"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
You've probably noticed your 7-year-old becoming a lot more independent and interested in pursuing their own passions. "Around seven years old, children are developing confidence in all areas of life through schoolwork, friends, physical activity and the arts," says Jennifer Rothman, LCSW. "Motivation for learning and focus on friendships guides children as they become more independent from the family and begin to build their self image."
For these reasons, when it comes to toys and gifts that support this independence, she says things like board games, construction and building toys and complicated puzzles help them work on their newfound skills and feel accomplished in their own right. Arts and crafts and DIY sets are helpful, too. "Making something of their specific individualized interest and customizing creations also promotes their emerging identity formation," says Rothman.
That leaves a lot of options when it comes time to get gifts for kids this age. And even if you narrow it down to a specific category, there's still so much to choose. That's why the Good Housekeeping Institute tests and evaluates toys throughout the year while on the hunt for our annual Good Housekeeping Best Toy Award winners. To find the best of the best, we test all the newest and most popular toys of the year both in our Lab and at home. First, experts evaluate the safety and durability, then real 7-year-olds give their own feedback about how fun they are to use. To put together this list of the best toys and gifts for 7-year-olds in 2023, we rounded up their top picks (plus a few perennial best-sellers and editor favorites) and grouped them by price.
Our Top Picks for Best Toys and Gifts for 7-Year-Olds in 2023
Creativity for Kids Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit, $9 at amazon.com
Educational Insights Kanoodle, $10 at amazon.com
Search for a Giant Squid: Pick Your Path Book, $14 at amazon.com
Crayola Wixels Animals Activity Kit, $15 at amazon.com
Pixiecade Mobile Game Maker, $20 at amazon.com
This year, we're seeing DIY kits and craft sets rise to the top of kids' must-have lists. So have educational toys, especially when it comes to STEM sets, as well as building kits and other collectibles. Brainteaser games are also a hit, so you can feel good about improving the mind of any 7-year-old in your life.
Looking for more great gifts? Check out these Good Housekeeping guides:
Pixicade Pets VIP: Draw Your Own Pets & Bring Them to Life On Your Mobile Device or Tablet- Create Your Own Virtual Pet Universe Bonus Amusement Park- STEM Toys for Ages 6+
It looks simple, but its deceptively difficult. Each puzzle challenges players to copy a design from the instruction book, then complete it using the remaining pieces. They'll have their brains thinking overtime as they try to work out the 3D and 2D shapes. Ages 7+
Search for a Giant Squid
Kids will get to choose their own paths through these books, and they'll pick up plenty of science facts along the way. First their choose their pilot and sub, and then they go on a hunt for a giant squid. I sat with my 6- and 4-year-olds for 30 minutes, reading various scenarios,” said one reviewer. “Every time I tried to stop, they wanted to start over on a different adventure!”Ages 6 – 9
Wixels Animals Activity Kit
There's a little STEM lesson in this art project: Kids moisten a board filled with squares, touch the marker to each space, and watch as capillary action fills the square with color to make a picture in a pixelated style. It comes with two animal patterns for them to follow, or they can make their own designs. Ages 6+
Reversible Axolotl Plushie
Reversible plushes are still the rage. Axolotls are the animal of the moment. Put them together, and you've got an unmistakable hit. Flip this axol inside-out to change its mood from happy to angry while keeping its cool blue-and-teal color scheme. (Though it does come in several other colors.) Ages 3+
Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit
The perfect rainy-day project for 7-year-olds, this kit lets kids decorate rocks either with their own painted-on designs or with cool water-based transfers (like a temporary tattoo for rocks). Then, when it's nice out again, they can use the rocks to decorate a garden or be a hidden moment of surprise along a path or trail. It comes with 10 rocks, but you can also send them out into nature to scout out more. Ages 6+
Make Your Own Soap Kit
Kids will complain less about washing up when they've made their own soap in fun, cool shapes. They'll learn that a lot goes into making soap, from mixing the ingredients to molding the shape to adding fragrance. There are even ideas for soap-based, at-home experiments kids can do while their soap hardens. It comes with enough to make 10 soaps in shapes like stars and cats, plus color tablets, glitter, coconut papaya fragrance and even gift boxes and tags. Ages 6+
Board game lovers will find these collectible, miniature versions of their favorite games so cute they'll want to get them all. Not only are they pocket-sized, but they're actually playable and feature all the pieces and parts of their larger counterparts. Our testers loved unboxing these mini toys even more than playing them. The collection includes classics like Connect Four, Uno, Jenga, Trouble and more. Ages 6+
Pokémon Super Extra Deluxe Essential Handbook
If there's a Pokéfan in your life who needs to know about every move set, evolution and region, this brick of a book is exactly what they need. It covers more than 875 characters (which, shockingly, still isn't all of them), so kids can look up their favorite Pokémon to find out its strengths and weaknesses. Ages 7+
Foster their love of science and keep their rooms looking cool with this 3D-printed lamp, which re-creates the craters and bumps on the surface of the moon. It also comes in four sizes and lights up in 16 colors; kids can change the colors at the push of a button with a remote control. No age recommendation given
Air Hogs RC cars have long been a hit with Good Housekeeping Institute testers, who appreciate that the wheels are soft enough to drive indoors (but still big enough to drive over obstacles). This one is also designed to do spins and tricks, and there's a red car on one side and a blue one on the reverse, so it'll keep going no matter which way it lands. Ages 4+
One Question a Day for Kids
If the creative 7-year-old in your life likes the idea of journaling but doesn't know what to write, this journal will prompt them with a thought-starter a day. It asks questions both fun (favorite superpowers) and serious (about who they trust the most). When they're done, they'll have a time capsule that covers three years. Ages 5+
Corner Crush Game
It's a four-in-a-row game just like you remember, but with a twist: The game actually wraps around the sides of the 3-D playing tower, so it tests memory, too! Our testers loved rotating the tower. Ages 7+
Good Housekeeping Amazing Science
Budding scientists will thrill with the 83 hands-on experiments in this book, which are led by the scientists from the Good Housekeeping Institute. The book goes from room to room in the house and explains the scientific concepts behind the phenomena you might find there, like why bathroom mirrors get foggy or what makes sweaty sneakers so stinky. Then, the experiments let them dive deeper into the concepts. Ages 7+
Pass the Pigs
Our game testers found this "dice" game hilarious — and when you're throwing pigs around the table, how can you not laugh? Players must roll the pigs, and then earn points based on the positions they land in. Parents also found this one to be an easy-to-transport travel game. Ages 7+
This brainteaser will keep your little ones engaged while challenging their smarts. Players use their memory skills to re-create patterns that the game flashes on the buttons. Our testers love that this game can be brought along while traveling and even has a silent mode. Ages 7+
Solar Robot DIY Kit
STEM-inclined kids will jump at the change to make a real, working solar-powered robot on their own. When they've assembled it all, they'll have built a robot that walks around in the sunlight. To add a little more creativity into this science project, there are also instructions with ideas for how to turn recyclable household materials (like cardboard) into adaptations that turn the robot into a dinosaur, a monster and more. Ages 5+
Star Wars Rivals Premier Set
This two-player game has a little of everything: There are some collectible figures, some strategies, some missions and plenty of Star Wars characters, locations and references that kids know and love.
Star Wars Rivals has players choosing to champion either the light side or the dark side, then battling for control over different sectors of the galaxy using movable character figures. The set comes with four exclusive characters and 12 locations, but kids can expand their collection with booster sets. Ages 7+
$25 to $50
Creator 3-in-1 Adorable Dogs
Puppy lovers will thrill to this Lego set, which lets them create builds of many different dog breeds. The same pieces can make a beagle, poodle and a Labrador, then kids can take those apart and make either a miniature schnauzer and a pug or a husky and a long-haired dachshund. No matter what breed they choose, when they're done they can pose their heads and tails and put them on a shelf for all to see. Ages 7+
Refasy Electronic Piggy Banks Password Money Saving Box for 11 Year Old Boy Money Bank Toy Birthday Gifts for Girls Kids Safe Cash Coin Can(Navy)
Illuminated Apparel Interactive Glow in The Dark T-Shirt - Fun for Birthday Parties & Festivals (Black/Green Glow, 12-14 Years)
Leonardo’s Elements Construction Toy
STEAM lovers will adore this set, which lets kids use geometry and math inspired by the works of Leonardo da Vinci, to create unique structures. They can play solo or in a group to flex their problem-solving muscles and work on their collaboration skills as they try to build the different shapes. Ages 4+
Scout It Out 50 States Board Game
Kids can brush up on their social studies while getting into the competitive spirit with this game. Players get hints that relate to the different states, and they have to guess which state it is. Hey, you might learn a thing or two yourself. Ages 7+
Kids will marvel when they jump on the kid-powered launcher and send three planes soaring — and doing tricks! The set comes with three different planes, each with its own gimmick: one soars high in the sky, one does loops and the last flies in an unpredictable pattern. Ages 3+
RUKUSfx Motion-Controlled Music Mixer Lights and Sounds Music Kids Toys for Ages 6 up
Deluxe Character Kit
Creatable World is an unusual toy line for kids: Each doll comes without an assigned name, story or gender, so kids can create their own backstories for each one — and change them up whenever they want. This kit that comes with one doll (which come in a range of skin tones and hair colors), a short hairstyle and a long hairstyle, clothing and accessories that can be mixed and matched to create various looks — the possibilities are endless! Ages 6+
$51 and up
This STEM toy for kids combines coding, robots and creative arts in one product. Once you set it up — which is super easy! — Artie will draw the designs according to the code. The kit comes with the robot, activity cards, colored markers, an alignment tool (to keep the marker in place) and instructions. Ages 7+
Bluetooth Karaoke System
Bring the karaoke bar experience home: You can help them load music via the CD player, through USB- or AUX-connected players or over Bluetooth from compatible devices. Included RCA cables connect to your television for scrolling lyrics, and disco lights flare up with each beat. The machine also features voice effects and auto voice control so she and her friends can sound their best. No age recommendation given
Magical Misting Crystal Ball
Good Housekeeping Institute testers found this crystal ball's big reveal to have a huge "wow" factor. Once the Mixie is revealed, it can do magic spells, tell fortunes and interact in other ways. Ages 5+
Minecraft Caves & Cliffs Ender Dragon
Kids can really feel like they've brought Minecraft to the real world with this toy, which has kids seeking treasure by breaking through crackle with a pickaxe, wading through Ender Ooze and digging through Ender Sand. Along the way, they'll be able to find the pieces to craft a Diamond Steve and look for Ender Dragon treasure — all in all, a fun sensory experience for Minecraft fans. In addition, there are also smaller Treasure X Minecraft sets ($14) that could work as little gifts or stocking stuffers. Ages 5+
KidiZoom Creator Cam
Kids love creating and editing their own videos, using special effects like green screens and animated backgrounds. Parents love that it doesn't connect to Wi-Fi, so they don't have to worry about safety and privacy. Ages 5+
Super Mario Adventures Starter Course
With the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie this year, Mario appreciation is at an all-time high. This LEGO set combines IRL building with a screen-time fave. Kids can construct the game levels out of LEGO bricks. Then, the Mario works with an app so he can complete challenges and collect virtual coins in the LEGO app. The Mario figure also has an embedded speaker and LED screens in his face and belly to give instant feedback. Ages 6+
Adventure Tree House Play Set
Any kid would love to have a treehouse with a slide in their backyard — this is the next best thing. This 28-piece set from Schleich, known for its detailed, realistic figures, will have kids imagining up all sorts of scenarios for the kids and animals that come with it. Ages 3+
Fire HD 8 KidsTablet
When you invest in a tablet for your kids, it opens up the door for them to play and learn on the same device. A budget-friendlier alternative to the Fire HD 10, the Fire HD 8 Tablet is a super durable option thanks to the included case.
When you purchase one of these tablets, your kid gets access to tons of content (like apps, videos and games) with Kids+, which is free for a year, then it's just $3/month. It also comes with parental controls, so adults can set limits on things like games, while letting kids use it as an e-reader for as long as they want. Ages 3+
How we choose the best toys
Before including our favorite picks in an article, the Good Housekeeping Institute does rigorous toy testing to ensure we're recommending only the best. Many of our choices come from our yearly Toy Awards, where we test each item based on the following criteria:
✔️Safety: Our engineers and analysts make sure that each toy reaches all safety standards. They also assess things like pinch points and make sure toys won’t shatter into small pieces to pose a potential choking hazard.
✔️Ease of Use: We look at each toy to evaluate how simple it is to assemble, how well it’s constructed and how durable it is during play.
✔️Kid Approval: Aside from testing each toy for skill-building attributes, like how well it develops social-emotional skills, all our final decisions come from more than 100 children, ages 1 to 15, who assess the fun factor!
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
Much of the toy testing for this article was overseen by Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's chief technologist and director of engineering, with the help of Marisa LaScala, Good Housekeeping's senior parenting and relationships editor. For more than 15 years, Rachel has put her training in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics to work by researching, testing and writing about parenting products. Plus, as a mom to three kids under 5, she has plenty of first-hand experience.
Marisa has covered all aspects of the world of parenting, from the postpartum years through the empty nests, since 2015, and she's worked on Good Housekeeping's toy coverage since 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter, who are both avid toy collectors. Marisa holds her family's record for the most coins collected during a single Super Mario Adventures Starter Course run.
Shop more toys and gifts for kids
Looking for more great gifts for kids? Let the experts do all the hard work for you!
Top-tested items: See what toys, gifts and books ranked the very highest in our Lab tests with our Good Housekeeping Best Toy Awards, our Good Housekeeping Best Kids’ Book Awards and our Good Housekeeping Parenting Awards.
Tech for kids: Our lab experts are often asked for recommendations for digital devices for kids, and we've tested kids' phones, kids' smartwatches, kids' tablets and game consoles and to see which ones held up the best for families.
Great learning toys: While all toys can be helpful vehicles for supporting developmental growth, we love to spotlight notably exceptional educational Toys and STEM toys as well as ones that can support social-emotional growth, like those included in our lists of the best sensory toys, pop fidget toys, Montessori toys and autism toys.
Gifts for babies: Please the newest members on your gift list (and their parents) with these useful baby registry items, as well as gifts for babies, gifts for baby girls and gifts for baby boys. Of course, you might want to get something for new parents to help them through the hectic newborn stage.
Gifts for toddlers: The coolest new toys in this space pull double-duty, whether it's social-emotional learning combined with motor skills, or creative play combined with language, as you can see in our gift guides for gifts for 1-year-olds, gifts for 18-month-olds, gifts for 2-year-olds and gifts for all toddlers, as well as our stocking stuffers for toddlers.
Gifts for preschoolers: As they begin to explore the world around them on a deeper level, help them explore with STEM sets, art kits, creative toys and toys that inspire their imaginations. Find our favorites in our gifts for 3-year-olds (including gifts for 3-year-old boys and gifts for 3-year-old girls), gifts for 4-year-olds (including gifts for 4-year-old boys and gifts for 4-year-old girls) and gifts for 5-year-olds (including gifts for 5-year-old boys and gifts for 5-year-old girls).
Gifts for big kids: By these ages, they've developed their own interests. Help them dive deeper into the subjects that most interest them, from coding to art to cartooning to history and geography, with these gifts for 6-year-olds (including gifts for 6-year-old boys and gifts for 6-year-old girls), gifts for 7-year-olds (including gifts for 7-year-old boys and gifts for 7-year-old girls), gifts for 8-year-olds (including gifts for 8-year-old boys and gifts for 8-year-old girls), and gifts for 9-year-olds (including gifts for 9-year-old boys and gifts for 9-year-old girls). It's also fun to shop for some of our best-reviewed and top-selling stocking stuffers for kids.
Gifts for tweens: Sure, once they get old enough for an iPad or gaming console you might be at a loss of what to get them. We have you covered with engaging picks for gifts for 10-year-olds (including gifts for 10-year-old boys and gifts for 10-year-old girls), gifts for 11-year-olds (including gifts for 11-year-old boys and gifts for 11-year-old girls), and gifts for 12-year-olds (including gifts for 12-year-old boys and gifts for 12-year-old girls), or see what's trending with boys or tween girls as a whole.
Gifts for teens: We decode what's on the lists for this picky age group, from the hottest accessories to the most-wanted tech gifts, with gifts for 13-year-old boys, gifts for 13-year-old girls, gifts for 14-year-olds, gifts for 15-year-old boys, gifts for 15-year-old girls, gifts for 16-year-olds, gifts for teen girls, gifts for teen boys and even fun stocking stuffers for teens.
You Might Also Like