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15 best Christmas gifts and toys for 7-year-old boys and girls in 2023

These are our little testers’ favourite gifts and toys for Christmas this year

Sarah Dawson
Wednesday 09 August 2023 11:58 BST
<p>From Lego sets to an instant camera, they won’t want to put these down </p>

From Lego sets to an instant camera, they won’t want to put these down

Our Top Picks

Seven-year-olds are little sponges, soaking up everything they can about the world around them. It’s an exciting time, where curious minds buzz with ideas and questions (so many questions). With an ever-growing level of independence, they love to learn and try new things, but are still little enough to enjoy fun, silly play. So, when it comes to picking the perfect gift, there’s plenty of choice out there.

By seven, they have the concentration skills and a new budding patience to enjoy more involved games – whether that’s brainteaser puzzles or tricky Lego builds that put their fine motor skills to the test. They also love to get hands-on and creative, so gifts that give them all the tools they need to while away an afternoon making something (on their own or with friends) are always a hit.

Gross motor skills, balance and coordination are coming on leaps and bounds too, so gifts that encourage them to get active outside are also a great choice – and something that parents will appreciate as much as the kids. Naturally, gifts like this tend to cost more, but if you’re looking for a big-ticket Christmas present for a seven-year-old you can’t go wrong with something like a 2-wheel scooter or pedal bike.

Books, of course, are a fantastic fail-safe gift at this age, with the majority of seven-year-olds being able to read independently (to varying degrees). The world opens up to a child when they can read, so nurture this skill and all the wonder it brings with a book that really captures their imagination. After all, this is also a time when the lure of screens is huge, so offering engaging alternatives will help to balance out the inevitable tablet/TV/games console time too.

Most of all, seven-year-olds just want to have fun – they are still little kids after all – so pick toys, games and presents that will make them smile and engage them for more than one afternoon. Whether they are budding artists, Lego fanatics or outdoor adventurers, you’ll find the right gift for them somewhere in our round up.

How we tested

Our two seven-year-old testers spent over a month trying out a huge range of gifts, giving us their honest opinion on every one. The gifts were all put through their paces at home and on holidays, during independent, solo play and with friends, to find out which presents truly deserve a place on our list.

We looked at how engaging the gifts where – especially how regularly our testers went back to them, the value for money they offered and longevity of use. After all, at seven you don’t want to be buying a present that they will grow out of or get bored of quickly. Our round up also caters to a range of budgets, offering plenty of affordable gifts that will still wow a seven-year-old, alongside pricier options for extra-special Christmas or birthday gifts.

The best Christmas gifts for 7-year-olds in 2023 are:

  • Best overall – Yoto player 3rd generation: £99.99,
  • Best outdoor toy – Micro sprite scooter classic LED: £134.95,
  • Best Lego gift – Lego city ski and climbing centre sports set: £89.99,
  • Best affordable gift – Spirograph neon set: £10.99,
  • Best board game – Go Genius World: £19.99,

Yoto player 3rd generation

best Christmas gifts for 7 year olds
  • Best: Overall

It’s hard to find a gift for a seven-year-old that parents love just as much as the kids, but the Yoto player has nailed it. This interactive audio player puts kids in control, with a choice of hundreds of stories – including favourites by Tom Fletcher and Roald Dahl – songs and more available on Yoto cards that you simply slot into the top of the box to play. There’s even age-appropriate guided bedtime meditations, facts and first words in foreign languages options as well as a daily podcast and the Yoto radio station that plays kid-friendly pop songs all day.

Despite being robust and child-friendly, this feels like a “grown up” addition to any seven-year-old’s bedroom. It’s really easy to navigate, with our young tester getting the hang of it almost instantly and happily using it independently once we’d helped with the set-up – which, thankfully, was pretty straightforward. Simply download the Yoto app, insert the “welcome card” into the Yoto Player and follow the prompts to connect with your WiFi. There’s also a parent app which gave us control over everything from the day volume and night volume to the brightness of the screen display.

It’s not cheap, but ot packs a lot of features into its compact size. The light-up pixel screen shows the time, alongside a sun during the day and moon at night, it can be used as a nightlight, as a room thermometer and can be used with headphones (wired or Bluetooth). So we feel it’s worth every penny and will be a great companion for any child well into their early teens.

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The Den Kit Company make a pizza for the birds kit

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Eco-friendly gift

Sometimes the simplest ideas capture a child’s imagination the most, which was certainly the case with this make a pizza for the birds kit. Inside the drawstring hessian bag you’ll find two reusable wooden “pizza bases”, three mini hessian bags each filled with different seasonal bird food (just be aware that these nut and seed mixed may include peanuts), and a cute cotton pouch filled with nine gorgeously illustrated cards to help you identify some of the most common native British birds in your garden.

Our testers had such a great time digging up soil in the garden, mixing with a little water and spreading the muddy mixture onto the bases before sprinkling the seeds on top. You can also add some oats, cereal or soaked dry fruit from home as well. Once the making was finished, our testers loved patiently waiting inside, watching the bird feeding table with their binoculars to spot any feathered visitors – and the excitement when the birds started pecking away at the seeds was off the scale!

We love that everything is reusable here – the wooden bases can be used time and time again, and each hessian sack can be filled up cheaply with suitable garden bird feed or porridge oats once you run out. It’s such a clever way to encourage kids to get outside, connect with and appreciate nature whatever time of year. Plus, it’s less than £20. What’s not to love?

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Micro sprite scooter classic LED

best  Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Outdoor toy

There are scooters, then there are Micro scooters. Every little detail has been so well thought out on the sprite to make it easy for children to master scooting on two wheels with ease – and to make life as easy as possible for parents too. For a start, there’s no assembly required, we literally just had to unfold the scooter and click the handlebars in place. If you need to adjust the height of the handlebar stem – almost certainly if you’re buying for a seven-year-old, as this scooter is suitable for ages five to 12-ish (152cm) – you can do this quickly and easily using the Allen key provided. And that’s it, you’re ready to go.

Seven is a great age for a two-wheel scooter and they don’t come much cooler than the sprite neochrome. The rainbow neochrome finish, light-up LED wheels – which never run out of battery, hooray! – and sleek design made this a firm favourite with our testers. It’s super lightweight too, at 2.85kgs, which means it’s even easier for a seven-year-old to get to grips with two wheels – and less painful for your back if you get left having to carry it home.

It folds down quickly into a neat, compact size, perfect for taking on days out or holidays. And we also loved the kickstand (a nice touch for protecting the neochrome finish) and the squidgy handles, which were soft to grip and a good size for our tester. Best of all, we know from experience that Micro scooters are made to last, so if you want to buy a Christmas present that can easily be passed down the family in time, you cannot go wrong with the sprite.

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OMY paint box kit

best Christmas gifts fir 7 year olds
  • Best: For arty kids

Who knew painting by numbers could be so cool? The OMY paint box kit includes six push-out cardboard shapes, a set of six paints, a paint brush and some string to hang your finished artworks. You probably know the drill; simply paint the numbered sections with the corresponding numbered paint and voila, you have your very own masterpiece to display at home.

Our testers loved the dinosaur themed set – although there are plenty of other designs to choose from – and the neon paint in particular went down very well. There’s a good mix of large areas and trickier, fiddly spaces to paint, to give your seven-year-old’s fine motor skills a good work out. Thankfully nothing is too complex to leave them feeling frustrated, but there’s plenty to keep them busy here, rather than simply an arts and crafts gift they’ll whizz through and be done with. The bold, graphic designs feel contemporary and fun – it’s a brilliant, creative gift choice that feels a bit different to other craft offerings.

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Lego city ski and climbing centre sports set

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Lego gift

Lego has to be the ultimate fail-safe gift for a seven-year-old, and this quirky ski and climbing centre set has “dream Christmas present” written all over it. For a start, it’s a large, involved build with over 1,000 pieces to contend with. From the moment our tester opened bag one, he was fully in Lego mode and the build kept him busy for a good couple of days – but for the more casual Lego builder it could easily take a couple of weeks to complete.

The end result is a three level, modular sports centre, with a ski slope down one side – just the thing for launching the various tubing/skiing/biking minifigures down. There’s also a climbing wall, complete with working pulley to help the minifigures get to the top, and a working lift inside the building to take skiers and snowboarders to the top of the slope, which you operate using a wheel at the top of the building.

The beauty of this Lego set is how interactive it is and how much play potential there is after the build is finished. It’s packed with unexpected detail to help inspire imaginative play, like a mini hot drinks station inside, a ski equipment hire shop and a snowy, outdoor space with snowman and ice skaters. It’s genuinely a great fun toy, with so much to offer throughout the building process and beyond.

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Photo Creator instant camera

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Camera for 7-year-olds

This kid-friendly instant camera was a certified hit with our little testers, so much so they now don’t go anywhere without it. As well as a turquoise instant camera you get a USB cable, wrist strap, sticker sheet (to decorate the camera and/or your photos), an SD card, four rolls of paper and four marker pens for adding some colour to your photos. If that’s not enough, there’s a choice of fun filters (think fake “Wanted” posters and palm tree backgrounds rather than Facetune-type filters), you can record videos and you can flip the screen around to take selfies.

While the instant photos only print in black and white, the included USB cable allows you to connect your camera to a computer and print off your favourites in colour that way. Plus, the whole thing is so easy to use, our seven-year-old worked it out on his own in no time and loves the independence of taking his own photos, rather than asking to borrow a phone to snap funny selfies. And the best news of all, aside from its impressive battery life, is that additional paper rolls are easily available to buy (cheaply) online, so they can snap happy for many occasions to come.

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‘The World’s Most Atrocious Animals’ by Philip Bunting, published by Happy Yak

best Christmas gifts for 7 year olds
  • Best: For animal lovers

The latest in Philip Bunting’s laugh out loud animal book series doesn’t disappoint. Here he takes a look at some of the world’s most fearsome animals, from colossal squid to the giant spitting cobra, in his own unique style. Mixing his colourful, contemporary illustrations with eye-opening facts and hilarious annotations, it’s a favourite with our seven-year-old testers – and us, too.

Our tester found it easy enough to read independently, stumbling over only a few new words, and was regularly in fits of giggles at the genuinely funny jokey asides throughout. Bunting manages to tap into the natural curiosity of kids this age, offering lots of engaging factual information about the animals in the book to really help open their eyes to some of the most ridiculous and wonderful creatures on the planet.

All this, delivered with a wicked sense of humour made The World’s Most Atrocious Animals a book our tester returned to again and again. It also regularly tops the most requested bedtime story list, and it’s definitely a book we’re more than happy to read on repeat.

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‘Spin to Survive: Pirate Peril’ by Emily Hawkins and R Fresson, published by Wide Eyed

best Christmas gifts for 7 year olds
  • Best: Interactive book

If the “choose your own adventure” books from the Eighties still hold fond childhood memories, you’re going to love the Spin to Survive books as much as your seven-year-old. Here, the reader gets to create their own story and decide their own destiny, by making a decision on each page and using the fortune spinner to discover where to go next. We loved working our way through the book, many times in many different ways, with our young tester. It’s fully immersive and you’re soon caught up in the imaginary world of pirates, buried treasure, sharks, storms and more, as you turn the pages and use the spinner to decide your next steps.

The interactive element was what really appealed to our tester, who loved taking control and using the spinner, hoping desperately to avoid the dreaded skull and crossbones (which essentially means “you’re dead. Back to the start!”). The story is exciting, full of twists and turns, wherever the spinner takes you, although we found some of the language a little complex for our seven-year-old to read on their own, so it worked best as a very fun bedtime story.

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Spirograph neon set

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Affordable gift

There’s a reason Spirograph has been around for so long. This easy-to-use kit was ready to use straight out of the box, and included everything kids need to create some fancy patterns and unique artwork. You simply place the large ring on a sheet of paper – there’s 10 included but you can use any piece of paper once these run out – pick your wheel, choose one of the five neon and black pens included, then spin the wheel with the pen to watch intricate patterns appeal with zero effort.

Our seven-year-old testers loved coming up with their own designs (although there is an ideas book included) and genuinely did not get bored with this. It’s easy enough for them to work out and use on their own, while also sneakily giving their fine motor skills a workout.

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Rainbow Loom loomi-pals combo set

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Crafting gift

If you’re looking for a gift that will keep a seven-year-old busy for hours, this is it. With 2,300 bands, hundreds of clips, charms and beads included, the mega Rainbow Loom loom-pals combo set has all the essentials to help children make cute loom band bracelets, as well as plenty of extras to make this feel like a really special gift.

Our seven-year-old tester was massively excited to get stuck in when she opened up the box, but the illustrated instructions were a little complicated, so we’d recommend helping your child get the hang of the making process first before letting them get stuck in independently. Once she had got the hang of it, there was no stopping her, and we were treated to an endless supply of loom bracelets with cute charms and personalised name beads. It’s these little extras that make this set such a hit – the creative opportunities are huge, while also promoting fine motor skills and cognitive thinking.

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Rockahula little toadstool jewellery box

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Keepsake gift

We love the quirky design of this toadstool jewellery box from Rockahula. It feels age-appropriate, fun without being too “babyish” and is something we feel a seven-year-old can easily treasure and use for many years. What makes this feel that extra bit special though is the super-soft velvet and the sweet polka dot interior. It’s excellent quality and definitely made to last. It’s also a cute size, measuring 9cm x 9cm x 5cm, with room for four rings, a couple of necklaces and bracelets, as well as hair clips or bobbles. We found it the ideal size for keeping our seven-year-old’s favourite jewellery bits in and perfect for taking away on holiday.

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Fitbit ace 3 kid’s fitness tracker

Best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: For sporty kids

Whether you’ve got a seven-year-old who spends their life bombing around outside, or one who prefers reading or gaming inside, we think the Fitbit ace 3 is a winner. Essentially, it’s a child-friendly version of your typical Fitbit, and it’s packed with features to encourage children to get active in a way that genuinely appeals to kids of all ages. Namely that they can set goals, earn virtual badges and trophies to show off to anyone who’ll listen. Our tester hasn’t taken his Fitbit off since it arrived and has found it simple to navigate, easily swiping between the various functions, setting timers and using the stopwatch with no issue.

You can personalise the Fitbit with various clock faces, like aliens or unicorns, and you can even switch straps if you like – though you have to buy these separately. We love how it’s designed to withstand plenty of play, it has a two-year guarantee, is swim proof up to 50m and has a battery that lasts eight days before you need to recharge using the cable provided. You can just let the kids get on and have fun.

The only thing to note is that it’s all managed through the Fitbit app, so you’ll need to download this and create an account for your child to be able to set it up. It wasn’t the most intuitive of set ups, and we encountered a few glitches along the way, but once our tester’s account was up and running we found everything else about the Fitbit app to be outstanding. You can set reminders to move, a daily goal for your child to hit – whether that’s a number of steps or active minutes, and track sleep. There’s even the function to set a bedtime reminder (which saves you having to run up the stairs for the millionth time) and even a gentle, silent vibrating alarm to wake them up in the morning. An all-round winner.

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Go Genius World

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Board game

Seven-year-olds are fact machines, and this fun, educational board game gives them the perfect opportunity to show off their knowledge of the world. Here, two to four players get to battle it out, moving around the board answering one point, two point and three-point questions covering everything from capital cities to famous landmarks. It’s perfectly pitched for seven-year-olds – some of the questions are tricky but far from impossible to answer, so most kids of this age should manage to travel around the board clocking up a decent number of points as they go. The winner is the person who has the most points once everyone has got to the end of the game.

The forfeits went down a storm with our young testers – things like “hop around the room” and “pretend to be a dog for one minute” – who found them hilarious and were thrilled whenever they, or their friends landed on the various “pick a forfeit” circles on the board. We love how this game is simple and straightforward enough to leave the children to it, but also works well as a game for the whole family.

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Bundle Beds junior bundle bed

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: For adventurers

What is it about children and anything to do with sleeping bags or travel beds? Our testers were beside themselves when the junior bundle bed arrived and couldn’t wait to try it out. It’s a great all-in-one – a self-inflating mattress (5cm deep), fitted with a soft cotton sheet (with waterproof lining), 15-tog duvet and pillow (both of which are filled with 100 per cent recycled plastic bottles), which rolls up into a carry bag with handles.

To inflate you just have to twist the valve at the bottom – it’s worth giving a few puffs yourself to help with the inflation first time around. Usually the mattress takes less than a minute to inflate and is ready to use straight away once you twist the valve to close, but if you’re able to, leave the valve open for six hours+ to let the mattress inflate fully. We loved how easy it was to inflate and pack away – all you have to do is open the valves and slowly roll it all back up together, then click the buckles together. And while it’s certainly not cheap, it’s such a useful gift. Perfect for sleepovers, holidays and camping trips alike, it totally delivers the wow factor for children. We struggle to get our testers to sleep in their actual beds now.

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Learning Resources kanoodle pyramid

best Christmas gifts for seven year olds
  • Best: Puzzle for 7-year-olds

There’s something quite addictive about this TikTok viral brainteaser puzzle – it had both our seven-year-old testers and all the adults hooked from the start. The kanoodle pyramid comes with nine brightly coloured geometric pieces which you use to solve a whopping 200 2D and 3D puzzles. When our tester tried this out for the first time, they declared it was too easy, however as they started to work their way through the puzzle booklet, moving onto tricker 2D and then even trickier 3D puzzles, they quickly backtracked! They are still a long way from completing all the puzzles and we think it’s going to keep the whole family busy for a while.

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The verdict: Gifts for 7-year-olds

Our testers all adored the Yoto player, which has been used at least once every day since it arrived. It offers so much in the way of entertainment and education and it’s the kind of gift a child just won’t get bored of. If your budget can stretch, we can’t recommend this enough.

If you’re looking for more affordable options, we think the Spirograph neon set is a proper crowd-pleaser at around £10, while the Spin to Survive: Pirate Peril book for just under £20 will have kids aged seven and up absolutely hooked.

For more gifts that are both functional and fun, read our best kids’ scooter edit

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