neuron Inventor Kit contains 6 basic blocks including Power, Bluetooth, Funny Touch, Gyro Sensor, Buzzer, Dual Servo Driver and LED Panel that kids can learn programming and bulid his/her dreams.

5. Mensa Word Board Game

Mensa Word Board Game review

This family game, Mensa Word Board game, provides great entertainment for the whole family. What kids will love about the game is the opportunity to annoy the other side; it’s in the instructions! A fun game to improve word skills and quick thinking.

The first team to put 8 letters off their side of the board wins. You need two teams and the category cards and two times. Each team sets up on one side of the board. With thirty seconds on the clock, you move the letters to make a word. The other team can challenge your word if they do not agree with your choice.

Players can lose turns if they lose a challenge. Next, the cards come with two difficulty levels and the game uses any singular English words. Teams must match plural and tense for an added challenge. A tough game designed to improve thinking.

Problems

The main problem is how subjective the game is and can cause problems unless you keep a dictionary close by. Teams who don’t play with the desire for fun will find the game lacking in hilarity.

Word On The Street - The Hilarious Tug Of Words
230 Reviews
Word On The Street - The Hilarious Tug Of Words
  • 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
  • Ages 12 to adult
  • 2-8 players
  • 5 minutes to learn
  • Plays in under 30 minutes

6. Solar Lab 1.0 Electricity Learning Kit

Solar Lab 1.0 Electricity Learning Kit review

With the Solar Lab 1.0 Electricity Learning Kit, your child can learn about how solar cells work so they can be used in real electrical circuits. This kit contains 10 step-by-step labs in easy-to-understand illustrated instructions. An inventive way to teach children about renewable power sources and create a generation who cares for the planet.

The kit teaches about solar photovoltaic electricity and the history of solar. Next, it teaches about building circuits to power other devices. It also teaches about adding voltage with series circuits and current with parallel circuits. Finally, it teaches how to build a solar battery charger and an LED light!

Includes in the box are a 44-page manual with 10 labs, a multi-voltage solar panel with an adjustable stand, a digital multimeter, and a motor with a fan blade and stand. Also find LED’s, diode, resistors, battery holder, batteries, and test leads. That’s a lot of stuff for one box and one low price!

Finally, this is a project kids can learn tons from. Beyond circuits and solar power, they can understand the necessity for multiple power options and how to start formulating plans to make energy sources in the future. A wonderful STEM toy to help kids grow into the current career trends or for school projects now.

Problems

The kit does not come with a great storage container. You may want to purchase a better storage solution. Otherwise, only a few people received unusable parts.

Solar Lab 1.0 Electricity Learning Kit
26 Reviews
Solar Lab 1.0 Electricity Learning Kit
  • How a solar cell works
  • How to build circuits to solar-power different devices
  • How to use a multimeter to learn about voltage, electric current and power
  • How to build a solar-powered battery charger (batteries included).

7. ThinkFun Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game

ThinkFun Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game review

Kids need to understand the importance of cybersecurity and learn coding, which is why the Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game mixes these two elements for a fun game. A unique way to learn problem-solving skills too for young minds.

Here’s the gameplay. The game has 40 different challenges to allow you to play over and over again. First, you code to pick up data files. Mind you, the game board can rotate. Phase 2 is hacking which is where the game gets a virus. Finally, in the last phase, you need to fix the hacking problem by putting up alarms.

A handy book makes sure none of the phases give away the answers and provides easy instructions for kids ten and up. Last of all, the game goes from beginner to expert for children to grow with their skills over time. A visual way to show real computer threats and might lead preteens toward a career in cybersecurity which is a thriving market.

Problems

The only con is the coding concepts explanations can be difficult to understand. Watching a video of how to play may make the game easier to understand and play. Youtube is your friend.

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ThinkFun Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 10 and Up
33 Reviews
ThinkFun Hacker Cybersecurity Coding Game and STEM Toy for Boys and Girls Age 10 and Up
  • Trusted by Families Worldwide - With over 50 million sold, ThinkFun is the world's leader in brain and logic games.
  • Develops critical skills - Playing through the challenges builds reasoning and planning skills as well as core programming principles, and provides a great stealth learning experience for young players.
  • What you get - Hacker is a cybersecurity coding game and STEM toy for boys and girls age 10 and up where you learn programming principles through fun gameplay. It includes a game grid, control panel, challenge booklet, 2 agent tokens, 9 movement tiles, 13 revolving platform tiles, 5 double-sided transaction tiles, a transaction link token, 3 data file tokens, 2 exit point tokens, a virus token, alarm token, 2 lock tokens, and a solution booklet.
  • Clear instructions – Easy to learn with a clear, high quality instruction manual. You can start playing immediately!
  • Comes with multi-level challenges - Comes with 120 beginner to expert challenges that become increasingly difficult as you play through them.

8. Minecraft For Nintendo Switch

Minecraft For Nintendo Switch review

Yes, Minecraft is a fun game kids love instantly but did you know they can learn tons of skills by playing this game with graphics straight out of the 1980s? If you can’t beat them, join them. Just monitor how much time your kiddo plays on the screen as this game can absorb them into an alternative universe.

Back to what they can learn. First, kids can learn about world-building and all the little details to build a world and a life. Second, kids can learn invaluable communication skills as they learn to collaborate with friends. Third, this game teaches children about systems design.

This online multiplayer teaches them comfort with computers and how to use all the little gizmos and gadgets. Mind you, they love the game because of Survival Mode and all the animals and items like zombies, carrots, pigs, TNT, and so many other crazy items to entice them to get involved with a whole world.

Finally, the game requires an Intel Pentium or AMD Athlon 64 2.6Ghz or higher, at least 2GB of RAM, and a decent video card, crazy right since the graphics are so bad? Works on any operating system including the Raspberry Pi up above.

Problems

Minecraft does require kids spend more time staring at a blue screen. Otherwise, no issues with the game besides the aforementioned graphics that kids seem to love despite the vast improvements in visuals since the NES came out.

Minecraft - Nintendo Switch
620 Reviews
Minecraft - Nintendo Switch
  • Discover tons of community creations and share the adventure with friends across different platforms
  • Mojang 2009 to 2018. "Minecraft" is a trademark of Mojang Synergies AB.;Number of Players: up to 8 players; Genre: Action, Adventure, Strategy, Simulation
  • Online multiplayer requires a subscription to online service (sold separately) and a network connection
  • Online multiplayer will be free until the Nintendo Switch Online service launches in 2018
  • Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) Content Description: Fantasy violence

9. Uncle Milton Dr. Steve Hunters – T. Rex Replica Skeleton

Uncle Milton Dr. Steve Hunters - T. Rex Replica Skeleton review

Budding paleontologists need the Uncle Milton Dr. Steve Hunters – T. Rex Replica Skeleton to build and then display on their shelf. Learning about the past helps preteens to learn about what makes our world tick. Many young people find their future career deep in the dirty digging around for skeletons.

The T.Rex comes hand-painted for authenticity with 21 pieces ready to build so kids can get a feel for how to put bones together in a logical manner. With a scale of 1:15, this 30-inch rex fits in a bedroom much easier than the real thing!

The toy provides educational information for budding minds. A learning poster provides plenty of information on which bones are which to teach and decorate the bedroom. The set even includes a comic book to enthrall kids while learning about their favorite extinct animal.

Lastly, the dinosaur comes with a stand to keep the dino standing tall on a stone-like pedestal. Once they build the dinosaur they can take it apart and put it back together again. A unique toy for future historians and it’s museum-quality to last a long time!

Problems

Do not let kids use around younger siblings under six years old as it includes small parts. The comic book may be free but its a quick boring read. When in pieces you will need a storage container.

Uncle Milton Dr. Steve Hunters - T. Rex Replica Skeleton - 21Piece - 1: 15 Scale - 30' - Scientific Educational Toy
27 Reviews
Uncle Milton Dr. Steve Hunters - T. Rex Replica Skeleton - 21Piece - 1: 15 Scale - 30" - Scientific Educational Toy
  • Authentic - build a realistic, museum-quality 21 piece T. Rex, like a real paleontologist!
  • Quality - WOW your friends with the hand-painted, 1: 15 scale, 30 inch T. Rex stunner!
  • Educational - includes Dr. Steve comic adventure and informational T. Rex poster with real STEM learning from the Geoworld Publishing house
  • Value - build and rebuild or proudly display your authentic T. Rex on its stone-like pedestal. Everything an aspiring paleontologist needs!
  • Spanish (Publication Language)

10. Euclidean Cube Maya Magnetic Cube with 36pcs

Euclidean Cube Maya Magnetic Cube with 36pcs review

The last toy brings uniqueness to a new level. The Euclidean Cube Maya Magnetic Cube comes in a sturdy storage box for easy storage and provides hours of fun along with learning. This is a STEM toy to delight kids and serve as a fidget toy or competitive play to make the most shapes in a minute.

Each cube includes 36 magnet pieces built-in and when the cube opens, you find the pieces under the surface. Now, kids get to engineer new shapes by moving the block’s pieces. The toy helps to improve spatial thinking skills as it is a geometric puzzle. A fun toy for parents when the kids aren’t looking too.

The inside of each cube comes in three colors and your kid needs to figure out how to get each color-separated or make a neat design with all three colors. It’s like a kaleidoscope without the lenses. Kids can even use all four cubes to create more intricate designs.

Last of all, this is for kids ages 8 and up as the toy and stickers need gentle care. An interesting way to teach colors, shapes, thinking outside the box. With six main shapes, kids can work to make all 71 possible shapes all with a crazy Mayan motif.

Problems

Do not let kids toss these around like a ball as it requires a tender touch. As the colors are stickers, they may need taping after lots of use.

Sale
Euclidean Cube Maya Magnetic Cube with 36pcs Magnets Built-in,Brain Teasers STEM Toys Cube Puzzle Toys for Kids and Adults (Pack of 4)
58 Reviews
Euclidean Cube Maya Magnetic Cube with 36pcs Magnets Built-in,Brain Teasers STEM Toys Cube Puzzle Toys for Kids and Adults (Pack of 4)
  • Euclidean Cube -Which is more funny and helpful for stem learning as compared to traditional fidget cube;infinity cube or puzzle cube
  • Interlock into All Kinds of Funny Shapes - Each cube has 36pcs Magnets Built-in, when the cube was open, you will find there are magnets under all the sufaces. And now,it is your trun to create more shapes just like assembling magnetic blocks
  • Improve Spatial Thinking Ability - Playing this cube not only like playing infinity fidget cube;star cube but aslo like playing geometric puzzle. It could be good educational toys option for parents
  • Recommend for Age More than 8 - The structure of this kind of transforming cube is made of abs material and assembled by stickers, can not play too rough
  • Wonderful Exchange Gift - The cube was portable design and nice package, especilly while the children become more familar with this cube toys ,surprises come with the new shape they create by teamwork

Questions About The Best Educational Toys for 12-Year-Olds

My kid has tons of interesting educational toys they have outgrown what should I do with them?

If your child has younger siblings you can pass the toys on to younger kids. Otherwise, if you have all of the pieces of the kids and they are in good condition, you can sell the sets or even donate to a local charity, school, or church. Your friends may have children younger than yours who could benefit from the sets as well.

Another option is to find a way to reuse the toy for the age your child is now. This is not always possible. Lego’s are one of my favorite educational toys because some children never outgrow them. When my kids are done with them, I will store them in the attic along with a few other toys in the attic for my grandkids to play with years down the road.

Will the toys on this list last for kids once they are teenagers too?

Most of the toys will last at least until 15 years old. Most toys come in three categories – babies and toddlers, kids, preteens and up. The list of toys above are much less babyish or childish which is what growing kids want.

They think they are so much bigger than they were a year or two ago and want their possessions to reflect the changes in their brain. I scoured the web to find the best options to help kids learn without feeling like they are being treated like a child.

The only toy that may seem childish is the dinosaur skeleton. If your child doesn’t like dinosaurs avoid this toy because it’s there for future archaeologists. Otherwise, all of the other toys should last into the teen years and even work for school projects.

My kid has no interest in coding or program, should I try to force it?

No, don’t force coding or program. Some kids are the future of technology while others are not. Definitely get your kids to do enough to help at school if they have trouble in computer class, otherwise, let them find their own path. Kids need computer knowledge nowadays but not necessarily coding or programming.

Right now, education is pushing children toward computer careers because of the rapidly expanding need and innovation in the category. Soon, the pressure will get so high for computer jobs the other categories will feel the neglect. It’s your job to advocate for your child and push them toward the career they want not just what the country needs at this moment.

If your child wants to follow medicine, auto-mechanics, or music, we still need all of those careers too. Find what your kid likes and help them in that direction. Make sure to set realistic goals for them based on their aptitude.

Wrapping Up With The Best Educational Toys for 12-Year-Olds

The best educational toys for 12-year-olds provide learning, fun, and ventures outside of childish toys. If you can only pick one item from the list then pick the Make Block Neuron Inventor Programming Kit. This kit provides great fun, challenges, and direction for the future. The options are endless for STEAM learning and creativity for kids interested in learning about technology.

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