Turning seven is a milestone in some cultures and deserves to be celebrated accordingly. The Roman Catholic church declares seven to be the “the age of reason” and Muslim children are encouraged to begin praying from this age. More generally, this age can be the beginning of a wonderful phase where the terror of tantrums are a thing of the past and the complications of puberty are still a long way off.
At around the age of seven, children understand that things cost money and the relative value of big and small purchases. If you have not previously given your child pocket money, this might be a good time to start. Even if it is only 50 pence a week, they may really enjoy either saving it up or visiting the newsagent with you and spending it on a favourite knick-knack or some sweets. Or if your child would like an expensive present, like Lego, you could ask family members to club together and then take your child to a department store and let her choose.
Every month is represented by a different birthstone and each one has its special meaning. For example, January is a garnet, which represents a light heart, loyalty and enduring affection. September is a sapphire, which symbolises purity of the soul. You could buy a piece of jewellery, like a pendant, with the stone in it or just a single stone to start a collection.
If the gemstones are a little beyond reach, every month is also represented by a birth flower. For example, March is a daffodil and June is a rose. You could buy a bouquet with the appropriate flower in it or, for something more permanent and personal, plant some seeds together in a pot or in the garden and watch them grow.
Some children, especially as they get older, no longer want a huge party with all of their school friends, but might appreciate something more private instead. How about a trip to the theatre and a pizza lunch. Or a visit to Legoland. Or a museum. There are many wonderful destinations that can be tailored to your child’s interests and with the more intimate atmosphere of a small group, it will make for a day they will always remember.
A photograph or camera
Is there a particular day your child enjoyed that you took a picture of? Or does he have a special group of friends? Take a photo of them and then either frame it to keep in his room or do something fun with it like print a tee-shirt, a mug, a bag or a keyring. Or give a child a simple camera and a photo album and watch him record his special year.
By seven, most children are able to read and appreciate a lovely book. Nonsense poetry can be fun, or perhaps there was a novel from your childhood that you particularly enjoyed reading. Or buy a classic that that you can share with them like “Wind in the Willows” or “Alice in Wonderland.” Buy a lovely hardback edition, preferably with illustrations, and write a heartfelt message inside.
A religious symbol
If you are a devout family, this age might be a good time to buy him something appropriate like a necklace with a cross, or star of David, or maybe his own bible. It is common at age seven for Catholic children to take their first Holy Communion, an occasion suffused with tradition and celebration. White clothes are usually worn, so buying a white dress or smart shirt might be a good gift option. Alternatively, some rosary beads, or some sort of religious statue or icon.