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The best birthday gifts of 2017: happy seventh birthday!

Your seven-year-old is a little smartie: she’s learning so many new facts and skills, and is always eager to learn more. She may be reading on her own for fun already, and she’s able to plan and build impressive structures and complete complex crafts. Her friends are super important to her, but solo playtime is important too. And she’s got plenty of opinions about what she likes, so this birthday gift guide is going to be more useful for kids you don’t know as well (your kid’s friends at school, nieces and nephews who live on the opposite coast, and so on).

Kids at this age are going to be increasingly drawn in by screens, but there are still tons of great non-digital toys that they’ll find absolutely irresistible. These are only a few of the birthday gift categories that will appeal to them – you’ll find plenty of great gifts among our outdoor toys and plush toys, and collectors of LEGOs, Calico Critters, and Schleich figures won’t be ready to stop anytime soon.

And while a lot of our favorite science and technology kits are recommended for ages 8 and up, you’re the expert on your own kid – age recommendations are just a guideline, and besides, a lot of these kits are great fun for parents and kids to play with together!

 

CRAFT KITS

Creativity for Kids Grow ‘n Glow Terrarium, $14.99
Create and decorate your own mini-terrarium! Kids can create their own tiny garden in a jar in any season, and will love personalizing it with the included stickers and figurines. It’s easy to assemble and the chia and wheatgrass seeds grow fast (instant gratification!).

Craft-tastic Pom Stuffed Animals Kit $19.99
These three are so adorable it’s ridiculous. They’re also ridiculously easy to make. Just take the pre-sewn shape and place the poms on it to create an adorable owl, penguin and fox, and then iron the back side to secure the special adhesive. Next, stuff it and pull the drawstring to close it up. It’s cuteness gone wild!

Faber Castell It’s My Life Scrapbook Kit, $22.99
This mini-scrapbook comes with tons of premium craft materials so kids can experiment with decorative styles while preserving precious memories. They’ll love expressing themselves and creating a cool display for their favorite photos.

Klutz – Make Your Own Mini Erasers, $21.99
Making mistakes has never been this much fun! Sculpt your very own creations with eraser clay, and then bake them in the oven to make absolutely adorable, slightly squishy erasers that really work.

 

SOLO GAMES

birthday gift guide epic perplexusThese logic puzzles and solo games are great ways to fill a quiet afternoon, and many of them are also made to travel. They’re thoroughly absorbing for a wide age range, starting right about… now!

No Stress Chess, $19.99
This clever variation on the ancient game uses a deck of cards and a three-step process to teach the basics of chess, so even very young kids can play.

Simon Electronic Memory Game, $24.99
This disco-tastic retro toy is a dazzling test of memory: memorize the random sequences of lights and repeat them back. Play it solo or against a friend!

Epic Perplexus, $29.99
Think of Perplexus as a 3D version of those cool (but frustrating, but cool) labyrinth puzzles on a tilting wooden table with holes: the whole puzzle is contained in a clear ball, and the goal is to navigate the steel ball through 125 (yes, 125!) different barriers. It’s an addictive challenge of hand-eye coordination and problem-solving, and everyone in the family is going to want to give it a try.

 

BUILDING SETS

Lego Star Wars – Droid Escape Pod, $34.99
C-3PO and R2-D2 are in danger and they need your help to escape! Load them into the Droid Escape Pod, close the hatches and launch to safety. After landing on the nearest planet, can you keep them safe from the Jawas with their ion blasters? That’s for you to decide.

Mindware Keva Contraptions 200 Plank Set, $49.99
Building contraptions with identical wooden planks is a delightful challenge, and a giant Keva Planks set offers tons of possibilities for other kinds of building, making these terrific open-ended building kits as well.

And you know what else is super fun? Knocking Keva Plank structures down!

Goldieblox Invention Mansion, $69.99
With over 350 pieces and a full-color booklet of idea starters, the Invention Mansion gives your budding builder the tools to get started while encouraging open-ended, exploratory play. Young engineers will dive in to discover a trap door, zipline, balconies, bridges, and secret spots. With thousands of configurations, the construction and role play possibilities are endless!

 

PLAYING WITH FRIENDS

Q-Ba-Maze 2.0 Spectrum Marble Maze, $69.99
Q-BA-MAZE 2.0 from Mindware is a unique system of colorful cubes that interlock to form a marble run. The big difference? You can create marble maze sculptures in the form of animals, geometric shapes or any other design!

Can You Imagine – Air Power Light-Up Soccer Floor Disc, $19.99
Whether your child is outdoorsy or indoorsy, sporty or glued to his video games, bookish or jockish, we can’t imagine a kid who wouldn’t get a kick out of the Can You Imagine Air Power Light-Up Soccer Disc!

Classic Twister, $22.99
People have been getting twisted and tangled playing Twister since the 1960’s! You’ll fall over with laughter as you get “tied up in knots!”

resource center buying guide toys for ages and stages

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