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50 gifts that'll inspire your 7-year-old over and over again

The kid in your life will love these (mostly screen-free) expert-approved presents.
TODAY Illustration; Kara Birnbaum / TODAY
/ Source: Today

Wondering what to get a 7-year-old for the holiday season and scratching your brain? The best toys and gifts for this age help them write stories, draw detailed pictures, build and create.

Seven-year-olds are noticeably better at fine motor skills that help them write and create than they were at age 6, said Dr. Amanda Gummer, founder of Fundamentally Children in the United Kingdom.

Crafts, sports equipment, building materials and other interactive and educational toys are among the top gifts for 7-year-olds, noted Susan Kambrich, head of the Woodland Hill Montessori School in Rensselaer, New York, and treasurer of the board of directors for the American Montessori Society.

At age 7, kids are also becoming more confident readers, ready to explore the world through graphic novels, nonfiction books and more sophisticated chapter books — though they will still get plenty of satisfaction and education from picture books, too. Here, we've found the best gifts to help your favorite 7-year-old hone their developmental skills while also having fun.

To quickly jump to the category you're looking for, click on the links below or keep scrolling to see all 50.

Bestselling gifts for 7-year-olds

Klutz Make Your Own Puffy Stickers

This sticker maker includes designs that can be colored in and enough material for 60 homemade stickers.

Everest Toys Crazy Forts Glow in the Dark Set

Kids can create their own one-of-a-kind play space with this award-winning kit. Coolest of all, it glows in the dark!

Taco vs Burrito Card Game

This game was created by a 7-year-old made specifically for 7-year-olds. All right, parents can play, too; it's actually a great card game for any age. This is a fun game centered around strategy and competition.

Rainbow Loom Combo Loomi Pals Set

Make your own stretchy bracelets and add cute charms with this set that makes crafting accessible. Friendship bracelets are great for building social networks and fine motor skills.

Unstable Unicorns Kids Edition

Unstable Unicorns won the 2019 People's Choice Award for Toy of the Year and has sold over a million copies worldwide for a reason. The kid-friendly version with adorable artwork is sure to be adored by your 7-year-old and a favorite among the whole family.

Best gifts for 7-year-olds

Unicorn Reversible Sequin Pillow

This shiny unicorn is a great accessory, but flip sequins aren’t just fun — they’re recommended to help kids who struggle with sensory processing or emotional regulation.

KiwiCo Basketball Catapult

This STEM toy lets 7-year-olds create an adjustable catapult, then use it to shoot and score, learning about angles and arcs as they go.

Mega Barbie Color Reveal Dream House

This building set combines the magic of color reveal Barbie with the engineering of a building set for a dream house in miniature.

STEM Success Kit: Amazing Scientist

Mix bubbling potions and make a test tube “lava lamp” in this kit that includes six complete experiments for the young scientist to explore.

Big Fat Yarn

Knitting becomes kid-friendly with this jumbo finger-knitting craft kit that lets kids make accessories for their bedrooms, or disassemble the project and make something new.

3D Doodler Start+ Essentials

Kids can make their own 3D art with this kit that provides a “pen” that emits the child-safe plastic building material to make their own shapes. They can follow stencils or create their own sculptures.

Best toys for 7-year-olds

L.O.L. Surprise Color Change Bubbly Surprise

Collectibles, from trading cards to mini figures like these, can be important for kids who are developing a sense of group belonging, Gummer said.

Lego Dots Creative Designer Box

This crafty Lego toy lets young designers create custom decor with items like wall decorations and boxes for desk supplies.

Plus-Plus Go! Street Racing Super Set

Plus-Plus connecting tiles give Lego lovers a new way to build, and this set allows for both instruction-following and open-ended play.

National Geographic Geode Kit

Break open 10 geodes to discover the cool world inside and learn about rocks and the Earth. Over 22,000 five-star Amazon reviewers can agree that this "age appropriate," "exciting" and "quick and easy to explain" activity is perfect for 7-year-olds and science enthusiasts alike.

Active toys for 7-year-olds

Gonex Mini Cruiser 22-Inch Skateboard

This little skateboard comes in many colors was specially designed with kids in mind. "Gifts that help children gain confidence in their abilities can really help at this age," Gummer said.

Don't forget to also grab some knee pads and a helmet to keep your new skater safe!

AOKESI Mini Indoor Basketball Hoop Set

Consider a gift for an active 7-year-old that allows them to channel all that extra energy. This indoor mini basketball set comes with everything they'll need to ball like a professional right in their own bedroom — the basketball hoop, backboard and soft rubber mini basketballs are all included.

Donkit Darts Magnetic Dart Board

A magnetic dart board is great for motor skills and competition without the danger of real darts. "It's so worth the money," one reviewer said, adding "We love this and play all the time."

Franklin Sports Blackhawk Pop-Up Soccer Goal

Sports are becoming more rewarding to 7-year-olds as they gain strength and stamina. Give them a goal net to practice and play with.

Kidwinz Shock-Proof Binoculars

Gear like these binoculars, backyard tents and walkie-talkies encourage outdoor play and exploration.

Best arts and crafts for 7-year-olds

Lulu Jr. Illustory Bookmaking Kit

Put them on the path to their first Pulitzer Prize with this bookmaking kit.

VTech Kidizoom

Little photographers can take pictures and instantly print black-and-white images with included paper. The digital screen lets them embellish photos with stickers and drawings.

Just My Style Tie Dye Design Studio

Get in on the tie-dye trend with this studio in a box that lets kids dye up to 18 projects.

ESSENSON Slime Making Kit

This oddly satisfying slime kit is fun for both kids and kids at heart. Strangely fascinating and tactile, it also relieves stress.

FAO Schwarz Girls DIY Belt Bag Kit

The future fashion designer is definitely going to love this gift. It comes with everything they need to make their very own belt bag, including adorable glue-on embroidered patches and gold and silver studs.

Hey Clay Animals

Complete with 18 cans of clay that aren't sticky or toxic, this gift will allow your 7-year-old to make beautiful 3D creations. Let their imagination run wild!

Klutz Sew-Your-Own Unicorn Bunny Slippers

These cozy slippers are a fun craft project and a nice way to stay warm while remote learning.

Grandparent Pen Pal Kit

What better way to get a 7-year-old (and their grandparents) excited about writing?

Best games and puzzles for 7-year-olds

Educational Insights Kanoodle Puzzle Game

This classic game includes plenty of brain teasers a 7-year-old can try alone, and it’s portable for travel.

SHASHIBO Shape Shifting Box

This is a creative yet fun toy perfect for all ages — a transforming fidget toy. Your 7-year-old will have their eyes locked on this memorizing gift for hours.

ThinkFun Laser Maze

This logic game adds an educational component to puzzles by incorporating critical thinking and STEM skills. Try the junior version for kids who might appreciate a more approachable challenge.

Mudpuppy Amazing Insects Glow in the Dark Puzzle

Puzzles help with fine motor skills and problem-solving, and this one includes a geography lesson, too.

Overcooked! for Nintendo Switch

Is your 7-year-old a video game lover? Gift them this cooking game for Nintendo Switch to play solo or with up to four people.

Hasbro Twister Game

Get the whole family in on the fun — and the twisting and turning and bending and snapping with this classic game.

Bananagrams

Like an entry-level Scrabble, Bananagrams is fun and helps with spelling. This double version of the game comes with enough pieces for up to 16 players.

Best STEM and educational toys for 7-year-olds

Crayola Color Chemistry Lab

This kit includes 50 different colorful experiments, from an erupting volcano to "rubber goo." With "hours of enjoyment," tap into their creative genes with this chemistry set.

Lego Super Mario Adventures

Turn Legos into a real-life video game with this kit that also includes interactive elements.

"Building can engage children in higher-level thinking and creative problem-solving through hands-on design and construction," said Kambrich.

Any Lego kit will be a hit for 7-year-olds, but this one promotes STEM skills along with construction.

AOKESI Building Block Robot Kit

Does your 7-year-old kid love to tinker and learn about science? This kit lets them build their very own robot and would be a great STEM educational challenge to take on together.

Best dolls and stuffed animals for 7-year-olds

Squishable Comfort Avocado

This avocado is part of Squishable’s “comfort food” line, an unusual addition to the usual stuffed animal menagerie.

Autumn Leaves Lottie Doll

These diverse dolls include accessories such as cochlear implants and hobbies like star gazing or fossil hunting.

Best books for 7-year-olds

“Endlessly Ever After,” by Laurel Snyder and Dan Santat

This choose-your-own-adventure-style fairy tale follows a trail of breadcrumbs from many familiar stories but leaves the reader in charge of the remix. The options aren’t quite endless, but they’ll entertain ever after.

“Farmhouse,” by Sophie Blackall

Climb inside the precious world of Sophie Blackall’s old farmhouse, where a family lives and grows as years pass, with intricate illustrations and one long sentence that somehow suspends time.

“The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza,” by Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris

This Read With Jenna Junior pick started as live cartoons for kids stuck at home during the pandemic. It’s now a graphic novel featuring a whimsical moon queen, a toenail-clipping robot and an astronaut cat who may or may not eat pizza.

Audible subscription

For learning readers, audio books are a welcome way to connect to stories without stress. Audible has classics including “Anne of Green Gables” and “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” alongside original content like “The Weirdies,” by Michael Buckley, narrated by Kate Winslet.

“Cat Kid Comic Club: Collaborations,” by Dav Pilkey

The newest book in the graphic novel series from the creator of “Dog Man” has the club making mini comics like Chubbs McSpiderbutt to inspire collaboration and storytelling in readers, too.

“The Year We Learned to Fly,” by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López

Children who are stuck inside learn to use their imaginations to fly – a message that will resonate deeply with children who lived through a pandemic, who must adjust to a new place or cope with any life changes or hardships.

“Patchwork,” by Matt de la Peña and Corinna Luyken

In beautiful verse with artwork to match, this picture book explores the unexpected ways children might grow into themselves.

“Amah Faraway,” by Margaret Chiu Greanias and Tracy Subisak

When Kylie goes to visit grandma so far away, she is shy and nervous about unfamiliar customs. But she warms to the visit and leaves ready for another in a mirrored storyline that takes the hesitation of the beginning into excitement, using the same words.

“Sleuth & Solve: Science,” by Ana Gallo and Victor Escandell

Science-inspired mysteries let kids understand scientific principles while solving thorny riddles.

"Highlights Book of Things to Do"

This activity book is encyclopedic. With crafts, recipes, science projects, brain teasers and games, it makes for an easy answer the next time a child complains there's nothing to do.

​​Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s other gift guides to find the perfect present for every kid on your list including babies, 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds, 6-year-olds, 8-year-olds, 9-year-olds and 10-year-olds.