17 of the best toys for 7 year olds

Our pick of the top toys for boys and girls aged 7 to 8

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Your 7-year-old is super-curious and fizzing with ideas and questions. He or she wants to play with toys that are fun and engaging and challenging – or sometimes just downright silly.

He or she is also ready for things that take a while to build or collect, and nature-based toys that require patience and observation while they change over time.

Here is our pick of some of the best toys for your 7-year-old…

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1. Boxer, £59.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A quirky mini (17cm-high) robot on wheels who responds to hand movements with funny expressions and can read the 10 activity cards included with him, to play games like Bot Bowling, Paddle Bot or Go Kart. If you place a card down in front of him he’ll roll over it, scan it and start playing! Comes with a remote control, and you can download a free Boxer app to access more games.

Why we love it: Full of personality, Boxer can express a full range of emotions, from happiness to sadness and grumpiness to sleepiness. He was such a huge hit with our 7 and 8 year olds testers, he won Gold in the Best Robot Toy category of our 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards.

Available from: ArgosSmyths Toys and Amazon

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2. Nighthawk, £169.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A 79cm x 21cm x 64cm sit-and-glide ride-on for older kids that’s like a cross between a zoomy sledge and a futuristic go-kart.It nips along at a top speed of 12kph, and you steer by leaning, using the pedals to control how fast you go. Features side handles and a safety flag. Comes with rechargeable 12V battery (needs overnight recharge) and has a run time of about 90 minutes.

Why we love it: You should see how this turns kids’ heads in the park! This is one seriously cool piece of kit that every primary-school child will covet like crazy. It won Gold in the Best Outdoor/Garden Toy category of our 2018 Toy Awards.

Available from: Hamleys and Smyths Toys

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3. The World Atlas & Jigsaw, £11.99

Age: 5+

What it is: A beautifully illustrated300-piece jigsaw of the world map that comes with a 32-page picture atlas full of facts and famous sights. There are 100s of animals, landmarks and attractions to spot on the jigsaw and look up in the atlas.

Why we love it: This puzzle packs a good, fun learning punch. Our child testers thought the puzzle was a decently challenging ‘build’ and, once pieced together, an engaging, super-colourful springboard to finding out more about the world and its animals. Deservedly won Gold in the Best Puzzle/Jigsaw category of our 2018 Toy Awards.

Available from: Trotters and WHSmith

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4. My Fairy Garden, £14.99

Age: 4+

What is it: A 29cm bowl in which you can create your own fairy garden with accessories that include a magical miniature cottage, a fairy figurine, a mouse figurine, a little clothes line, an oyster shell, grass seed, fairy mushrooms, fairy flowers, instruction booklet – and, of course, a sprinkling of fairy dust!

Why we love it: It’s a beautifully thought-out kit: there are even little pegs and clothes for the clothes line, and a square of carpet for the little house. And we love the oyster shell ‘water feature’. You’ll need a bit of soil or compost to plant the grass seed in, and stand the cottage on.

Available at: Amazon and Asda

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5. Great British Sewing Bee Sewing Machine Studio, £49.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A child-sized (23.5cm x 21cm x 12cm) sewing machine that works exactly like an adult one, and comes with all you need to make a lovely little clutch bag. Set includes a foot pedal, safety guard, mains adapter, instructions, scissors, tape measure, 2 spare machine needles, sewing needle, needle threader, metal bobbins, thread reels, pins, assorted fabrics and a pattern.

Why we love it: It’s a perfect mini-me version of the proper thing – with a finger guard added for extra safety. It’s not an impulse purchase but for a crafty child with an interesting in sewing, this will get years of use. The bag project is lovely.

Available at: Amazon and Argos

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6. Shopkins Scoops Ice Cream Truck Play Set, £24.99

Age: 5+

What is it: A 34cm ice cream truck with moving wheels, 2 Shopkins characters and a whole bunch of little accessories.

Why we love it: For the veritable army of little Shopkins fans out there, this is a cute set that’ll hit all the right play places. There are lots of clever accessories to busy those fingers with, including an umbrella stand (for eating those ices in the shade) and cooler bags.

Available at: Amazon

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7. Harry Potter Kano Coding Kit, £99.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A kit that takes you, step by step, through building a wand and coding it to respond to your movements and do ‘magic’ when connected with your tablet or computer. Comes with wand parts, PCB with codeable LED, button, batteries, instruction book, stickers, a poster, and access to the Kano app. Requires 2AAA batteries (included) and Bluetooth connection (works with most Windows, Mac and Android tablets and computers but do check first if your model is compatible).

Why we love it: There are 77 coding challenges to master, including making feathers fly and pumpkins grow – and they vary in difficulty from the simple to the much more complicated. We like how you can see the Javascript. Very cool – and very well thought out.

Available from: Kano and Amazon

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8. LEGO 75928 Jurassic World Blue’s Helicopter Pursuit, £49.99

Age: 7+

What it is: A 397-piece LEGO set, from which you build a helicopter, a quad bike and a cage with folding sides to help Blue the Velociraptor escape from the evil pilot. Comes with a Blue dinosaur figure, plus Owen (Chris Pratt’s character), pilot and Wheatley (the bad guy) mini figures, and accessories including a tranquilliser gun, a handgun stud shooter, a crossbow stud shooter, a dinosaur tooth, a chicken leg and a dinosaur egg.

Why we love it: The detail on this helicopter (which has properly rotating blades) is ‘well cool’, apparently. And trying to get its belly hook to connect with, and pick up, the cage is great fun. It’s a lovely set for any Jurassic Park fan – with plenty of scope for imaginative dino play.

Available from: LEGO and Amazon.

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9.  Lottie Doll, £16.99

Age: 3+

What is it: A range of 18cm dolls, designed to be more ‘real’, more ethnically diverse and more age-appropriate than other dolls on the market.

Why we love it: Lottie comes in a range of guises – from stargazer to pirate, from fossil hunter to butterfly collector – and in a range of ethnicities, hair and eye colours. There’s also a boy doll called Finn. The dolls are cute, and gratifyingly normal-looking – although their small size means playing with the clothes and accessories can be a bit fiddly. A good choice for anyone who’s looking for something different to the Barbies and Bratz of the toy world.

Available at: Lottie Dolls

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10. Cra-Z Slime Creations Super Slime Studio, £29.99

Age: 6+

What it is: A full-on slime station that lets you create a variety of slime, that comes with everything you need to get going: slime activity, slime glue (in numerous colours), paint, an array of differently-coloured glitters, floam, and even some lolly sticks.

Why we love it: There are plenty of cool slime-making kits, though we really like the variety on this one. Your child can made a few different kinds of glitter slime, as well as rainbow slime. There are a variety of options for single-colour slime, too.

Available from: Argos

cool chocolate bar maker

11. Cool Create Chocolate Bar Maker, £10.99

Age: 5+

What is it: A cooking kit containing moulds, ‘deco-pen’, stamps and wrappers, to melt, mould and decorate all sorts of personalised chocolate bars. (You’ll need to buy the actual chocolate separately.)

Why we love it: Anything that involves chocolate is bound to be fun, and this kit is simple (and messy!) but well thought out and not too pricey, given that you’ll have to buy the chocolate separately. You melt the chocolate in a special ‘pod’ in the microwave and then get pouring into moulds and decorating. Comes with a nice recipe book.

Available at: Amazon

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12. Marvin’s Magic Box Of 125 Tricks, £16

Age: 6+

What it is: This set contains cards, balls, string, rings and instructions to work your magic on friends and family.

Why we love it: Kids love showing off their magic skills and there are so many tricks to choose from in this set they’ll be able to keep everyone entertained for hours. The adults will almost certainly want to have a go too…

Available at: Wicked Uncle

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13. VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180, £39.99

Age: 5+

What is it: A video-taking, photo-snapping, multifunctional 0.3 megapixel camera that can be mounted on a bike or helmet and even taken underwater 9with its waterproof case). Contains a MicroSD card, and comes with 1 rechargeable battery.

Why we love it: Videos, photos, editing software, time lapse functions: this camera has it all, plus some games for when pic-taking boredom kicks in. We also like how durable it is, because, NEWSFLASH, kids do drop things…

Available at: Argos, Smyths Toys and Ocado

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14. K’Nex 521 Super Value Tub, £29.99

Age: 7+

What is it: A big 35cm tub filled with 520 K’Nex building pieces and 35 model-building ideas, including a dragster, a Ferris wheel, and a dinosaur.

Why we love it: The K’Nex construction system is based around rods and connectors that slot together really easily – and always come with really good, picture-led instructions. This good-value tub contains SO many things to make (some easy; some a bit harder) and also has enough pieces that you could create your own model, too.

Available at: Amazon

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15. Don’t Upset the Llama, £16.99

Age: 7+

What it is: A quick-fire (or maybe that should be quick-soak) jeopardy game, in which you draw a card from the deck and try to be the first to spot the horn or spray. If it’s the spray, the first player to grab the Llama water gun can spray a player of their choice. For 2 to 4 players.

Why we love it: Tipped to be a Christmas best-seller, this game will test your reaction speed – and your tolerance to getting sprayed! Not everyone’s cup of tea but hilarious, if it is.

Available at: Amazon

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16. LEGO Creator 31078 Treehouse Treasures, £29.99

Age: 7+

What it is: A 260-piece set that builds into a 20cm 3-level pirate ship treehouse with a ship deck, ship’s wheel, tyre swing, crow’s nest and treasure chest. It can also be rebuilt into a Pirate Ship or a Skull Cave for more ‘ooh arr, me hearties’  fun. Come with a girl, a boy, a teddy and a spider mini figures.

Why we love it: This is a nice complex build for a 7-year-old, especially if you build all 3 designs. And we love the hidden treasure – and how the slide turns into a plank.

Available at: LEGO and Amazon

vtech dash the t-rex

17. VTech Switch And Go Dash The T-Rex, £49.99

Age: 3+ (but we’d say best for older kids).

What it is: A remote-controlled 24cm robo-dinosaur that switches up into a race car. You can ‘customise’ his eyes and driver by selecting one from the LCD screen – and activate fun phrases, dinosaur facts and sound effects by pressing the buttons. Requires 8 AA batteries (included). Also available in red, as Sandstorm the Stegosaurus.

Why we love it: It’s tremendous fun (be warned: those batteries will run out quickly!) and, with the presence of the dinosaur-fact buttons, you can slightly kid yourself it’s educational, too…

Available at: Argos and Smyths Toys

Images: Product websites

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