Awesome Gifts for Kids Aged 0-7

Are you shopping for a baby, toddler, preschooler, or “big kid”? This list of awesome gifts for kids aged 0-7 has you covered!

Are you shopping for a baby, toddler, preschooler, or "big kid"? This list of awesome gifts for kids aged 0-7 has you covered! #giftguide #giftideas

One super fun thing about being a mom is that I get to shop for (and play with) toys! Christmas is a fairly simple affair in our house – one big family gift and then the kids draw names and each give one sibling a small gift – so I have to choose carefully! Here are a few toys that we either own or are on the “to own eventually either through Christmas or birthdays” list.

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Awesome Gifts for Kids Aged 0-7

The Perfect Doll House

Manzanita toys dollhouse

Mike will confirm that I have spent YEARS searching for the perfect doll house. I’m pretty in love with this one from Manzanita Kids. I’ve looked at modular doll houses before, and this one is by far the most versatile – with a nice open plan for multiple kids to share. We ordered this as our big family gift for this year.

Building Toys Kids Love

Most years we purchase one large family gift, and then the kids give each other small gifts. Magna-Tiles were our big family purchase last year, and the kids have enjoyed them all year long! They are especially popular with four-year-old Lily. If you have a light table, the translucent ones are very cool!

I have had friends ooh and ahh over Wedgits for years, but I didn’t really see why they were so neat. It wasn’t until Lily came home from school all excited about them that I realized that this toy is a 3D puzzle of sorts (when used with idea cards) as well as a basic building toy. So cool! 

This set of LEGO Bricks has a great collection of basic and fancy bricks to get your collection started.

The LEGO Education DUPLO Brick Set is a great set for little kids.

My sister gave us this Melissa & Doug Wooden blocks set a few years ago, and it has provided hours of play! You can’t go wrong with a set of nice wooden blocks!

I said you can’t go wrong with wooden blocks, but sometimes it’s nice to have an alternative that doesn’t hurt when it gets thrown, or make a racket when a tall tower falls over. If you, say, have a sleeping baby plus a busy preschooler in the house, these Soft & Safe Building Blocks might be the way to go! My sister has a set at her house, and the kids love playing with them – so do I, actually. Because they are lightweight, you can get them to do things ordinary blocks won’t do.

Toys to Teach Problem Solving

Rush Hour Jr. is a game that I have looked at for a long time – recommended both by one of my brothers and Erica at What Do We Do All Day.

I love Kumon maze books, and this Around the World book is my favorite! The mazes are challenging, but solvable, and kids get to know a few world landmarks at the same time – they can even check the landmarks off a world map as they complete the mazes. I only wish they would have taken the time to include a little information about each landmark.

Pretend Play Toys

I love the LEGO Education community minifigure sets for imaginative play with LEGO.

For younger kids, I recommend the LEGO Education DUPLO Community People Set.

Our Favorite Baby Toy

Babies love cause and effect toys, and this one has a wonderful Rube Goldberg element.

Our top STEM Themed Toy

Snap Circuits is the only battery-operated toy to make my list! There are several different sets; this light themed set is our favorite.

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What are your favorite toys for kids aged 0-7 years old? Share recommendations in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.

MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

31 thoughts on “Awesome Gifts for Kids Aged 0-7”

  1. We <3 Rush Hour (we don't have jr). We found a few apps that are similar to Rush Hour and keep J busy. We have the Lego blocks too. They are great for science fun :-)

      1. I don’t see a difference in layout of the game other than pieces in Rush Hour Jr are more recognizable items like dump truck and bus (we bought Jr. for friends’ bdays). There are different levels/cards in regular Rush Hour, and there might be a harder difficulty level compared to Jr. John usually monitors J while he plays. I asked him, and he says J has no problems with it. I got Rush Hour from my college roommie many moons ago, and we didn’t want two of the same type of games taking up precious closet space. I’m all for games we can all play.

  2. This is a wonderful post. You just have me some excellent ideas for Christmas this year for my girls (newborn, 3 1/2, and 5). Your suggestions are exactly what I am looking for – educational, encourage them to use their imagination, and are good enough quality to be used for years! Thank you for these suggestions!

  3. I love your list – our big gift (MagnaTiles) will arrive in Botswana with visiting family on December 16th and I’m so excited to see them. That doll house looks perfect – I’m sure it will be a big hit with your kids. Some of these toys are things I haven’t heard of before. Snap Circuits looks really cool as does Wedgits!

    1. I hope your girls enjoy the Magna Tiles as much as we have! They have stood up beautifully to a year of pretty intense play, too.

      Snap Circuits would be great when your girls are a little older, and they would probably enjoy Wedgits now. I’m very excited about the doll house!

  4. Elisa | blissfulE

    Love this gift guide!! The doll house looks fantastic!!! I didn’t know LEGO sold minifigure sets – our DUPLO is all second-hand and we have an amazingly random assortment of “people”. They are incredibly important to my kids’ play, which causes them to be scrupulous about making sure they are divvied out evenly.

    How do you work out the kids giving each other small gifts in your family? I’d love to teach my kids that sort of generosity, but since only one of them has a (tiny) allowance, I’m not sure how it would work.

    1. For the sibling gift-giving, I follow the same model my parents used. The kids each draw one sibling’s name, and Mike and I provide a budget (more of an upper limit than a budget; the idea isn’t to spend all the money) for them to select a gift for that sibling. Our kids don’t get an allowance yet (although I want to start that soon so they can practice money management; would love to hear if you have something that works well for you), so they have no money of their own. Then they typically make all sorts of small gifts for one another that fall outside of the name-drawing portion of Christmas. Does that make sense?

      My kids haven’t attached themselves to the DUPLO people, but my younger siblings did exactly what you describe with your kids. Those little “people” had so much personality, and they came with complex back stories! It’s fun to hear about your kids doing the same!

  5. Great choices. We have a few of your picks – the M&D blocks, Rush Hour Jr., lots of Lego bricks and sets, and Snap Circuits. We don’t own Magna Tiles, but we often play with them at the Children’s Museum. I totally agree with you about the Lego Friends sets too.

  6. Yes, we own and enjoy many of the same things. I adore the doll house you selected, it looks amazing. We plan to do “want, need, wear, read” this year, because Anna just got so many new gifts on her birthday!

  7. That is a pretty awesome doll house.

    My daughter loves all of the little animal pets that come from the Lego friends series, but is indifferent on the dolls.

    I hadn’t noticed the make-up on the girl Legos, but I’ve always found the faces on Legos exaggerated, so it probably seemed on par with others.

    1. They are on par with the other “fancy” faces. The funny thing is, that in the LEGO education sets the boys all have normal LEGO smiley faces, and the girls have double sided faces – one happy, one sad, both with tons of makeup. I feel like it sort of presents the girls as all emotional and the boys as all happy-go-lucky. My feminist side coming out, I guess :)

  8. I’ve been eying that Melissa and Doug block set for a while now, but haven’t gotten myself to buy it, especially when my kid seems perfectly content with the Jenga blocks (totally not getting played the way it’s “supposed” to, but it works!). It’s still on my wish list though :)

    1. Jenga blocks make awesome building blocks! Have you heard of citiblocs? They are basically glorified (longer and thinner) jenga blocks, and people make all sorts of neat things with them!

  9. Thank you for a post. I am a grandmother to two beautiful children in the age group. Reading your article is certainly more enjoyable than trudging around the shops wondering what to buy. I am very interested to see the modular tree house etc. I haven’t seen anything like that before and think its delightful. I also like the idea of using a light table with some of the blocks. Great suggestions. Thanks. :)

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