Seven year olds are generally never happier than when immersed in the world of imaginary play – either on their own or with friends. Their increased ability to create – and sustain – a make-believe world and their growing ability to spend time focusing on completing a task means that a LEGO® set can be just the kind of toy to attract and keep their attention – and then trigger hours of imaginary fun in the days and weeks to come.

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Sets in this age range tend to have strong playset theme, where you build a structure, often inspired by the latest films or by the kind of characters children this age love to role-play, such as farmers or police officers or doctors. But there are also some more creative 7+ sets, where you can build and rebuild your bricks into models or friendship bracelets.

To help you find the best set for your child, we asked a group of 7 year olds to test a whole variety of sets, in a range of prices and themes, and tell us honestly what they thought about them – both as a build and as a set to play with afterwards...

Best LEGO sets for 7 year olds, at a glance

Best feature-packed build: LEGO Friends Organic Farm, £74.99
Best for magical role play: LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals, £17.99
Best for creative thinking: LEGO Dots Unicorn Creative Family Pack, £44.99
Best for accessories and detailing: LEGO City Hospital, £89.99
Best for action-packed play: LEGO City Police Chase at the Bank, £89.99
Best for dinosaur fun: LEGO Jurassic World Pyroraptor & Dilophosaurus Transport, £39.99
Best for hidden wow factor: LEGO Friends Magical Ferris Wheel and Slide, £54.99
Best for authentic movie details: LEGO Marvel Iron Man Armoury, £79.99
Best for fantasy role play: LEGO Disney Belle and the Beast's Castle, £74.99
Best pocket-money build: LEGO Creator Fantasy Forest Creatures, £12.99

Here's our pick of the best LEGO sets for 7-year-old girls and boys

1. LEGO Friends Organic Farm, £74.99

– Best feature-packed build

Lego Friends Organic Farm

Number of pieces: 826 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 2 hours | Size when built: H18cm x W25cm x D12cm (farmhouse); H4cm x W13cm x D6cm (tractor)

This colourful farm set has so many features to play with once built – from mending the roof and winching up the bucket to collecting the eggs, picking the apples and selling the produce. As Bryony, mum of our child tester Toby, 7 (pictured above) said, "The attention to detail in the design is wonderful. And it's a very interactive set: lots of windows and doors to open, food to transport... A lot of play opportunities!"

We particularly like the buildable, movable tractor, the farmer figure with his bandaged hand (that's why he needs your help!) and the farmhouse's slightly falling down, rustic look – with a stable on the ground floor.

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The set comes with 4 minifigures, a horse, a chicken and a cat and lots of produce, flower and play food accessories. And you can use the free LEGO Building Instructions app to zoom in on your creation in 3-D.

Toby found the build fairly easy to manage on his own, although he found making buildings quite fiddly. And he was delighted with how fun the finished set was to play with. "I like the pulley for watering the flowers. I also like that I can do lots of things like opening the windows and going up the steps. I can drive the tractor or climb up the tree."

Available from: LEGO and Smyths Toys

2. LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Carriage and Thestrals, £17.99

– Best for magical role play

HP Hogwarts™ Carriage and Thestrals

Number of pieces: 121 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 30 to 40 mins | Size when built: H9cm x W6cm x D17cm (carriage)

This set, inspired by the introduction of the thestrals in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is a short build, meaning you're quickly into the world of imaginative wizard play.

We like that there's a baby thestral as well as a grown-one and there are some good accessories for a set at this price point, including an apple and a copy of The Quibbler, as well as Harry and Luna Lovegood minifigures.

"I love the set: I had so much fun putting it together," said our child tester Hanna, 7 (pictured above). She used the paper instructions but you also also go on free LEGO Building Instructions app for an immersive building experience.

Hanna's mum Rachel was impressed. "It's very detailed and provides fantastic fun," she said. "Hanna is just getting into Harry Potter, so this is great to help with her imagination with the books and films, She loves that you can switch the characters around to have either Luna or Harry driving the carriage.

"If I had to quibble, I think that, even though it's a small set, it would have been nice to have the bags numbered and instructions set out following the numbered bags, like other LEGO sets do. But it's a great little set!"

Available from: LEGO and Argos

3. LEGO Dots Unicorn Creative Family Pack, £44.99

– Best for creative thinking

LEGO Dots Unicorn Creative Family Pack

Number of pieces: 707 | Age suitability: 6+ | Build time: 1 hour (max) | Size when built: H14cm x W12cm (message board)

This is a set that's all about designing – and redesigning – your own look to display, rather than building a structure to play with. You stick little coloured or alphabet tiles – the 'dots' – onto boards to create bracelets, bunting, a message board and a unicorn pencil/bobble/bouncy ball holder with a removable lid.

As Stella, mum of our child tester Anneliese, 7 (pictured above), said, "It's different to the average LEGO set – it's so creative! I love the friendship bracelets and the letter dots: they help with spelling and allowed Anneliese to experiment with words."

We like the vibrant colours and the variety of items to make – it would make a great pack to get out when your child has friends over and you're in need of a group activity to occupy them all for a few hours.

It's sold as suitable for ages 6+ but our testers did find the unicorn a little tricky, so we'd suggest 7+ as the best age. It comes with a little tool to help you snap the tiles on and off.

As for Anneliese's verdict? "It's fun and very, very colourful. There's a lot to build. I love the bracelet and I can add my name on it and make one for my friend."

Available from: LEGO and Argos

4. LEGO City Hospital, £89.99

– Best for accessories and detailing

LEGO CITY Hospital with 7 year old tester

Number of pieces: 816 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 2 to 3 hours| Size when built: H24cm x W28cm x D25cm

This updated version of the popular LEGO Hospital is brighter, better laid out – and, we think, even more fun to play with post-build.

There's an ambulance (with opening back door and detailing inside) and a helicopter, and the multi-room building features an MRI scanning room (with sliding bed), a maternity ward, a reception with children's playroom, a toilet and a helipad. It comes with 12 minifigures (including a yellow-haired clown and a little squirrel to scamper over the rooftop greenery) and some great accessories, including a syringe, a cast, a stretcher and a wheelchair.

"It's fun and allows me to be imaginative,"said our child tester Amelie, 7 (pictured above). " I like all the different rooms, sections and props, like the wheelchair, and things like the bandages. I've played with it most days since I finished making it."

Amelie found some sections of the build challenging (as with many of the sets we're featuring here, you can use the printed instruction or virtual ones through the LEGO app) and that, said her mum Sian, is actually a good thing. "I liked that this set challenged my daughter – we find some sets for this age range can be far too easy for her. I also like how realistic it is and how much she can play with it after, creating imaginary scenarios, either independently or with a friend. It's also a good size, without being too large."

Available from: LEGO and John Lewis

5. LEGO City Police Chase at the Bank, £89.99

– Best for action-packed play

LEGO CITY Police Chase at the Bank tested with 7 year old tester

Number of pieces: 915 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 3 to 4 hours | Size when built: H24cm x W28cm x D25cm (bank); H8cm x W14cm x D6cm (heist truck)

There's so much nail-biting drama to be spun once this set is built! You construct a 2-storey bank, a robbers' heist truck that opens up to reveal a cherry picker arm and a jackhammer, a drone for stealing the money, a police truck, a police helicopter with a throw net – and then you're all set for some cops and robbers action...

"My favourite bit is the drone," said our child tester Jack, 7 (pictured above), "and that I can use the truck to pull the walls out of the bank and then the robbers can steal the money. I really like the helicopter, too. I found it really fun to build – it didn't take me too long to do it and I think it was quite easy to do."

Like Jack, we love the detailing that lets you make the cherry picker arm pull off sections of the bank's walls – and we like the net launcher, the bank notes and how the police officer's flashlight glows in the dark.

Charlotte, Jack's mum, was pleased that Jack managed the build independently. "And I liked that the set has so many different elements to it: the bank, helicopter, lorry, drone, police car and figures. This means that are so many ways to act out scenes one you've constructed it."

Available from: LEGO and Amazon

6. LEGO Jurassic World Pyroraptor & Dilophosaurus Transport, £39.99

– Best for dinosaur fun

Jurassic World Pyroraptor & Dilophosaurus Transport tested by 7 year old

Number of pieces: 254 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 1 hour | Size when built: H7cm x W15cm x D8cm (vehicle)

"This is really good," said our child tester Lucas, 7 (pictured above), "especially as I love Jurassic Park!"

For a small, figure-based set, this has a really good number of pieces and a satisfying long (but not too complicated) build. The dinosaur toys are scaled accurately in comparison to the 3 human minfigures and the trailer cage has a flip-down side to let you load them on (one at a time).

We particularly like the detailing off-road vehicle, with its seats, fold-down boot and removable dinosaur tracker. And it's a fun touch that the dinosaurs have a 'knob' on top, so that you can give them each a minifigure rider.

"We liked this set as it was good to build but too much much, so he didn't get bored," said Emma, Lucas' mum. "The set is brilliant quality and the design is great. Lucas has played for hours with this – and his younger brother has taken to it, too. It really encourages young children to role play and helps them be creative."

Available from: LEGO and Argos

7. LEGO Friends Magical Ferris Wheel and Slide, £54.99

– Best for hidden wow factor

LEGO Friends Magical Ferris Wheel and Slide tested by 7 year old

Number of pieces: 545 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 3.5 hours | Size when built: H22cm x W18cm x D12cm (Ferris wheel); H28cm x W14cm x D15cm (slide)

This colourful theme-park set has a great, show-offy hidden feature: the helter-skelter slide has mirrored panels at the bottom that make it look as if the minifigure that was sliding down has disappeared (they actually come out at the back of the slide where the real exit is).

As well as the slide, there's a ferris wheel that spins round with your minifigures on board (you get 3 with this set) and a sweet stall with candy canes and lollipops. Accessories include playing cards and juggling clubs – the minifigures all have 'hands' that you can slot them into. Oh, and there are glow-in-the-dark bricks, for extra magic after dark.

"It looks very bright and sturdy," said Sima, mum of our child tester Ariana, 7 (pictured above). "Ariana followed each instruction step-by-step with very little help needed from me. She only really needed assistance with the stickers which were a bit fiddly. Even before she'd finished, Ariana was happily playing with what she had built so far!"

And what does Ariana think? "I absolutely love it! It's good fun to play with and I had fun putting it together."

Available from: LEGO and Smyths Toys

8. LEGO Marvel Iron Man Armoury, £79.99

– Best for authentic movie details

Marvel Iron Man Armoury tested by 7 year old

Number of pieces: 496 | Age suitability: 7+| Build time: 3 hours | Size when built: H17cm x W13cm x D6cm

This new version of the Iron Man Armoury is a neater and even more authentic model of the iconic room where Tony Stark stores his high-tech suits.

The 2-storey selection chamber has holographic details on the doors, there's a changing platform and lots of workshop props and accessories including a robotic arm, tools and even coffee mugs. On top of that, there's a gun that fires little discs, a superhero sports car, 5 minifigures (Tony Stark, Pepper Pots, Nick Fury, War Machine and Whiplash) and 3 Iron Man suits (MK3, MK25 and MK85).

"The set is sturdy and come with a really generous set of characters,:" said Rebcecca, mum of our child tester Ezra, 7 (pictured above). "And I like all the little touches like the holographic displays and the tools. When the set is built, it isn't huge but it's big enough for someone with a big imagination to enjoy. Ezra particularly enjoyed the fact that the gun shoots – he found it hilarious shooting his big brother!"

Once we'd torn him away from the toy gun, Ezra was just as fulsome in his praise. "This LEGO is amazing because it has lots of characters and 4 different types of Iron Man. It was fun to build, I thought it would be so easy but it wasn't that easy..."

Available from: LEGO and Argos

9. LEGO Disney Belle and the Beast's Castle, £74.99

– Best for fantasy role play

Belle and the Beast's Castle tested by 7 year old

Number of pieces: 505 | Age suitability: 6+ | Build time: 2 hours | Size when built: H27cm x W32cm

There's so much in this castle-shaped set to spark off all manner of dreamy, romantic role play inspired by Disney's classic film. There are turrets and balconies, a spinning dance floor, a rotating dressing room, a horse and carriage – even a ladder in the library the minifigures can slide down.

And of course, there are the familiar characters in the shape of 6 minifigures, including Wardrobe, Philippe the horse, the Beast/Prince (with changeable head) and 2 versions of Belle (one in her day dress; one in her ballgown). Plus accessories including a ripped portrait of the Prince, an enchanted rose, a clock, pans and saucepans and a table full of treats.

"It's just spot on!" said our child tester Katie, 7 (pictured above). "And it's really really fun to build. My favourite part was making the library: it's so cool that the ladder can move."

For Katie's mum Jessica, it's the look of the finished that makes this a great pick: "I really like the way it has all these different elements that look great when put together. The colour choices and little details are excellent."

The build is fairly challenging – possibly a bit too challenging for the 6+ age guide – but not so long and complex that a 7-year-old would get frustrated or bored. "Katie enjoyed building it," said Jessica, "and didn't want to take a break for her tea. It was a perfect mix of challenge and ease – and the step-by-step guide made it easy to the find the pieces. She was excited to play with it once finished and is really enjoying acting out the film with the little characters with me. It's a lovely way to spend an afternoon together!"

Available from: LEGO and Amazon

10. LEGO Creator Fantasy Forest Creatures, £12.99

– Best pocket-money build

LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Fantasy Forest Creatures with 7 year old tester

Number of pieces: 175 | Age suitability: 7+ | Build time: 30 minutes per creature | Size when built: H4cm (for the owl; the other pieces are smaller and vary in height)

This great-value set lets you build 3 different 3 forest-animal scenes: an owl reading a book with a hedgehog; a deer playing with a rabbit, and a squirrel finding acorns. The owl has posable feet, wings, head and feathers, the deer has posable legs and feet, the rabbit has moveable ears, and the squirrel has posable limbs and ears.

The set's designed for building just one set of animals at a time (so if you make the owl and hedgehog, you pull them apart before you make the deer and rabbit) but you can mix things up and make a couple of the smaller, less brick-greedy ones from each set (like the squirrel and the hedgehog) at the same time.

Whatever you decide, the finished models look super-cute, with their big eyes. And we particularly love the magnifying glass the comes with the owl and hedgehog – for reading the (real) words on the book.

Mehack, mum of our child tester Harris, 7, was impressed by the quality of the build instructions. "They were clear and concise and easy to follow. This kept him quiet and focused. A set like this is great for building up skills like problem solving, inquisitiveness and independence."

Harris himself told us: "Making the animals was so exciting – I had not tried anything like this before. It's super cool."

Available from: LEGO and Very

How did we choose our 10 of the Best?

To select the best LEGO sets for 8 year olds, we asked a whole load of 8-year-olds to test a variety of sets and give us their honest feedback. We asked them – and their parents – to tell us what the build element was like and how long it took, what features they liked or didn't like and how much they enjoyed and played with the finished set.

Our 10 of the Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Toy Awards, the MadeForMums Awards and feedback from Top Testers Club. Each year, thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we're bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don't just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Chloe is a Digital Reviews Writer and Coordinator for MadeForMums. She researches and writes articles, recommending the best products for parents. She has a 1st-Class Honours degree in Psychology and a strong interest in child development.

Pics: Product websites/MadeForMums testers

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Chloe BrightwellDigital Reviews Writer and Coordinator
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