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22 best gifts for 7-year-olds, tried, tested and approved by kids

From crafts to STEM toys, we called in a team of very lucky helpers to find the best

Zoe Phillimore
Wednesday 06 March 2024 16:59
<p>Whether interest was sustained was as important as the initial wow factor  </p>

Whether interest was sustained was as important as the initial wow factor

Our Top Picks

Seven-year-olds are like magpies – they appreciate anything shiny. But when it comes to finding a gift that will be returned to again and again after the initial wow factor wears off, it’s not quite so easy to impress.

No longer “little kids”, seven-year-olds can read a bit, spell a bit, and exert their opinions every minute of the day. They want to be seen as more grown up, and anything considered babyish is frowned upon. They also tend to love a craze or trend – especially ones inherited from older kids.

The best thing to do when buying gifts for seven-year-olds is to tap into their interests, then think outside the box. If they’re into space, for example, look to STEM toys that will encourage their love of science. Perhaps they love drawing – a craft kit could be perfect for them. Seven-year-olds have a good attention span and should be able to shoulder the feeling of losing a bit better than younger kids, so, gifting games is a great option, too.

Kids of all ages are screen obsessed and more tech savvy than any generation before them. They can probably get Alexa to do more things than their parents can. So, we’ve balanced out a love of tech with a love of screen-free play. Of course, all tech here is age appropriate and can be moderated by adults.

Keep reading to find out which gifts had our young testers jumping for joy.

How we tested the best gifts for 7-year-olds

We called in the big guns on this one – roping in every seven-year-old we know, to help with testing. We looking at how much of an initial wow factor the gift had, followed by seeing how often our testers returned to each gift after the initial excitement wore off.

Some of the presents our little helpers put to the test for this review

Our testers put in the hard graft, testing all the products for hours and hours. We wanted to ensure we had gifts to suit all budgets, whether you’re buying a big-ticket present or something for yet another class party. Value for money, quality and durability were all very important when creating this round-up, too.

The best gifts for 7-year-olds in 2024 are:

  • Best gift for 7-year-olds overall – Photo Creator instant camera: £69.99,
  • Best budget gift for 7-year-olds – Eugy 3D sea otter model: £8.50,
  • Best audiobook for 7-year-olds – Yoto Horrible Histories collection volume 1: £24.99,
  • Best educational gift for 7-year-olds – Educational Insights Math Whiz: £30,

Photo Creator instant camera

Photo Creator instant camera
  • Best: Gift for 7-year-olds overall
  • Why we love it
    • Kids will feel grown-up using this gift
    • Felt-tip pens included, for colouring in photos
    • Rechargeable battery

Mini testers and adults alike loved this instant camera. Kids can snap away, and there’s an internal thermal printer that spews out the images instantly. It’s also much cheaper than other instant cameras, and there’s no need to wait for the shots to dry.

The images are black and white but we found our testers enjoyed colouring them in – the camera comes with some felt-tip pens for just this purpose.

Our testers also enjoyed adding some age-appropriate frames and effects to the photos. We were happy that everything was safe and saved locally, and the battery is rechargeable, so we didn’t need to keep stocking up on AAAs.

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Eugy 3D sea otter model

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Eugy 3D sea otter model
  • Best: Budget gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Not too complex
    • Incredibly cute
  • Take note
    • Needs a bit of adult supervision

Seven-year-olds are often obsessed with animals, in our experience. They just can’t resist the call of the cute – and this sea otter is no exception. It’s constructed by threading layers of cardboard to create the model, using glue between each layer. Our seven-year-old spent about 30 minutes with us, focusing on building the sea otter and its oyster shell.

It wasn’t too fiddly, and the end build is really decent – it can be played with by gentle hands, and is worthy of display in your kid’s bedroom. The sense of achievement our mini tester got from building this made it definitely worth the money, and they have since asked to buy more in the collection, using saved-up pocket money – surely an indicator of a successful gift, if ever there was one?

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Maped Creativ heishi bracelet maker

Maped Creativ Heishi bracelet maker
  • Best: Gift for keeping them busy
  • Why we love it
    • Good wow factor
    • Encourages mindfulness
  • Take note
    • Needs some adult help

Our seven-year-old testers were instantly drawn to this friendship bracelet maker. It looks impressive in the box, ticking off that initial wow factor, and mini tester and adult soon set about making some accessories.

You stamp the beads out of the foam included in the set, then you can thread the beads onto string, with the help of a groove on the machine.

It’s child powered rather than battery powered, and, while our seven-year-old needed a bit of help initially when punching out the beads, they quickly got the hang of it. They then had a great time designing their bracelet and adding extra beads. When the foam sheets run out, you can easily buy refills pretty cheaply from any stationery store. Our tester loved this device, and we had a lot of fun spending some mindful time with our seven-year-old while using it.

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Spirograph scratch and shimmer

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Spirograph scratch and shimmer
  • Best: Gift for kids who love crafts
  • Why we love it
    • Satisfying
    • Kept children entertained for an hour or so

Spirographs have been intriguing to children for decades. This modern set comes with art cards on which you scratch off a black coating to reveal technicolour underneath – it’s hugely satisfying. The set can be used to create loads of different circular patterns, with some relatively easy ideas in the leaflet included, to get you started. Our seven-year-old testers took to this set with gusto, wheeling out more and more patterns at the rate of a factory production line.

It isn’t frustration free, however – the scratching implement is a bit fiddly to use but, once we worked out a method, our testers were kept busy for an hour or so. Vitally, they returned to this set a few days later, too.

It’s easy to buy more of the scratch-off paper once you run out, or you can just use traditional pen and paper instead.

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Bitzee digital interactive pet

best gift for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Bitzee digital interactive pet
  • Best: Digital pet
  • Why we love it
    • Fun
    • Interactive
    • Can be silenced

For kids, the appeal of this toy is the fact they can unlock new pets as they play and care for the interactive animals, eventually amassing a menagerie of colourful creatures – some of them are rare, apparently.

For adults, the appeal is your kids get a pet you don’t have to tend to and, if it still gets too much, you can simply shut the lid of the box and your pet will cease its demands for food and attention. Silence is an underrated feature in kids’ toys, in our opinion.

Our seven-year-olds loved this gift, returning to it again and again. If your child forgets to tend to their Bitzee, they won’t return to a deceased pet, either, as they’re hardy creatures. This means, when your kids are at school, you’re not left at the beck and call of a beeping screen that constantly demands attention (aside from your email inbox, that is).

Kids can interact with their pet, selecting food and treats for them, while the animals also respond to being petted and played with (shaking the box, essentially). It’s all a lot of fun, and there’s no mess to clear up – it’s win-win.

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Kinetic sand soft serve station

best gift for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Kinetic sand soft serve station
  • Best: Gift for 'messy’ play
  • Why we love it
    • Open-ended play
    • Good for fine-motor skills

Kinetic sand is deeply satisfying whatever your age but it’s like cat nip for kids. Fairly mess free, it’s made from fine sand and some elastomer (yeah, we’ve got no idea either), which means it flows and clumps together in the most pleasing way.

Our testers were already kinetic sand converts when we wheeled out this set and were delighted by the prospect of creating ‘ice creams’ with it. The set comes with three coloured sands, scoops for moulding, and a soft serve machine.

We’ll level with you – our colours got mixed, and, once that happens, there’s no going back. If that doesn’t make your eye twitch, this is a great gift. It kept a gang of kids entertained and quiet for an hour, and they’ve returned to play with it again since. Apart from the ‘ice cream’, our testers were able to come up with loads of different creations using the sand, so, it gets a tick for encouraging imaginative play, too.

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‘Whizz Pop Bang' science magazine

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Whizz Pop Bang science magazine
  • Best: Subscription gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Educational
    • Gender neutral
    • Plenty to keep them busy

For the gift that keeps on giving, Whizz Pop Bang magazine offers a monthly subscription. The science-focused title mercifully comes without any plastic toys, which immediately felt like a win for us, and it’s absolutely packed full of activities, facts and experiments to try (you’ll need to be on standby for some of them).

Each issue is themed – our seven-year-old loved the detectives issue, as they got to learn about DNA, solve riddles, create fingerprint records and more. As parents, we also loved that it’s completely gender neutral, and has content depicting both female and male scientists, to inspire young minds.

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Lego creator 3-in-1 space roller coaster funfair set

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Lego creator 3in1 space roller coaster funfair set
  • Best: Lego gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Three builds in one
    • Great play value
  • Take note
    • Expensive

Lego is a fantastic pick when it comes to choosing a gift for a seven-year-old. At this age, kids are able to follow the instructions, and it’s great for improving spatial skills and problem solving.

Our seven-year-old was drawn to this set because it offers three builds in one, with each creating a different space-themed fairground ride, including a big rollercoaster. It kept our mini tester busy for hours on end. The light-up brick was a highlight, too.

Lego provides age ranges on each of its sets but although this one is labelled as being suitable for those aged nine and above, our seven-year-old was able to follow the instructions easily on their own.

The footprint of the finished build will depend on which ride your child constructs, but none are insanely big, for which we were grateful.

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Toastie wild lunar puffer

best gift for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Toastie wild lunar puffer
  • Best: Practical gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Super warm
    • Lightweight
    • Well-made
  • Take note
    • Expensive

We’re big fans of practical gifts for seven-year-olds, and this coat ticked a lot of boxes for us and our mini tester.

The puffer is incredibly warm, keeping our tester toasty through the coldest of winter days. With a tog rating of 6.3, the coat is made from recycled down and has a soft Sherpa-lined hood that feels nice and cosy. It also buttons under the chin, for extra snugness, and features fleece-lined hand warmer pockets.

Despite all this, it’s really lightweight and didn’t hinder our tester’s movement. To top it all off, the Toastie puffer comes in a range of gender-neutral colours and the sizing is bang on.

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Amazon Echo Show 5 kids

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Amazon Echo show 5 kids
  • Best: Tech gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Great parental controls
    • Feels grown-up
    • Great range of content
  • Take note
    • Not for those who want to avoid screens

Kids taking over your Alexa with their own music (shudder)? It could be time to invest in this neat device. Our seven-year-old was delighted to have this kids’ Echo Show in their room – don’t worry, the gizmo has been designed with parental controls, so you’re still very much in the driving seat.

Our tester liked that they could listen to their own music, control their lights (Alexa-controlled lightbulbs sold separately) and listen to their Audible audio books. They can also do image searches and ask for facts – all within the safety net of the Amazon Kids environment. As parents, we liked that we could use the dashboard on our phone to switch off the Echo, set time and volume limits, and filter content. We think this device will really grow with your child, too.

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Yoto Horrible Histories collection volume 1

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Yoto Horrible Histories Collection volume 1
  • Best: Audiobook for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Fun
    • Educational
    • Takes up very little space
  • Take note
    • Works best with the Yoto player (sold separately)

If you’re a dedicated Yoto player family, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of fantastic audiobooks for older kids as well as little ones. Our seven-year-old was absolutely delighted with this catalogue of Horrible History titles. From Terrible Tudors to Rotten Romans, the gross-out facts and general silliness went down a storm.

We have to admit, we also enjoyed listening along – we were able to flex our historian muscles a bit, and learn new things alongside our mini testers.

You can play the audiobook cards through your Yoto player (sold separately), or through your phone, which will also enable you to play the titles via Bluetooth speakers and your car’s sound system when you’re away from the Yoto player itself.

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Woom 4 original bike

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Woom 4 original bike
  • Best: Blow-the-budget gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Promotes a healthy lifestyle
    • Fun
    • Easy to ride
  • Take note
    • Very expensive

If you’re looking for a big-ticket item, a bike is probably top of the list for a lot of seven-year-olds. This bike has been especially designed for children aged six and up, and comes in a range of cool, gender-neutral colours.

Kids can swap between the seven gears by using a dial on the handlebars, as they get to grips with different terrains and inclines. The ergonomics and lightweight nature of this bike meant our tester took to it like a duck to water – rediscovering their love of cycling and feeling a bit more grown-up.

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Squishmallow Roboyo the purple water alien soft toy

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Squishmallow Roboyo the purple water alien soft toy
  • Best: Cuddly toy for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Cute
    • Collectable
    • Trendy

Squishmallows are highly collectable – cue them taking over your house – and this guy was a huge hit with our seven-year-old testers.

Roboyo is incredibly squashy and soft, and clearly well made. At 12in tall, it’s the perfect size for cuddling or using as a cushion on your kid’s bed. The purple/rainbow colourway is cute without being ‘babyish’, and collectors will appreciate the unique bio included.

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‘The 13-Storey Treehouse’ by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, published by Macmillan Children's Books

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest ‘The 13-Storey Treehouse’ by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, published by Macmillan Children’s Books.png
  • Best: Book for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Great for getting kids reading
    • Fun and entertaining
    • Budget-friendly

We tested this with a seven-year-old who is a bit of a reluctant reader, and we were amazed at how this transformed their approach to literacy. In fact, it’s hard to rate this book highly enough. The story is incredibly silly – there are sea monkeys, giant gorillas and flying cats, all coming for the protagonists Andy and Terry as they try to write a book in their treehouse.

The illustrations are simple, but bring the story alive, with loads of different types of illustrations, including maps and comic strips. There’s never an overwhelming amount of text, and the chapters are the perfect length for bedtime. We found ourselves laughing along as we read it, and our tester even started reading it independently.

The good news is there’s a massive series of these books for kids to explore, once they’re hooked. Books can change lives, and this one certainly changed our tester’s.

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Star Wars Tykes kids Oodie

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Star Wars Tykes kids Oodie
  • Best: For fans of Star Wars
  • Why we love it
    • Comfy
    • Trendy
    • Appealing prints
    • Practical

Oodie has become a coveted brand – even for seven-year-olds. The company’s massive hoodie-blanket hybrids offer the perfect attire when cuddling up on the sofa, or after a swimming lesson.

The blanket-hoodie is lined with sherpa fleece that’s as soft as you like, and it feels “a bit like being inside a cuddly toy”, according to our tester. Meanwhile, the outer is a strokable flannel fleece.

Although the hoodies come in a wide variety of prints, our Star Wars-obsessed tester loved this design, which is covered in illustrations of Yoda and Chewie, storm troopers and the Millennium Falcon. We also love that it’s machine washable.

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Hot Wheels skate Tony Hawk cereal bowl fingerboard playset

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Hot Wheels Skate Tony Hawk cereal bowl fingerboard playset
  • Best: Gift for skateboard fans
  • Why we love it
    • High play value
    • Small and easy to store
    • Big wow factor

Sometimes, kids’ toys are absolutely mystifying to adults – this set was beyond us but a stratospheric hit with our testers. It essentially enables you to learn how to do skateboard tricks... with your fingers. The set even includes diminutive hi-top trainers (for your fingers) that attach to the tiny skateboard.

It comes complete with a skate ramp on which to practice your moves, and our testers played with the set for ages. When a playdate occurs, this is the toy all the seven-year-olds seem to gravitate towards – it’s hard to argue with that.

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Happy Self junior journal

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Happy Self junior journal
  • Best: For promoting good mental health
  • Why we love it
    • Gender neutral
    • Great keepsake
    • Good quality
    • Thought-provoking
    • Screen-free

This junior journal is designed for children aged 6-12, and we think it’s fantastic for giving kids the tools to process their feelings. There are pages that explain emotions, why a growth mindset is essential in life and a guide to how to start journaling. There are then spaces to write ideas and feelings, with plenty of prompts – kids can design their own emojis, write gratitude lists and celebrate their wins.

The journal part of the book encourages children to document their day – the prompts are slightly different on each day. Our seven-year-old was just about old enough for this journal, and enjoyed filling out the days and lists – with some help from us. It brought up some great conversations with our tester about gratitude, too.

We think this is a wonderful gift for children – both those in touch with their feelings, and those that struggle to process things. It will also be something to look back at when they’re older.

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Educational Insights Math Whiz

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Whizz Pop Bang science magazine.
  • Best: Educational gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Educational
    • Builds maths confidence
  • Take note
    • May not be the most exciting gift

When kids get to the age of seven or so, they will probably start learning their times tables at school. Getting them to practice these at home can feel like pulling teeth, but we found this Math Whiz gadget resolved some of our battles.

You can select from a range of functions, including divide, multiply, subtract and add – the machine will quiz your child on number sentences and then they just have to hit the tactile buttons to give the answer. The machine makes a quiet-ish noise to let them know if it’s right or wrong, and then reveals the time it took them to complete the sum.

It feels pretty low stakes, which creates a stress-free situation when it comes to practising maths. You can set the difficulty level for your child, so it’s going to grow with your budding mathematician. We loved that this built our child’s confidence and took the hassle out of home learning.

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Beast Lab shark beast creator

best gifts for 7 year olds review 2024 indybest Beast Lab shark beast creator
  • Best: Gift for wow factor
  • Why we love it
    • Wow factor
    • Refills available
    • Loads of fun

Now, here is a gift with mega wow factor. Kids can mix potions in the top section of “the lab”, which makes a range of noises and emits smoke (major awe moment), before the gunge in the vial drains out and your beast appears, ready for your kids to start playing (there are two different “shark beasts” to collect).

To say our seven-year-old was totally enamoured by this would be an understatement. The action figure they created was played with over and over again. If you want to, you can buy refill packs to recreate the magical experiment element of the toy.

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Beyblade Burst quad strike thunder edge battle set

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Beyblades
  • Best: Gift for competitive kids
  • Why we love it
    • Collectible toys
    • On-trend for kids
    • Kudos points

As well as our seven-year-old testers, older kids who visited the house were immediately drawn to this gift. Beyblades are very complex spinning tops, which you spin into the arena together, so then they "fight" (aka bump against each other). Whoever is left spinning is the winner.

The Beyblades included in this set are Lightning Pandora Endless and Divine Evo Belfyre A09. If this means nothing to you, you’re not alone, but rest assured they’re impressive. Beyblades are often currency on the playground, so you’ll definitely win some brownie points for gifting this set.

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‘Super Mario Bros. Wonder' Nintendo Switch game

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Super Mario Bros. Wonder Nintendo Switch game
  • Best: Gaming gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Fun
    • Age appropriate game
    • Encourages team work
  • Take note
    • Requires a Nintendo Switch to play

Our testers got hours and hours of enjoyment out of this multiplayer Nintendo Switch game. It’s challenging enough for a seven-year-old to play, without being too tricky or violent.

The side-scrolling game sees Mario, Luigi and their pals traverse a world of wonder, collecting flowers and badges that unlock new games and skills. It’s really simple to play – up to four people can play locally, or 12 can play online in a virtual room.

Our testers loved winning the power seeds and unlocking new skills, but it’s not without frustration – all characters have to be roughly in the same area of game play, otherwise you’re out. Although we liked this teamwork aspect, it did mean there were several arguments during play. That said, our testers went back to it again and again.

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Huggleland teddy cuddle cushion

best gifts for 7 year olds 2024 review indybest Teddy cuddle cushion
  • Best: Soft-toy gift for 7-year-olds
  • Why we love it
    • Cute
    • Comforting
    • Machine washable

Despite trying their best to pretend they’re totally grown-up, most seven-year-olds still love a cuddly toy. When we found this teddy cushion, we knew it’d be an instant hit – and we weren’t wrong.

The teddy-cushion hybrid was a firm favourite at bedtimes; on the sofa during movie nights; and when our testers snuggled down to read. It’s as cuddly as you like, and it’s a cute addition to a bedroom. It’s fairly large, too, so will impress kids when they open it.

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The verdict: Gifts for 7-year-olds

Our testers loved the bracelet maker from Maped. It was easy enough to use and created decent accessories. We were really impressed, and liked that it sneaked in some fine motor skills practice, too. However, for something that’s likely to go down equally well with boys and girls, our top spot goes to the Photo Creator instant camera, for hours of happy snapping. If your budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, we also really rate the Eugy 3D sea otter model, for a serious dose of cuteness. Meanwhile, even reluctant readers are likely to be enthralled by The 13-Storey Treehouse.

Ensure little adventurers stay hydrated, with our review of the best kids’ water bottles

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